First of all, let me preface this post by saying it will be really picture heavy. However, I probably can’t properly describe the awesomeness of the Friday Muslim Market. It is a beautiful mixture of the grimy, trash-laden, vendor-lined street food markets that you’re used to in China and the amazing culture and food of China’s Muslim minorities. The main difference being that at the Muslim market you can rest assured that you are not eating rat meat kebabs, all the meat is halal and slaughtered that morning to be sold fresh.
I had been wanting to check out this market for quite some time, but it only happens during Friday prayers from around 10 to 3. It’s on the corner of Changdu and Aomen road in Jing’an, and while not the largest market I’ve seen, you will not be hurting for lack of food choices. You can buy anything from freshly butchered meat, to 20 different kinds of raisins & some of the best rice pilaf I’ve ever had.
Definitely check out this market on Friday, and come with an empty stomach because you will want to eat EVERYTHING. Be prepared to choke your way through the BBQ charcoal smoke and eat until you have to roll yourself home.
We bought small little sampler bags of 10 RMB (1.50 USD) of almonds, walnuts, one of the many types of raisins and some apricots. The raisins were honestly the best I’ve ever had and I am definitely going back for a full bag next week.
The fearless foodies of Shanghai can fest on lamb heart, liver and kidney BBQ, but we opted for a few skewers of ribs (not pictured). They were incredible, really juicy and fresh.
Let me tell you about this chicken. First of all, you can by the whole thing for 50RMB (9 USD) and it can easily feed four people. We couldn’t escape the smell and had them carve one up for us. It was some of the best roasted chicken around. The guy who sells this also sells fresh, homemade yogurt for 10 RMB (1.50 USD), and it is perfect for dipping the crispy chicken into (TRUST ME, just do it).
Another one of the market’s signature dishes is this delicious rice and carrot pulao. It is served up with some boiled lamb and it is absolutely amazing. The woman selling it had all gold front teeth, so I assume she is either making a lot of money selling this dish or is an American rapper. But seriously, get some of this pulao.
Next to the pulao is a man selling these lamb stuffed “dumplings” cooking inside the tandoor. The outside is crispy bread, the inside is spiced minced lamb, need I say more? I think they go for 3 RMB ( .50 USD) a piece, so you might as well eat 10.
Forget everything you thought you knew about dumplings. I had heard about these pumpkin dumplings, and I imagined a dumpling stuffed with the kind of sweet mushy pumpkin from a can you buy to make pumpkin pie. How wrong I was. We waited for 30 minutes for these babies and knowing what I know now I would wait for 3 days. The pumpkin inside is grated, not mashed, and it is a savory dumpling with spices and onions in the mix. To be honest it is one of the best dumplings I have ever eaten, make sure you get some of these babies.
This bad ass with a velvet shirt was scooping rice to make the pilaf. I made sure to ask everyone if it was ok before I took their pictures, because lord knows I hate when Chinese people snap candid shots of me without asking. Everyone was really friendly and willing, I am really happy that you guys get to see all the awesome people selling us these goodies.
These kids were fascinated by us for some reason, the little boy was hamming it up!
All my Shanghai friends should definitely take a trip to the market on Friday for lunch. I am already planning my trip for this week. I am going to try to buy some of the butchered lamb and Shiraz and I are going to make a mutton curry. I am already drooling.