Shengjian Bao with a Cult Following
Eating your way through the world’s most populous city is one of life’s greatest pleasures. As Shanghai’s landscape becomes more international, many traditional places have disappeared, but thankfully Da Hu Chun has stood the test of time. Open along the river since the 1930s, this restaurant is known for shengjian bao—pan-fried soup dumplings. Each dumpling is made to order, filled with impeccably ground pork, whole shrimp or clams, and gelatinous pork fat that melts as it cooks. Then, they are carefully sealed by hand with 20 perfect pleats to ensure that every dumpling is uniform in size and shape. The raw shengjian bao are fried on a wide cast iron skillet, then steamed to cook the twisted top of the bun, drained and then scorched again. The result is an insanely delicious dumpling with a crusty bottom, soft pillowy top and big juicy chunks of pork and shrimp. This shop has maintained a cult following for 90 years and it’s easy to see why. I can honestly say it’s one of life’s transformative food experiences.
11 Sichuan Nan Lu
Shanghai, China, 200085
+86 21 6330 8402
Photographs courtesy of Travel Channel.