Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun is a specialty of Jiading County. In October 10, 1992, Jiading was removed the title of ‘County’ and was built into a ‘District’ after being approved by the State Council. Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun is a traditional specialty of Nanxiang Town, Jiading District. Nanxiang Town is located in the northwest suburb of Shanghai downtown and is the South Gate of Jiading District. Nanxiang Town has well-developed business and there is a saying goes that ‘gold Luodian and silver Nanxiang’. Nanxiang people are very particular about food culture and the well-known specialties like tulip wine, Pennycress, Nanxiang mutton and the like have their own unique flavor; this is the deposit for the prevalence of Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun.
Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun originated in the reign of Emperor Tongzhi in the Qing Dynasty. The owner of the Rihuaxuan Pastry Store in Nanxiang Town, Huang Mingxian sold Nanxiang big steamed bun stuffed with meat; every day, he shouldered the steamed buns and hawked them in Guyi Garden. Tasting delicious, the steamed bun enjoyed great popularity. Then, the coteries heard the news and came to the Guyi Garden to hawk their big steamed buns stuffed with meat as well, which affected Huang Mingxian’s business; therefore, Huang Mingxian could not occupy the market alone anymore. Afterward, Huang Mingxian changed the big buns into small, thin-wrappered and well-stuffed ones by the following steps: To Choose fine light flour, ferment it, and roll the pastry out very thin; to select lean meat as the stuffing; to braise pork rind in chicken soup without gourmet powder, and then mix the jelly with the pork so that the original taste of the soup can be preserved; besides, to put a sprinkle of ground sesame in the stuffing so that the flavor of sesame is added to the stuffing; furthermore, in different seasons, to add crab meat, shrimp meat, or spring bamboo shoots so that the stuffed steamed bun will be right in season. Every bun is featured by at least 14 plisses. Usually ten buns can be made out of one liang (equals to 50 grams) of flour. Semitransparent, the small and exquisite buns take on the shape of a chufa. When the stuffed steamed bun is ready, take one out of the steamer, and place it in a plate. Poke the wrapper and the juice will fill the plate, which is recognized as desirable. The stuffed steamed bun boasts several characteristics which have been fostered in the course of time, specifically, thin-wrapper, tasty juice, tender meat and plentiful stuffing.
Due to the stuffed steamed buns, Rihuaxuan became very popular and people strove to eat Nanxiang stuffed steamed buns. From a century ago, the producing areas of Nanxiang stuffed steamed buns were mainly distributed in Nanxiang Town, Jiading District. The initiator of Nanxiang stuffed steamed buns, Huang Mingxian, was born in Nanxiang Town, Jiading District and all his sons and grandsons were living here and operated Rihuaxuan Pastry Store. Later, invited by Nanxiang people who traveled to the downtown of Shanghai, Mr. Huang Mingxian opened Nanxiang Store of Steamed Bun in Shanghai Town God’s Temple, and Guyi Garden, Store of Steamed Bun on Xizang Road, both in the name of Nanxiang Stuffed Steamed Bun. Hitherto, they still enjoy great popularity. Famous for delicious and well-received, Nanxiang stuffed steamed buns are sold in Shanghai and all around the country. After liberation, Nanxiang stuffed steamed buns entered the international market and Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun stores were opened in countries like Japanese, Singapore, etc. From then on, the Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun goes abroad and becomes famous at home and abroad. As for the Huang’s, the generation of grandchild Huang (Lushu biao) went out of the stuffed steamed bun business. Afterwards, the counterjumpers of the Rihuaxuan Store and other master workers working in other restaurants continued to operate Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun. During the three years of natural disaster from 1959 to 1961, the production of Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun was stopped. In June, 1981, Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun was produced and launched into the international market by Jiading Frozen Food Co., Ltd. In the first half year of 1984, the Nanxiang stuffed steamed buns produced by the company were exported to regions like Japanese, Hongkong, Macao, Canada, etc.
At present, almost all restaurants in Nanxiang can supply Nanxiang stuffed steamed buns, but the Nanxiang stuffed steamed buns produced by Guyi Garden Traditional Technique are the best ones and of highest quality and good credit standing. The annual output is about 7 million buns. During the tourism seasons and holidays, tourists traveling in Nanxiang must go to Guyi Garden to have a taste of the stuffed steamed buns, the demand of which exceeds supply. The Guyi Garden is operated well. Eyes on the international market, the Nanxiang Stuffed Steamed Bun operated by them are famous all around the world and have obtained many laurels. In June 2002, the golden award of the fourth ‘World Competition of Chinese Cuisine’ was awarded; in October 2002, golden award of the twelfth ‘Chinese Chef Festival’ was awarded; in November 2002, the title ‘Chinese Famous Dish’ was awarded; in March 2004, the golden award of the first ‘Catering Culture Fair of Shanghai’ was awarded; in August 2006, the honorable award ‘Shanghai Famous Dish’ was awarded. Guyi Garden also has established Stuffed Steamed Bun Stores in countries like Japanese, Macao, Malaysia and the like and fostered the younger generation of skilled talents to enable Nanxiang stuffed steamed bun to make creative efforts and light up forever.