Happy 2017 from one of my favorites cities in the world: Taipei, the capital of Taiwan! Married to a Taiwanese man and family, I’ve learned and tried so much of this incredible cuisine over time. For tonight’s dinner and the tastiest food, we went to not a restaurant but hit the streets of the city to Shilin Night Market. Whenever I’m in Taipei, I always make a point to eat and enjoy as much as I can here.
To start off our food adventure, we ordered an array of Làcháng (sausages). The aroma of the sausages, fresh from the grill, was sensational. Each sausage has its own combination of flavors and colors; yet, the same crispiness on the outside. The traditional pork meat sausage really stood out for me due to the juiciness from each bite as well as the flavors of honey, five-spice powder, red fermented bean curd, soy sauce and hoisin sauce that reminded of the BBQ pork that I grew up eating in my childhood.
Next, we had crab dumplings, which are so much better than any Dim Sum place I’ve ever tried at so far. Holding the dumpling by the crab claw, it was like munching on a savory lollipop. With one bite, I could feel the flakiness of the crab meat and crunch from the panko.
One of the most popular street foods in Taipei is Tian bu la, and my sister-in-law expressed how this was the best at Shilin Night Market. This cup of deliciousness has handmade fish balls and deep-fried fish cakes covered with their signature sauce made of fish paste. As per request from my sister-in-law to the vendor, he added fish broth onto the paste. We mixed everything in our little cups and then dived in to taste our goodies. I really liked the strong contrast of savory and sweet from the fish broth and fish paste from each bite.
To clean our palates and make room for more deliciousness, we each had a dish of mixed greens. Though a simple dish, I had a bomb full of flavors from the taste of the garlic, shallots and saltiness of the soy sauce and shrimps.
A Street Food Meal is not complete without a Wonton Noodle Soup. A hearty bowl of hot broth, juicy wontons of minced meat, and leafy greens, topped with crispy shallots and sesame oil. I need another, better word for tasty.
We ended our meal with a traditional Taiwanese dessert: Dòuhuā (Tofu pudding). Typically cold, we had ours warm since it’s winter. This amazing dessert is comprised of soft tofu, peanuts, mung beans, red beans and small tapioca balls in a sugary, almond-y, gingery syrup. I finished mine so quickly and couldn’t stop at one slurp.
Hubby and I definitely plan on coming back to Shilin Night Market to try more varieties of food before going back home to the States. Tonight was just a small sample of what Shilin Night Market has to offer.
Shilin Night Market is located on Lane 101, Wenlin Road, Shilin District, Taipei, Taiwan 111. It’s open everyday from 4:30 pm to midnight. For more info, check out their website at http://www.shilin-night-market.com.
All images and content © 2017 Carol Vu, unless otherwise indicated.