Taiwan Festival

The Culture of Taiwan

Taiwan Snacks

Snacking is deeply woven into the fabric of daily life in Taiwan. The plethora of snack foods available on the island opens a window to local culture. In fact, one of the quickest ways to experience the local flavor of Taiwan is to visit one of the many night markets in Taiwan, each with a tempting array of delicious delicacies. At each market, visitors can sample a wide selection of snack foods made with locally sourced ingredients. Since Taiwan is an island surrounded by oceans, seafood is a major ingredient in night markets, from oyster omelets and stir-fried cuttlefish to seafood congee, squid stew, and milkfish soup, all of it addictively fresh and tasty.

                    

Pearl Milk Tea: Also known as "Bubble milk tea," pearl milk tea originates from Taichung and is made from a mixture of black tea, milk, and sago pearls. The combination of fragrant tea and chewy sago has made this beverage popular not only in Taiwan but in other countries as well. At many Chinatowns across the world, you can find this refreshing beverage.

Oyster Omelet:Sea-fresh oysters are an important ingredient in this popular snack, available at just about every night market in Taiwan. The oysters are coated in potato starch and tapioca. Eggs and leafy vegetables are added to the mixture, which is skillet fried over a high flame. A sweet and sour sauce further adds to the addictively delicious taste.

Stinky Tofu: the greater the smell, the tastier the results. And while many people are put off by the smell, those who take the plunge are usually won over by this distinctively yummy treat. Stinky tofu is made of large squares of fermented tofu fried in oil and then cut into four smaller pieces and served with a garnish of pickled cabbage. The crispy skin of tofu and its soft inside are the best parts of this dish's charm.

steamed dumplings are popular snack. The dish has many different fillings, both meat-based and vegetarian.

Steamed sandwiches: ("guabao") were originally eaten during employee dinner parties held on the 16th day of the 12th lunar month, but today they can be enjoyed at night markets throughout the year. The sandwiches resemble a kind of hamburger made with a soft white bun. The bun is stuffed with melt-in-your-mouth pork and garnished with pickled vegetables, peanut powder and cilantro, creating a nose-pleasing and tasty combination.

Taiwanese Meatballs:Changhua and Hsinchu counties are the most famous places for Taiwanese meatballs. In Changhua, the meatballs are deep-fried, while those in Hsinchu are steamed, giving each local variety a distinctive taste. The meatballs are cooked in an outer wrapper made of tapioca powder, rice powder, potato starch, and water, while the filling includes pork, mushroom, bamboo shoots and other ingredients. The chewy outer skin and fragrant filling make a perfectly delicious match .

Meat Rice Tamales:These tamales are made of glutinous rice, mushrooms, peanuts, egg yolks and pork all wrapped up in bamboo leaves, which impart their subtle flavor. Originally eaten only during the Dragon Boat Festival, this dish has become a year-round attraction at night markets throughout Taiwan.

Crushed Ice Dessert:This popular dessert is a base of crushed ice flavored with mung beans, adzuki beans, starch balls, taro, jelly fig and other toppings and then sprinkled with sugar water, offering sweet and cool relief on a hot summer day. Today, you can also find creative new variations with toppings of mangoes, strawberries and other seasonal fruit.


Danzai Noodles: Oil noodles and bean sprouts are the main ingredients in this Tainan specialty dish. The noodles are served in a small bowl and usually topped with meat or an egg boiled in soy sauce for an extra flavor boost.





Veggie and Meat Wrap: These wraps are packed with goodies, including boiled cabbage, bean sprouts, sliced fried eggs, barbecued pork, peanut powder and powdered sugar, all wrapped up in a thin spring roll skin and served warm. This delicious treat is one of the most popular snacks at night markets throughout Taiwan.




Oyster Vermicelli : No night market worth the name is without this unassuming little treat. The quality of this dish is judged by the freshness of the oysters and chewiness of noodles. The dish is made with a type of red vermicelli that does not crumble easily. The noodles are served in a soup stock with fresh oysters and soy stewed large intestines and flavored with black vinegar, a special sauce, and a garnish of cilantro.



Coffin Sandwich: This Tainan specialty often turns heads for its very unusual name. The sandwich is a thick slice of bread with a hollow center filled with a mixture of chicken meat and liver, shrimp, carrots, potatoes, and milk. The filling is then covered with another piece of bread and cut into four pieces. Best when serving hot.


Shrimp Pork Soup: With seas on all side, Taiwan enjoys a bounty of seafood that is served up in a wide variety of snack foods that have become ingrained in the culinary tradition of the island. Shrimp pork soup is one of these dishes and has become a night market mainstay. This dish is made mostly of shrimp potage flavored with stewed pork and a thickening dash of potato starch to add flavor and chewiness. Add a splash of black vinegar to complement the sweetness of the soup and make this tasty dish even more delicious.

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