Taiwanese street food

You Can Make Fast Food, Taiwan Style

The tiniest food stand or street restaurant can serve delicious, fresh food only minutes after you order, but when you try to cook in your own kitchen, it can take hours of work. Why? It's mainly because those professional chefs know how to keep things simple. Obviously, they have skill and experience, but the most important trick they've learned for amazing food is to use fast, simple techniques and minimal ingredients. They create fascinating flavors just by combining a few seasonings like white pepper, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, chili green, and coriander. Even if you don’t have as much skill or experience as these chefs, you can still benefit from these simple cooking ideas that are commonly seen throughout Taiwan and China.

Taiwanese spicy garlic sauce

Ingredients

1 teaspoon garlic (smashed)

1 teaspoon chili (smashed)

2 teaspoon drinking water

3 tablespoons soy paste

Note: Please see the soy paste details here: http://kitchen.j321.com/soy-paste-key-to-taiwanese-cuisine


Instructions


1. Use a pestle and mortar to mix the water, chili and garlic finely. (The purpose of the water is help to you grind the chili and garlic finely).

2. Add the soy paste, and mix well.

3. Taste it. If it is too salty or too strong, add a little bit of water to balance it. You can also adjust the amount of garlic and chili, if it is too much or little for you.


How to use the spicy garlic sauce?

The sauce is very often used on Taiwanese dishes such as white chicken, steamed shrimps, squid, green vegetables, tofu, omelet, fried radish cakes, boiled dumplings, and so on. You can feel free to use it on anything which needs sauce to add flavour or to make it more pleasant to eat.

Taiwanese sweet garlic sauce

Ingredients

1 teaspoon garlic (smashed)

1 teaspoon drinking water

3 tablespoons soy paste

Note: Please see the soy paste details here: http://kitchen.j321.com/soy-paste-key-to-taiwanese-cuisine

 

Instructions

1. Use a pestle and mortar to mix the water and garlic finely. (The purpose of the water is help to you grind the garlic finely).

2. Add the soy paste, and mix well.

3. Taste it. If you think the taste is too strong or too salty, add a little water to balance it. You can also adjust the amount of the garlic, if it is too much or little for you.

How to use the sweet garlic sauce?

This sauce is very often used on Taiwanese dishes such as, white chicken, steamed shrimps, squid, green vegetables, tofu, omelet, fried radish cakes, boiled dumplings, and so on. You can feel free to use it on anything which needs sauce to add flavour or to make it more pleasant to eat.

Taiwanese shallot oil noodles

Ingredients
2 tablespoons shallot oil
1 tablespoon soy paste
1 litre of water
1 teaspoon salt
1 bunch of wheat noodles
1 bunch of pak choi (bok choy)


Instructions
1. Warm a bowl (you can use boiling water). Add the shallot oil and soy paste to the bowl.
2. Put 1 litre of water in a saucepan, and bring it to the boil.
3. When the water is boiling, add the salt and noodles.
4. When the noodles float to the top of the boiling water, they are almost cooked. Pick up a noodle from the top of the water (use chopsticks if it’s too hot), and press it between your thumb and fingernail. This way, you can get a feeling for how firm or crunchy the noodles are. Then it’s up to you if you like the noodles al dente, or cook them a few seconds longer so they’re softer.
5. Drain the noodles with a sieve, and mix well with the shallot oil and soy paste in the bowl.

Taiwanese shallot oil

Taiwanese shallot oil

Ingredients
300g shallots (peeled)
250ml cooking oil or lard

Instructions
1. Thinly slice the shallots (about 2mm thick)
2. Heat up an empty saucepan to ensure it's dry, then put the shallots into the saucepan. Don't add the cooking oil yet.
3. As the shallots are beginning to dry out, you will smell very pleasant aroma from them Then you can add the cooking oil to the saucepan. 
4. Fry the shallots and oil in the saucepan at medium heat. After a while, you will see the oil is bubbling around the shallots (these bubbles are actually the shallot's internal moisture boiling away as steam). When the bubbling is almost finished, turn up the heat a little higher until the shallots are brown and crispy. The shallots are cooked.
5. Turn off the heat.  Keep this shallot oil in a jar, in the refrigerator.

Taiwanese fast food: Lu rou fan

What is the most popular dish in Taiwan?
What is a typical Taiwanese dish?


When we were little, my mom was sometimes too busy to prepare our lunch. She would give us some money and tell us to eat at the Luroufan stand near our home.

We would be so glad to have the chance to eat out, especially Luroufan, because it was our favorite. My sisters and I would run to the Luroufan stand.

At lunch time, the shop were always busy, but the luroufan was usually served very quickly. Everything was prepared, so the waitress simply needed to spoon the sauce on top of the rice in the bowl, and bring it to us right away. We never needed to wait for long.

12 ways to explore old Taipei's Dadaocheng area

 

1. Morning markets

Tàipíng market: This is the oldest open market in Taipei, built more than 100 years ago. The market offers all kind of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood. The food stores around the market have been offering the most delicious food for more than half of a century. Originally, it was a wholesale market.

Yǒnglè market: It was originally established around 1910, during the Japanese colonial period, when it was the first indoor market in Taiwan. It was the first time Japanese administrators organized an outdoor Chinese style market, and brought the stallholders into a cleaner and more hygienic indoor market. Upstairs on the 2nd floor is a fabric market.

2. Night markets

Níngxià night market:

Taiwanese Beer Houses

If you're visiting Taiwan on business and your local business partners take you out for dinner, it's very likely they'll take you to some famous, expensive restaurant, in a prestigious location like Taipei 101. Even if you are here visiting friends, it's still likely they'll take you to some clean, well-staffed restaurants for dinner. Possibly your host will even take you to a western-style restaurant, even though you're in Asia.

Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan: Mazu temple's beer garden

Mazu Temple Beer Garden (photo by Joyce Tay)Mazu temple's beer garden

Did you ever see a church with its own beer garden? Probably not, but in Taiwan people have a more relaxed attitude to such matters.

For example: the beer garden in the Temple to the sea-Goddess Mazu, near Dihua Street. You might think that it's very disrespectful to put a beer garden here, but I would say it must be the mercy of the Goddess, that more than 40 family-run restaurants could make a living by her temple, and the hard-working people could enjoy very good food and beer in her courtyard at a bargain price.

There are many street restaurants around the temple, and people enjoy eating and drinking under the banyan tree in the temple yard. It's a place the hard working people have traditionally gone to relax after work. There are more than 40 authentic Taiwanese street food restaurants and food stalls.
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