Shanghai Veggie Burger quest II: DIY cookin

Sean and I had a mini pre-summer cookin (as opposed to a cookout) this past Tuesday. As it has been very warm in Shanghai these last few weeks — hitting 34C on Tuesday before a bit of rain (very briefly) cooled things off — we wanted to make some grub that’d put us in the mood for the season.

The menu:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Veggie burgers

  • The corn was easy: rather than grilling it, boiling for 5 minutes or so worked just as well — and kept the corn juicier, too, in my opinion. A dab of butter made it heavenly.

    For the fries, we deviated from our usual method, cutting the fries thinner and skipping the boiling part. I wanted to see if it would make the fries crispier, but was stingy with the oil so they turned out equally soft. We’re sticking to the original recipe, or making mashed sweet potatoes instead from now on.

    As for the veggie burgers, we basically used our recipe for falafel and shaped them into larger, slightly thicker patties to fry (1 full recipe makes 4 regular-sized patties or 8-10 smaller patties). Since we didn’t have regular bread, we toasted half a large pita for the bread crumbs. We layered raw tomato, cucumber, and onion and a generous schmear of dill aioli on lightly pan-toasted hamburger buns.

    …It was damn good. We had two each, in quick succession. Our burger cravings were satisfied.

    All this, along with bananas & ice-cream (Nestle, 8.5 RMB tubs) for dessert, came to 20 RMB (3 USD) per person — for all who maintain eating out in China is cheaper than cooking, think again! (Unless you’re ordering from Lanzhou Lamian all the time, in which case you win.) It did take a little over an hour to make, but the satisfaction is that much greater knowing it is possible to make affordable, healthful (minus the ice-cream), uber colourful and delicious meals :)

    I think this meal also spelled the end of my short-lived quest for the best veggie burger in Shanghai, though I’ll still review any that I end up trying. It’s just so much cheaper doing it myself!

    Where to find…

  • Hamburger buns: City Shop (multiple locations), 8 RMB/pack of 4 standard buns; 6 RMB/pack of 6 smaller buns
  • Another note: while a lot of City Shop’s produce (esp. fruit) is way overpriced, I’ve found their tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, and corn to be pretty reasonably priced, and fresher/better-looking than their Carrefour/Trustmart counterparts. I’m not sure if that means pesticide levels are higher, though… :\


    Filed under eating in

    2 responses to “Shanghai Veggie Burger quest II: DIY cookin

    1. This looks and sounds so good! I tried making falafel yesterday and it worked out well, even though I was missing half the ingredients. Frying in copious amount of oil makes anything taste good, I guess :P

    2. Haha, true that. Good to hear your falafel turned out well! Did you have it in pita or on its own?

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