Longhua Temple in Shanghai

Kitty is in Shanghai China trying out some local food. He headed out to the less touristy area, towards the southwest of central Shanghai to visit the famous Longhua Temple and Pagoda.

Entrance of the Longhua Temple
Longhua Temple is the oldest and largest monastery in Shanghai, dated from the 10th century

It is quite common to find a vegetarian restaurant inside a Buddhist temple. Here’s what a typical Luohan Noodle looks like with different kinds of mushroom, bamboo shoot, tofu, and wood fungus.

A bowl of vegetarian noodle
Vegetarian noodle served inside the Longhua Temple in Shanghai

Right across from the temple, hidden in a side street, is this hole in the wall place selling Pan Fried Buns or Sheng Jian Bao, literally means “Raw Pan-fried Bun” to describe the buns are cooked from raw to perfection right in the pan. There are tables along the streets where you can sit to enjoy the buns. Locals are lining up and watching the chefs as they prepare and cook the buns on a huge shallow pan right outside the food stall. This is how¬†this place¬†caught Kitty’s eyes in the first place.

Hole in a wall fast food stall
Locals lining up to get hot off the stove Pan Fried Buns

The Pan Fried Buns are cheap, 4 for 6 RMB (about $1 USD). They were worth every penny and the wait.

Close-up of the freshly-made Pan Fried Buns
Pan Fried Buns are one of the typical street fast food in Shanghai

Each bun is pan-fried to perfection. The skin is not doughy, and is flavourful on its own. It is thin at the top so it’s easy to poke through to expose the treasure hidden inside: a sizable and juicy pork meatball swimming in rich-tasting soup. Because the skin is pan-fried to a crunchy texture at the bottom, you can pick up the bun like a little bowl to drink the soup out of the bun before it runs off onto the plate. You just have to be careful not to burn yourself, as warned by the owner.

Close-up of the inside of a Pan Fried Bun
This Pan Fried Bun is perfectly made: thin dough on top, juicy pork meatball inside swimming in soup, and crunchy bottom

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