(bingo, bingo, bingo!)

When I was still in school I lived in Shanghai for a bit. I have… shall we say mixed feelings about China. On the one hand it’s a super cool country, buuuut on the other hand they’re not that great at democracy and individual liberty and stuff. While being there, I wrote a thesis on sports betting and had to enlist my brother to register himself at various bookmakers as this is definitely not something you can do from China. You also can’t use google. Or Facebook. Or many other things we take for granted on the internet. And this is of course only scraping the surface, from the vantage point of a privileged westerner. The Chinese people have more alarming concerns than not being able to use Google. Millions of people being moved to clean up the city for a world expo for example. Or citizens waiting 15 years to be allowed a passport. Stuff like that.

China’s oppressiveness is camouflaged juuuust enough for you to forget that it exists if you don’t pay attention. But if you start looking..? Well, then it’s… it’s pretty bad.

All of this said – I do miss Shanghai. A city full of life and possibility. A place were you can start the evening playing bingo at a luxurious restaurant were a waiter drives the top bingo-prize (an electric scooter) through the restaurant honking at every turn yelling “BINGO, BINGO, BINGO”. Then, you continue a couple of floors up the building, befriend a German billionaire with childhood issues and see the sun go up from his 20 000 € per night suite on the 84th floor of The Bottle Opener.

Nothing remotely similar has happened to me in Stockholm, I’ll tell you that. But Shanghai is really a crazy place, in good ways and in bad ways.

Similar to Stockholm though, Shanghai is a city with great food, both at the high and the low end of the price spectra. You can easily find a good meal for less than two dollars and you can (obviously) spend however much you want.

I miss the weird breakfast street pancakes with the brown, gooey, chili stuff and the crispy cracker. I miss the Hongkong duck at my go-to lunch place. I miss the street side wooks. Most of all though, I miss the dumplings at Ruijin Road. They’re just these simple dumplings in broth for 13 or so RMB (≈2$). But man… I got seriously hooked.

I’ve tried to recreate them with this recipe. They’re close enough to vividly remind me of the real deal, but I know they’re not as good.

They are very good thou! You should try them.

Special Equipment

  • A little "dumpling-maker"- tool is advisable (see pictures below) but not necessary
Created with Sketch. 45 min Created with Sketch. 4-5 people


  • 2 litersof vegetable broth, preferably home made of course
  • 50 dumpling wrappers
  • 500 gminced pork
  • 1 egg
  • 250 gpak choi
  • 1 yellow onion or ca 3 leaks
  • 1 pot of cilantro/ coriander (ca 15 g)
  • 1 fresh chili (ca 15-20 g)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (15 g)
  • 1 tbspgrated fresh ginger (20 g)
  • 1 dlpanko (30 g)
  • 2 tbsprice vinegar (30 g/ml)
  • 2 tbspJapanese style soy, e.g. Kikkoman soy (30 g/ml)
  • 2 tbspsesame oil (30 g/ml)
  • Some salt (ca 5 g) and pepper
  • Sichuan pepper if you have it!


  1. Make a simple broth. Chop up some onions, carrots and whatever and bring to a boil. Add salt, pepper corns and bay leaves. Simmer for and hour (or more if you have the time) and you’re done.
  2. While the broth is boiling away, you have plenty of time to do everything else. Put the pork in a big bowl. Grate the fresh ginger, press the garlic and chop everything choppable and mix it in with the pork.
  3. Lightly beat the egg and add it to the mix. Add the sesame oil, rice vinegar and soy.
  4. Add the panko and stir everything together thoroughly.
  5. Take an appropriate amount of pork-dumpling-batter and put in a wrapper. Seal with the wrapper tool or if you don’t have it, a plain ol’ fork.

  6. Repeat until you’re out of batter and/ or wrappers. Easy!
  7. Now, you can cook these in different ways. I really like them boiled. The you just sift away the vegetables from the broth, add the dumplings to the boiling broth and cook them for 2-3 minutes.
  8. In Shanghai they quite often “steam-fry” them. Then you put some oil in a pan, heat it up to medium/ high, and add the dumplings to the pan. Then you add just a bit of water to the pan and put a lid on. “Steam-fry” them like this for 4-5 minutes. The bottom becomes fried and a bit crispy, while the top gets steamed. Quite good!
  9. And you can also just regular-steam them. I’ll leave that up to you to figure out.

If you want, dip them in three parts soy (e.g. Kikkoman) mixed with one part rice vinegar and some sriracha, but really, they’re great just as they are. And if you’re of the vegetarian persuasion, replace the pork with mushrooms (e.g. champignon) long fried in butter and I think you’ll be pretty pleased.

It really is surprisingly easy to make dumplings (if you don’t think it’s super easy, if you think it’s super easy you’re right on the money). At least if you don’t make the wrappers yourself. I’m sure that can be fun but I’m very pleased with the ones I can get at my local China-store (those I use are called “Gyoza skins”).

And just to have said what really goes without sayin’. IF you are in Shanghai and find yourself close to Ruijin Road. DO NOT tell me about it. I will be consumed by jealousy.


(the ultimate snack?)

In our previous apartment, we used to host traditional Christmas dinners for our friends. Well, maybe not that traditional as a lot of our friends were (and are) vegetarians, which meant we’d do twice the stuff. My favorites from the meat side of things but also vegetarian alternatives. That meant almond balls and vegetarian Jansson’s, but also a lot of other things not intended to mimic meat “originals”. Tofu, fried cheese, pickled mushrooms and: croquettes. I’d do them with fried mushrooms or chili and som herbs (I should say that they aren’t especially Christmassy or anything, which is important as you really should have more often than just Christmas).

So croquettes can be many things. Commonly, they’re mashed potato rolled in bread crumbs and fried, maybe with something mixed in with the mash. I find these to be… not very interesting.

Others are based on béchamel sauce mixed with chicken or lobster or something else wonderful. To me, regardless of what you mix in, these croquettes are all about the béchamel. I looooove béchamel. A couple of years back my brother Olov taught me a new trick, which he got from Mathias Dahlgren (Olov talks about it in Swedish here). Fry chopped yellow onion in butter as a base for the sauce. Sounds… insignificant, yes? But no, I find it to be a great improvement. In addition, I use bay leaves and cloves to spice the sauce, which I also thought I got from Olov (and in turn from Mathias, btw, here’s a croquette recipe by him) but I’m not sure about that (Mathias does use it in another of his croquette recipes so it is probably from him, and he is a god damn genius so… it makes sense).

I probably got the whole concept of making croquettes from Olov actually, so yeah… credit to him. But I’m writing it up which is… real hard work (I should say he also wrote it up, in Swedish, here).

So, back to it. The base of these croquettes is a thick, tasty béchamel. As mentioned: to this, you can add just about anything. Some chili, seafood, mushrooms, chicken, whatever! It’s all going to be great. These particular ones are made with smoked salmon and confit yellow onion. They’re pretty great but as I said: put anything in a great béchamel and deep fry it and it’s gonna be good.

Created with Sketch. 1.5 hours of cooking, a couple of hours of waiting for the sauce to cool down Created with Sketch. 80-100 croquettes


  • 700 gmilk
  • 100 gflour (ca 2 dl)
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 200 gsmoked salmon
  • 150 gParmigiano Reggiano (or, other cheese if you prefer)
  • 50 gbutter
  • 100 gpanko (asian bread crumbs)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 loil for frying, e.g rapeseed
  • Additional flour for the breading
  • Salt, pepper, bay leaves and clove


  1. Begin with the onion confit. Put a pot with 4-5 centimeters (ca 1.6 inches) of oil on the stove, on medium heat. Slice two of the onions into quarter onion rings. When the oil has heated up a bit (couple of minutes), add the onion and turn the heat down. The onion should simmer gently in the oil for an hour or so.
  2. Put the butter in a pot on medium/high heat. Finely chop one of the onions. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the onion chop and turn the heat down to medium/low.
  3. While the onion is frying put the 100 grams of flour in a big bowl. Add about 3oo grams (3 dl) of the milk while whisking. Continue whisking until it’s a smooth batter (add more milk if it’s too thick to whisk but don’t add all the milk at once, you’ll never get rid of the flour lumps), then add the rest of the milk while continuing the whisking.
  4. Add som salt, white pepper, 2-3 bay leaves and 3-4 cloves to the mix.
  5. Grate the cheese.
  6. When the onion has softened, add the flour-milk-mix to the pot. Turn the heat up and stir the bottom of the pan continuously with a flat wooden spoon.
  7. When the mix starts to thicken (it will become quite thick, quite quickly), lower the heat and add the cheese. Continue stirring on low heat for a minute or two.
  8. When the cheese has melted in the sauce, take the pot of the stove.
  9. Put the onion confit in a sieve.
  10. Taste and add salt and pepper to the béchamel as to your liking. Chop or rip the smoked salmon into small pieces. Mix the salmon bits and the onion confit in with the béchamel.
  11. Spread the salmon-onion confit-béchamel-mix in an oven tray. Let it cool down for 10 minutes, then cover it with plastic film and put it in the fridge to cool down further. It needs at least a couple of hours in the fridge to become cold enough to allow us to make firm (enough) balls from it.
  12. When the mixture is cold and firm, prepare three bowls. One with flour, one with the two eggs lightly whisked with some water (10% of the volume) mixed in, and one with panko.
  13. Make balls (ca 3-4 cm, 1.25 inches, in diameter) from the batter and cover them with flour. They will be both sticky and a bit unstable so this step requires careful handling (the colder the béchamel, the easier this becomes). Proceed to dip them in the egg whisk and then roll/cover them in panko.

  14. Deep fry the balls in rapeseed oil for 1.5 – 2 minutes at 180C (356F), and you’re done! Let the croquettes rest for a couple of minutes before eating. Garnish with som fresh herbs and a maybe splash of lemon (not to much though, as too much moist takes away the crisp).

If you want, you can freeze the croquettes when they’ve been “floured”.

Then, it’s real easy to take them out of the freezer, dip them in egg-water-mix and cover them with panko. It’s nice to have a bit of a buffer in the freezer and it’s a great starter in under 10 minutes. As they’re frozen, they’re real easy to handle, but does tend to become a bit flat in the bottom. You might also need to adjust the frying time to avoid a frozen béchamel core. However, I fried these ones (pre frozen) for two minutes and they came out great.