We are achievers. Yesterday, we completed Untour’s Dumpling Delight Tour and have now done every tour they offer (three out of three ;-)).
We met our guide at Hanshan Lu, and Wanping Lu. The group was nice and small with 9 people, including us and my parents, who are visiting from Germany. First stop were the trusted potstickers. Good stuff, although not the absolute best. After a walk through the obligatory wet market, we stopped for a variety of xiao long bao. we were able to sit outside in the first beautiful weather with temperatures around 20C. Without a burned tongue from the soup dumplings (yes, we are getting better!), we walked a few meters to a cooked dumpling place. Cooking in water is the oldest way to cook dumplings. Also delicious but for me, cooked dumplings rank third after steamed and, my favorite, steamed/fried.
The highlight of the tour was the dumpling cooking class. After having sampled some Xiaolongbao earlier, we now set out to become masters ourselves. Under the guidance of Chef Mike, we achieved excellence:
- For 5 potstickers use 50g flour, half teaspoon dried yeast, and half a teaspoon of sugar, water; work the dough. Then roll it, fold up and roll again until the dough becomes smooth. Roll the dough into a cigar, i.e. spread it out flat and long and than roll it. Cover it with plastic wrap and make filling.
- For the filling, we used ground pork, a fatty substance obtained by cooking pork skin (this stuff melts when heated and becomes the sauce. while this can be bought in China, elswhere, maybe Jus will do), and seasoning. Mix it.
- Next we unwrap our dough and cut it into 5 even pieces. Put the pieces upright on the table and press flat with the palm. This will give a round shape. Spread with the rolling pin. Now comes the filling. Filling goes in the center. Now fold an S in the edge of the dough and press. Repeat always at the same spot, thereby closing the dumpling. Make sure, there is no hole in the top, otherwise soup will run out. Turn upside down and push a bit into shape. Almost done.
- Now comes the frying. Potstickers go in the pan upside down with some oil. Fry for about 4min (sprinkle some sesame on top) until the bottom is nice and brown. Than add water (about 100ml) and put a lid on the pan, immediately. Let it cook for another 2 minutes. Eat, repeat.
Quite full, we enjoyed a walk in beautiful sunshine along Dongping Lu and with some twists and turns towards the Intercontinental Ruijin. The former Morris Mansion and State Guest House is maybe the most beautiful hotel property in Shanghai.
After a coffee, we hit the tourist hotspot at Tianzefang. This time, we managed to get a seat and (more importantly) a friendly waitress at the commune and indulged in some giant milkshakes and delicious cheese cake.
In the evening, we explored our favorite district south of Fuxin Lu. As it was a warm evening, there were a lot of people on the streets and the atmosphere was great.
Of course we took my parents to buy some super cheap but excellent tea. We ended the evening at the classic favorite fish restaurant.