The best Chinese cooking classes in Shanghai

For all the waimai we order, how many of us can actually cook the dishes we love to eat so much?

Photograph: courtesy Chinese Cooking Workshop
Let's face it. For all the restaurants we frequent and all the waimai we order, how many of us can actually cook the meals we love to eat so much? If becoming a pro in the kitchen is somewhere on your bucket list, these cooking classes for learning to master Chinese regional cuisines and favourite dishes are a good place to start.

Chinese Cooking Workshop

This cooking school hosts daily classes in its well-equipped kitchen, with each two-hour class led by a professional chef. Select from a range of regional cuisine and dishes, including over 40 different kinds of dumplings. CCW is a great option for both small groups (three people minimum) and large groups, as the space can host up to 45 people at a time.

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370 Wulumuqi Nan Lu


UnTour’s three-hour Hands-On Dumpling Delights tour takes you on a walking tour of a few restaurants to try over half a dozen different varieties of dumplings – tour guides will explain the history of each one, after which students head to a professional kitchen to try their hand at making them.

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Jiashan Lu

Kaixin Cooking

Run by Chinese-American Shiyin Wang, Kaixin Cooking is all about healthful Chinese cuisine – less sugar and oil, more fresh and local produce. Classes run twice a week and last around two hours, while the menu changes monthly based on what’s most in season. Dishes are relatively simple, and classes are laid-back and casual to emulate the feeling of cooking at home with family.

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175 Yongkang Lu

Cook in Shanghai

Cook in Shanghai offers classes ranging from hand-pulled noodles to tri-coloured xiaolongbao, with a maximum of six people per class. Classes here are longer than most (up to four hours), as they also include a trip to the wet market to purchase ingredients and teatime after cooking. Take home a recipe booklet with English, Chinese and pinyin so you can be ready the next time you’re scouting for ingredients on your own.

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1690 Huaihai Zhong Lu


CieCAS employs chefs whose expertise spans cuisines from all over the world. For its China-focused classes, expect Sichuan and Shanghai dishes with plans for vegan options in the near future. Whether you’re making dandan mian or hongshaorou, you’ll feel like a professional chef in its state-of-the-art kitchens. Classes run about five hours long, with a maximum of 12 people per class.

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789 Tianshanxi Lu

Cooking Skill Exchange

From Italian to Thai, each three-hour class at CSE is led by professional chefs. For its Chinese cooking classes, CSE offers mostly Shanghainese and dim sum. A minimum of eight people is required for group classes. Private classes are also available, in which the instructor will come to your home.

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111 Liyang Lu

Brenda & Lee

Shanghai natives Brenda and Lee are two super friendly, passionate foodies who will teach you how to make hand-pulled noodles from scratch during their class, as well as mapo tofu and pickled veg soup. What they lack in professional training they make up for with pure enthusiasm and a love for cooking – it’s a fun time. Classes run around two hours and host a maximum of five people. Click here to book. 

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