Jia Jia Tang Bao (Shanghai): A Soup Dumpling Feast

If you’re only going to eat one thing in Shanghai, let it be this: Xiao long bao.

Soup dumplings — or XLB, as some of my friends call them — are to the city what pizza is to New York. When you’re there, they’re simply a must.

When book travels took me to Shanghai earlier this year, I was determined to hunt down the best in the city. Over and over, I kept hearing about Jia Jia Tang Bao, a little place that locals and expats seemed to adore equally.

So, on my very last morning in Shanghai, we bundled up and braved a gray drizzle to head over to Huang He Lu …

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Shantou: Going Home


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Some girls are Daddy’s little princesses — as for me, I was more like Daddy’s little eating partner.

My dad and I, our obsessions are numerous. But the one dish that we find ourselves constantly craving is ta meepok (also known as meepok ta), a tagliatelle-like Chinese noodle that’s tossed with bits of crunchy, fried pork lard in a chili-soy-black vinegar sauce and topped with fish balls, fish cakes and bits of minced or sliced pork.

It’s a simple dish by the Teochews, an ethnic Chinese group, that we’d eat for breakfast in Singapore every day if we could. (More important, if our bodies could handle it.)

So the moment I landed in the Teochew city of Shantou, China, for our trip back to the village where my great-grandfather was born, I knew what we had to eat right away.

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