[Shanghai] EVERY friend told me to have Yang’s Dumplings 小杨生煎 when I told them I was visiting the city.
Yang’s Dumpling (or Xiao Yang Sheng Jian) is an expanding popular dumpling chain serving Pan-Fried Pork Bun or Sheng Jian Bao. They have over 140 locations in Shanghai and around China.
It was formed in Shanghai in 1994 by a Mrs Yang, who still keeps her recipe secret. (But of course).
(Click PLAY for video highlights of Yang’s Dumplings 小杨生煎.)
Shanghai’s must have breakfast delicacy Sheng Jian Bao seems similar to the more internationally well-known Xiao Long Bao.
In terms of cooking method, Sheng Jian Bao is pan-fried on a cast iron pan until the bottoms turn crispy brown. As water is also poured inside, there is a steaming effect which renders the top part fluffy.
The real surprise comes from the fillings where tasty broth would be surrounding the juicy meat.
A word of caution: fresh Sheng Jian Bao is usually super hot and juicy, so mind your shirt for the spill and tongue for the first bite.
The Yang’s dumplings are not expensive, costing 8RMB (SGD$1.60) for 4 pork-flavoured ones, and 16RMB (SGD$3.20) for 4 Shrimp Dumplings.
There are also Vegetarian Dumplings (8RMB), but the menu spells it as “Shepards-purse Dumpling” – It’s a kind of vegetable, I know.
So what’s the difference between the Sheng Jian Bao at Yang’s compared to the typical shops?
It is said to boost of a much thinner skin, with crispy fried bottom.
However, some Shanghainese friends reflected that the meats tended to be on the sweet side, and standards have kind of deteriorated when compared to its earlier days.
Despite the fact that the very first Yang’s was established as street food, the restaurants have been constantly upgrading their dining environment.
In recent days (compared to a few years ago), the outlets look decent with modern fast-food chain like decor, air conditioning, and is fairly clean.
There are multiple locations for Yang’s Dumplings, with standard quality and environment.
Yang’s is always full of the locals. And Shanghainese celebrities such as Yao Ming and Liu Xiang are said to be fans.
The shops also offer other soup items, some funky-sounding, including Curry Soup with Duck’s Blood (6RMB), Curry Beef Soup (9RMB), Fish Ball Soup (9RMB), Spicy & Sour Rice Noodle (9RMB) and Mung Bean Noodles and Spare-ribs Soup (16RMB).
Other than finding the Yang’s nearest to you, the other two prominent ones are on Wujiang Rd (2nd floor, Huangpuhui,269 Wujiang Rd) as it is the first outlet; and Huanghe Rd (97 Huanghe Rd) which is closest to People’s Square – the very center of Shanghai.
To avoid long lines, it is recommended to visit the branches outside the city center.
Yang’s Dumplings (WuJiang Road)
2nd floor, Huangpuhui,269 Wujiang Rd (Near Line 2, West Nanjing Rd Station)
Tel: +86 21 61361391
Opening Hours: 10am-10pm (Everyday)
Google Maps – Yang’s Dumplings (Wujiang Rd)