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Food of Shanghai

Sometimes the best things in life are edible. There is nothing more satisfying than eating a delicious meal. After a few weeks studying abroad in Shanghai, I have experienced many new foods. I have liked most of them. I have had everything from squid and bullfrog to fried rice on the street. They are all delicious and comparatively cheap to US prices. The typical day is hard to describe in terms of food. Everything is new so I want to try it all.

Normally I will wake up around 9ish and depending on if I have homework or not I will go get some breakfast. Breakfast in China is nothing like in the US. Eggs, bacon and toast are here but not like what you would find at a diner. A favorite of mine is called shou zhua bing, which is hard to describe. It's kind of like a pancake mixed with a biscuit that is put on a hot plate. After it browns, they put an egg on the hot plate and mix it around and then place the browned pancake on top of the egg. What happens next is different from place to place. Some add bacon to the dish while others will add lettuce or a banana. The result is the pancake rolled up with one or more of the final ingredients with sauce of your choice, be that sweet or spicy. Shou zhua bing is cheap, delicious and everywhere.

My next meal will happen around 12 just before class at 1:30. I may go to the cafeteria, one of the many restaurants on campus, or I will go somewhere off campus. There are so many options. All of them are delicious and it may depend on what I want or how much money I want to spend or how far I want to walk. The street vendor food options are delicious and cheap but may be farther away and you have to carry the food somewhere to eat. Where I eat depends on my mood. The street food is common for me to go to for lunch on a normal day because it is quick and cheap. It's cheaper than fast food and healthier. I have had no problems so far with the street food. There are several noodle stands where you can get stir fried noodles or rice, both of which are delicious.

After class, I will go out with friends and get some dinner from a restaurant somewhere off campus usually. There is a mall near campus that offers pretty much anything, however it is expensive and not always worth the high price. The other day I went out with friends and we found a place that was full of locals. The food was delicious and not that pricey. It was a real Chinese food culture experience and all we walked was a couple of blocks.

The food of Shanghai is delicious; the options are limitless. Everywhere I walk there is a restaurant that looks enticing. I will never be bored of the food here.

Take a look at a few of the dishes I've tried so far here in Shanghai:

Matthew Cook is currently a freshman at Western Illinois University. He is the Fall 2013 CEA MOJO in Shanghai, China.


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