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Xie ke huang

A pastry shaped like a crab shell. It is a speciality in the region and comes with a variety of fillings.

TravelCurious Tip

Be brave: try the cong you flavoured ones. These contain spring onion and lard — an authentic Shanghai taste

Bored of dumplings? Probably not, but in Shanghai you can’t limit yourself to one thing: branch out to Xie ke huang. These round yellow pastries look like the shell of a cooked crab, hence the name which translates as Crab Yellow Pastry. These snacks have been around since the beginning of the 20th century and they have only grown in popularity since then. Now, they’re a tea-house staple.


The main ingredient is oil-mixed dough. This is split into little pieces which are pressed into flat round cakes and stuffed with more or less whatever you like. But normally you’ll find them with shallot oil, pork, crab or shrimp. The sweet ones come with sugar, roses, sweetened bean paste, or even red dates. As a final touch, the pastries are wrapped in a layer of sesame before being baked in the oven. The result is something special: golden brown and crispy.


These are great street food and you can pick them up on the go, but some of the best in Shanghai can be found at Wuyuan Binjia. The service can be a bit grouchy, but the savoury xie ke huang are sublime.

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.
Chang shou mian
Handmade wheat noodles that have become a staple chinese food.
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.
Yellow Wine
This distinctly flavoured traditional Chinese wine is made from fermented rice.

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