Taiwan is a popular destination when it comes to food. It is known as a foodie paradise as it is so popular with its wide selection of small eats (小吃), snacks and even desert. There are so many selection of food where one cannot finish tasting the food just in 1 trip.
These are some of the food/drinks which we would recommend you try and not to be missed at your trip to Taiwan.
Oyster Mi Sua/ Mian Sian/ Oyster Vermicelli
This is one of the speciality dish in Taiwan where steamed Chinese vermicelli is added to a thick soup which contains small oysters. This noodles is a type of thin salted noodles which is made from wheat flour. Sometimes, chopped intestines is also added to this dish to add a new dimension to this flavourful soup. This dish is best enjoyed hot. Every spoonful is a burst of flavour waiting to explode in your mouth.
Iron egg or known as Tiedan (鐵蛋) is a popular local Taiwan snack where eggs are repeatedly stewed/cooked in mix of spices and then air dried. This caused the eggs to be dark brown on the outside with a chewy texture. These eggs are also very flavourful compare to the normal boiled eggs. Iron eggs are usually done by using either chicken, pigeon or quail eggs. Small eggs are used for this snack.
Bubble Tea (波霸奶茶) can come in 2 types which are either milk tea or fruit flavoured tea. This is added with tapioca pearls hence the name bubble tea. The bubble tea offered in Taiwan is different from those commercial bubble tea obtain elsewhere where flavoured drinks with added pearls but does not contained any tea in the ingredients. Do try the original bubble tea in Taiwan and notice the difference in taste of those you can obtain locally.
Taiwanese Fried Chicken
Taiwanese Fried Chicken differs from the normal fried chicken in terms of ingredients use to marinate the chicken and also the condiments used on the chicken once fried. In Taiwan, salt and pepper is added to the chicken once the chicken is cooked and chilli powder and basil leaves as per preference of customers. Taiwanese Fried Chicken started with bite size chicken pieces and now customers are able to get it the large size or bite size chicken also known as popcorn chicken.
Tian Bu La
Tian Bu La (甜不辣) is a Taiwanese dish which provides the sweetness flavour and the chewy texture which is loved by the Taiwanese. Tian Bu La is like a Japanese Oden but items used are chewier in texture and has a signature sauce. The items used is made from fish paste moulded to different sizes and shapes. It is than deep fried and finally boiled in broth. Before eating, these items are remove from the broth and signature sauce is our all over the delicacy.
The name from this dish, stinky tofu (臭豆腐) can be scary but rest assured, the dish is made of tofu marinated in brine made of fermented milk, vegetables and meat. In simple words, this is a form or fermented tofu that has a strong odour. This dish can be eaten cold, steamed, stewed or most of the time, deep fried and accompanied with chilli sauce. It is said in Taiwan that stronger the smell the better its flavour.
Oyster omelette (蚵仔煎) is a dish which contains eggs, small oysters and starch. This mixture is then fry like an omelette and served. Lime juice mixed with spicy or chilli sauce is added for the extra flavour in the dish. Sometimes, pork lard is also added to fry this omelette. In Taiwan, sauce is then pour on top on the omelette for the intense flavour.
Taiwan has many different things to eat during breakfast. There are 3 recommended things you should not miss when in Taiwan for breakfast which are sesame flatbread, deep-fried Chinese donuts/dough sticks and soybean soup. Soy bean soup or known as Xian Dou Jiang is a savoury soup which contains soy milk, and a mix of dried shrimps, pickled vegetables and topped with chopped up fried dough-sticks. These items are so popular in Taiwan to a point where there is a long line for this items in famous stalls.
Peanut Ice Cream Roll
This delicacy consist of 2 scoops of taro ice cream, grounded peanut candy and maltose all wrap up in a spring roll. This may look weird for a lot of people but do not be fooled by its looks as this delicacy will leave you coming for more.
Taiwan is famous for its chewy consistency where Taiwanese people loved. Taro Balls has different flavours such as green tea, sesame, yam and sweet potato. These ingredient are than steamed and mixed with potato starch before being diced into bite sized pieces. It is than placed in boiling water to obtain its infamous chewy and smooth texture. This balls are than served either with shaved ice or warm desert soup.
Taiwanese are crazy for spicy hot pot where broths are made from all kinds of Chinese herbs and spices which creates a rich and flavourful soup to cook the raw, fresh ingredients. Taiwanese hot pots can be quite spicy as well. Ingredients which is usually provided are chicken and pork meat which are thinly sliced, tofu, pig’s blood, various balls and many more.
Xiao Long Bao
Xiao long bao (小笼包) is a type of steamed bun which is steamed and usually stuffed with minced pork. Other meat such as chicken and crab are also used. The minced meat can also be mixed with other vegetables such as mushroom or vegetables to create an even more powerful flavour steamed buns. There are also xiao long bao which mixed 2 or more ingredients which one of the more popular variant is the minced pork and crab with roe. These buns are steam in bamboo baskets and eat with vinegar and ginger. Xiao Long Pao are also full of soup or broth where once bitten, you will be able to taste the burst of flavour and the soup bursting in your mouth.
Beef noodles are one of the most competitive food in Taiwan where it inspire chef in Taiwan to innovate and compete against one another. Every chef in Taiwan wants to claim the title “beef noodle king”. Beef noodles can contains not just beef slices but some fancy restaurants have used rib-eye steak as well. Beef noodles is noodles served in rich beef broth with vegetables and beef. The noodles are chewy and springy in nature. They are also beef noodles which are spicy as well for those who love spicy food.