There are several cuisines in Taiwan. In addition to the following representative dishes from the Ho-lo ethnicity (see Taiwanese language), there are also aboriginal, Hakka, and local derivatives of Chinese cuisines (one famous example of the last is beef noodle soup = 牛肉麵 = niúròu miàn = gû-bah mī). In Taiwan, many of the diverse cuisines from the different parts of China converge. Traditional Chinese food to be found in Taiwan, alongside Taiwanese and Hakka-style dishes, includes dishes from from Fujian, Guangdang, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Hunan, Sichuan and Beijing.
Ingredients and culture
Pork, rice, soy are very common ingredients, as with many Chinese cuisines. Beef is far less common, and some Taiwanese still refrain from eating it. This is in part due to a traditional reluctance to slaughtering precious cattle needed for agriculture, and an emotional attachment to such beasts of labour.
Taiwan's cuisine has also been influenced by its geographic location. Living on a crowded island, the Taiwanese had to look aside from the farmlands for sources of protein. As a result, seafood, such as fish, crustaceans and squid, figures prominently in their cuisine.
Because of the island's subtropical location, Taiwan has an abundant supply of various fruit, such as papayas, melons and citrus.
Some of Taiwan's agricultural products in general are rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pork, poultry, beef and fish/seafood.
Famous dishes and snacks in each of the main cities
Dasi dried tofu (大溪豆干), a snack
Suncake (taiyangbing) is the most noted snack in Taichung.
Pork feet (ti-kha-bah, 豬腳), tann-ah noodle (tàⁿ-á-mī, 台南擔仔麵), and shrimp cookies are among the most notable local dishes.
- jiû-hî keⁿ () - thickened soup with cuttlefish wrapped in fish paste.
- ô-á-chian (蚵仔煎, kézǎi jiān) - omelet made with tiny oysters.
- ô-á mī-sòaⁿ (蚵仔麵線, kézǎi miànxiàn), or oyster vermicelli
- o· bí-ko (黑米糕, hēimǐ gāo) - rice in blood curd.
- ló·-bah-pn̄g (魯肉飯, lǔròu fàn) - a piece of fatty pork served on rice.
- tōa-tn̂g pau sió-tn̂g (大腸包小腸), or small intestine in large intestine
bubble tea, aka boba milk tea
- sian-chháu (仙草, xiāncǎo) - Mesona procumbens (also known as grass gelly )
- ò-giô-peng (愛玉冰, ài yù bīng) - a gelatinous dessert made from the seeds of a fig-like fruit, probably Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang. Served on ice.
- ō-á-peng (芋冰, yù bīng) - a dessert made of frozen taro root paste.
Many of the non-dessert dishes are usually considered snacks, not entrees; that is, they have a similar status to the Cantonese dim sum or the Spanish tapas. Such dishes are usually only slightly salted, with lots of vegetables along with the main meat (or seafood) item.
Vegetarian restaurants are commonplace with a wide variety of dishes.
There is a type of out-door Bar-BQ called khòng-iâu (焢窯). To barbecue in this manner, first build a hollow pyramid with up dirt clods. Next, burn some charcoal or wood inside until the internal temperature inside the pyramid is very high (the dirt clods should be glowing red). Finally, place some taros, yam, or chicken in cans in the pyramid and topple the pyramid over the food. Keep the items under the hot dirt clods until they are thoroughly cooked.
Taiwanese people also eat a lot of fruit, both local and imported.
Night market dishes
Taiwan's best-known snacks are present in the night markets. Stinky tofu (臭豆腐, chòu dòu fǔ) is one example; stinky tofu is intimidating at first but can be an acquired taste. In these markets, one can also find delicious fried and steamed meat-filled buns, oyster-filled omelets, refreshing fruit ices, and much more.
Last updated: 08-29-2005 10:27:20
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13