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...

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My Ilan Trip: Day 1!

Posted by on Aug 10, 2010 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan | 1 comment

Hey guys! In the middle of July, I went on a short one week trip to Ilan to teach kids english in a church program there. Not only was it a fun and memorable experience, but we were invited to dinner nearly every night with the staff. I thought I would post some of the delicious delicacies I was able to enjoy in Ilan. So first up, day 1 of my Ilan trip! We arrived in Ilan Sunday night, even though the program didn’t start until Monday. Right away, the first thing on the agenda was dinner. As I had just gotten off a very bumpy bus, I can’t say I was that excited, but the food kind of made up for it. Here’s just some of the main dishes we had, roll over for some short descriptions! We spent the rest of the night getting to know all the other volunteers, and began planning our teaching courses. The next morning, we all woke up bright and early to grab breakfast from the various street shops just outside the church. I was amazed that I didn’t notice all the great food places the other night! There was even a whole traditional styled fruit and vegetable market just one block away. Since we didn’t know the area that well, we just went into a random shop that looked appetizing. Luckily, it was! My mom had a rice roll filled with eggs, veggies, meat, and etc. However, it wasn’t the usual rice roll. This was made with black whole grain rice! They mixed white rice and black rice together to get that nice purple color: I had a little sandwich, which was quite satisfying and filling. We both had the same drink, which consisted of whole grains, seeds, and other good stuff. It was surprisingly delicious, and had a pretty purple color. Lunch was prepared by the church, and completely free of charge. Now I was one happy camper! It was mainly just dumplings though, and sour&spicy soup. Nothing special, but then there came dinner. After a long day of looking after kids who were struggling with English, I was definitely hungry. Since there were just too many dishes to review, I’ll post all pics in the Photo tab. Go take a look! Here are my two favorite dishes of the evening, scroll over for my opinions!: Whew, that brings Day 1 to a close. It was definitely tiring for me, but good things always come at a cost! My stomach was happy, if not overly full. Have you guys tried any of these dishes before? — Jas Photographs taken and provided by Jasmine Hwang. For complete selection of photographs, please refer to the photo gallery: My Ilan Trip – Day 1...

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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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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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