Recommended by locals: 9 Taiwanese night market foods you can’t miss

Posted by FRNCi | | Taiwan Local Tips

According to CNN online survey, Taiwan has come out on top of best food destination poll. Food and the act of sharing food is a cornerstone of life in Taiwan. In this article, we interviewed 5 locals that recommended 9 different Taiwanese local dishes for foreigners to try at night markets.

臭豆腐 Stinky Tofu, 蚵仔煎 Oyster Omelet, 鹹酥雞 Taiwanese Chicken Nuggets - recommended by FRNCier Jenna Yu

Stinky Tofu is something of a national obsession in Taiwan.

It is also known as smelly tofu. But smelly hardly seems like an adequate adjective to describe the reeking power of this fermented bean curd. Although it is smelly, it's actually delicious, the strong smelling of stinky tofu is due to fermentation. The tofu is served either crispy dry in squares with pickles on top or stewed in a spicy sauce.

Omelets just taste better with oysters in them.

Taiwan is an island state surrounded by sea, so you must try some seafood when you visit it. Oyster omelets are usually made with eggs, oysters, sprouts and Chinese cabbage. As a topping, the sweet and sour sauce is very important for Oyster omelet.

Photo credit: Maya83 via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

Taiwanese fried chicken is juicy and crisp.

It's a ubiquitous snack on the city streets, just like Taiwanese McDonald's fried chicken, the chicken is offered in juicy, bite-sized portions.

Taiwanese chicken nugget stalls also sell fried tempura (In Taiwan, tempura is made of fish paste). Garlics is added when the chicken is almost done to give it a fragrant flavor.

潤餅 Popiah/Steamed spring roll
- recommended by FRNCier Lisa Chan

Popiah is a warm, doughy wrap filled with everything.

The skin of Popiah is tortillalike, the fillings are mixed together, including Cabbage, shred carrots, bean sprouts, egg crisp, Braised Pork, parsley....There's a bit of everything in every bite. You can customize your own order with custom filling.

滷肉飯與小菜 Braised pork with rice and side dishes (such as Dried tofu, braised kelp, tea eggs…)
- recommended by FRNCier Ting Wang

This humble dish of minced pork braised in soy sauce.

If you want to try Taiwanese local food, then you can’t miss braised pork with rice and side dishes. The braised pork melts in the mouth in its gorgeous thick sweet & savory sauce, with rice it offers a full meal. Or you can also just take side dishes as appetizers. There are several different side dishes you can choose from, the best thing to do is to try all of them as the price is still affordable.

Side Dishes: 燙青菜 Boiled Vegetable/ 滷味 Braised Snacks/ 豆干 Dried Dofu/ 海帶 Braised Kelp/ 滷蛋 Stewed Eggs/ 滷翅膀 Soy-cooked Chicken Wings/ 肝連 Container of Liver

炭烤雞排 Barbecued Chicken and 烤玉米 Grilled Corn on the cob
- recommended by FRNCier Flora Huang

Photo credit: izik via Visual Hunt / CC BY

Barbecued chicken with seasonings that reflect the tastes of Taiwan.

The chicken cutlet is first deep-fried before being roasted. It usually goes with a special sauce and crushed pepper corn. I tried some good one in Shihlin Night Market (in Taipei), in Fengjia Night Market ( in Taichung), or in the night market near National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences ( in Kaohsiung).

Photo credit: stevendepolo via Visual hunt / CC BY

Grilled corn cooked on a hot fire until blistered and charred.

Sweet grilled corn on the cob, brushed with a layer of special sauce and coated with Sesame, the vendor will rotate it when dark spots appear and kernels deepen in color. However, not every night market has it, usually grilled corn cost at least 60 NTD, sometimes the price is based on weight.

Street roasting foods from NT 10
- recommended by FRNCier Kelly Guo

Many street food dishes in Taiwan boast relatively small portions.

The vendor will chop the chicken into small pieces and put it into the oven. You will find organs of every size and shape on offer, from chicken breast to chicken bottom. Other tasty tidbits on offer include chicken legs, chicken hearts, and other yummy delights. After roasting the skin gets crispy, fat well rendered and the meat is succulent.

Night markets and other small street food restaurants are one of the best parts of traveling to Taiwan, at the night markets you can find a little bit of everything. Last but not the least, the most authentic experience is to go with locals, so how about meeting some new local friends here?

And if you want to learn more about Taiwanese food while playing games and making some new local friends, check out this event!【FRNCi SpeakEasy Picnic】

Photo credit:Ting Wang/ Lisa Chan/ Jenna Yu/ Julia Shyu / Joanne Lee / Yi Chen Cheng

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