In Part One of this series we went over some Taiwanese staples like pepper buns, gua bao, lu rou fan, and more. We’re continuing with five new dishes in Part Two, and have even more to present in a future post! Taiwan really is a foodie’s paradise, but there are just too many foods to try in such a short period of time. This series is just a compilation of the ones we did manage to try and hope you do as well when you visit the island.
Now without further ado…
The Taiwanese love fried chicken and I love them for it! You can find it at just about every night market in Taiwan, and it’s all delicious! My personal favorite was the popcorn chicken from a night market stall called “Alliaceous Chicken”. Each time I ordered chicken from one of their stalls across the island it was cooked to order, which is great because nobody likes anything fried that’s been sitting out for too long. They had a variety of flavors you could add on top of the chicken, such as Thai chutney and seaweed flavored mayonnaise, but I always went with the fresh garlic slices, cilantro, and scallions. Breada, and I imagine anyone within a 10ft radius of me, hated my breath but it was absolutely worth it. Highly recommend.
Alliaceous Chicken is 100 NTD (~$3.15) for a regular sized order and can be found at most major night markets across Taiwan.
There are also many stalls that sell massive fried chicken cutlets. These are some of the biggest pieces of chicken I have ever seen in my life, and at just 60-80 NTD (~$2.00-2.50) are very filling and light on the budget. You can also find these at almost every night market, as well as many grab and go type storefronts. One of my favorites was Hot Star chicken, which is a well known name in Taiwan and has since branched off into many other countries in the region. You can find them in Ximending in Taipei as well as a couple other locations across the city. Their cutlet goes for 70 NTD (~$2.20) and is sure to fill you up.
Scallion pancakes are absolutely amazing and are a must try when in Taiwan, but they are also very popular in many other Asian countries as well. I’m a strong proponent of all things in the onion family and scallions are no exception. These delicious, crispy snacks are perfect when you’re on the go and don’t want to break the bank. Our go-to guy at Raohe Night Market (our favorite market if you haven’t noticed) sold them for just 45 NTD (~$1.50) and were to die for. He also had an assortment of spices and sauces you could toss on them if you wanted. We always chose the salt and white pepper combo which I think brings out the flavor of the scallions more.
*Take It up a Notch* – You can find sellers at some night markets selling wraps filled with pork, beef, chicken or veggies, that use scallion pancakes as the wrap! This was a game changer for me and I’m not sure I could ever go back to just a traditional wrap now. These will cost you between 60-80 NTD (~$2.00-2.50) depending on what it’s filled with.
Grilled Pigs Blood Cake
When planning our trip around Taiwan, this didn’t exactly make it on the list of must try foods, but I’m adventurous so I figured let’s give it a go. We had the opportunity to try it during our stay in Kaohsiung, which coincided with the Moon Festival. It is very traditional in Taiwan to barbecue during the Moon Festival, and that’s exactly what we did at our hostel, The Casual Way.
The name, and even the description, makes it sound worse than it is. It is a combination of pigs blood, spices, and sticky rice, that form a large block that gets cut into small pieces and grilled. If you’ve ever had blood sausage it’s similar in ingredients but it uses rice and no sausage casing.
I was skeptical at first, but after the first bite I realized there was nothing to worry about as it was quite good! If you’re on the fence about trying it, just give it a go! Worst comes to worst you spit it out and never try it again. Ya never know, it could be your new favorite food!
I’m not gonna lie, this wasn’t my favorite dish, but it’s extremely popular in Taiwan so it wouldn’t be right not to include it. Texture is such an important thing for me in my food and the texture just doesn’t do it for me in the oyster omelet. That being said, there are many people who would disagree with me completely on this issue and the oyster omelet is the highlight of their food experience in Taiwan. Call me old fashioned, but I just prefer my oysters raw 🙂
For what you’re paying, you really do get a great deal of value out of this dish. The omelet is comprised of mostly oysters and not too much egg, so you really get the seafood flavor out of it. At just 40-80 NTD (~$1.30-2.60) they make a great bargain and are a must try when in Taiwan, even if they may not be your thing.
To add to the list of seafood dishes (Taiwan is an island after all) we have squid. Squid is insanely popular in Taiwan and cooked many ways, but the two most popular are grilled and fried. I personally didn’t try the grilled squid in Taiwan, though I do enjoy it. I did however have the fried squid and that was quite nice! It had already been fried when I ordered it, but the guy at the stall threw it back in for about 30 seconds to get it nice and hot and it gave it an even crispier outside. I do wish it was cut into smaller rings, but that’s just a personal preference.
You can find squid at just about every night market in Taiwan. Expect to pay about 100 NTD (~$3.22) for the fried squid and up to 200 NTD (~$6.45) for the grilled.
And that’s Part Two for ya! Five new foods and we still are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of all the wonders you can find on the island. We still a handful of foods we want to cover, and we still haven’t even covered desserts! Dumplings, “Little Sausage Inside of Big Sausage”, and more await!
Which food in the first two posts looks best to you? Comment and let us know! If you have been to Taiwan, what was your favorite food??