China Day 3: Dongmen Pedestrian Market – Street Food in Shenzhen

Inside Dongmen Market

Now this is more like it! I had to find some thing really local and I wanted to find something on the streets, so I did a little searching and found myself at the Dongmen Pedestrian Market. I was expecting something more old world, something on a small narrow street down a dark alley. What I found was a food court style street in a shopping centre just next to the Laojie Station Metro stop in Shenzhen. It may not have been quite what I was looking for, but it was still pretty good fun and somewhere I plan to come back to.

Fried Rice wrapped in egg

Now I was feeling peckish and these parcels of Fried Rice wrapped in Egg looked really appetising. They looked like some sort of omelette parcels and at just 5RMB each or about 50p I was not able to resist. If I am honest they were not quite as good or tasty as I hoped, or perhaps salivated over, as I eyed them up. The egg was good with flecks of chive but the filling was a bit dry. I think that maybe I did miss a trick, as I was offered some sort of dipping sauce, and in hindsight that may have livened up this whole affair somewhat. It could have been that in the end all this is was just dry fried rice wrapped in an omelette case from a shopping centre food court. You have to admit though that in the photograph they do look really damn good!

Potstickers at Dongmen Market

After that light level of disappointment I needed something to get me back on my food hunt track so I headed over to a stall that was selling great big piles of fried potstickers. These were also pretty cheap 6RMB (60p) for 6 pieces. The pile looked pretty amazing the casing both crispy and shiny depending on where the potsticker hit the pan. Now I totally love potstickers but these were a little bit hit and miss. About half were excellent full of pork and chive (or something like that), but the rest had exploded and so all you got was the crispy outer casing. The lucky thing is that I really love that crispy fried outer casing. So in the end I was not too sad. Once again though I have to say that for the price how could I complain?

Meat on Skewers at Dongmen

The last little snack that I picked up was a set of three random meat skewers served up by this man who was trying to look cool as I took his photo. There was a lot of meat on his stall and he was selling three skewers for 10RMB (£1). They were really tasty, very spicy and had a sauce or juice that was filled with some sort of chilli that gently burnt your lips and chin and cheeks where it had smeared itself. That sauce was great, painful enough to be desirable and not too hot to scare. As for the meat, I would like to say that they were pork or beef but I think that it was some part of the animal that I don’t usually buy from the butchers. If I knew what it was and what was in the sauce it will be on my next summer BBQ back home for certain!

The reality is that these stalls were selling pieces of meat (or squid or chicken), skewered on sticks, all coated in a mix of salt, dried chilli flakes and ground cumin barbecued over flaming charcoals. The name for this is apparently ‘Chuanr’ a Chinese street food variation of one of Asia’s most popular street foods.

Dalian Squid at Dongmen Pedestrian Market

One of the other options at both this and many other stall was the Dalian Squid on a stick. Now I know that this is popular and I saw plenty of people munching down on them, but it wasn’t for me on this occasion.

Sesame Chicken at Dongmen Market

The other meat on a stick option that I saw were these grilled chicken wings sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Now this is a stick that I may well return back for.

Subway Stop at Dongmen Market

I don’t want to bang on too much about what else I saw here on the street as I know that I am going to pop back over here another night for a snack after work. I hope that you come back to read about what I find.

Dongmen Market is accessible from exits to the metro station at Laojie Station. I came here via the Luobao Line and there were various exits that came out in the area. It is a bit of a rabbit warren and there are stalls and vendors every where. Food galore abounds. I will be back with more reports and detail of where it is.

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