Learn about Shanghai in the most delicious way by exploring Shanghai's Muslim market and trying out new heights of culinary experience. A haven to meat lovers, expect to find delicious prepared foods, which make this Muslim market an ultimate foodie's bucket list. Famous throughout Shanghai, one can enjoy this ultimate foodie experience just outside of Huxi Mosque. The market began in 1914 and helps support Shanghai's Muslim community as they gather after their Friday prayers to share the freshest Halal foods with people. The market is set up on Friday, on the stretch of Changde Lu between the hours of 11:00AM and 3:00PM every week and sells a wide range of dishes.
It’s here that you can find the most authentic tastes from the western frontiers of China. From seasoned lamb kebabs to homemade sour yogurt, there is a whole world of flavors right at Shanghai Muslim market. The market is run by a community of Uyghurs in Shanghai, a Turkic ethnic group from Northwestern China. Of the 56 ethnic minorities in China, 10 are predominantly Muslim, constituting an estimated 1 to 2 percent of the country’s total population. No doubt Shanghai's Muslim market is a great place that offers a variety of Muslim cuisine just waiting for you to sample. You'll experience food from a different region with its own specialties and wonderful flavours where food is served without pork, soy sauce and Sichuan peppercorn. Instead, lamb, cumin, sheep-milk tea, sticky walnut sweets, roasted eggplant, and rice pilaf are abundant.
Here is the best place to sample the wide variety of mouthwatering Uyghur food from the Xinjiang province. You can buy anything from freshly butchered meat, to many different kinds of raisins and some of the best rice pilaf. So come with an empty stomach and hustle with the lunch goers through the barbeque smoke and buy as many lamb skewers as you can. It's impossible to leave the Muslim market without trying out the lamb skewers. They are seasoned with cumin and chili power, making it pretty spicy but really juicy and fresh. Then head to the stall that sells rice pilaf and grab a bowl. The rice pilaf is a traditional Uyghur dish cooked in a large pan with big chunks of mutton boiled with rice, carrots, onions, garlic and sultanas. The more chunks of mutton and fat there is, the more flavorful the dish will be.
It is one of the most popular dishes at the market. It’s definitely a must-try item while you are there. Be sure to stop at a steamed dumpling stall. There are so many varieties of dumplings in Shanghai but the dumplings at the Muslim market are filled with minced lamb and onions instead of pork. And then there is also the famous steamed pumpkin dumpling, and probably the best you will ever have. The dumpling is savoury. The pumpkin filling is grated, not mashed, and mixed with spices and onions. After some lamb kebabs, dumplings and a bowl of rice pilaf, what you'll probably need is a refreshingly cold drink. You can grab an iced yogurt drink that can be consumed plain or with sugar.
Unlike the usual yogurt which can slurp from a straw, this yogurt is served in a styrofoam bowl. The drink is made with a combination of crushed ice, homemade yogurt and honey. The drink is less creamy than regular yogurt, which is perfect if you're so thirsty you can easily gulp down a bowl of it. You will also find many vendors selling homemade naan. The naans are firm and doughy and seasoned with sesame seeds. Some are shaped like stars. The sweet naan look like New York bagels but taste more like hard rolls, with none of the doughy density. The Shanghai Muslim market is one of the most mouth-watering places every food lover must visit in their lifetime. Once you've tasted the experience, you'll look forward to be back for more.