Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Crayfish at a shopping mall buffet
David Shen Kai/Apa Publications
Throughout most of China's history, Shanghai was a muddy fishing village, while nearby cit-
ies such as Hangzhou and Nanjing, both former capitals of China, were famous for their
beauty, culture, sophistication and fine food. Without any great palaces or emperors to in-
spire its cuisine, the Shanghainese instead turned to the bays and estuaries of the Yangtze
Delta for their daily meals. Authentic local cuisine still relies heavily on freshwater crabs,
eels, river fish and shrimps, along with traditional Chinese staples of chicken and pork, and a
rich selection of seasonal local vegetables.
With its country roots, the preparation of Shanghainese cuisine is far less complex than
that of its Cantonese or Beijing cousins, relying on soy sauce, oil and sugar for flavour, and
featuring just three major methods of preparation: hong shao or red-cooked (with sugar and
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