So, as I have mentioned, I have recently moved to Taiwan for work and goodness the food culture here is different and I have made a complete 180 on what I’ve been eating!
I used to only eat sprouted bread, mostly veggies, loads of fruit and just anything wholesome but that’s not exactly the most economical way to eat here. As a result, I’ve been eating lots of white bread, rice and noodles! It’s not my ideal but I’ll have to make do with it for now.
Here are a few of the foods that are common here 🙂
These are what are known as water steamed buns. They resemble soup dumplings (xiao long bao) but in bun form.
Oil is placed into a large round iron pan so that the buns do not stick to the griddle. Then water is added and the lid is put on top so that the buns can cook using the steam that’s created.
This allows the buns to have a golden brown crust while keeping the meat/veggies on the inside moist. If it’s made correctly, there is soup present on the inside created from the filling’s juices 🙂
This isn’t really a traditional Taiwanese treat but I’ve been seeing them around. They are “donuts” made in a waffle iron type mold and filled with green tea mochi (glutinous rice cake) and red beans!
Unlike regular donuts, they are more cake-like which made them very fluffy and light.
Taiwanese food takes a lot of it’s influence from Japan so there are many Japanese styled treats here. Which is good for me because I adore mochi! This one I found was filled with dried longan fruit and black glutinous rice!
Like Japan, Taiwan takes pride in their fruits especially their pineapples hence why fruits in general are more expensive than what I’m used to. They are often sold at fruit stands and you can find vendors with bags of cut fruit at the night market as well.
Unlike the pancakes we are used to or the Japanese styled ones. These pancakes are made out of egg and potato starch which gives them an unique gooey texture. They are filled with greens and baby oysters as well and depending on which stand you go to, you may have more or less oysters. Then they are topped with a sweet chili sauce and a soy sauce.
Okay enough of the savories let’s go to desserts for a while. One of the most yummy desserts here is flaked ice cream. They shave a giant block of condensed milk sweetened ice cream into a light texture and it’s absolutely delicious!
The fruit ones are good but matcha always has my heart when it comes to anything flavored.
These are sweet potato balls. They mash up sweet potatoes and mix it with potato starch then deep fry it to create a chewy mochi like ball. It’s like their version of hush puppies I guess.
Another one of my favourite desserts as I have mentioned is mochi. And it’s go big or go home when it comes to these. The vendor boiled them in a big pot and they were the size of golf balls!
I feel like I’m saying everything is famous but these are called wheel cakes. They use a sweet crepe like batter and a mound of filling, usually red bean paste or custard is placed in the middle before they are sealed on top.
I’m not a sweet person and the red bean usually gets too sweet for me so it’s always a hit and miss for me as to whether or not I’ll be able to finish it. But lately they’ve been coming up with more flavors and filling them up with savory things like cheese, ham, grated carrots, grated yam and taro.
I’ve been here for about 2 months now and I haven’t been able to get Japanese food. I mean I’ve had my share of Japanese snacks but sushi and sashimi! It’s been too long!
This fish market/restaurant is famous for having the freshest seafood in Taipei. I never fail to enjoy my meal here. You can either get take out or eat at the standing sushi bar inside
And then we have the night markets. Unlike the ones back home, these are open each and every day.
They open at around 6pm and stay open until late into the evening. The streets are filled with vendors selling delicious food for cheap.
One of my favorite snacks to get at the night market are these “egg cakes” they are round cakes that resemble cake balls but are filled with a sweet custardy batter. It reminds me of the bubble waffle from Hong Kong but more cake like.
You can get them in unique shapes too if you’re willing to pay a little more for them 🙂
Last but not least, bubble tea…or boba depending on what part of the world you live in. It’s so cheap here that even though I’m not a huge fan of it, I end up getting it every once in a while