New steamed buns win foodies' heart
Updated: 2016-11-15

Shanghai's beautiful Guyi Garden has many attractions—waterside pavilions, winding corridors, a range of rare trees and flowers … But many people flocking to the ancient gardens this month are ignoring these beautiful sights altogether, and are instead rushing straight to a tiny stall hidden in a humble corner of the complex.

They have come to Guyi Garden for one thing only: to try the Nanxiang steamed buns made by Li Jian'gang.

Li is the sixth generation of his family to make and sell these traditional snacks, and he has drawn on this century of experience to create two new steamed bun recipes—salted egg yolk buns and spicy buns—that have quickly become a word-of-mouth sensation in Shanghai.

But if you want to try them, you need to be quick: they will be on sale only in November and December!

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Steamed buns stuffed with salted egg yolk [Photo from WeChat account shanghaitourism]

Different from other traditional Chinese egg-based snacks such as rice dumplings and moon cakes, which usually taste dry and rough, the salted egg yolk steamed buns bring you a tender and rich flavor, and a sense of satisfaction, as the meat blends perfectly with the egg yolk.

And the spicy steamed buns, not too hot so as to cater to the Shanghainese preference for milder flavors, can heat you up during the cold winter months.

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Spicy-flavored steamed buns can warm you up during the cold winter months. [Photo from WeChat account shanghai tourism]

What's more, the steamed buns will taste all the better when you have a cup of the seasonal osmanthus tea—soaking the candied osmanthus in boiling water will produce a gorgeously sweet fragrance that will linger long in the air.

You can buy 16 original flavored steamed buns for just 30 yuan; while 12 salted egg yolk ones are 38 yuan, 14 spicy ones are 38 yuan, and a cup of osmanthus tea is five yuan.

If you want to try these classic Shanghai snacks, you can get to Guyi Garden by taking bus lines No 582 and No 822, or take metro line 11 and get off at Nanxiang station.
 

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Steamed buns and osmanthus tea is a perfect match. [Photo from WeChat account shanghaitourism]

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