TAIWANESE FOOD: THE REAL-DEAL TRAVELLING TAIWAN WITH KIDS…

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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!

Taiwanese food. Eating food in Taiwan with kids. Dumplings in Taiwan.

 
IRON EGGS


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.

Iron eggs in Taiwan. Taiwanese food to try when in Taiwan.


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!

Shaved ice dessert in Taiwan.


XIAOLONGBAO SOUP DUMPLINGS

✔️✔️✔️
These literally melt in your mouth. Handmade, and delicate, with soup broth inside. Amazeballs.

Taiwan with kids. Eating at Din Tai Fung in Taiwan.

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!

Chefs at work at Din Tai Fung in Taiwan. Taiwanese food you have to try!
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 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.

Fresh oolong tea leaves in Fenchihu, Taiwan.
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!
Drinking tea at Din Tai Fung in Taiwan with kids.
Oscar loved the tea in Taiwan, served warm and with bottomless refills.


DUCK

Duck and goose is advertised everywhere at the street food markets in Taiwan. And certainly none of the carcass is wasted…

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


BUBBLE TEA

✔️❌
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!

Too much plastic with bubble tea in Taiwan. But the bubbles won't fit up my reusable straw!
Tapioca bubbles for bubble tea in Taiwan.
Tapioca bubbles and jelly cubes for iced tea.

GUA BAO

✔️✔️
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!).

Breakfast in Alishan, Taiwan.


YOU TIAO

✔️
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.

You tiao cart at the night markets in Taipei.


FISHBALL SOUP

✔️✔️
A staple Taiwanese food of night markets. Fishball soup is awesome. The balls made with fish paste and boiled in a soupy broth.

Fishball soup at a Taiwanese street food market in Taipei.


MOUNTAIN MUSHROOMS

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

Mountain mushrooms at a street food market in Taiwan.

SEAFOOD

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

Night markets in Taiwan.

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…

Unusual Taiwanese food for breakfast! Breakfast in Fenchihu, Alishan Taiwan.
Would you?!

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