Affordable and Easy Shanghai Meals: Delicious Recipes without Expensive Ingredients or an Oven

Shanghai, the bustling metropolis of China, is renowned for its vibrant food culture that combines traditional Chinese cuisine with a modern twist. However, living in Shanghai doesn’t mean you have to dine out every day or rely on expensive imported ingredients to enjoy a delicious meal. With a bit of creativity and local ingredients, you can whip up affordable and easy Shanghai meals right in your kitchen, even without an oven. Here are some recipes that are not only budget-friendly but also simple to prepare and packed with authentic Shanghai flavors.

Scallion Oil Noodles (Cong You Ban Mian)

This is a classic Shanghai dish that is simple yet flavorful. The key to this dish is the scallion oil, which is made by slowly frying scallions until they are caramelized and fragrant.

  • Ingredients: Noodles, scallions, soy sauce, sugar, and oil.
  • Procedure: Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. In a pan, heat the oil and add the scallions. Cook until they are brown and crispy. Add the soy sauce and sugar to the pan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Toss the cooked noodles in the scallion oil and serve.

Stir-fried Bok Choy with Garlic

Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that is commonly used in Shanghai cuisine. This dish is quick to prepare and packed with nutrients.

  • Ingredients: Bok choy, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Procedure: Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic. Cook until it is fragrant. Add the bok choy and stir-fry until it is tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Shanghai Fried Rice

Fried rice is a staple in Chinese cuisine and can be easily customized based on what ingredients you have on hand. This version uses Shanghai-style sweet soy sauce for a unique flavor.

  • Ingredients: Cooked rice, eggs, vegetables (such as peas, carrots, and bell peppers), meat (optional), Shanghai-style sweet soy sauce, and oil.
  • Procedure: Heat the oil in a pan and scramble the eggs. Remove the eggs from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add the vegetables and meat (if using) and stir-fry until they are cooked. Add the cooked rice and stir-fry until it is heated through. Add the scrambled eggs and soy sauce and stir until everything is well combined. Serve hot.

These are just a few examples of the many affordable and easy Shanghai meals you can prepare without expensive ingredients or an oven. With these recipes, you can enjoy the flavors of Shanghai cuisine in the comfort of your own home.