The Four Great Vajra” are the four most popular breakfast dishes of Shanghainese. These 4 dishes include hot cakes, pies, sticky rice rolls and soy milk.
Shanghai is famous as one of the most modern and luxurious cities in China. Not only known for tourist attractions such as the Bund, the Oriental Pearl TV tower or the Shanghai film studio, this bustling city is also famous for its many mouth-watering dishes. For many Shanghainese, the start of a new day is also the time to recharge with a nutritious breakfast. The most special of which is the “four great vajra” with the dishes most attached to them including hot cakes, sticky rice rolls, baked goods and soy milk.
Hot Stir-fry (油条)
Not only in Shanghai, hot dumplings are one of the popular breakfast dishes in many parts of China. With easy-to-find ingredients such as flour, fresh milk, baking powder, eggs and spices… after being mixed and kneaded into a flexible mass, rolled and shaped, they will be fried in a pan filled with oil. until golden brown, puffy and crispy.
Although the method is quite similar to the quail in Vietnam, the hot cake in Shanghai’s breakfast is usually larger and longer. In particular, hot cakes in Shanghai can be served with porridge, soy milk or simply dipped with soy sauce or chili sauce…
Sticky rice rolls (粢饭团)
It is a unique combination of soft and fragrant sticky rice with ingredients such as waffles, fried rice, pickled vegetables… Rolled sticky rice is often chosen by many Shanghai people to energize for a new day.
The way to make Shanghai sticky rice rolls is also quite simple, you only need to prepare a portion of sticky rice, fried rice, stirrups and pickles. After spreading the sticky rice out on a bamboo sushi roll, place it in the middle of a waffle, a layer of sauce and pickles. Next, roll tightly with your hands so that the sticky rice is firm and cut in half before enjoying. The soft, fragrant and flexible taste of sticky rice when eaten with crispy crackers, rich shrimp and sour pickles will help you have a breakfast that is both filling and delicious.
In addition to Shanghai, some areas around this city such as Anhui or Jiangxi also sell quite a lot of special baked goods in the “four great diamonds”. The scones that appear in Shanghainese breakfast have two types of fillings: savory and sweet. If the sweet is filled with sugar and sprinkled with sesame seeds to decorate, the savory cake will be added topping onions and salt to distinguish it.
In particular, when it comes to Shanghainese baked goods, one cannot leave out the rather interesting baking process. The ingredients to make the cake are quite similar to the Vietnamese bread, but unlike Vietnam, when buying, the seller will put it on a crispy charcoal oven, the Shanghai cakes are available on the oven still warm. When someone comes to buy a cake, the owners will quickly pick up a hot cake and put it in a bag for easy take away. The cakes at this time are still fragrant, crispy, hot and extremely attractive.
Soy milk (豆浆)
Soy milk is part of Shanghai’s breakfast combo of hot tofu-bean milk. This is also a popular drink throughout China and Vietnam. But in addition to the sweet soy milk commonly found in Vietnam, Shanghai soy milk also has a unique salty taste.
Although it is called salty soy milk, Shanghai salty soy milk is rarely used, but instead is soy sauce to increase the richness. After having a bowl of soy milk, the seller will add soy sauce, vinegar, and green onions. If you want a bowl of salty soy milk more attractive, they will put in it ingredients such as shrimp, beef, shrimp or crackers… depending on your preference.
In addition to the famous “four great vajra”, Shanghainese people also have many attractive dishes for breakfast such as shumai, wonton, fried dumplings, tiger claw cakes, Xiao long bao or fried dumplings.
If you have the opportunity to visit this city, you must definitely try the “four great vajra” and typical breakfast dishes to better understand the beauty of Shanghai’s culinary culture.
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