Night Market information
Kāifēng's steaming, bustling and bellowing night market is a brilliant performance, especially at weekends. Join the scrum weaving between stalls busy with red-faced popcorn sellers and hollering Hui Muslim chefs cooking up kebabs and náng bread. There are also loads of rowdy vendors, from whom you can buy shāo bǐng (sesame-seed cakes), cured meats, chòu gānzi (臭干子; dry strips of tofu), hearty jiānbǐng guǒzi (煎饼裹子; pancake with chopped onions), sweet potatoes, crab kebabs, lamb kebabs, roast rabbit, lobster, xiǎolóngbāo (Shànghǎi-style dumplings), sugar-coated pears, peanut cake, Thai scented cakes and throwaway cups of sugar-cane juice. Also look out for yángròu kàngmó (羊肉炕馍; lamb in a parcel of bread), a local Kāifēng Muslim speciality. Or opt for yángròu chuàn (羊肉串; lamb kebabs) and ask the chef to stuff them into some shāobǐng (bread). The adventurous might slurp yāxiě tāng (鸭血汤; duck-blood soup) or try a yángyǎnchuàn (羊眼串; sheep's-eye kebab).
Among the flames jetting from ovens and clouds of steam slave vocal vendors of xìngrén chá (杏仁茶; almond tea), a sugary paste made from boiling water thickened with powdered almond, red berries, peanuts, sesame seeds and crystallised cherries. A bowl costs a mere Y4 or so. Two to three bowls constitute a (very sweet) meal. Xìngrén chá stalls stand out for their unique red pompom–adorned, dragon-spouted copper kettles. Also set out to sample ròuhé (肉合), a local snack of fried vegetables and pork or mutton in flat bread; there's also a good vegie version. Join the locals at one of the rickety tables. The market slowly peters out into stalls selling clothes, toys and books.