Food Ramble Time! (Picture Heavy!)

Posted by on Mar 10, 2011 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan, Miscellaneous | 4 comments

Hey guys! Rest be assured, we have not abandoned this blog! Things have been so busy that I was surprised once I realized it was already March! Wow, how time flies… On another note, I thought I would get this blog back up and running by putting up a simple post of me rambling. About food that is. xD Recently I’ve been craving so many things! Most of them are Taiwanese street food, which is sadly inaccessible for me now. :( The first thing I will do when I return to Taiwan is eat, eat, and eat. I’ll just spend the day shopping and then head over to the night market and eat through all the stalls. Ah, pure bliss. Until then, I spend my time thinking about it, which might be driving my friends crazy. These days when I’m talking to my friends, the conversation somehow ends up on food most of the time. I have no idea how this happens. Just the other day my korean friend was telling me about all the spicy korean food that I had to try, and now I want kimchi fried rice to satiate my cravings. In the meantime, I feel happy looking at the pictures I took last time. Here are some foods I want to eat again: Are you guys hungry now too? The other day my friend treated me to Haagen Daz! So happy. I tried the Belgian Irish Cream flavour with a waffle cone. Yum yum, so good. The lady gave us two huge scoops, which needed heavy tongue licking action to keep from dripping. Don’t you guys think that ice cream tastes so much better in the winter time? Lately, my favorite thing to eat when I get home from school is hot rice straight out of the rice cooker, with an extremely gooey barely cooked egg on top, and with dashes of soy sauce and sesame oil mixed in. Then I break the egg, let the yolk sink into the rice, and mix it all together. SO DELICIOUS. Easy to make, and perfect to fill your tummy. Okay, I think I will finish up this post. Extremely random, but hoped you guys enjoyed! I will probably elaborate on some of the dishes in the pictures in future posts, so comment if you want to know more! – Jas Photographs taken by Jasmine...

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Taiwan Street Food: Part 2 <3

Posted by on Aug 6, 2010 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan | 2 comments

Hey all! Thought I’d post up some more yummy street food for you guys to enjoy. These were eaten at various different places, and of course, at various different times. First up, Dou Hwa! Dou Hwa is basically a very light tofu made out of soy, and would be directly translated as Soy Flower. Pretty huh? It is usually eaten with syrup, and various toppings such as peanuts, red bean, or tapioca. This one that I had upon arriving at Taiwan for a few days was pretty good: Next up are spring rolls! The ones I had below were very, very, very delicious!! We ate these on the high speed train as we were traveling from Kaohsiung back to TaoYuan, and they hit the spot. Filled to the brim with veggies, juicy bits of fatty pork, egg, mushrooms, and other surprises, they left me very satisfied. Not only that, but they also used a special sauce besides the usual peanut one. It was a bit of a twist on a classic spring roll. Here is the baby below: While walking the night market in Ilan, I saw something I’ve never seen before! There was a show advertising it on the TV placed outside the stall that specialized in this snack. What I’m talking about is, White Tapioca! Cool right? What caught my interest was: 1) It’s white. (or rather, clear)  2) It’s supposed to be softer than regular tapioca.  3)It’s supposed to be chewier than regular tapioca. And, 4) It supposedly won’t harden, even if you stick it in the fridge! So basically, I just had to try this new fangled tapioca out. I got regular milk tea with it, and I have to say, you can’t really tell much of a difference between the two tapiocas. It was softer and chewier for sure, and definetely not bad overall! Since this is a relatively short post, I’ll end it once again with one of my absolute favorite -will die if I don’t eat it after coming to Taiwan- foods. And that is: Roasted Chicken Butt! (on a stick ) Ever since I had some heavenly roasted chicken butt as a child in Taiwan, I’ve been questing to find that same chicken butt all these years later. It was big, it was roasted, it was seasoned well, and most of all, it was crispy on the outside and JUICY on the inside! Heaven. Now, the ones I’ve had just don’t compare to the one from my memory. However, this one bought from a night market stall in Gong Guan, Taipei was pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. It was crispy and seasoned well, but much too small! Alright, hope you guys enjoyed the eye candy! What are your opinions? Don’t be scared to try delicacies like chicken butts! =] — Jas Photographs taken and provided by Jasmine...

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Breakfast = Milk + Fish?

Posted by on Aug 4, 2010 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan | 3 comments

That’s right. It’s not cereal that’ll be joining the milk this morning, in fact there isn’t any milk at all! Instead, let me introduce you to the chanos…or what’s widely known as the milkfish. A delicious fish that lives in tropical and subtropical ocean regions, the milkfish is a staple of Taiwan ‘s aquaculture industry.When cooked, the fish’s eye becomes cloudy and turns a milky white – thus its name. So, now that I’m done boring you half to death, how about getting to the actual food? Ah, I see that got your attention (and if it didn’t then it did in my own personal world so shush). Down a small side street in Kaohsiung, this humble little restaurant doesn’t even have a banner at the front. Instead, it relies solely on its own longstanding reputation and that’s what keeps the regulars (and newcomers) coming for more. After admiring all the cooking being done up front – and learning that rice cookers are apparently great for cooking milkfish in  broths for long periods of time – we settled down in the back of the little store…right in front of the air conditioner. Ahh~ Bliss. Actually I take it back. Feeling nice and cool isn’t nearly as blissful as it would be after eating. A problem quickly solved when our orders were delivered to the table after a mere few minutes. Milkfish is served in a number of ways. In a broth, as a soup, over rice, baked, fried, what have you. It just so happens that we chose the soup, the rice, and broiled please! along with a side dish of its very own innards cooked up to a squiggly charred perfection. Yum. So first, the fish broiled in meat sauce. With thin strips of ginger on both the fish and the soy sauce as garnish, the fish itself had managed to soak up every drop of flavor that the sauce provided. Soft and tender, ‘juicy’ couldn’t give it justice. Personally, I think that the soy sauce on the side wasn’t even needed. On to the intimidating looking plate of black stuff…it was like an explosion of flavor in my mouth. A rather concentrated taste of liver was the most prominent flavor. If anything, you don’t even realize that it’s not just fish liver that you’re eating but its intestines as well. For the carb fans, this would be great over rice. Unlike the previous two dishes, the milkfish in soup was very lightly flavored and you’re able to truly sample the taste of the fish itself. Note that while you may see a few fins here and there, they only use the stomach portion of the fish (no head and tail) so that you’re able to enjoy the meatiest part of the fish. Pretty considerate of them eh? It also means less bones to pick out while eating. The fish itself was actually pretty fatty but it isn’t the kind where you take a bite and gag from the oily blob (such as eating a piece of fatty meat – steak anyone?), instead it’s very light and flavorful and I imagine that that is why people pop little fish oil pills on a daily basis. As in, good fats not bad fats. In fact, I’m guessing it might be due to all that fat that the fish itself is so soft and tender. Oh and how was the fish over rice? I didn’t try it personally but from the way the others scarfed it down…I’m guessing pretty good if not acceptable. ~ AJ ~ Photographs taken and provided...

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Taiwan Street Food: Part 1 <3

Posted by on Aug 4, 2010 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan | 1 comment

Hey guys! Thought I’d put up a post introducing some of the popular and delicious, yet cheap, street food in Taiwan. Most street foods are sold in vendor stalls that are pretty much everywhere in the shopping districts. More successful businesses, however, might be located in tiny stores that are marked out by the extremely long lines snaking around the corners. Street food really is the essence of Taiwan, in a way. It’s in the little shops, not the fancy ones, that you get real Taiwanese flavor. =] First up, delicious red bean and cream filled cakes! These are made fresh as you order, and customers can see exactly how these things are made. The workers have a huge grill, with several cake sized holes, which they pour the batter into. After they swirl it around and the batter bakes, they put in huge helpings of red bean or cream. Then they cap the top with another piece of batter and viola! These babies are filled to the brim, and are not overly sweet! Next up is Winter Melon Tea!! Personally, I love to drink this stuff. It’s sweet, and tastes of brown sugar, but at the same time has this subtle melon flavor that reminds me of when I was small. The store we went to was in a small obscure street in Kaioshung, and specializes in winter melon tea. In fact, all they sell is winter melon tea! Winter melon tea with lemon, with oolong, with honey…you name it! Here we’ve got three flavors: original (love), lemon, and oolong. I still love original the best, as I felt the other flavors obscured the winter melon a bit. They also sell winter melon candies. The shopkeeper was nice enough to let us try a few samples. These are made from fresh winter melon, and covered with brown sugar. They are then dried up, and retain all the sweetness of the melon and sugar. In a sense, it’s concentrated winter melon tea! Just plunk them in to boil, and you get tea. It’s really interesting right? The candies are tasty to suck on as well, although I know some people are content to chew them up. Although the candy is super sweet, the drink itself is not overly so. Adults would enjoy it too, and the melon flavor doesn’t get covered by the sugar. Now here is a classic, shaved ice! No need to explain the beauty behind this. Shaved ice, drizzled with syrup, condensed milk, or both, and topped with various fruits, chews, and jellies. Delicious! Not to mention it’s low in calories too! Here is a picture of one I had recently in Tainan: Finally time for something salty! I’ll end this post with another of my loves: takoyaki! Although this is originally a Japanese snack, you can find them in many night markets all over Taiwan. Takoyaki are basically little balls of grilled and fried dough filled with octopus and veggies. They end up crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, and are served piping hot with several toppings and sauces heaped on top. Usually, these include wasabi, sweet soy sauce, and bonito flakes. They usually come six in a boat, which is far too little for me! Hope you guys enjoyed the post! What are some favorite on the go street foods you guys enjoy? =] — Jas Photographs taken and provided by Jasmine...

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