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Quanzhou Niu Pai Stewed Beef Ribs • Halal Culinary Legacy of the Maritime Silk Road in China 泉州红烧牛排骨

The port city of Quanzhou in China's Fujian province has a popular braised beef rib dish. The dish is meaty beef ribs stewed with spices which are familiar to people who live in Southeast Asia and India. Examples include star anise, peppercorn, cardamon, clove, cumin, fennel seeds, nutmeg, chili pepper, etc., as well as curry powder.

Established in 618, 
Quanzhou grew to become China's largest seaport as it was the start / end point of the Maritime Silk Road between China, India and Arabia. By the 13th century, Quanzhou had become an international bazaar with over 1.3 million inhabitants, including many Indians, Persians and Arabs.

Between 1357 - 1367, the Persians in Quanzhou rebelled against the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty in protest against anti-Muslim laws. It took the Yuan forces ten years to defeat the Persian rebels in 1367. The large scale reprisals that followed forced nearly all foreigners to flee Quanzhou.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The Qingjing (also known as Ashab) mosque established in 1009 is one of the reminders that Muslim traders once thronged the busy, cosmopolitan streets of 14th century Quanzhou.

Another legacy of the Muslim traders of Quanzhou is t
his dish of beef ribs stewed with spices 泉州红烧牛排骨. The contemporary rendition is meaty sinewy beef ribs stewed in spices such as cloves, star anise, cinnamoncardamon, etc., with curry powder (which the British invented in the 1700s) till the spice infused meat is fall off the bone tender and juicy. Cooking time is about two hours.

Stewed beef rib shops probably sprung up during Quanzhou's heyday to cater to the Muslim traders. After the departure of the Muslim traders, most of the stewed beef rib shops wound up but the dish survived till this day because Quanzhou locals also acquired a taste for the spice infused beef dish.

There are a few popular places for stewed beef ribs in Quanzhou. One of them is 

Restaurant name: Dongxi Beef Shop 东西牛肉店

Address: Quanzhou, Licheng District, Quanzhou, Fuqiao Street, 浮桥镇华龙大厦 shop #112号

Hours: Lunch


Another is 阿秋牛排店.

Stall name: Aqiu Niupai Shop 阿秋牛排店

Address: 494 Huxin Street, Fengze District, Quanzhou, Fujian

Tel: +86 595 2216 3336

Hours: Lunch

好成财牛肉馆 is one of the most famous stewed beef ribs shops in Quanzhou.

Restaurant name: Haochengcai Beef Restaurant 好成财牛肉馆

Address: 613 Baozhou Street, Fengze District, Quanzhou, Fujian, China

Tel: +86 595 2236 9123

Hours: Lunch

Look out for stewed beef ribs 泉州红烧牛排骨 when you are in Quanzhou.

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