How to eat xiaolongbao, the Shanghai food you can’t live without

A Shanghai classic, the xiaolongbao is probably the city’s most popular citizen. These mouth-watering steamed buns, a.k.a soup dumplings, look just like your normal dimsum, but they’re not. They are like wontons with a kick – a Bruce Lee kind of kick.

.Text & Photos by Jennifer Ellson | Additional photo by Greg Torres

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These little superstars pack a lot of goodness, cleverly hiding the juicy, flavorful and meaty broth inside the dumpling. From the outside, they look just like your normal dimsum, but they’re not. They are like wontons with a kick – a Bruce Lee kind of kick.

And if you’re not careful, you would literally get a kick! The soup inside is scalding hot and I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen novice xiaolongbao eaters burn their mouths and tongues by shoveling the whole thing down their throats! Yes, my friends, this Shanghai native is fierce! You’ve been warned.

Here’s the ultimate trick to savouring these little beauties:
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Where in the world is this market?

Where in the world is this?

Where can you find the freshest produce & seafood, with a great sunset view to boot? Clue: it is the birthplace of the largest coffee chain in the world!

Answer is below, after the jump.

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The other side of Cebu Island, Philippines

You probably know the glitzy side with its swanky beaches and immaculate golf courses. Now, meet the other side of this Philippine island with its stunning views of coconut groves, corn plantations and private beach coves.

Text by Jennifer Ellson I Photos by Amorvida Muyrong
(Originally published in the Maple Leaf Times)  

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I caught the travel bug early on – the strain that makes one go to off-the-beaten-path destinations. Whether it be Poipet, Cambodia, or Samut Prakarn in Thailand, I’ll surely find a way to go there and discover the unexplored.

So why the Island of Cebu in the Philippines, you ask, when it probably ties with Boracay Island as the most popular destination in the archipelago? The answer lies on the other side of the island. A good hour and a half away from the hustles of Cebu City is the charming town of Sogod,  on the north-eastern coast of the province. Locals say only the ‘travel pros’ stay at this clandestine destination, while the amateurs stay at the integrated resorts in Cebu City.

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