Every few days our team will scour Shanghai’s dining scene for scrumptious dishes that’ll fill your belly without emptying your savings. Not to discriminate, we’ll search everywhere from bicycle carts to chic venues with twenty-course tasting menus, knowing that any spot could have the next Dish of the Day.
Sticky rice wrapped in various leaves is one of our favorite things about China. Shanghai offers renditions from all over Asia, including Cantonese lo mai gai, Thai Khao Lam, and most famous, zongzi, sticky rice and other fillings wrapped in bamboo or lotus leaves. The version we’ve been hitting up recently is jiang mi kou rou (江米扣肉), glutinous rice and steamed pork with a banana leaf (36RMB). Unlike most rice-banana leaf combos, the rice is served alongside, rather than inside the leaf. It looks like a zongzi that you walked in on while it was getting dressed.
This homestyle eat is found at a very un-homestyle-looking place: Dapai Xiaochu, a Nanjing spot who’s decor swarms with so many lights and contrasting colors, you’d think the decorator had compound eyes. Fortunately, this doesn’t rub off on the dish, which is as grittily authentic as you’d find anywhere.
The sweet soy-coated pork almost melts upon contact with the rice, thoroughly infusing it with its succulence. We advise bringing a long an eating companion along for this one, that sticky little knoll is deceptively filling.
Dapai Xiaochu – Dapai Xiaochu – First floor, Xin Cheng Mansion, 167 Jiangning Lu, near Beijing Xi Lu, Jingan district (静安区江宁路167号新城大厦1楼, 近北京西路). Tel: (0)21-6255-5177. Hours: 10.30am-10pm daily. Closest metro stop: Nanjing Xi Lu, line 2.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Salt and pepper fried chicken on Wulumuqi Road
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
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