Tag Archives: Taiwanese

Some unusual Parts of the Pig

1 Sep

Pig Eyes, Pig Head, Pig Colon… for Breakfast

piglocationdes

When you get to this bus station (closest MRT: Wanfang Hospital Station (map)), cross the street and turn right and walk for about 200 meters. You’ll find a traditional market on your left hand side (a little complicated). Many other (but not all) markets will have this kind of food. By market I mean the more or less traditional markets, not the night markets. These may sometimes open very early in the morning and close around lunchtime. Markets like this are more local.  They can either be indoors or outside. Ask around! There’s bound to be one where you are now or will be in the future! Alright, let’s start!

Information: Somehow, when I was told about pig eyes (豬眼睛) as a local delicacy, I got exited immediately (I’m all in for trying out new kinds or styles of food) . It was only a few days before the actual date however, when a friend told me it was breakfast food; we had to go there early, as pig eyes are really popular and sold out quickly. That’s when I needed to man up a bit (eyeballs for breakfast; as Taiwanese as I am trying to be, that doesn’t sound good no matter how hard I try). But, as the brave adventurous western person I am, my mind told me that anything chewy, squishy and round was going to be amazing and I was fully prepared. Again, I was in for a surprise. We got served some pig eyes, pig head and colon. These were accompanied by a bowl of noodles and some side dishes (tofu, soy egg, Chinese spinach). The eyes tasted like biting on very tender pork fat. Nothing chewy or squishy about them. They were well cooked and had a very soft and savory meat flavor. There was nothing unsettling about it. The head consisted out of very tender pork meat, but since it was scraped from the entire head, every piece of meat had a different size. Pig colon just tasted like your average intestine (to me), if you’ve ever tried any. The aftertaste is usually very strong and a little bitter (a little like liver). You either love it or hate it. All of the dishes were topped off with thickened soy sauce and ginger. For breakfast however, this is still a very heavy meal and so if you want to try it (please do, you’ll miss out if you don’t), you can take some home and eat them at a later time. I found out that this is a really local kind of food. Many people my age haven’t tried it and it may even sound strange to them. Therefore I feel that it’s a must-try food! Also, I think it’s much more common outside of Taipei. Well, enough rambling; Picture Time!

pig eyes colon headeyescolontofy

Categories: image photo (3)

market table

Taiwanese Sushi Desu! ~

16 Aug

Taiwanese Sushi

(I apologize for the title) Exact location. Guting Station (map) exit 8; cross the street, turn right and keep walking. You’ll find it on your left hand side after a mere 2 minutes (depending on your walking speed of course)

Information: After reading the title, you might find yourself asking: What is Taiwanese Sushi?! Fact of the matter is; I am not really sure. There doesn’t seem to be a set rule for either rice consistency, ingredients or sauce. What I have noticed so far, when eating local Sushi,is that they put wasabi (the extremely spicy green condiment) on the rice, before they add anything else (I didn’t know that when eating local Sushi for the first time; my mouth was on fire). I went to Keelung (基隆)a couple of weeks ago. There was a popular Sushi chef there slicing up huge chunks of fish, putting it on an equal amount of rice (smothered in Wasabi) and adding thickened soy sauce on top. I initially thought that was the way to make Sushi here, but the place I went to in Guting was completely different. This looked like ordinary sushi to me (apart from some interesting ingredients, like asparagus), but as mentioned before, the rice consistency was a little different and a little sweeter than what I am used to. It came with Chinese soy sauce, which is a little saltier than Japanese soy sauce; the sauce and sweet rice  really complemented each other. Be careful though; they mix wasabi with soy sauce in a bag when you order to-go; that’s a lot of wasabi! There is a very small and cozy bar if you want to sit down for a while and watch the chef cutting up some fresh fish and ingredients. Anyway, I really like the twist they give to a lot of Japanese food here, which I think is a reason to check this out; to compare. 🙂

sushhhhhasparaarra

Rating; Well, it’s nothing like good quality Japanese sushi; but it’s fresh, it has unusual ingredients, the flavors are really interesting and it’s a local twist.  Prices varied from 10 – 25 NTD a piece. No English; but you can pick out the Sushi yourself!   好吃! ~

Categories: photo (3)

Taipei: Chiayi City Style Chicken Rice

7 Aug


張記嘉義雞肉飯

Chang’s Chiayi Style Chicken Rice 

chick

This is the exact location, as they provided business cards (very convenient). Closest station is Gongguan (see map), walk towards the commercial district and you’ll find it on your right hand. If it’s crowded, you’ve found the right place.

Information:  As the best Taiwanese Chicken Rice is found in Chiayi City(嘉義市), it is pretty hard to find this dish in Taipei. Mostly, chicken dishes or snacks in Taipei consist of fried chicken or chicken legs. Now I cannot tell you what the Chiayi version tastes like yet, but I can tell you that this was pretty amazing already, and to think that there are even better versions out there makes my tummy rumble all over again (and I just ate!). It amazes me how something so simple can taste that great, as this version of chicken rice consists out of shredded pieces of chicken put on top of a bowl of rice and it is finally sprinkled with gravy, made from the juices that are left from steaming the chicken; that’s it. The chicken was extremely tender and the gravy was somewhere in between savory and sweet. The only thing I didn’t like was the amount of chicken (I like meat, a lot); but unfortunately, this was a normal portion; so it doesn’t change much when eating this in other places. Anyway, really nice; I fell in love with this dish and hope to try it more often in different places. This restaurant didn’t have an English menu, of course, but it’s called 雞肉飯 (ji rou fan), and I seriously think you need to try this; even though it doesn’t sound like much.  (Don’t confuse it with 雞排飯 by the way, that’s fried chicken). Service was fast, people were friendly, prices were under 100 NTD; need I say more? chicken2chiekn3
 Rating: Well, I sort of rated it already in the information section, but I thought this dish was delicious. As soon as I get to compare it with the Chiayi City version, I’ll let you know! This place was packed with people by the way, so I’m sure there are other people that think the same way!
chicken prieThe price.. of chicken rice (sorry. lame)
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Sweet Snack: Red Bean Cake (紅豆餅)

6 Aug

紅豆餅

lolkoklocationdes

Take exit 2 towards the Gongguan commercial district and you’ll find this snack chain together with many other kinds of delicious street food.

Information: This lovely dessert  is originally from Japan (they call it Imagawayaki). It’s extremely popular in Taiwan, and you can always find them anywhere on night markets or among street food vendors. In Taiwan they call it Red Bean Cake. The outside is made of a certain cake batter put in a muffin-shaped griddle. Red bean paste (made from Japanese Azuki beans) is then put inside and it’s topped off with another thick pancake-like bottom (often containing black sesame seeds). There are plenty of different fillings besides red beans, such as milk flavor, green beans or savory fillings. If you find a good version of this cake, the cake/filling ratio should be something like 40/60. The outside of the cake is not as soft as you would expect (bummer) but as soon as you get to the sweet and moist red bean filling, the outside will soften up and start melting. I found out after I stumbled upon this place that it was highly recommended in a book I bought about Taiwanese snacks; so be sure try this one out. Just look for the logo with the cute obsessed munching thing.

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Categories: Desserts

Snack, Filling or Topping: Pork Floss (肉鬆)

2 Aug

Pork Floss

photo (9)

You can get this in  many restaurants, but you can also buy it at your local supermarket or department store. Like this one:locationdes

Information: As my landlord told me you can only find this particular kind of pork floss in some parts of China and Taiwan, it needed a review; since I believe it is mindbogglingly delicious. Pork floss,肉鬆 (rou song), is dried stewed sweetened pork meat. It can have different flavors or may contain different herbs (if any). Most of the time, you can find it as a side dish, which you put on rice or rice porridge (粥). However, it is also used in fillings for cake, spring rolls, sandwiches and many other kinds of food. Some people also just like to eat it as a snack. Describing the taste is rather difficult, but I suppose you can sort of compare it to a very dry and very stringy version of pork roast. Add some sweetened soy sauce to that idea and all that makes pork floss. The strings of meat look similar to those on a soft hairbrush and because it is that thin, it falls apart as soon as it is combined with anything liquid (like candy floss). Together with rice, it makes for a snack that’s hard to resist. I also like that you can eat it with both savory and sweet food. There are many kinds of floss by the way; if you’re not a fan of pork, there are beef, fish and tofu versions out there.

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Rating: I really hope to find a restaurant that makes its own pork floss, so I can taste the difference between the supermarket version and a handmade version. For now I can only recommend you to try it, as it is delicious and can go with anything, at any moment of the day.

Categories: photo (3)imageimage

an ACTUAL beef noodle restaurant + side dishes (must-visit)

28 Jul

老莊 – 牛肉麵

 niurou

Xindian district, Qizhang Station 七張 (see map)

Information: For more information about the contents of beef noodle soup, click here!

It’s good to know some people around here, or I would have never found this place. Located in an alley not too far from Qizhang station, you immediately notice the huge red sign which says: 牛肉麵 (beef noodle). The chef is cooking up dishes next to the entrance (a very kind lady), and inside are several waitresses waiting to take your order. The menu is placed somewhere in the back of the restaurant, consisting out of several beef noodle and other (noodle) dishes; but obviously, beef noodle dishes are among the most popular. Also, after knowing what main dish you want, you are free to walk back to the entrance and choose between a number of side dishes such as pig ears (yes, pig ears; try them, not so bad!), tofu,  vegetables or kelp. This bowl of beef noodle soup had huge chunks of meat (already a big difference when compared to my last beef noodle meal) and you could tell the stock was fresh and handmade, as it had a very soft and savory beef infused flavor. Also, I would highly recommend the tofu side dish. It comes with a “century egg”, which is an egg preserved in a certain mixture trough which the outside turns black and translucent and the inside becomes a thick liquid green/gray color.  (the taste is unlike anything I’ve ever eaten, so I suggest you try it out). Cut both into pieces and combine. I had never had this combination before and I pretty much ate the entire thing (there were 4 of us, that’s how good it was).  I also like that this place was a little hidden;  it wasn’t overly crowded, which made for a meal prepared with more care than the usual fast paced environment these people have to work in.

tofulady

Rating: The downside, again, is the lack of anything English.  But please, don’t let that stop you from going here. Write down 牛肉麵 on a piece of paper or point at the huge red and white sign, say : ”Tofu” after you let them read what main dish you want, and you will not regret going here. The staff was so nice and helpful as well. I don’t really have anything to complain about. You can see the prices on the picture below.  I know I will definitely go back for some more of this delicious noodle dish.

dhhsbeef noodlee

Categories: photo (5)

Eating at Taipei 101 – 小南門(little south gate)

28 Jul

Taipei 101 Foodcourt : Little South Gate (小南門(傳統豆花)

xiaonanmen

Taipei City Hall Station (See Map)

Information: Taipei 101 is definitely a major tourist Hotspot. I wouldn’t call myself a big fan, but the top view is beautiful at night, the building is pretty impressive, my all-time favorite restaurant is located right next to it AND; there’s a lot of food in the food court!  As Taipei 101 has a very international feel, selling brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and other expensive clothes and gadgets,  it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the food is also very foreign- oriented. You can find Baskin and Robbins, Cold Stones, American Fastfood Chains, a German bakery, Korean food and Indian food. All pretty swell I suppose, but I was still hoping to find some local foods to enjoy. Luckily, the ”Little South Gate” restaurant fit my needs. It was actually famous for a Taiwanese tofu dessert (I’ll leave that for later), but the food was pretty good. There were about 15 dishes on the menu, all consisting out of rice or noodle dishes, soup and vegetables. The names didn’t really explain all that much, as mine was called: ”special noodles, mushroom and meat soup and hot green vegetables”, (which was definitely true, they weren’t lying). It didn’t seem like it contained anything out of the ordinary. Food was good, not expensive at all (which you would expect at Taipei 101); prices varied from 100 – 120 NTD. Also, I couldn’t finish it; that was really a lot of food. So, going to Taipei 101? Enjoy some easy, fast local food at The Little South Gate ! (By the way: there’s no English menu, but the picture speaks for itself)

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Rating: Food courts are not well-known for great quality food. All of these dishes were prepared beforehand and served within 5 minutes. That doesn’t take away the fact that the taste was pretty alright.  I especially liked the noodle dish. It was just the right temperature and the stir-fried pork on top really added to the flavor (although there wasn’t a lot of it). The soup wasn’t all that great, it was only lukewarm. I didn’t really enjoy the taste either, but that is probably just personal. Overall I would say that it was pretty good food and I would probably go there a second time when re-visiting Taipei 101.

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