Chang shou mian

Handmade wheat noodles that have become a staple chinese food.

TravelCurious Tip

Use the chopsticks to lift the whole noodles into your mouth, and only then start to chew. Long life guaranteed.

Certain foods often have symbolic meanings in Chinese culture, some of which could quite easily pass you by as a tourist. Chang shou mian is one of those dishes. Chang shou mian translates as “long life noodles,” and they are a staple carb of Chinese cuisine. In particular, custom dictates that they ought to be eaten on birthdays and during Spring Festival.

Normally, the noodles are made from one piece of dough, and are stretched and pulled into numerous long, thin strands which are taken to symbolise long life and health, not unlike the length of the life line on the palm of your hand. Wheat is used instead of rice, because rice noodles are too delicate to be stretched to any great length. A bowl of Chang shou mian is chewy, hearty and satisfying — you can understand where the superstition came from.

Other traditions abound in Chinese households: eating fish on Chinese New Year’s Day brings good fortune; dumplings ought to be served when someone is leaving town. But Chang shou mian has its own host of minor rituals. Depending on where in China you are, sometimes guests pick noodles from their own bowl and place them in that of the birthday boy or girl. Elsewhere, the custom is to hold the noodles up with your chopsticks and admire their length with the other guest. However, everyone agrees on one thing: never cut a noodle strand — unless you want a shorter life!

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Shanghai
Xiao long bao
A type of steamed bun stuffed with meat and cooked in a bamboo steaming basket.
Sheng jian bao
Similar to the Xiao long bao, these dumplings are pan fried and dangerously delicious.
Xie ke huang
A pastry shaped like a crab shell. It is a speciality in the region and comes with a variety of fillings.
Stir fried bull frog
Ramp up the adventure with this popular local dish cooked in green peppers.
Deep fried Wonton
Delicious pork dumplings deep-fried and served with vinegar.
Xinjiang Stone Oven Naan
From the Xinjiang province, this traditional bread is made in a stone oven.

Related Tours

Private Food Tour of Shanghai
Discover an array of fantastic tastes and flavours in Shanghai’s buzzing food scene in a truly scrumptious journey around the city’s mouth-watering culinary map.

  • Sample a selection of dumplings  - Xiao long bao and Sheng jian bao
  • Try stir-fried bullfrog - Shanghai's four-legged answer to the buffalo wing. 
  • Taste the regional specialty: Xie ke huang (yellow crab)
  • Try delicious handmade Shanghai wheat noodles 
  • Savour a selection of desserts for a finale - washed down with huangjiu (yellow wine) 
Food is powerful, enhancing the intensity of the memories we build. It introduces cultures, defines memories and provides a window on a new destination. Tasting the food of a city provides a fascinating insight into its ethnic diversity, history, character and gastronomic trends. In Shanghai, food is at the heart of everything as an integral part of its identity for 3,000 years. Many of the city’s most beloved traditional dishes trace the city’s storied history. Your Private Shanghai Food Tour takes you on a culinary voyage around authentic Shanghainese flavours: a delicious journey through a rich and evolving food scene and influenced by the East China Sea. 

Shanghai’s most iconic dishes like braised eggplant, soft grilled oysters, juicy scallops, delicate mandarin fish, famous xiao long bao soup dumplings, hairy crab nian gao and Di Shui Dong ribs that fall off the bone are all celebrated on the Private Shanghai Food Tour. Learn the secret ingredients behind the most popular recipes and hear the fascinating backstories to exciting taste combinations. A ready supply of Western ingredients have yet to infiltrate Shanghai’s most popular dishes. Our sensory taste-led experience involves plenty of interaction with Shanghainese ingredients and fresh produce. Visit buzzing kitchens, bustling food markets and taste speciality dishes such as Xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings), Sheng jian bao (pan-fried dumplings), stir-fried bullfrog, Xie ke huang (crab-stuffed pastry), Chang shou mian (wheat noodles), deep-fried wonton and bread cooked in the Xinjiang stone accompanied by a glass of traditional yellow wine. Your gastronomic journey will come to an oh-so-sweet end with a sample range of Shanghainese desserts recommended by your expert guide. The Private Shanghai Food Tour is an authentic immersion in the character and history of Shanghai’s exquisite food so be sure to arrive hungry!


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