Sum­mer seafood

Get out of town for some of the fresh­est catches

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE -

With the weather hot­ting up, it’s the ideal time to take a trip to a fish­ing vil­lage and en­joy the fruits of the sea. Thanks to Shang­hai’s lo­ca­tion near the coast, there are many such places within easy reach of the city. Three of them are rec­om­mended here.


Lo­cated in the southeast Zhoushan Is­lands in Zhe­jiang Prov­ince, Shen­ji­a­men is one of the largest fish­ing har­bors and seafood dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters in China. The five-kilo­me­ter har­bor at­tracts thou­sands of fish­er­men.

When night falls, food stalls ap­pear along the street fac­ing the sea, boasting an ex­cel­lent se­lec­tion from that day’s catch. Most of the food stalls can be found near the Shen­ji­a­men pas­sen­ger ter­mi­nal, where ships leave ev­ery day for Pu­tuo Moun­tain, the fa­mous Bud­dhist pil­grim­age is­land nearby.

On th­ese food stalls one can find the “Bom­bay duck” lizard fish, which has a thin, nearly trans­par­ent body. It can be stir-fried or stewed. The best way to cook it is to fry it in boil­ing oil for a golden, crunchy snack.

The tra­di­tional ac­com­pa­ni­ment to seafood in Shen­ji­a­men is bay­berry wine. Brewed with lo­cal bay­ber­ries and rice, it is said the drink can help in the di­ges­tion of seafood. Its sweet re­fresh­ing taste also makes it the ideal ac­com­pa­ni­ment for seafood.

The sea-front stalls are not only cheaper than restau­rants, but they also have the added ben­e­fit of af­ford­ing a view of the ocean, and ex­pos­ing one to the fresh sea air.

Get­ting to Shen­ji­a­men from Shang­hai takes just four-and-a-half hours by a com­bi­na­tion of bus and ferry. Buses leave ev­ery half hour from the tourist ter­mi­nus near Nanpu Bridge, 1588 Waima Road. Tick­ets cost 138 yuan ($22.24).


“Visit the mother-in-law and she will treat you to the 16 bowls,” goes a folk rhyme in Xiang­shan county, Ningbo city, Zhe­jiang Prov­ince. The bowls in ques­tion are the 16 sig­na­ture seafood dishes of Xiang­shan.

There are four cold dishes and 12 warm dishes, in­clud­ing sil­ver clams, pick­led crabs, roasted squid, boiled salted white shrimp, pom­fret braised in soy sauce and yel­low croaker with pick­led cab­bage

Th­ese 16 dishes orig­i­nate from the home cooking of Xiang­shan fish­er­men, and meth­ods in­clude brais­ing, fry­ing, stir-fry­ing, boil­ing, roast­ing and smok­ing.

The best place to eat th­ese dishes is Shipu town. Ev­ery­day at 5 am, fully-stocked fish­ing boats ar­rive at Shipu har­bor. There are many restau­rants along the har­bor that sell live seafood.

The Xiang­shan seafood tends to be on the salty side, as is the case with Ningbo cui­sine in gen­eral.

There is a di­rect bus to Xiang­shan that de­parts three times per day from Shang­hai South Long-dis­tance Bus Sta­tion.

Shengsi Is­land

Lo­cated in the north part of the Zhoushan Is­lands, Shengsi county boasts 404 is­lands among which 16 are in­hab­ited.

Shengsi is fa­mous for its crabs, whose com­pact flesh and roe sets them apart from other va­ri­eties, es­pe­cially when com­bined with a sauce made of gin­ger, soy and vine­gar.

The chewy tex­ture is due to the crab be­ing salt baked, rather than steamed or boiled as is more com­mon in Shang­hai. This method is also used in Can­tonese cui­sine.

Jihu beach in Shengsi boasts won­der­ful white sand and clear sea wa­ter where one can col­lect shell­fish such as ra­zor clams. You can even hire a fish­ing pole and try to catch your own supper. Shengsi is popular with tourists at week­ends, and as such it can get crowded.

Book a round trip ticket and ho­tel be­fore set­ting off. To get there, book the tick­ets at the tourist ter­mi­nus near Nanpu Bridge at least one day in ad­vance. As with trains, you will need with your ID card or pass­port.

Pho­tos: CFP

(Above) Seafood stalls in Shen­ji­a­men

(Left and top) Fresh seafood

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