What To Eat in Taiwan: 10 Must-Try Street Food
One of the best parts of traveling, and life in general, is eating good food. If you’re seeking an authentic food experience, take it from Anthony Bourdain and eat like locals do.
In Taiwan, we’re sure you won’t mind with its streets lined with delicious and affordable treats. Taiwan’s street food scene reflects influences from China, Japan, Hong Kong, and even France. We gathered ten must-try Taiwanese delicacies for your next pilgrimage to this foodie paradise:
1. Bubble Milk Tea
It’s the ideal snack-drink made of the freshest milk, refreshing tea, and chewy tapioca. Pearl Milk Tea shops are ubiquitous in Taipei, being the birthplace of boba milk tea. Discover why the Taiwanese are obsessed with this drink by visiting Chun Shui Tang, aka the milk tea shop that started this worldwide craze.
2. Stinky Tofu
Don’t let its name and smell faze you because there’s a good reason why stinky tofu is on every traveller’s must-try list in Taiwan. It’s like the blue cheese of tofu – the worse it smells, the tastier it is. Just like kimchi or our very own balut, how would you know if you like it without giving it a try?
3. Octopus Takoyaki
If you’re already a takoyaki fan, Taiwan’s Shilin Night Market version is a sight to behold, overflowing with gooey cheese and topped with octopus. If that’s not enough, some stalls take it up a notch with a baseball-sized takoyaki filled with octopus, shrimps, broccoli, corn, potato, scallop and condiments for a punch of different textures.
4. Toffee Fruit / Tanghulu
No, that’s not “kwek kwek”. It’s cherry tomatoes, dried plum, or strawberries dipped in a thin coating of caramelized sugar, combining sweetness with a tangy twist.
5. Taiwanese Sausage
See what happens when you adapt the well-loved hot dog into Chinese cuisine. The result is Taiwan’s signature sweet and chewy sausages sold in every night market. Juicy pork sausages are usually barbecued on-the-spot then served with garlic, lettuce, or rice.
6. Spring Onion Pancake
Taiwan’s light and flaky onion pancake is a reminder of how simple ingredients sometimes create the most delightful food. It’s an everyday Taiwanese dish that every traveller shouldn’t miss!
7. Freshly Made Xiao Long Bao
One simply can’t go to Taiwan without getting a sip and a slurp of authentic xiao long bao. It’s a tourist ritual. Taiwan’s famous soup dumplings are sometimes made fresh in street stalls. Watching how these little treasures are made can be an added treat, making you appreciate each dumpling even more.
8. Red Bean Cake / Dorayaki
Dorayaki is a popular dessert or snack made of pancake patties traditionally with a red bean filling. Nowadays, it has an array of filling variation including custard, chocolate, sweet potato, matcha, or salted egg.
9. Gua Bao
Gua bao is a popular Taiwanese snack made with foldover steamed buns, generous slices of stewed pork, mustard greens, a dash of cilantro and a sprinkle of crushed peanuts. It’s a complete meal in itself, but there’s too much good food in Taiwan to settle for just one treat.
10. Black Pepper Pork Bun
One bite is all it takes for you to fall in love with Taiwan’s Pepper Bun. A popular pick at night markets, they are made with generously peppered pork and a handful of shallots. You can find this specialty at the tail end of Taipei’s Raohe Night Market.
Craving to get a taste of Taiwan?
Get a chance to enjoy five days of street food bliss in Taiwan through the PayMaya Travel Blowout! At the end of February 2018, one lucky PayMaya user will win an all-expense paid trip to Taiwan for two along with P50,000 in PayMaya credits as pocket money. Your trip itinerary and booking arrangements will be prepared prior the trip so all that’s left to do is pack your bags and savor the experience.
From February 1-28, PayMaya users can earn raffle entries for a trip to Taiwan by doing any of the following: register a PayMaya account, purchase and activate a PayMaya physical card, have a PayMaya account upgraded, pay bills in full (minimum P300), or pay using PayMaya (minimum P1,000 single-receipt).
The winner will be announced in PayMaya’s Facebook page in March. If you don’t win the first raffle draw, trips to South Korea, Japan, and Maldives are still up for grabs in the following months. Non-winning raffle entries are still included in the next draws. (Read More: Win an all-expense paid trip to dream destinations in the Travel Blowout promo!)