dumplings with soy sauce (only)

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I have discovered that even though I have been eating jiaozi (饺子 jiǎozi, dumplings) since I was a wee one, I have been eating them wrong. I know that some people use a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar as dipping sauce for jiaozi, but I thought this was a variation, not the standard, since my family always uses a mixture of soy sauce and sesame oil or soy sauce by itself. Apparently this is extremely abnormal.

Story time: In Beijing, I was a bit peckish and went down to the hotel restaurant, where I ordered a plate of jiaozi. The waitress brought a bowl of soy sauce and vinegar and I asked her if I could get plain soy sauce instead. With the look on her face, I might as well have asked for ketchup. She looked really confused and asked me three times if I was sure I didn’t want any vinegar mixed in! When bringing my bowl of soy sauce, she was like, “And here’s your soy sauce … with no vinegar. Are you sure?” Ha. Then she went and told a fellow waitress about the silly Southerner (jiaozi are more common to the north of China than the south) and they had a good laugh … at my expense. Sigh.

jing’an temple – finally

Yes, I just posted yesterday. But today was rather special, so I thought I’d go ahead and post again. This morning I received some clothes I had ordered online and was pretty happy with it all. For lunch, I went to Yang’s Fry Dumplings and had their shengjianbao. Yum. Didn’t take any pictures though because I was with a friend and I thought it would’ve been rude. Anyway … afterwards I went to the Jing’an Temple. I FINALLY WENT! The temple is right next to the metro station, the one I go to at least twice a week, and is less than ten minutes from where I live, but this is the first time I’ve stepped foot in the temple. I can’t believe it took me a year to see it. It was nice … like all the other temples in China.

Why was this day special? Because I got to cross two things off my Shanghai bucket list! The restaurant and temple had been on it for the longest time. The picture below is from the Jing’an Temple. The area around the temple is very modern, like the mall in the picture’s background. The colors didn’t come out too good because of the lighting, so I just stripped the image of color and added some sepia. Not something I’d normally do, but hey, today’s special, remember?

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trip to nanxiang

On Wednesday I took a little trip to Nanxiang, a town near the top of Shanghai. It’s still within reach of the subway, so it was a pretty easy trip (about 40 minutes to get there). It was a small town, so they didn’t have much to offer other than Guyi Gardens and Nanxiang Old Street, where Yunxiang Temple and the Twin Pagodas are. Below is a picture from within the temple.

Nanxiang is known for its xiaolongbao, which are little dumplings. Well … Shanghai is known for xiaolongbao, but they actually originated from Nanxiang. It’s just that when compared with Shanghai, Nanxiang is an afterthought. The dumplings were good, but nothing worth raving about. All in all we spent about four hours there, which was plenty.

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