Sugar egg puffs – Shanghai Dumpling King

Sugar egg puffs - Shanghai Dumpling King
Wow, these egg puffs were awesome! They reminded me of a fried version of light, airy, eggy popovers. The interior was smooth and custardy, and SO delicious! I shook most of the sugar off because I’m not a huge sweet fan, but really these warm puffs didn’t even need the extra sugar to make them better. They’re perfect as is! 3 pieces $3.25
Shanghai Dumpling King, San Francisco

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2013

Vaillancourt Fountain
Vaillancourt Fountain, Justin Herman Plaza.

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Vegetable and pork steamed dumplings – Shanghai Dumpling King

Vegetable and pork steamed dumplings - Shanghai Dumpling King
10 pieces $5.50
Shanghai Dumpling King, San Francisco

I still can’t believe how cheap all the dumplings are here! You get ten delicious dumplings for under six bucks! This is why I love these small, random dumpling shops in San Francisco. These dumplings were really good. I loved the sauce and the ginger/chive topping they add to the dish. Perhaps they were steamed too long though because the skins were super soft and fell apart quite easily.

Soy sauce with ginger - Shanghai Dumpling King
Soy sauce with ginger.

Bon Tempe Lake
Bon Tempe Lake.

"3 cups" chicken clay pot – Shanghai Dumpling King

3 cups chicken clay pot Shanghai Dumpling King

Chicken thigh pieces with sliced onions, mushrooms, green onions, ginger, garlic, and star anise. $6.95
Shanghai Dumpling King, San Francisco

I was surprised at how much this clay pot tasted like Filipino chicken adobo, just less vinegary and with more ingredients. I think the addition of mushrooms and star anise made it more earthy, resulting in a more Chinese flavor. This dish was super hearty and very delicious! I personally love clay pots because they tend to be saucy and pair perfectly with steamed rice to soak up all the yummy juices. This is definitely going on my “Re-order” list!

Xiao long bao – Shanghai Dumpling King

Xiao long bao Shanghai Dumpling King

Steamed soup dumplings with a pork filling atop a napa cabbage leaf. $5.50
Shanghai Dumpling King, San Francisco

These dumplings were SO delicious!  I only ripped one or two while trying to eat them with chopsticks so I was particularly proud of myself.  When I first had these, I wondered how they got the soup inside the dumplings.  Apparently, the dumplings are made with a pork filling and a gelatin aspic.  The aspic melts into a “soup” when the dumplings are steamed – genius!  These are very fun to eat and Shanghai Dumpling King’s are some of the best in San Francisco.

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010, 2011, 2012

Xiao long bao - Shanghai Dumpling King
November 17, 2013. So I guess they’re not using the napa cabbage on the bottom anymore. That’s a shame.

Pan fried pork buns – Shanghai Dumpling King

Pan fried pork buns Shanghai Dumpling King

Oil steamed and fried buns with a pork filling and garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.  $5.25
Shanghai Dumpling King, San Francisco

I consider my co-worker, Alan, to be a Chinese food expert since he’s a native San Franciscan/Chinese American and I’ve learned quite a few things from him. I sometimes wish he doesn’t tell me certain things, like how these pork buns are cooked, lol! This was the first time I’ve tried these pan fried pork buns and I naively assumed they were first steamed, then fried since they are brown on the bottom. The dough has a different consistency than other buns so I also assumed that they used a special dough batter. I was wrong! It’s the same dough batter is used as in other pork buns, then the buns are steamed and fried simultaneously in a pool of oil! The hot oil sears the bottoms while the steam cooks the rest of the buns to a soft, squishy consistency. No wonder they’re so flavorful! Even knowing how they’re made now, I will order these again in a heartbeat since they are addictingly delicious!

Napa cabbage – Shanghai Dumpling King

Napa cabbage Shanghai Dumpling King
Chinese pickled napa cabbage with jalapeno slices.
Shanghai Dumpling King, San Francisco

This dish was listed as “Spicy Bok Choy” on the menu!  When we ordered it, the waiter informed us that it was a cold dish, which we happily agreed to.  I was surprised when the dish arrived and it was napa cabbage instead, especially since napa cabbage was no where on their menu.  It was delicious though!  Looking back, I’m glad we got the pickled napa cabbage.  It was fresh, crisp and refreshing with a little bit of spice.  Napa cabbage as a more delicate flavor than bok choy, and it was just what we needed.  I’m not sure I would order it otherwise, so it was a fortuitous substitution!

Green tea Shanghai Dumpling King
The only times I drink tea are when I’m sick or at a Chinese restaurant and it’s complimentary. Haha! I must say that sipping tea throughout somehow elevates the meal and overall experience. Yay for free tea!