The Easy Guide to the Best Taiwan Food – Part 2

Here we present the absolute best Taiwan food. 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 Taiwan food, 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.

Part 2: Attack of the Street Foods

Here we present to you a selection of 5 of the most beloved and well known street foods. This is course, no means an exhaustive list as the pantheon of Taiwanese street food is immense – but they are some of the most iconic, and should be some of the first dishes you dive into if you have just arrived in Taiwan and are ready to hit the night markets! !

Oyster omlette Orh-Ah-Jian  蚵仔煎

Oyster Omelette – This is the favourite street food style Taiwan food of many. It’s made with 4 crucial ingredients: egg, oyster, sweet potato starch and (typically) chilli sauce. The brinyness of the oyster, the soft butteryness of the egg, all aided by the extra smoothness provided by the sweet potato starch demonstrate the emphasis on texture displayed within Taiwanese food. 

The most prominent texture in Taiwanese food is ‘QQ’, which is glutinous and slightly chewy, and this is also present in this dish. This little dish has so many levels to it. This snack was voted the best snack to represent Taiwan, so be sure to try it!

The Easy Guide to the Best Taiwan Food - Part 2 1
Credit: seriouseats

Pig’s Blood Rice Pudding Zhu Xue Ga 血豆腐

This is a rice and pig blood pudding. Pig blood sausages are found in one guise or another in almost every country, and in this case it is filled with rice and often dipped into a sweet peanut powder. It’s cooked in a soy broth, eaten from a stick, and the result is a sticky, savoury/sweet snack that is very satisfying. 

It’s usually sold from a street stall as the only thing on the menu, and while it has it’s roots in Fujian, it has since developed into it’s uniquely Taiwanese form.

Image result for pig's blood rice pudding
credit: Kevin Wolkober

Gua bao, or the Taiwanese Hamburger (刈包)

Also known as hu yao ju, or  tiger bites pig’, This is a burger using an open steamed bun (a bao), which is open at one end and closed at the other. Within (probably the pig bit of the name) is an outrageously sticky and flavoursome peice of pork belly and various fillings, including pickled cabbage and peanut powder. 

It is one of the most popular Taiwanese dishes overseas, and is particularly popular in Taiwan at the end of the year, when eating it is considered to be a way to consume and negate anything bad from the year to prepare for the year ahead. 

The Easy Guide to the Best Taiwan Food - Part 2 2
Credit: kitchensanctuary

Taiwanese Meatballs Bawan 彰化肉圆

One Ba Wan is quite a large snack. It’s a translucent dumpling, with an amazing filling that includes not only meat and bamboo but also often mushrooms, veggies, eggs and more.

It is sometimes called the Taiwanese Meatball, and the dough is made from a combination of rice flour, corn starch and sweet potato starch. It is served in a small bowl, often with different sauces and vegetables. They can be steamed or deep fried, and makes for a satisfying, absorbing and perhaps even at first slightly bewildering snack or supper. 

Image result for Taiwanese Meatballs:
Credit: tripadvisor

Pepper Buns Fujiaobing 胡椒餅 (The best Taiwan Food in Rahoe Night Market)

Taiwanese pepper buns are perhaps my favourite Taiwanese food. They are stuck to the side of a barrel oven, and have a thick, doughy crust. The thickness of the crust is important because the filling in meaty, peppery, delicious, and very, very saucy. 

Getting these buns just right is no easy business, because the crust has absorb the sauce and become slightly gooey. If the crust is too thin, then the crust will begin to disintegrate from the first bite, and if too thick, then the bun will be dry. 

The Easy Guide to the Best Taiwan Food - Part 2 3
Credit: ww.willflyforfood.net

The undisputed champion is at the entrance to Rahoe night market. They always have a huge qeue. Get 2, go now.

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