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, influenced from different directions of Asia, and the diverse environments of the island of Taiwan 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 of our 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
✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Fried pork dumplings. Mouthwatering, and given the thumbs up by the whole family!
Iron eggs are a bit like they sound. Hard boiled eggs, with shattered shells to infuse the broth they are boiled in. Much harder and chewier than regular boiled eggs.
SHAVED ICE DESSERT
✔️ ✔️ ✔️
(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!
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 tea in Taiwan. And taking part in a tea ceremony while looking out over the tea farm where it was grown, makes for some seriously tasty tea.
Duck and goose is advertised everywhere at the street food markets in Taiwan. And certainly none of the carcass is wasted…
Hipster-like and tasty, but bubble tea in Taiwan 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!
Gua bao 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!).
This is essentially a Chinese style donut! You tiao is not always sweetened, so it is commonly eaten for breakfast. However, you will find it at any night market in Taiwan.
A staple Taiwanese food of night markets. Fishball soup is awesome. The balls made with fish paste and boiled in a soupy broth.
I’m giving this one a tick for interest…
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. Not all Taiwanese food is quite as awe inspiring. Some is in fact a unrecognisable. We recognise the salted iron Eggs, and the green beans… but the rest remains a mystery…