Hairy Crab is a Shanghai delicacy, but we never got around to it. As Scott and Lynne's driver, Mr. Wu, aptly exclaimed as he was driving us to the airport, "Agh! Come to Shanghai, not have crab!"
We took Mr. Wu to the market with us one day to explain some of the exotic things. Those he couldn't adequately describe in English, he had us buy. This, the appropriately named "bitter gourd" or "bitter melon" we had warm with fried egg. Fun fact: it helps to lower blood sugar, like insulin, and is consumed to help manage diabetes. Mr. Wu's father eats it daily.
Another of Mr. Wu's finds. We were intrigued at the market by a gray speckled duck egg. He prepared it for us by peeling it like a hard-boiled egg (though it has more of a gelatinous consistency, and is black), slicing it with dental floss, and dousing it in soy sauce. It more or less tasted like an egg doused in soy sauce, and is chased with a Coke. Apparently, the eggs achieve this state after being buried in mud for several months. Mr. Wu read my mind when he typed a Chinese word into his electronic translator, showed me the English word "invent," then shrugged and said "Who? I don't know."
Lots of roasted nuts available. We bought a bag of warm chestnuts from a vendor on our way to Yu Gardens.
On our last day, Scott took us to one of his favorite restaurants, Nepali Kitchen. Not surprisingly considering Nepal's geography, I found Nepali food to be a blend of Indian and Chinese. We tried Chicken Chili (chicken stir-fried with onions, green peppers, and lots of red pepper), beef curry, a delicious sauteed spinach dish, and cheese balls (think mozzarella sticks, but, well... balls). The food was excellent, as was the service. As their business card says: "Smiling Faces Awaits You."
Octopus and something, on a street vendor's cart.
I've mentioned the tang-hu-lars... this one was strawberries. Very good. The yellow sign behind Madelyn is Yang's Fry Dumplings. We ate dumplings on several occasions and these were our favorite. They're placed in a large, shallow vessel with hot oil, then covered, so really only the bottoms fry, and the rest of the dumpling steams. Dumplings also come steamed or boiled, and many places, including Yang's, have windows through which you can watch the dumplings being made.
This little guy sure was fast, but I was determined to do as the locals do, and caught him eventually. When in Rome...