Where to find the best qingtuan? Look here

Qingtuan, which is a sweet green rice ball that's considered a traditional snack and is usually eaten for Qingming Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day, is becoming popular in Shanghai.

Qingtuan, which is a sweet green rice ball that's considered a traditional snack and is usually eaten for Qingming Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day, is becoming popular in Shanghai.

Qingtuan is made with glutinous rice, wrapped in wild grass and sweet red bean paste filling. Now, we have various kinds of qingtuan with different tastes and appear on the market. One of the most popular is the flavor of salted eggs and pork floss, which has became “wanghong” or an online star.

Many local food brands with long histories are offering the special green rice ball, but which is best? This week’s Guide, Joan Zheng and Sophie Wang selected and compared the best from five famous and time-honored brands in Shanghai.Here conducts the test report.

Tools: A chopping board, an electronic scale and a knife

Criteria: Net weight, paste weight and proportion of paste

Steps:

First, weigh the qingtuan to get its net weight.

Second, cut it to get the stuff.

Third, weigh the stuff.

Last, eat it and judge the taste!

 From the test, we have got the following data:

What about their flavors? Let’s see more details about these five brands.

Xinghualou

Opened in 1851, it is one of the most famous brands in Shanghai. This restaurant is well-known for mooncake, zongzi (rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) and other traditional pastries.

Its green qintuan are the most popular one among the five brands, there is always a long queue. But prices are neither cheap nor tasty or worth the wait.

The skin is thinner than others. The mouth-feel is soft. And the filling is slightly salty.

Price: 8.3 yuan/piece(US$1.2) (50 yuan/box with six pieces)

Queue time: Two hours

The Guide score:★★★

Shendacheng

Opened 130 years ago,it is a famous traditional snack brand in Shanghai.Besides green rice balls,traditional dishes like peach-shaped birthday buns, mini soupy buns with crab meat and wonton are also popular.

The green rice balls here are quite delicious and reasonably priced, wining most of the Guide tasting group members’ high opinion. The yolk and dried meat floss inside is rich and has a wellbalanced flavor.

Although the skin is a little sticky, the taste takes it to the list of top three.

Price: 6 yuan/piece (24 yuan/box with four pieces)

Queue time: No

The Guide score:★★★★

Guangmingcun

As one of the most famous restaurants in Shanghai, it has all sorts of homemade desserts, pastries and other dishes.

The qingtuan offered here are traditional and not fancy. The skin is quite sticky and thin, while the inside yolk is quite salty.

Price: 8 yuan (48 yuan/box with six pieces)

Queue time: 2 minutes

The Guide Score:★★★

Wangjiasha

It is one of the city’s most popular and trusty food stores, specializing in local snacks and traditional dishes including eight-treasure sticky rice, pot stickers and mooncakes.

Though the green rice balls here are bigger than others, the flavor disappointed us. With the strong scent of mugwort leaves, its skin is hard and salty, which made these green rice balls rank the bottom of these five brands by the Guide tasting group.

Price: 8 yuan/piece (48 yuan/box with six pieces)

Queue time: 20 minutes

The Guide Score:★★

Qiaojiashan

It is a renowned Chinese time-honored brand specializing in Jiangnan cuisines and traditional pastries.

Their green rice balls are wrapped in a slightly thick skin. The tase taste is a little sweet. But they are cheap and the waiting time is short,so Qiaojiashan’s qingtuan makes it to our top three.

Price: 6 yuan/piece

Queue time: No

The Guide Score:★★★★

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