In Shanghai there are street stalls selling delicious xiaolongbao, or steamed pork dumplings, on almost every corner. Here's a guide on where to find the best – and how to master the tricky art of slurping them down

在上海的每个街角几乎都有路边摊出售着美味的小笼包和蒸饺。这是一篇指南,帮助你找到最好的–--如何掌握把它们大口吞下去的这门棘手艺术。

Shanghainese soup dumplings

Pick up steam … Shanghainese soup dumplings. Photographs: UnTour Shanghai

渐渐加热.... 上海小笼包。图片选自:UnTour Shanghai

Any Shanghai denizen who has lived in the city for longer than a few months worships at the altar of xiaolongbao. These steamed buns of goodness – tiny pork dumplings with a slurp of soup wrapped up in a wonton wrapper – provide delicious fodder for debates among Shanghai's foodies.

任何在上海在居住过几个月或以上的的外来者都会将小笼包崇拜地推上神坛。这些蒸熟的食物宛如女神的臀部–--细细的肉末伴着汤水被包子皮完美的包装–证明这美味的食物几乎能打败上海几乎所有其它美食。


That said, if anyone tells you the best soup dumplings in the city can be found at Taiwanese chain restaurant Din Tai Fung, give them a polite smile and then turn on your heels and run. Sure, these XLBs may win the day in Melbourne or even San Francisco, but why come to Shanghai, the home of the xiaolongbao, to order your steamer baskets from a chain? No one suggests going to Rome and eating at Pizza Hut, however well the corporation may have localised their flavors to the Italian market.

如果有人告诉你上海最好吃的小笼包在台湾连锁饭店鼎泰丰,给他一个礼貌的微笑,脱下你的高跟鞋跑路吧。当然,他家的小笼包可能赢得了墨尔本甚至是旧金山的大奖,但为什么要来上海这个小笼包的故乡,要一个从流水线上下来的蒸笼吗?在罗马没人会建议去吃必胜客,尽管必胜客家的公司可能会本地话他家的产品来适应意大利的市场。


In our humble opinion, there is no single winner of the great xiaolongbao debate – and that's no because we like sitting on the fence. There are two regional varieties of soup dumpling: Nanjing-style, which are actually called tangbao, literally "soup bun," and traditional Shanghainese xiaolongbao. The latter boasts heartier wrappers that hold in a hearty pork meatball in a sweet soup, while Nanjing's offerings have skin so thin it's almost translucent, a more savoury broth, and a smaller serving of pork. In each of these categories, we have a clear winner.

以我们的愚见,在伟大的小笼包辩论会上没有一个赢家 – 这并不是因为我们毫无立场。有两个地方品种的汤包子:南京风格的,它实际上是被称为汤包,字面意思是“汤包子”,和传统的上海小笼包。后者在皮内包有丰盛的猪肉丸子甜汤,然而南京的样式包子皮肤非常得薄,几乎是透明的,更美味的肉汤和小份的猪肉。在这两个类别中,我们有了一个明确的赢家。

Fu Chun dumpling joint
Fu Chun dumpling joint

富春小笼包连锁




Gently take a bite out of the top (or the side) and let the steam escape. Then carefully suck out the succulent juice of the xiaolongbao. A second dip into the sauce, after you've drained the melted pork fat, wouldn't hurt. Cue the swan song and pop the xiaolongbao in your mouth whole. Savour. Repeat.

轻轻地把包子顶端(或者旁边)咬开一个口子让蒸汽消散,然后小心地吸出包子里流出的丰富汤汁,融化了的猪皮汤汁大概排的差不多后,给包子蘸第二次酱

This is merely a loving ode to the standard Shanghai pork xiaolongbao. We could go into the high-class XLB filled with pork and crab roe, but we'll save that one for another day.

我要歌颂这些标准的上海猪肉小笼包。我们可以进入一流的餐厅吃那些充满了猪肉和蟹黄的小笼包,但我们要节省,把钱留到明天用。