A Taste of Taiwan: Taiwanese Munchies

Posted by on Jul 11, 2012 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan, Recipe | 2 comments

Hello everyone! Here in Taiwan, I have been faithfully sticking to this blog by eating several snacktime munchies every single day. This is extremely easy to do, as the nightlife in Taiwan is practically completely centered around the yummy food stands that come out. Instead of sitting down and eating a meal, why not enjoy food on a stick, or in a bag? I say YES. Here are some traditional/strange munchies that Taiwan has offered my tummy: We stumbled across this traditional style sweet potato stand that bakes the sweet potatoes in a wooden crate over coals. Extremely huge and piping hot! The insides are a bright yellow and this traditional snack is filling and healthy! I’ve had this so many times, it’s addictive. Taipei Milk King’s freshly made papaya milk is soooo good. They blend huge Taiwanese papayas with milk to produce something that actually tastes like the fruit! None of that artificial syrup stuff. Plus, its HEALTHY. I think I may have talked about stinky tofu before, but this stinky tofu in particular is on another level. There’s this tiny stand/shop in the Gongguan area that is famous for its stinky tofu, and I know why. The tofu is not extremely stinky, more like aromatic. Plus, its steaming hot and has a thin crispy skin and juicy insides that are stuffed full of cucumbers and parsley. Yummmmm. Taiwanese coconuts are small and round compared to the ones we see in U.S. supermarkets. Yet the insides are very sweet, and MAN do they have some refreshing brain juice. I know I talked about takoyaki during my previous visit to Taiwan, but here’s something I’ve never tried until now. Usually, takoyaki are small delicious little fried octopus balls that come 6-8 in a container. Each one is barely a mouthful. But look at the giant takoyaki above!! One takoyaki is bigger than that guy’s fist, believe it or not. Plus, the typical takoyaki contains a snippet of octopus and maybe some onion or whatever if you’re lucky. Here, you get one ball in a soup bowl (THAT big) and inside it’s filled with dozens of octopus pieces, shrimp, broccoli, corn, potato, scallop, etc! It’s a whole nutritional meal in a fried ball! Heaven. Here’s a picture of a pretty good piece of pig blood rice cake covered in peanut powder and parsley. Again, I’ve mentioned this delicious snack before. But guess what? This piece of yummy is probably one and a half times the length of my head! We’re talking about almost a foot of blood rice cake here…plus it’s delightfully chewy and not mushy like some can get. No, that is not pee pee in a cup. It’s actually sugarcane juice with no added flavors! Just pure, liquified sugarcane. I remember eating sugarcane when I was little, and we would have to rip a chunk of the sugarcane, chew it to get the juice, and then spit out the fibers. A very tedious process. Here, they squeezed the sugarcane to a pulp, resulting in fiber/wood free juice. Not too sweet, and very sugarcane-y.  I took a video of the fun process, but unfortunately the file is apparently to big to upload! So much for a 1 minute video…  Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed this post, more will follow :) Yay Taiwan! – Jas                                                                                   Photographs taken by Jasmine Hwang...

Read More

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...

Read More

Sandwiches, wraps, or snacks?

Posted by on Sep 18, 2010 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan | 6 comments

When the words ‘night market’ are mentioned, images of crowded streets and stores ranging from food to shoes to lingerie pop up. When visiting the Shilin night market, you realize that this is the night market. Traffic is atrocious due to pedestrians spilling off of sidewalks and into the road. Entering the throng may mean having to fight your way to an exit after several hours of traversing a maze of small alleys and side streets…but is it worth it? Oh yea. Separate from the rest of the shopping area in the night market, Shilin has an entire section dedicated solely to food. That’s right. Nothing more and nothing less. Just food. The place is so crowded that people are no longer lining up inside the actual building itself, but down a line that winds back so far it’s intimidating to the eye. One can only imagine how long the wait for certain stalls are. Here’s one stall that caught my eye while passing. At first, it looks like a sandwich. That is, until a thick slice of plain toast is quickly fried in hot oil, leaving a crunchy outer crust while the inside is still soft. Once the bread has been fried to a lightly golden perfection, it’s sliced so that one ‘crust’ is able to be pried up, leaving a ‘shell’ to be filled with various fillings. Slop some corn chowder in there, top with shredded chicken and tuna along with a few pieces of shrimp and you have something similar to an Asian version of a clam chowder bread bowl. When just passing by, this strange concoction had caught my eye and sparked my curiosity. Now that I had it in my hands…I’ll admit, it didn’t look too appetizing. But this just wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t try out strange foods right? You have to admit, that looks pretty disgusting. I don’t blame you at all for being grossed out since I had to think twice before taking a bite myself. Surprisingly? Not bad. Even though the mixture of ‘filling’ seemed strange, the flavors managed to combine well together and it just tasted like chowder…just thicker. The bread exterior was light and crunchy, not too oily. If I hadn’t watched her making it, I would have thought that she’d scooped out the bread in the middle and left only the crust – that’s how thin it was. The eating was messy (as expected) but I think that it was an interesting new take of chowder bread. Next up, this stall is famous for their simple, but tasty snack wraps. Two different ‘crackers’ are the main ingredients of this wrap. One large outer layer (da bing aka big cracker) that closely resembles that of a tortilla skin, and then a smaller and crunchier ‘cracker’ (xiao bing aka small cracker) is smashed to bits and wrapped inside with your choice of flavoring. We got the sesame flavored wrap (left) and the original wrap (right). Apparently all flavorings are basically just added in the forms of powder. I suspect that it’s the same powder used for bubble teas…but I could always be wrong. Either way, the combination wasn’t as spectacular as I would have expected from the line. Besides the additional flavoring of sesame, it was what it was. A soft dough that would probably be a tortilla if it had been baked any longer, with the lightly salty crunch of the crushed crackers inside. Though in actuality, it should probably be described more as a fried cracker instead of salty. Until next time! For now…envy me as...

Read More

Delicious Randomness: Snack Till You Drop!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2010 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan | 1 comment

Heyyyy all. So. Delicious randomness. What does that mean? It means, salty, sweet, fried, iced….Taiwan street food smashed into one long post! So let’s get started, and hope you guys like my occasional random pictures. First up is this delicious grass jelly milk drink. A sort of milk tea, they add plenty of sweet cream and grass jelly to make the overall taste a light sweet milky flavor with a bit of tea thrown in. Yum yum. Next are these mini pancake treats with various ice cream mousses inside. My sister and I were walking the streets of Taipei, Gong Guan when we saw this vibrantly green store. Immediately we were all “Stop! We must get these!” but alas, the adults ahead just kept on walking in oblivion. Luckily, I was able to snag them the next day, and thankfully I was able to remember to remember the shop location. Mmmm, they were cold and frozen on the outside, but melted as you ate it, and had a soft chewy texture. The mousse had a nice whipped airy consistency. Here they are: green tea&red bean, taro&mochi, and cranberry&vanilla. Oh, and we also had this great soup with fish balls stuffed with meat. The store we went to is supposedly famous for this soup, and I can definitely understand why. Although it looks plain on the outside, the soup is well flavored and has a meaty flavor to it. The balls also have a chewiness on the outside, but the inside is juicy and fatty with plenty of meat. Just the juice dripping out of the balls was good enough for me! Next, we have sweet and cold little chewy balls made out of powdered rice and turned into a chewy sort of jelly. They were filled with green bean and red bean. A strange first for me, as they were cold, but not hardened. Very interesting. And here’s the cute little birds and rabbits a lady was selling right nearby! Okay, now let’s get to…fried food! Now everyone loves fried food (unless you’re a health fanatic, in which case I sympathize) and once again the food I’m going to introduce is balls…fried that is. Hm, it feels like all the foods so far have been circular haven’t they? Anyway, these were absolutely addicting. First, they make two different types of batter: yam (purple), and sweet potato (orange). Then they fill the batter with taro mochi, roll them into bite sized balls, and proceed to fry the life out of them. The result is hot, chewy, gummy, sweet, and most of all, fried. No need for anymore words to explain this. Alright, I guess I’ll continue my babble next time…look forward to tons more little snacks soon! By the way, I decided not to title it as my street food series since a lot of the foods I talked about weren’t exactly sold on the street, but rather in stores, so hope you guys like this new post! Peace~ – Jas Photos taken and provided by Jasmine...

Read More

Taiwan Street Food: Part 3! (plus my 7-eleven ramble)

Posted by on Sep 9, 2010 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan | 1 comment

Hey guys, sorry I haven’t posted for awhile. With my birthday and school coming up, I haven’t found the time in the past few days. But not to worry! I’m back in the mojo, and would like to start off this post with a great big THANK YOU! to my dearest big sis for putting so much effort for making my birthday special. Not only did she make breakfast and a delicious cake for me, she also blackmailed tons of you guys for your birthday well wishes. (Thanks guys!) I thought I would revisit Taiwan’s awesome street food, as I miss it so much more now that I’m back in New York. First up, I have to point out that the 7-eleven’s here in the US are nothing, NOTHING, compared to the ones in Taiwan. The Seven’s in Taiwan come fully equipped with: ready made food, microwavables, an ATM, a post box, a movie ticket machine, magazines, face wash, ointments…you name it. Man, I miss the Sevens. Here’s a taste of what I got there last: Tea eggs. Although I technically didn’t buy this in the streets, they are sold pretty much everywhere. What I noticed about the ones in Seven are that they are all cooked thoroughly with the delicious tea sauce, allowing the flavor to fully seep through the skin and into the yolk. When they are cracked and easy to break open like this one, you know that it will be a tasty little treasure. Mmmmm. A variety of sandwiches made fresh everyday and packaged to the stores. These come in flavors that usually aren’t found in America. They have more asian flavors, such as shrimp, or egg salad with tuna. The one I had was very satisfying, and the fillings were stuffed to the brim, so no skimping there. Milk! The milk in Taiwan usually has a much sweeter flavor than what we Americans are used to. Since Taiwanese usually prefer sweeter drinks, the milk made in Taiwan usually has sugars added in it, which I don’t particularly like. However, Dr. Milker doesn’t add those sugars, resulting in good, rich, natural milk. Quite a find. Oh, and my friend kept raving to me about this particular brand of pudding made in Taiwan, so I had to try it: Honestly? Not bad, but I can make better pudding than this. =] Alright, now that the 7-Eleven ramble is over, let’s get back to the real street food. My Uncle took us to this little shop one time that was famous for its shi sen soup (large intestine soup with four kinds of grains). I can see why the place is well known, as the soup was good, and they even gave free refills of the soup as long as you didn’t finish all the grains and intestines. The soup was well flavored, with enough wine to keep it from being tasteless. We also had a rice bun, a meat bun, and more importantly, Peanut Milk! Sadly, I forgot to take a picture (gasp!) but I remember it perfectly nevertheless. Being the first time that I’ve tried peanut milk, I automatically assumed it would be thick and goopy with chunks of peanuts. Boy was I wrong. The peanuts are crushed so fine and mixed so well in the milk that it just tastes like peanut flavored milk. Pretty thirst quenching as well. So good that I regret only having half a cup. Here’s another little snack that I enjoy: baby tomatoes stuffed with sour plums. The sweet yet tart chewiness of the plums go amazingly well with...

Read More