yeah! shanghai ~ Orderinny

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

yeah! shanghai

The Mexicans have their tamales, the Italians raviolis, the Eastern Europeans their pierogis, and of course, the Chinese have dumplings in all shapes and forms. The cantonese have 20 different types of dumplings come dim sum time, while the northerners slurp theirs down by the dozens. And for the shanghainese, nothing but soup dumplings is good enough.
While the soup dumplings at yeah shanghai are not as good as those I've eaten in China and Singapore, they rank among the best in nyc's chinatown. Even though they are not as hefty as the ones at Joe's shanghai, they are a little more refine and the skin quite a bit thinner and not as chewy. The pork is also lean and fresh, which makes the soup residing in the dumpling tasty but not too oily. I once ate 16 dumplings all by myself in Shanghai, but since I eat with people here, I had to restrain myself to two. The act of eating soup dumpling the proper way is so stressful, from transferring it from the bamboo steamer to your spoon gingerly to avoid poking through the delicate skin and losing all tt juicy goodness, to biting slowly and sipping the soup carefully out of the dumpling so that 1) the dumpling will not explode on your and 2) you will not scald your tongue. Given the stress level, i guess that two is manageable. Of course, since you want to eat the dumplings while they're piping hot, its a good idea to share an order instead of hogging the steamer all to yourself.
Besides soup dumplings, the other menu items are also worth ordering, especially the specials listed on the chalkboard, written in Mandarin, for those in the know or who are just lucky enough to know Mandarin. That night, 6 of us had, besides dumplings, fried spinach, a slightly fishy but light fish soup, Tong-Po Pork and a huge plate of crabs with rice cakes. The Tong-Po pork was a special order by Ruoying, who had seen another table of diners order it a couple months ago. She was determined to have it this time, and we were happy to oblige. Who could resist a huge slab of fatty pork braised until the skin and fats literally melt in your mouth? The pork comes with steamed plain buns, so stuff some pork in the bun and you have made yourself the asian variant of hamburger.
The crabs with rice cakes is also worth a mention, even if we didn't really enjoy it. It was tasty no doubt, and the crabs were fat and full of roe. Unfortunately, we had anticipated shredded crab stir-fried into the rice cakes, instead of pieces of crab still in its shell sitting atop a mound of rice cakes and minced pork fried in a thick savory sauce. For our very lazy group, it was too much work to get the meat out of the crab, but if you love the challenge of sucking every ounce of meat stuck in the leg, I urge you to order that dish and eat it to your heart's delight. It is afterall, only $12 dollars. That was the price i paid for my crabcake salad in Maryland for a miserable crabcake. Ever wondered how the Chinese did it with their cheap groceries??

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