Shanghai-style Smoked Fish – what it is and where to eat

shanghai-styled smoked fish

Shanghai-style smoked fish is a popular dish from the Chinese city of Shanghai. It is typically made using freshwater fish, such as carp, which is first marinated in a mixture of salt and cooking wine and then fried with various seasonings, soy sources, sugar, and salt. Yes, you do not get it wrong! Although it is called smoked fish, it is fried to get a similar taste to smoked food instead of actually being smoked.

The resulting dish is a beautiful balance of sweet, salty, and savory flavors that are deeply infused into the fish. It has a firm, flaky texture that is both moist and tender, making it a satisfying dish to eat.

Shanghai-style smoked fish is often served cold, either as an appetizer or as part of a larger meal. It is usually garnished with scallions and cilantro, which add a fresh, herbal note to the dish. Other common accompaniments include pickled vegetables, rice, or noodles.

In addition to its delicious taste, Shanghai-style smoked fish has a long history and cultural significance in Shanghai. The dish is said to have originated in the Qing Dynasty, over 100 years ago, and has since become a staple of Shanghai cuisine. It is often served at formal occasions, such as weddings and banquets, as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

Today, Shanghai-style smoked fish can be found in many Chinese restaurants around the world, but for the most authentic experience, it is best to try it in Shanghai itself. Some of the most famous places to sample this delicacy include the Old Jesse Restaurant and the Xiaoyang Shengjian chain.

In conclusion, Shanghai-style smoked fish is a must-try dish for anyone visiting Shanghai or interested in Chinese cuisine. Its unique blend of sweet, salty, and smoky flavors, combined with its cultural significance and history, make it a true culinary gem.

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