Do you know that Taiwanese food has been largely influenced and adapted from Japan and Mainland China’s food due to historical reasons. Over the years, despite the fusion of food culture, Taiwanese food has managed come out with its own unique style and flavours. One of the reason why people choose to visit Taiwan is because of its delicious food. With ubiquitous cafes, night markets and eateries, Taiwan is no doubt a food paradise for food lovers! During my recent trip to Taiwan, I have been feeling extremely excited about discovering and tasting Taiwanese food in the different places I been. Well, I came back weighing around 3kgs heavier, you can imagine how much food I tasted. Here are 10 Taiwan must buy food which I enjoy and will really recommend any food lover to not miss it when visiting Taiwan.
Grilled Sausages / Small Sausage in Large Sausage (大肠包小肠)
You can always see stalls selling grilled sausages everywhere you go in Taiwan. At just around NT50, grilled sausage is must try snack. The small sausage in large sausage (大肠包小肠) really caught my attention. For those of you who don’t know, the “large” sausage is actually glutinous rice. So basically, it is sausage wrapped with glutinous rice.
Deep Fried Squid
I first tried this deep fried squid at Rao He night market (饒河夜市). It is one of the biggest squid I ever eaten! You can select different seasonings (original, pepper, seaweed etc) for the fried squid. The meat is so tender & chewy and even my girlfriend who don’t eat seafood enjoy it.
Taiwan Lou Mei (卤味)
Lou Mei is a traditional food that is originated from China. It is a cantonese name given to food that is being simmered in lou sauce (卤汁). You can choose from chicken meat, meatballs, sausages beancurd and many more. Basically, you just need to put your selected food in a basket and hand it over when you are done. The more you pick, the more you pay.
Jiufen Taro Balls
Taro balls is a must eat when you visit Jiu Fen. The taro balls are made from taro starch which are later being rolled into balls. The taro balls are then being cooked together with sweet soup. This dessert can be served hot or cold. The two most popular stalls that sell taro balls in Jiu Fen are 赖阿婆芋圆 & 阿柑姨芋圆. Be sure to try them both!
Meatballs Soup (貢丸)
I bought this meatball soup when i am in Jiu Fen. Just along the Jiu fen old street, you will be able to see quite a few stalls selling this meatball soup (also known as 貢丸). The meatballs are ‘bouncy’ & tender and the soup is rich. Normally the meatball soup is served is small quantity ( around 3 meatballs per bowl)
Xiao Long Bao / Soup Dumplings
When you are in Taipei, you can consider making a trip down to Taipei 101 to try the soup dumplings in Din Tai Feng (Michelin-starred restaurant). Please be mentally prepared for the long queue and crowd outside the restaurant. Din Tai Feng is known to have one of the best made soup dumplings in Taiwan and it is definitely worth the wait.
Address: 110, Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, City Hall Rd, 45號台北101購物中心
Braised Pork Rice (滷肉饭)
Braised pork rice (滷肉饭) is one of the most popular Taiwanese food among tourists. The dish comes with rice with braised gravy, braised pork belly, beancurd, veggies and braised egg. There are many variations to the dish too. Sometimes the braised pork is replaced with pork cutlet etc.
Beef Noodle Soup
You must have a bowl of authentic beef noodles soup when you are in Taiwan! If you are interested, here are some of the most popular beef noodle soups in Taiwan.
- Yong Kang Beef Noodle
- Lin Dong Fang
- Pin Chuan Lan
- W Taipei
- Regent Taipei
Wang Steak (王品牛排)
Wang Steak is started in Taiwan and has since become Taiwan’s best well known steakhouse chain. I am extremely impressed by Wang Steak when i visited them in Kaohsiung. Their service is excellent and the food is affordable. Overall it is a pleasant dining experience and i would definitely recommend to anyone who are craving for some steak in Taiwan. At the end of the dinner, Wang Steak even gave my girlfriend and I a complimentary photo for memories.
Address: No. 131, Wuquan Rd, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403
Braised Duck Vermicelli
Taiwan is definitely a heaven for braised food. Apart from the braised pork rice and lou mei, their braised duck is also highly recommended. If you plan to visit HengChun Township, you can check out this popular braised duck vermicelli shop called 夥計之家. This shop is strongly recommended by the locals. The braised duck meat is very tender and it goes really well with the soup vermicelli. You can also order more braised food to go with the duck vermicelli.
Address: 35 Zhongshan Rd, Hengchun Township