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I’ve spent about 5 days in Shanghai visiting sites and seeing extended family. Food is a very central part of Chinese culture, and this is particularly true of Shanghai, a city renowned for its delicacies and street fare like Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings). Food is everywhere and at the heart of every event.


During my stay, I’ve encountered a uniquely Shanghainese ingredient that was particularly memorable.


This vegetable is a member of the mustard family common in Shanghai cuisine. It is often prepared as a stand-alone dish, added into stir-fry, or used as part of wonton fillings. One common dish in Shanghai is a cold plate of shepherd’s-purse cooked with flavored tofu and sesame seeds. It is very light yet very flavorful.

Shepherd's-Purse cooked with tofu

Shepherd’s-Purse cooked with tofu

Medicinally, dried tincture of shepherd’s-purse is also used to stop bleeding and hemorrhaging. Since it is known to help with muscle contraction, shepherd’s-purse is used to help those with low blood pressure and heart failure as well.

Next time when you are traveling or at a Chinese restaurant, see if you can find a dish with shepherd’s-purse and give it a try. I hope you’re as delighted by it as I was.