Shanghai Dreams

After coming back from China, the first couple of weeks are always hard. I'd stay awake at night, missing the sounds of cars driving by, the occasional laughter that'd come from a neighbor's window, my mother's gentle smile. 

Though I never remembered Shanghai as a child, every time I venture back it still feels like home. The way people scurry around, busy like bees, the familiar sounds of my dialect surrounding me wherever I go, and the food, always the comfort blanket that puts me right at ease.

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Mother's home cooking -- after eating at hundreds of restaurants in China, nothing is comparable to mom's. 

Mother's home cooking -- after eating at hundreds of restaurants in China, nothing is comparable to mom's. 

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A family-run store specializing in different types of fish balls made from scratch. 
A family-run store specializing in different types of fish balls made from scratch. 
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These open markets are tucked away everywhere in Shanghai. Just one small turn down a small street opens up to a World of edible possibilities. 

These open markets are tucked away everywhere in Shanghai. Just one small turn down a small street opens up to a World of edible possibilities. 

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Stinky Tofu -- a fermented tofu that is a popular street food in China. You can smell the pungent aromas from a mile away. 

Stinky Tofu -- a fermented tofu that is a popular street food in China. You can smell the pungent aromas from a mile away. 

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These men from Iran were making Barbri bread -- a common Persian flat bread that is cooked in a hot charcoal oven. The dough is lightly dusted in Sesame seeds then stamped and thrown in the oven to bake. The result is a light, fluffy bread with a slight sweetness and crunch. 

These men from Iran were making Barbri bread -- a common Persian flat bread that is cooked in a hot charcoal oven. The dough is lightly dusted in Sesame seeds then stamped and thrown in the oven to bake. The result is a light, fluffy bread with a slight sweetness and crunch. 

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This was my favorite restaurant experience. A small noodle shop where they made hand pulled noodles -- the flavors were simplistic, clean and soul-warming. 

This was my favorite restaurant experience. A small noodle shop where they made hand pulled noodles -- the flavors were simplistic, clean and soul-warming. 

My favorite Breakfast food hands down -- 生煎包  Shengnjianbao: it's pretty much a XLB but panfried 
My favorite Breakfast food hands down -- 生煎包  Shengnjianbao: it's pretty much a XLB but panfried 
Now there's a trick to eating these. Because there's a hot pocket of soup inside, you first make a small hole to drink the heavenly pocket of broth. Then you can dip it in vinegar and eat the "bao" all in one bite! The saying at this restaurant was 先开窗后喝汤!  first open the window then drink the soup 😁

Now there's a trick to eating these. Because there's a hot pocket of soup inside, you first make a small hole to drink the heavenly pocket of broth. Then you can dip it in vinegar and eat the "bao" all in one bite! The saying at this restaurant was 先开窗后喝汤!  first open the window then drink the soup 😁

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I wish we had better Pomelos here in the states -- these citrusy morsels were a mix between a grapefruit and tangerine. I'm pretty sure I ate my body weight in these while I was here...

I wish we had better Pomelos here in the states -- these citrusy morsels were a mix between a grapefruit and tangerine. I'm pretty sure I ate my body weight in these while I was here...

All photos were taken with an Iphone 4S and Fuji Finepix X100. Stay tuned for part 2....