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...

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Posted by on Nov 23, 2011 in Recipe | 3 comments

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving! I’m sure some of you are busy prepping your dishes to cook for the big dinner already, while the rest of you are just sitting back and salivating as you think about what a wonderful dinner you’ll be feasting on…all due to another’s hard work of course! Ahh, that’s always the best way to enjoy food. Not having to work for it that is. Or does the saying go along the lines of things tasting better if you work for it? Hrm… With fall and Thanksgiving a few things besides turkey come to mind, and one of them is undoubtedly sweet potatoes. Slightly sweet and beautifully orange, these gals make a nice counterpart to their pale but equally starchy cousins. If you’re already serving up mashed potatoes, but want a sweet potato dish as well, try out these quick, easy, and healthy baked sweet potato fries as an appetizer! All kids love french fries, which is exactly why none of them are fooled by the apple slices in McDonald’s happy meals. Instead of trying to bargain with them to eat something healthy along with their fries, indulge their demands without having to feel guilty with these baked sweet potato fries! Ingredients: 6 sweet potatoes EVOO, salt, pepper cayenne pepper, paprika Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’d like to leave the skin on your fries, make sure to thoroughly wash the sweet potatoes. Otherwise, peel the potatoes first. 1) Slice lengthwise, about 1/4 inch thick. 2) Slice again into strips 3) Coat generously in EVOO, season with spices. Arrange your fries in one layer on a baking pan or sheet, try not to crowd them too much. Bake for about 20 minutes and they should be fork tender and slightly browned. Let cool for about 5 – 10 minutes before serving, this gives them time to firm and crisp up a bit otherwise they’ll fall apart like mashed potatoes masquerading as fries. As you can see, this recipe is so simple that there really isn’t much to it. Measurements of spices will vary depending on how flavorful you’d like your fries to be. Experiment and play with the different types of (healthy) fries you can make! Good luck, enjoy, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! ~ AJ ~ Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie...

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