Taiwanese Food: The real-deal travelling Taiwan with kids…

If it was based on the number of dumplings consumed since we landed, we would officially now be ‘experts’ on Taiwanese food (especially dumplings). But what else do you imagine when you think of Taiwanese food? 

Taiwan definitely has a rich food culture, that is influenced from the different directions of Asia, and the diverse environments of the island itself. 

Some of the kids food-rankings are slightly different, and I have to confess a few stops have been made at convenient 7-Eleven’s (did you know Taiwan has the highest density of convenience stores in the world?). But, here are a few favourites so far, and a few other more ‘unique’ options…

  • ‘Biandang’ Taiwanese Bento Box: ✔️✔️✔️
  • Oolong Tea: ✔️✔️
  • ‘Xiaolongbao’ Soup Dumplings: ✔️✔️✔️
  • Shaved Ice: ✔️✔️ ✔️ (Five ticks from the kids!).
  • Mountain Mushrooms: ✔️[I’m giving this one a tick for interest…]
  • Fish Ball Soup: ✔️✔️
  • Stinky Tofu: ❌
  • Bubble Tea: ✔️❌ [My favourite! But it looses the tick for the monster plastic…]
  • Iron Eggs: ❌

We’ve tried all of this list; we just get Gavin to try it first! 

Jen Jeon Dumplings: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ 
These are literally fried pork dumplings. Mouthwatering, and given the thumbs up by the whole family!

Iron Eggs: ❌
These are hard boiled eggs, with shattered shells to infuse the broth they are boiled in. Much harder and chewier than regular boiled eggs.

Shaved Ice: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ 
(Five ticks from the kids!). The inside is filled with berries or whatever flavour you choose, and outside is literally just shaved ice sprinkled with goodies!

‘Xiaolongbao’ Soup Dumplings: ✔️✔️✔️
These literally melt in your mouth. Handmade, and delicate, with soup broth inside. Amazeballs.

Making the ‘Xiaolongbao’ Soup Dumplings. This takes three years to train for as a chef at Din Tai Fung. Each dumpling is made meticulously and should weigh 21 grams, with 16 grams of filling. Each chef spends an hour at a station… so you are a roller, twister, or wrapper for an hour at a time!

Din Tai Fun chefs.

Oolong Tea: ✔️✔️
Taiwan has a reputation for producing some of the finest teas in the world. Based on the Oolong Tea we tried, I would agree with that! There is definitely an art to the whole process and ceremony of drinking this tea, and taking part while looking out over the tea farm where it was grown, makes for some seriously tasty tea.

Oolong Tea: fresh leaves swelling in the teapot. This is only a small teapot, but when it started it was only a teaspoon of dried leaves!
Oscar loved the tea in Taiwan, served warm and with bottomless refills.

Duck: we have seen a lot of duck and goose advertised at the markets, and certainly none of the carcass is wasted…

Duck: a stand at the markets  (I told you nothing is wasted!).

Bubble Tea: ✔️❌
Hipster-like and tasty, but looses all points on the monster plastic! 😩
Tea served the traditional way is so popular here in Taiwan, but bubble tea or ‘pearl tea’ is EVERYWHERE. It is literally iced tea (either black or with milk) with tapioca balls. It’s delicious, refreshing, and fun!

Tapioca bubbles and jelly cubes for iced tea.

Gua Bao: ✔️✔️
This is a steamed bread bun that is often served with breakfast, or otherwise made into a sandwich to eat on the go (a little bit like a burger!).

You Tiao: ✔️
This is essentially a Chinese style donut! It’s not always sweetened, so it is commonly eaten for breakfast, but we tried it at the night markets.

Fishball Soup: ✔️✔️
Harry’s favourite! These are balls made with fish paste and boiled in a soupy broth.

Mountain Mushrooms: ✔️
I’m giving this one a tick for interest…

Seafood: ✔️✔️
These seafood stalls are everywhere, particularly at the night markets on the southern coastlines. Taiwan is definitely proud of its fresh seafood!

I have to finish with this one; a breakfast that was served to us up in the mountains. We recognise the salted iron Eggs, and the green beans… but the rest remains a mystery…

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