Shanghai does not have a definitive cuisine of its own, but refines those of the surrounding provinces . What can be called Shanghai cuisine is epitomized by the use of alcohol. Fish, eel, crab, and chicken are "drunken" with spirits and are briskly cooked/steamed or served raw. and preserved vegetables are also commonly used to spice up the dish.
The use of sugar is common in Shanghainese cuisine and, especially when used in combination with soy sauce, effuses foods and sauces with a taste that is not so much sweet but rather savory. Non-natives tend to have difficulty identifying this usage of sugar and are often surprised when told of the "secret ingredient." The most notable dish of this type of cooking is "sweet and sour spare ribs" .
"Red cooking" is a popular style of stewing meats and vegetables associated with Shanghai.
"Beggar's Chicken" is a legendary dish of Beijing origin , called "jiaohua ji" in the Shanghainese dialect, wrapped in leaves and covered in clay. Though usually prepared in ovens, the original and historic preparation involved cooking in the ground. The and are also uniquely Shanghainese, as are Shanghai fried noodles, a regional variant of chow mein that is made with Shanghai-style thick noodle. Lime-and-ginger-flavoured and stinky tofu are other popular Shanghainese delicacies.
Facing the East China Sea, seafood in Shanghai is very popular. However, due to its location among the rivers, lakes, and canals of the Yangtze Delta, locals favor freshwater produce just as much as saltwater products like crabs, oysters, and seaweed. The most famous local delicacy is Shanghai hairy crab.
Shanghainese people are known to eat in delicate portions , and hence the servings are usually quite small. For example, famous s from Shanghai such as the ''xiaolong mantou'' and the ''shengjian mantou'' are usually about four centimetres in diameter, much smaller than the typical ''baozi'' or ''mantou'' elsewhere.
Due to the rapid growth of Shanghai and its development into one of the foremost East Asian cities as a center of both finance and contemporary culture, the future of Shanghai cuisine looks very promising.
Unlike Cantonese or Mandarin cuisine, Shanghainese restaurant menus will sometimes have a dessert section.
Breakfast is commonly bought from corner stalls which sells pork buns, for the best ''xiaolongbao'' . These stalls also sell other types of buns, such as ''Shengjian mantou'' and , all eaten dipped in black vinegar.
A typical breakfast combination is youtiao, a dough-like food that is deep fried in oil until crisp and is eaten in all parts of China, wrapped in thick pancake, accompanied by soy milk.
Da Zha Xie
Da Zha Xie a special crab found in the Yangtze River. And it is normally consumed in the winter . The crabs are tied with ropes/strings, placed in bamboo containers, steamed and served.
Typical Shanghainese breakfast
In Shanghainese cuisine, '''' is sometimes consumed together with soy milk as breakfast.
One of the local favourites in Shanghai is Shanghai crispy chicken. Crispy chicken is made by first boiling the body of a chicken until its flesh is tender, then roasting it for long periods of time or until the skin goes dry and crispy.