Alternative Eats: Ayi’s Guotie

We delve deep into Shanghai’s food underbelly to give you an alternative view of the city’s dining scene. 
A brand new delivery concept, Ayi’s Guotie, took shape after expat residents, Felipe and Jackie Pizarro, were scolded by their ayi for feeding their child frozen dumplings from the supermarket. Their ayi claimed that she could make much healthier and additive free guotie from scratch using fresh ingredients from the market. After the eager ayi proved her point, and they were bowled over with the new and improved pot sticker dumplings she was producing, word got around in their social group and friends were clambering to taste these healthier treats.
The Pizarros decided to spread the dumpling love, and role out the concept to the public by setting up a WeChat account, thus forming Ayi’s Guotie. You can now order from a range of frozen or ready-to-eat dishes, which can be delivered to your home or office, with 12 to 24 hours of advance notice. Fresh dishes, cooked by the enterprising ayi, include kung pao chicken (RMB 85 for a 1kg portion), sweet and sour pork spare ribs (RMB 150 for a 1kg portion) and cold noodles with bean sauce (RMB 80 for a large pan). However, we opted for a delivery of frozen produce, due to its convenience, and because the ready-to-eat dishes are served in rather large portions. We selected a bag of 50 dumplings (RMB 75), which can also be delivered readyto- eat, and chose an even split of pork and leak, as well as courgette, egg and celery fillings. We were given detailed instructions about how to cook the dumplings in the guotie style, which literally means pot stickers as the dumpling skin is fried and begins to stick to the edge of the pan.
They were extremely simple to cook and the fillings were fresh, juicy and full of flavour. We also plumped for scallion pancakes (RMB 40 for 10) and homemade spicy chilli sauce (RMB 40). We loved the oil free, chilli sauce, which had a strong, yet tangy kick that kept us going back for more. The sauce is now also available to buy at the Avocado Lady (274 Wulumuqi Lu, near Wuyuan Lu).
Although a lot more expensive than going out and getting fresh guotie on the street, Ayi’s Guotie offers you the convenience of being able to get your dumpling fix in your own home, without having to hustle away in a queue to receive your reward. The WeChat account closed for orders in August, due to the Pizarros spending the summer in the Sates, however, they are back open for business this month and we will be sure to try their freshly-made delivery dishes soon.
WeChat ID: ayisguotie