Hong Kong is known for its dim sum and Cantonese cuisines. In Tokyo, fresh sashimi, noodles and robatayaki are popular street treats. Singapore has one of the most exuberant food cultures in the world. And now Taiwan is starting to show the world that Taiwanese cuisine is a serious contender for a starring role as one of the Asian hotspots for food connoisseurs taking it to the street.
Many of Taiwan’s night market dishes are more than just your average snack, though. Here are five of our favorite unusual night market snacks in Taiwan.
Formed from chunks of pork fat and chopped pork, Taiwanese fatty pork sausages are an unusually sticky sweet treat. Globs of glistening pork fat make these sausages especially moist and flavorful. Sausages are generally grilled and served on a stick. They can be glazed with many different varieties of condiments.
2. Oyster Omelets
You can’t go to a night market without sampling this popular seafood snack. Make sure you look for a cart with fresh oyseters, though. They make for the tastiest omelets. Made with eggs, oysters, cilantro, Garland chrysanthemum leaves, and tapioca starch, each omelet is fried and eaten with a sweet and spicy sauce.
3. Grilled Squid
Being an island in the Pacific Ocean means that much of the local food in Taiwan is seafood. You’ll see dried squid hanging everywhere. Our favorite squid recipe is marinated grilled squid on a stick.
4. Stinky tofu
You can’t say you’ve been to Taiwan without trying this world famous dish. Stinky Tofu is a main staple in every night market throughout Taiwan. You’ll know when you’ve found a stinky tofu vendor.The smell of it is enough to make your senses go on overload. We guarantee that if you can get past the terrible smell, you’ll discover why everyone raves about this fermented treat. Cubes of fermented tofu are deep-fried or grilled and served with pickled vegetables or a spicy Mala sauce made from duck blood. A combination of soy paste, garlic, and spices can be added to enhance the flavor.
5. Pig’s Blood Cake
Most visitors to Taiwan have to work up the nerve to try this hot, spicy snack. Pig’s blood cake is combined with sticky rice and hot pig’s blood. It is formed into a flat cake that is cut into rectangular pieces and skewered. It usually comes garnished with soy sauce, hot sauce, powdered peanut and cilantro.
For more information on Taiwan’s night markets, please click on a photo to go to the author’s web site.