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Crab-Yellow Pastry (蟹壳黄)

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Xie ke huang, literally defined as yellow crab pastry, is one of the most popular Shanghai snacks. The name comes from the pastry's form and aspect since its color is similar to that of a cooked crab shell. These baked pastries are sprinkled with sesame on top, usually characterized by a salty or sweet savor. The salty filling is prepared from shallot oil, pork and crab meat or peeled shrimps, while the sweet pastries are made of sugar, sweet-flavored bean paste or date paste and roses.

The main component for preparing this pastry is considered to be the oil, which is added to the flour mixture. The dough is separated into small portions, filled and mashed so as to give the cake a flat round shape. It is then sprinkled with a layer of sesame and lastly cooked in an oven. Yellow crab shell cake is stuffed with best quality dried vegetables and fresh fatty meat. The dish is cooked slowly in a specially-made oven with a charcoal fire. This pastry represents the perfect choice for breakfast, it also being consumed as a snack.

At the beginning of the 20th century, this pastry could be found in almost all Shanghai's tea-houses. Nowadays, it becomes more and more famous with Shanghai locals and visitors from the entire world.

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