Taiwan Cuisine Poll.
Most people will agree that food in Taiwan is usually
quite delicious and affordable, which means cost performance
and overall quality are both quite high. For the past
few years the Tourism Bureau hosted annual food shows
to showcase Taiwanese cuisine but this year they decided
to do an internet poll instead. In traditional night
market food, oyster pancakes (made with fresh oysters,
water, corn starch, egg and lettuce, grilled until
the edges are crispy, then generously dressed with
a gooey sweet and savory sauce), took number one.
No local is foreign to this tasty dish.
And this is the number one dish for new night market
food: scallops on a stick. Grilled for about four
minutes, they cook pretty quickly, which is good news
because that means the seemingly never ending line
also moves quickly.
How long are these grilled for?
Three to five minutes.
These are done, already?
No. These aren’t yours.
And at less than US$1 for a stick of five scallops,
they are a steal.
What kind of scallops are these?
This is an entire scallop. The outer part is called
the “mantle,” and the part in the middle is the adductor
In the US, usually only the adductor muscle of the
scallop is eaten, but here, the mantle is served as
well, and it provides a nice little crunchy touch.
Street food is super convenient, until you just about
melt in the summer heat or get drenched in the rain.
This is when a nice roof, air conditioning, chairs
and tables with tablecloths are sorely missed. A fun
answer to that is banquet food. Many banquet food
restaurants will serve enough food to satisfy the
biggest of eaters but at a reasonable price. For example
this feast of sashimi, abalone, shrimp, fancy rice
and noodles, salad, soups, fruits and dessert costs
less than USD120.
So this trip we’ve covered street food and banquet
food, the two vibrant counterparts of Taiwan food.
Wow. You know I like banquet food. It’s good. But
after I have it, I often say to myself, “That was
delicious but now I want some street food.”