Street food in Chinatown in Milan
Street food is one of the most popular formulas for eating lots of different, practical, fast and cheap good food. In Milan there are many ethnic clubs that offer it, often simple shop windows along the street.
In recent years, Via Paolo Sarpi has become the center of the Milanese street food experience, in this case in China since, as is well known, the largest Chinese community in the city and in Italy resides right here.
What we now call "Chinatown" was born as a stronghold of the Chinese community of Milan in the 1920s, including via Canonica, via Bramante and via Paolo Sarpi. In fact, the first Chinese migrations arrived in this area, coming from Zhejiang (province of eastern China, below Shanghai). With the second diaspora of the 1980s, Sino-Italian cuisine also emerged - which even today, in the imagination, is referred to as "traditional Chinese cuisine".
Between 2010 and 2011 via Paolo Sarpi was then the subject of a profound urban redevelopment project, becoming the pedestrian and cycling area we know today.
China has a long and solid tradition of street food, as well as many other countries in Asia: for this reason I have selected my favorite dishes and places. They are Chinese places that offer both traditional and more contemporary dishes, but also Japanese and Korean.
Here instead the complete guide to Chinatown and Paolo Sarpi.
BAOZI (包子) and DUMPLINGS
Baozi are the famous soft steamed buns filled with meat or other condiments (vegetables or even sweet cream). They can differ in size and shape, for this reason they are also called by different names, as well as being a full part of the dim sum together with the multitude of DUMPLINGS.
Small showcase on the street where you can buy classic baozi stuffed with pork, beef and potatoes or vegetables (excellent those with aubergines). 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 47, Milan 💰 $
Here the house specialty is san ji bao or shenjian mantou, small bao stuffed with spicy pork or duck (or other ingredients). It is one of the typical preparations of Shanghai Chinese breakfast since the 20th century. There is no shortage of classic steamed dumplings, xiaolongbao (steamed thin dumplings stuffed with pork and hot broth) and the sweet white baozi with duck egg cream or the black one with taro cream. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 2, Milan 💰 $$
Here you can try Fujian gua bao, recognizable by the typical central cut of the sandwich. In addition to jiazoi (braised dumplings) and xiaolongbao, you will also find tangbao: similar to the previous ones, these are much larger in size and contain a higher quantity of hot broth that must be sucked with a straw. 📍 Via Niccolini 20 angolo via Paolo Sarpi 17, Milan 📞 02 315559 💰 $
Qui trovate una grande varietà di pane al vapore e ravioli al vapore o alla griglia, oltre agli siopao: xiaolongbao con pasta di baozi ripieni di carne, verdura e gamberetti interi. 📍 Via Giuseppe Giusti 14, Milano 📞 377 825 5584 💰 $
Here you will find excellent boiled dumplings. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 38, Milan 💰 $
Here you will find excellent xiaolongbao filled with hot broth based on pork, beef or lamb. 📍 Via Aleardo Aleardi 6, Milan 💰 $
Small place with a few seats where you can taste or take away excellent grilled ravioli with meat, vegetables or even with the addition of cheese. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 50, Milan 💰 $$
Showcase specializing in small bao and dumplings, here you will find excellent grilled dumplings (pork, beef or vegetarian) with an elongated and slightly flat shape, perfect for dipping in soy sauce with rice vinegar. 🌎 http://www.kungfubao.it/ 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 3, Milan 💰 $$$
CONG YOU BING (葱油饼)
It is a kind of salty, unleavened pancake with shallot or spring onion, folded and fried in a pan. Unlike western pancakes (made with batter), this one is made with a dough and features numerous inner layers that give it a slightly chewy texture.
Probably the best recipe in Chinatown: a very thin and lightly greased pastry, seasoned to perfection and super crunchy. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 50, Milan 💰 $$
Here you will find cong you bing with pork and fermented vegetables. 📍 Via Morazzone 10, Milan 💰 $
Here you will find cong you bing with fermented vegetables. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 31/33, Milan 💰 $
Here you will find a very particular and tasty cong you bing: the pastry is crunchy and tasty, the filling you can choose with fried chicken, salad, dried meat and sauces. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 17, Milan 📞 02 3946 7781 💰 $
Chinese skewers are typical of northern China, a huge area that includes Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Tientsin and Jilin.
It is a Sino-Islamic preparation and derives from some peoples such as the Uyghurs (Turkic ethnic group of Islamic religion from north-western China).
The skewers are mainly meat-based, seasoned with various spices such as cumin, chilli, sesame seeds and roasted on the grill.
Very nice little place specializing in fried skewers of meat (the best for me), vegetables, tofu and fish. Don't miss the rice dumplings.
Here you will find classic skewers seasoned with salt, chilli and cumin, but also more contemporary versions based on wurstel and omelette. 📍Via Paolo Sarpi 25, Milan 💰 $
Here you will find numerous types of skewers: you can take the ones you prefer directly from a refrigerator, they will be freshly prepared for you. The rice dumplings are excellent. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 38, Milan 💰 $
Small rotisserie where you can stop to enjoy many fried kebabs freshly prepared in the open kitchen. 📍 Via Aleardo Aleardi 2, Milan 💰 $
Originating from Lanzhou (northwestern province) of Gansu, with a history of over 4000 years, lamians are hand-rolled noodles made with wheat (面) or rice ("fen", 粉) flour and water. They can have different thickness, but they are always characterized by a great elasticity.
Served in broth, sautéed in the wok or on the plate, Chinese handmade noodles are a delicacy declined in dozens of different recipes.
Known for its homemade dumplings, this historic restaurant offers artisanal lamians grilled or Wenzhou (with meat sauce, sprouts and soy sauce and vinegar). 📍 Via Giordano Bruno 13, Milan 📞 02 345 1613 💰 $$
It is a kind of salty crepe, eaten mainly for breakfast, typical of northern China.
It is made with a batter of wheat flour and eggs, cooked quickly on a hot plate and stuffed with different condiments (especially meat, vegetables, pickles and coriander) and hoisin sauce. It is folded several times before being finally served.
Small showcase on the street, offers different variations of jianbing including one with Peking duck or vegetarian. 📍 Via Paolo sarpi 29, Milan 💰 $
ROU JIA MO (肉夹馍)
Considered the Chinese equivalent of a burger or western sandwich, this Shaanxi-style sandwich is widely available throughout China.
The filling is based on meat (pork, mutton, lamb or mutton) stewed for many hours in a broth containing about twenty spices and various seasonings. The bread is made with a dough of wheat flour and yeast and is baked in an earthenware oven.
Showcase specialized in the take-away of this specialty. In my opinion one of the best ever in the neighborhood. 📍 Via Messina 1, Milan 💰 $
Small space with seating, offers several variations of the classic pork-based recipe. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 26, Milan 💰 $
Small shop window on the street, offers very few specialties such as the rou jia mo. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 25, Milan 💰 $
STINKY TOFU (臭豆腐)
This is a popular snack made from soy, tempeh and soda ash. The smell that distinguishes it is given by the fermentation and fermentation of the ingredients.
In Shanghai it is sold in street kiosks and comes in a singular black color.
This small Hong Kong street-food spot features a more delicate version of stinky and much less pungent tofu, made with charcoal to give the tofu its black color. 📍 Via Gian Battista Niccolini 29, Milan 💰 $$
At Hekfanchai you can also try other Hong Kong street food specialties:
CHEUNG FUN (腸粉)
They are a kind of steamed rice cannelloni filled with various ingredients such as beef or pork, shrimp or vegetables.
It is a toasted sandwich in a special concave plate, you can always find it at Hekfanchai.
FRENCH TOAST (西多士)
In Hong Kong it is possible to taste many dishes of European origin due to the long English domination. It is no coincidence that one of the most consumed dishes for breakfast is French toast, which Hekfanchai proposes in the typical Hong Kong recipe of course.
Egg-stuffed plate toast (often cooked in an omelette or omelette) is a popular snack not only in China, but also in Japan (tamago sando, たまごサンド) and South Korea (gilgeori toast, 길거리 토스트).
Also at Mocano it is also possible to taste:
BRAISED PORK RICE (hong shao rou 紅燒肉)
For this recipe, the pork belly is cooked "in red" (typical Chinese braising) at a low temperature with garlic, spices, sugar, ginger, soy sauce and rice wine. It is then often served with rice, hard-boiled eggs and vegetables.
It is a typical dish of continental cuisine, mainly served in many restaurants in Hunan that offer "Mao style cuisine" - Hunnan is the birthplace of the Great Helmsman.
EGG WAFFLE (雞蛋仔)
Famous Hong Kong and Macau waffle, made with a leavened egg-based batter cooked in special plates. It is usually served hot, topped with fruit or various flavors (chocolate, strawberry or matcha tea).
The origin of this sweet street food is confused and disputed, today it is one of the favorite snacks of young people.
Small modern place specializing in bubble and fruit tea, with countless proposals for desserts (from pancake soufflé to sweet sago soups with fruit) such as egg waffles. 📍Via Antonio Rosmini 14, Milan 📞 366 223 4889 💰 $$
In addition to the aforementioned specialties, typically Chinese, in China Town it is possible to taste many other more modern or even non-Chinese delights. Here's what and where to try!
TORNADO POTATOES (회오리 감자)
It is a very popular street food in South Korea. It is a potato split into a spiral and deep fried in oil, served on a skewer.
Tornado potatoes can then be seasoned with melted cheese, sauces (such as mayonnaise and ketchup), salt and pepper, honey or onion.
At Hi you can also find another specialty that you will hardly find elsewhere:
BOM BURGER (鸡蛋汉堡)
It is a small sandwich with a very light consistency stuffed, optionally, with vegetables and eggs, pork and eggs or just with eggs.
FRIED CHICKEN (脆劲鸡米花)
Chinese-style fried chicken has a translation that sounds like "chicken popcorn" due to the external crunchiness and softness of the meat under the breading.
A place to stop or take a take-out of contemporary Hong Kong street food. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 2, Milan 💰 $$$
At Laankee you can also find:
SWEET FRENCH POTATOES (甘 梅 地瓜)
These delicious French fries are very popular in both China and Taiwan.
Laankee proposes them flavored with dried plum.
Skewers typical of Japanese cuisine, yakitori are cooked on hot charcoal and can be based on various cuts of meat (chicken, of which literally nothing is thrown away, or beef), vegetables or a mix of both. It is possible to choose salt and pepper or tare sauce (mirin, saké, sugar and soy sauce) as a condiment.
Komoro Modern Yakitori (CLOSED)
Small showcase with open kitchen, where you can watch the cook prepare the skewers. On the menu, in addition to various types of skewers, also bowls and small side dishes, beer and sake. 📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 4, Milan 💰 $$$
Showcase that has taken the place of Komoro, specializing in grilled preparations among which tasty kebabs stand out.
📍 Via Paolo Sarpi 4, Milan 💰 $$
Also at Yakito you can find dumplings and grilled first courses. I recommend the delicious yakiudon.
Fried octopus-based meatballs typical of Osaka, are one of the symbolic street foods of the Japanese city.
They are made with a special wheat flour batter, tenkasu (bits of tempura) and garnished with Otafuku sauce for takoyaki, mayonnaise, chopped aonori seaweed and katsuobushi.