Every few days our team will scour Shanghai’s dining scene for scrumptious dishes that’ll fill your belly without emptying your savings. Not to discriminate, we’ll search everywhere from bicycle carts to chic venues with twenty-course tasting menus, knowing that any spot could have the next Dish of the Day.
Every Friday, the strip of Changde Lu near Aomen Lu transforms into a bustling Central Asian bazaar where bright-red tents sell everything uyghur from naan to welcome mats made from mastiff pelts. Rounding the corner of Aomen Lu onto Changde Lu, you feel like Chiriho from Spirited Away, stepping from a derelict amusement park into a vibrant parallel world, except here you don’t turn into a pig if you eat the food.
In fact, since it’s muslim market, there are no pigs to be found, just sheep and and cows trucked in fresh and hacked into skewerable hunks or slathered with spice and splayed over roasters. Unfortunately, because of ferocious food poisoning, I wasn’t able to gorge to my heart’s content, but I did sample the fried beef baozi (2RMB), easily one of the city’s top fried foods.
Where many fried foods fail due to their bulky shells muffling the filling’s flavor, rendering the package a greasy, fried nothing, the beef bao shines. Its casing is still thick and oily, crunching kind’ve like a breadier potsticker, but the pungency of the halal beef manages to permeate this fried fortress, allowing you to fully savor it.
You’ll want to be at the market by late morning, as these guys run out in the early afternoon.
Fried beef bao stand – muslim market, Changde Lu, near Aomen Lu (常德路, 近澳门路).
Last time on Dish of the Day: Taiwan shouzhua bing (Taiwanese pancake) on Panyu Lu
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
Have a recommendation for Dish of the Day? Let Shanghaiist’s food editor Benjamin Cost know at [email protected]!