Saturday, 9 July 2016
Must Try Shanghai Street Food - Chinese Street Burger 肉夹馍 JK1539
This Chinese street sandwich found in Shanghai and all over China is often touted as the "Chinese hamburger". It's a little misleading 😝 These 肉夹馍 or "meat sandwiches" are sold in the streets of China since the Tang Dynasty's 大唐开元年间 period (713-741 AD) predating the American hamburger by almost two millennium.
Well, this is the definition of a juicy burger.
Between the slightly crispy browned flaps of a butterflied baked wheat bun, a patty of braised meat (pork, beef or lamb) mash, wet with the juices from the fat. The savoury sweet mash meat patty is so soft, smooth and wet, you could feel the crunch of the julienned green bell pepper inside.
The notes on the brown paper wrapping makes a lot of claims for the 肉夹馍.
The 肉夹馍 made with fresh ingredients is delicious, needless to say. The 肉夹馍 also has herbs which helps circulation and has beautifying effects - a bit of a stretch but I have not eaten enough 肉夹馍 to verify it 😆
肉夹馍 stands are found all over China but not as ubiquitous as noodle and dumpling stalls. 肉夹馍 stalls have two sections - one side makes the buns and the other, the patties.
I did not see many 肉夹馍 stalls during my visits to Shanghai. (This one is at the street food lane just outside the Line 2 Zhangjiang High Tech Park subway station in Pudong.)
The buns are freshly rolled and baked in a portable coal fired oven, the centuries old way. (Don't waste your calories and cholesterol on stalls that fry, steam or buy their bread from bakeries.)
Then, there is the patty making section which prepares all the wonderful things that go into a 肉夹馍 Chinese burger - braised meat, egg, chili powder, spices and herbs.
This makes me drool. How about you? If this picture won't, the aroma from the slabs of meat and the dozen of spices in this stew will, but you have to go to China for that 😆
The vendor chops and folds the braised pork and vegetables like cilantro and scallion into a soft, wet juicy mash.
The vendor then slots the juicy wet mash meat and vegetable patty into the butterflied baked bun.
Voila! The meaty savoury sweet 肉夹馍 or "Chinese hamburger" 😋 RMB7 each. (Lamb and beef also available.)
👍 When you are in Shanghai or anywhere in China and spot a 肉夹馍 stall still making the juicy meaty buns the centuries old way (i.e. baked with a tandoor oven, not fried or steamed or bakery bought). Try it - you are partaking in China's delicious culinary history.
👆Excellent brief introduction to 肉夹馍.
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