10 Delicious Taiwanese Stir-Fried Dishes That Have The Weirdest Name Ever

We are certainly proud of these amazing Taiwanese food and their kick-ass names.

| | Taiwan Local Tips

Taiwan is THE kitchen of mouth-watering stir fry. Having hands of beers and some stir-fried dishes with friends can be thought of as the local night life for Taiwanese.

What's more interesting, some dishes are dubbed with really fancy names.

No textbook tells you the literal and actual meanings of these menu items. But don't worry. We break these names down right before you step into to a decent stir-fried restaurant for a super-duper food adventure.

||| 10 Stir-Fried Dishes with Mysterious Names ||

1. Ants Climbing a Tree — 螞蟻上樹(Mǎ-yǐ shàng shù)

WTH: Crystal noodles with ground pork. Come on, you really think we eat ants?

The idea: By blending with soy sauce, glass noodles itself will turn into a darker color. When tangled with ground meat, it just look like an image of tiny black ants clinging to the branches.

2. Old Skin Soft Flesh — 老皮嫩肉(lǎo pí nèn ròu)

WTH: Delicious fried egg tofu.

The idea: This is a metaphor of young girl/boy with wrinkle skin… Look kinda like what happen to the smooth, fair tofu after being fried, right?


3. Kung Pao Chicken — 宮保雞丁(gōng bǎo jī dīng)

WTH: Chicken, peanuts, spices. Literally means "Palace Prince Chicken Nugget".

The idea: This is probably the most famous dish in Chinese culinary culture. Typically, Kung Pao Chicken will be fried with hot pepper and peanuts, which added up a special taste for the chicken.

Photo credit: hjw223 via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC

4. Happy that We Meet — 喜相逢(xǐ xiāng féng)

WTH: Fried smelt. A type of fish that has lots of eggs in its belly.

The idea: The name of this dishes came from the similar pronunciation as it is in Japanese "Shishamo".


5. Flies' Head — 蒼蠅頭(cāng ying tóu)

WTH: Yes, we don't eat ants, but we definitely love flies. No I'm kidding. This is a dish of ground beef stirred with garlic bolt.

The idea: Cooked with minced beef, chopped garlic and fermented black beans. It goes really well with white rice. But I do remember how terrified I was when my dad first order this weird dish in a restaurant.


6. Fried Dragon Eyes — 酥炸龍珠(sū zhà long zhū)

WTH: Fried squids' mouth. No dragon here, sorry to let you down.

The idea: The idea: People give this dish such a fancy name due to its chewy and crystal texture. Usually stirred with spices and peanut pieces, this is also a must-have.


7. Three-Cup Chicken — 三杯雞(sān bēi jī)

WTH: An appetizing chicken dish stewed with ginger!

The idea: No, you will not have two more cups of chicken. Three cups are: wheat wine, soy sauce and sesame oil. This flavor can be extended to many dishes like "Three-Cup Farm Chicken". (Farm chicken: frogs, for its similar texture as chicken).


8. Mapo Tofu — 麻婆豆腐(má pó dòu fǔ)

WTH: Tofu mingled with minced meat, spicy sauce and fermented black beans.

The idea: Literal meaning as "Pockmarked Grandma's Tofu", this is a dish invented by an old woman back in 1800. This is also a good dish to eat with rice.

Photo credit: leoslo via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

9. Five-Geng Fat Intestine — 五更腸旺(wǔ gēng cháng wàng)

WTH: Chitterlings served with pig/duck/chicken blood curds and spices.

The idea: "Geng" is a unit of two hours in ancient time. Five "gengs" means an overnight time, which indicates how long this dish should be stewed. "Chang" means both "intestine" and "long" in Chinese, so people believe by eating it we can longer life or relationship. "Wan" means rich and lucky.


10. Garlic Mud White Meat — 蒜泥白肉(suàn ní bái ròu)

WTH: Pork dipped with minced garlic. Love this one.

The idea: This is a simple yet delicious dish. Just boiled fresh side pork, wait it for cooled and dress it up with crushed garlic and soy sauce, yum.


*Eat now*

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Contributor: On Knee Chen

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