Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Shanghai street kitchens – people, their stories and recipes

There are few cuisines that I find more appealing in their original form than Asian. There is an extremely wide spectrum between Vietnamese, Thai or even the many currents of Chinese cuisines.

But, whether in Saigon, Bangkok or Shanghai, it is the many small cookshops that give the cities their typical, varied aroma and combine fast, cheap and (mostly) healthy food. They are the lively and culinary soul, roots as well as tradition, important bulwarks against gastronomic globalization and, above all, the daily source of food for many millions of people.

In Shanghai Strassenküchen – Menschen, ihre Geschichten und Rezepte ( Shanghai Street Kitchens – People, Their Stories and Recipes ), Julia Dautel and Nicole Keller (photos) not only describe numerous dishes, but also tell the stories of the people behind the stalls.

The recently published book thrives on an interesting, at times even somewhat unwieldy aesthetic that, compared to many other cookbooks, seems much less clean, generic, and synthetic.

The complexity of the recipes varies widely, but most of the 50 dishes are more likely to find their appeal on the streets of Shanghai than in our kitchens. However, they always provide inspiration and in my specific case, the following recipes, among others, are at the top of the wish and try list:

Lanzhou style beef broth

The oldest hamburgers in the world

Mala doufu
Stunning spicy tofu

I like this combination of recipes and stories very much and discover for me again and again that one reads a book prepared in such a way completely differently than a pure recipe collection. One of my personal favorites from this category is still Kitchen Totalitarian: The Cookbook of Socialism by Vladimir and Olga Kaminer.

However, the latter has nowhere near as beautiful and atmospheric pictures as the Shanghai street kitchens.

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