Ningxia Night Market 寧夏夜市
Taipei MRT Shuanglian Station
Although Taiwan is known for its night markets, I must embarassingly admit, I haven't been to many of them. The main reason being there is a night market within 10 minute walk of my parents' place, so most of the time I just go to that one.
And for some strange reason, I have no clue how this could have happened, but I seriously have NEVER heard of Ningxia Night Market until this trip!!!
I learned about Ningxia Night Market because I came across an article about a popular "oyster pancake" eatery Lai's Oyster Pancake (賴記雞蛋蚵仔煎)
I asked my mom if she'd like to go check out this place with me,
"Ah~ that oyster pancake place, isn't it near the famous Ningxia Night Market?"
"Famous night market? How come I've never heard of it??" I gasped
"How come? how would I know? I thought you're the foodie in the family?"
So, our first stop was Lai's Oyster Pancake. Like many Taiwanese eateries, this place opened at 4 PM. According to the article I read, the line can get long very fast, so even though it was kind of early for night market, we got there at around 5 PM.
Sure enough, there was already a line.
The oyster pancakes were made right then and there (look at the amount of oysters!!!).
Lai's Oyster Pancake claims other than the fresh oysters, what make their oyster pancake so tasty is the free-range chicken eggs.
I took a picture of the menu.
If you don't read chinese, just point to the very first line, it says "Egg Oyster Pancake".
If you want "Egg Shrimp Pancake" instead, point to the second blue line.
If you want "Egg Shrimp+Oyster Pancake" point to the third blue line.
I am so hungry just looking at these pictures right now!!
For those who have never had Oyster Pancake before, the red sauce on the top is a sweet-ish sauce.
This is a complete meal right here! Egg, carb, vegetable, and seafood!
My mom also ordered the "Pig Liver Soup". She said it's good, If you're adventuresome, try it.
It is a very traditional Taiwanese soup cooked with sesame oil, even though I never liked it.
We then walked a block over to where Ningxia Night Market was.
It was still early, some stalls were still setting up, and not many people. Later in the night though, it got pretty crowded. If you're a Taiwanese night market novice, usually the best time to go is after 7 PM, on weekend nights, the night markets are most crowded at around 11 PM.
I was very surprised by how small this night market was. It's only one third the size of the night market nearby my house, and probably one tenth of Shilin Night Market. So what makes this night market so special??
My mom explained, it is all about the food stalls.
Most of the food stalls here have had a long history and established business. In fact, unlike the other night markets that are full of food / games / clothing / random knicknacks, this night market ONLY has food stalls.
(First time I see Taiwanese caviar in a night market. Taiwanese caviar can be pricey, but the aroma of grilled caviar paired with garlic is heavenly!!! My parents used to grill these themselves at home on weekends)
One of the food stalls we came across already had a long line even as other food stalls are still setting up! Well, that's always a good sign for good food, right? So of course, I got myself in line too.
Turned out this place make these delicious "fried taro balls". The "balls" were handmade onsite and deep fried.
You may choose between plain taro, or with "salt duck egg" filling. I like it with "salt duck egg", i like the taste of slight savoryness with taro's sweetness.
One piece of advice though, eat these "fried taro balls" while it's hot. I brought a few home, they taste pretty nasty the next day.
Here comes one of my favorite ones, "peanut mochi ice"!
Actually, the stall also sells "sweet peanut soup" and "red bean soup", but I was there near the summer, so I got the ice.
It was so delicious, a week later I was in this area again, I came back just to have another of bowl!!
Alright, so this is my short list of food items to check out at Ningxia Night Market. Surely there are many other delicious dishes I have yet to discover. Let me know if you find something you'd like to recommend!
For video on another night market that Chris and I visited in southern Taiwan, Kenting Night Market, check this out