Here we present the best of Taiwan food . Taiwan really is a country of incredible food, everywhere you look. The problem, however, is that finding the food you want can be difficult, often resulting in having to rely on trial and error.
But worry not! Here we present a series of articles that not only include the what and why of the best Taiwanese dishes, but a photo, pinyin (Romanized Chinese) and Chinese text of the food. If you don’t have a base in Chinese, it’s recommended to simply show the vendor the chinese text provided.
Beef Noodle Soup is basically the national dish of Taiwan. It’s thick slices of beef shank, (or occasionally beef tendon) with thick noodles in a flavoursome broth, which is alo often offered either clear or red (spicy). It’s also often served with picked mustard greens a lot of the time. However there are many variations of this dish, including without soup.
In a recent poll Beef Noodle Soup was recently voted the food most Taiwanese missed when they were abroad, let’s just say that it is quite easy to become addicted!
This is the ‘other’ national dish of Taiwan. It’s certainly very comforting – pork belly is braised in a sauce until it is falling apart, and is served in varying consistencies from large peices to almost minced with its sauce on a mound of steamed rice. Styles and flavours vary quite considerably, but the rice is often oily from a little pork fat which adds to the flavour.
It’s a small, simple dish that is often eaten with other dishes, and if it doesn’t sway you the first time, remember that there are many different variations on this dish. It’s massive popularity hinges on it’s down-to-earthness. It’s not flashy but it certainly is tasty.
Taiwan is the land of many soups, but this soup is quite likely to be unlike anything you have tried before. Slender noodles, a thickened, clear soup base, and fresh oysters – it’s textures are manifold and luxuriant, and it somehow manages to balance the comfort food vibe while still highlighting the freshness of the seafood.
This is a dish that might justify bringing one’s mouth to the edge of the bowl, as doing otherwise would require far too much concentration due to the gloopy sauce, the noodles and the way they combine to keep the dish from cooling quickly.
There are often pig intestines in this dish – which are also delicious – but certainly an acquired taste, at least in concept. They may be alongside the noodles or may replace them entirely and taste like baby squid.
Scallion Pancake, perhaps the streetfoodiest foods of Taiwan food!
When you order this, almost invariably at a street stall, your pancake master will pour the dough onto a hot griddle, and once firm, add egg and turn it over. Other ingredients may be added, such as, typically, meat, cheese and spicy sauce, and then it will be wrapped together as the ultimate street food snack.
The green onion is in the batter, and of course you can elect to have it without egg. It’s crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and soaks up the sauce like a sponge.
Infamous but tasty! Stinky Tofu strikes fear into the hearts of many, including this writer who waited a full year before taking the plunge into what turned out to be a delicious adventure, starring many different varieties of this dish. It’s wildly popular with Taiwanese.
It’s made by fermenting tofu for several months – but this can result in very different levels of stinkyness. The key point to rememeber here is that the taste does not match the smell – at least not much, anyway. It comes in a variety of guises, including deep fried with holes for chili and garlic sauce, steamed and in a soup, or even cold. It’s an acquired taste, but once that taste has been acquired, your quality of life will increase.
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