As Chinese New Year approaches this weekend, I’m thinking about my recent trip to visit my parents in Taipei, Taiwan last month. Here are some food and market highlights from that trip. Enjoy! And come back Friday, when I’ll be sharing a new recipe for the Year of the Rat!
7-11 in Taiwan has good snacks (really!) including these perfectly roasted sweet potatoes.
Also at 7-11: Japanese oden (various cooked ingredients, such as corn, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, fishcakes and tofu, with dashi.)
Taiwanese beef noodle soup.
A very wide selection of flavored milk.
My favorite, favorite fruit in the world: sugar apple, or sweet sop.
I didn’t know until this trip that Taiwan grows strawberries. These were perfectly sweet and delicate.
Me and my mom and a traditional Taiwanese breakfast of hot soy milk served with dan bing (egg pancakes), daikon cake, fan tuan (rice roll) and chive dumplings. This was at iconic Yong He Soy Milk King.
At the boardwalk in Tamshui, tempura oyster mushrooms and squid, served with pepper salt.
A storefront restaurant in the streets of Tamshui.
At Yeh’s Wonton Restaurant in Tamshui, open since 1976. This cook was one of the happiest people I’ve ever met.
The wonton soup at Yeh’s. Topped with shredded omelet, greens and seaweed.
A variety of Taiwanese pickled cabbage, with a sweet, fruity sauce.
Traditional wooden molds for cakes.
Wheel cake– a waffle like cake filled with different fillings, such as this custard filling. Red bean is also popular.
The temple in the middle of the night market in Keelung.
A specialty from Tainan– Ding Bean Cuo– noodles made from a rice batter that is cooked on the sides of a hot wok, then peeled off, sliced, and rolled into noodles. Served in a clear broth with vegetables and fish cake.
Glazed fruit– strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and hawthorn (haw fruit).
Charcoal roasted fresh English peas!
Tang yuan- sticky rice balls in syrup, served for the new year.
Two-bite sausages served with whole cloves of raw garlic.
Aiyu jelly and whole aiyu fruit, related to the fig. This is served in drinks and over shaved ice.
Young coconut and coconut water.
Freshly rolled popiah (fresh spring rolls).
Black pepper bun.
More sugar apple.
Black sugar packed with lots of thinly sliced ginger, to melt in hot water to make a tea.
Fermented tofu, the best I have ever had. This was in a small shop in Datong District.
Old fashioned coffee grinders. I wish I had bought one!
At Shin Yeh restaurant in Taipei 101: opo (bottle gourd) with lily bulb.
Okra with peanut sauce.
Dessert: mochi with sweet crushed peanuts; almond jelly with fruit.