The food of Shanghai and neighboring Jiangsu Province tends to be sweet. Dishes include sweet and sour fish, sweet soup dumplings, and red-braised duck made with rock sugar. How did sugar become such a big part of this region’s food?

This is the eighth episode of our 13-part series on Chinese food called Eat China. In the next episode, we’ll go on a food tour of Shanghai and hit up three restaurants you have to try.

If you liked this video, we have more stories about Chinese food, including:

How Did Sichuan Fall In Love With Spice?

What Is Cantonese Food?

Follow us on Instagram for behind-the-scenes moments:
Stay updated on Twitter:
Join the conversation on Facebook:
Have story ideas? Send them to us at

Host/Producer: Clarissa Wei
Animatior: Ray Ngan
Videographer: Nathaniel Brown and Nicholas Ko
Editor: Nicholas Ko
Mastering: Victor Peña

Music: Audio Network


19 thoughts on “Why Is Shanghai Food So Sweet? – Eat China (S1E8)”

  1. I would say Shanghainese cuisine is a mixture of Southern Jiangsu and Northern Zhejiang cuisine. People often mistakenly think Shanghai cuisine are universally sweet. This is not true. Zhejiang cuisine especially Northern Zhejiang are quite salty (an example would be yanduxian soup, or steamed minced meat with salted fish)

  2. What kind of accent does the presenter have in Mandarin? I noticed in other videos she says Sitsuan, Tsongqing, and now she is saying Sang Hai. I think she also said a zhou as dzou, but I can't remember what the full word was. I presume that's some kind of regional accent in her Mandarin.

  3. Do you have any suggestions as to where to rest/sleep and a local guide/agent to show a English only speaking person (not proud of this fact) around?? Plus how is scuba diving there??

  4. “Heavily influenced by its cuisine” Well yes, Shanghai used to be a part of Jiangsu until 1958 and most would still consider Shanghainese food to be Jiangsuese.

Comments are closed.