Small culinary treats are a big thing in Taiwan. If you ask anyone who has been to this country what there favourite pastimes were, they will most likely say it’s shopping and eating. So, it is no surprise that Taiwan street food plays an essential role in this country. In fact, there are over 20 streets in capital Taipei that are dedicated to Taiwanese small eats and snacks. The most famous of them all would definitely be the Shilin Night Market, located in Taipei, Taiwan.
Taiwanese food originated from a mash up of cultures, including aboriginal tribes, Min Nan, Teochew, and Hokkien Chinese communities. There are even some Taiwan street foods that are heavily influenced by Japanese cuisine. The results of these culinary culture marriages are diversely scrumptious.
Star anise, white pepper, Taiwanese basil, crushed peanut, pickled vegetables, oyster sauce, and chili are only few of the common ingredients used in Taiwanese foods. Furthermore, in Taiwan, you will find a wide variety of seasonings, herbs, and sauces that will bring you to new heights in your dining experiences.
Check out this YouTube video showing a walk-through of the famous Shi Lin Night Market located in Taiwan and the variety of food on display.
Here are some popular Taiwanese street foods:
1. Pineapple Cake
There are numerous shops located on the snack streets of Taiwan that offer this delicious treat. This iconic Taiwanese pastry is not only delightful to eat, but it also makes a great souvenir option. These small pineapple cakes are filled with candied pineapple that typically have a rough texture and a sweet taste.
2. Beef Noodle
A specialty dish in Taiwan that has its own festival dedicated to it. Taiwanese beef noodles are a hot and often spicy broth filled with tender beef and hand-pulled noodles. This dish is perfect for the cooler days and nights.
Furthermore, the dish inspires innovation and competitiveness in chefs all over the country. Since every chef wants to make the best beef noodle recipe, there is a large variety of this dishes. With so much variety, it is almost impossible to have a bad beef noodles experience in this country.
3. Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea also known as Pearl milk tea, is a delicious mixture of milk, tea, and tapioca balls. This unique Taiwanese invention was an instant hit in Taiwan and it is now available in many countries around the world. There are also numerous variations of this drink, including jasmine coffee or tea, served with tapioca balls.
4. Fried Chicken
Taiwanese fried chicken is a street food that is beloved by the Taiwanese. For good reason, as these dangerously addicting chicken cutlets offer an unique and delicious experience. The chicken is cut up into small pieces, marinated, dipped in batter, and then deep fried. Some sprinkling of pepper and salt completes this scrumptious snack. Almost every food Taiwan market posses at least one food stand that offers this dish.
5. Shaved Ice Mountains
Commonly called Chinese ice, shaved ice dishes are perfect for the humid, hot summers of Taiwan. shaved ices is piled into a small mountain and is complemented with a variety of flavourings and fruits, including strawberry sauce, mango pieces, chocolate sauce, sweet condensed milk, plums, and much more. Simply looking at one of these culinary delights is a treat.
Have you tried something from the Taiwanese food streets that you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments below!