A 626 Night Market Fairy Tale

“The eyes are wide but the stomach is narrow.” -Chinese proverb


The Tale of the Reappearing Fish:

a 626 Night Market Fairy Tale


626 night market sign
nce upon a time, there was a princess named Jennifer. The royal chef made plates of Chinese delicacies for her to consume but forbade her to eat until the designated meal time. The princess would watch the fire dance in the pit of the wok’s belly and smell the ginger perfuming the air. Unable to wait before all the dishes appeared on the banqueting table, she would start off with the first finished food, the pot of fragrant, steamed rice. Surely, I’ll have room to taste all of the chef’s delights, she thought. She would heap a pile of soft, fluffy rice onto her plate and garnish it with soy sauce. Alas, she filled herself with so much rice that she could never partake of the royal feast.

Years passed, and Jennifer became the queen. She realized that “the eyes are wide but the stomach is narrow.” Filled with fear that she would gorge herself with grain alone, she issued a royal decree that her meals not start off with rice and limited the amount of dishes served at her table. She also restrained from all buffets, with the exception of the famed Souplantation (which the kingdom’s heirs adored, especially for constructing towering frozen yogurt sculptures).

One day, a new event in a nearby land captured the queen’s attention–a night circus market that magically appeared after dusk. All traces of horse stomping disappeared from the neighboring country’s iconic Santa Anita Racetrack, and instead, an array of festive booths and trucks decorated the space. The queen arrived at the market and examined the exotic wares. She sampled to her heart’s delight and ventured into such delicious territories as:

1. White boba

white boba

Milk tea with white, instead of black pearls, but still with the chewy consistency she loved

2. Pork belly egg roll

pork belly egg roll

Egg rolls filled with juicy meat and paired with a flavorful sauce

3. Fried pork chops

pork chop

Breaded and fried pork chops, spiced to perfection

4. Yam Balls

yam balls

Delectable puffed balls filled with the sweet root

5. Double sausage

double sausage

Tender Taiwanese sausage wrapped in a bun of sticky rice

The queen decided the to revoke her rule against limiting dishes. She wanted to try all types of food now and was filled with gratitude for the night event. However, this was not the end of the gifts from the market. No, a local ambassador came and offered a gift to the queen. The generosity of the 626 Country overwhelmed the queen, for there in her hand, she held a plastic baggie which would revive her family’s miniature fish castle, barren for these many past months. Thus, the magic of food was revived for the queen. And the royal pet fish was miraculously restored to the queen’s land, to the delight of the kingdom’s heirs.


Foodie Friday: Giant Boba
Foodie Friday: Xiao Long Bao


  1. Intriguing story Jennifer. Thanks for sharing. You are always making me hungry! Thank you for the t-shirt. I just got it in the mail. My boys were fascinated by the “World’s Largest Cup of Boba Tea” because we love boba tea!

    • You’re welcome, Romelle! It was pretty neat seeing such a giant cup of milk tea (and all the ingredients were edible, too).

  2. I love this princess/Queen Jennifer! What a cool festival! And the food? Just loved each dish and drink! ????

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Thanks, Evelyne. It was a pretty tasty time. They actually have expanded the Night Market to different areas of So Cal and at different times of the year now.


  1. Smile! says:

    […] 9.       Do you have a pet? I have goldfish, courtesy of a stranger from the 626 Night Market. […]

  2. […] When I went to the 626 Night Market, I didn’t even try my luck. As I was lounging around with my kids, though, a passerby decided to give me her winnings. (See the full fairy tale version of the day here.) […]

  3. Freebies says:

    […] Free goldfish (see my 626 fairy tale) […]

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