Posted on July 1, 2019 | By Isabelle Sudron
30th Apr 2019
Depending where in the world you live, there may not many Taiwanese restaurants around. This may mistakenly give the impression that when it comes to Taiwanese cuisine, there’s not much to shout about. In actual fact, you’ll find that the food in Taiwan can be one the tastiest and inventive in the world!
#1 Braised pork rice
A simple dish that no Taiwanese local can do without, braised pork rice (lurou fan) consists of chopped pork belly cooked with soy sauce and spices and served with a bowl of rice. This is quite a fatty dish but that’s part of its charm – you can indulge in this dish when you’re feeling under the weather or in need of some comfort and always feel much better afterwards! There are few places without this Taiwanese staple, so you’ll have no problem finding it.
#2 Beef noodle soup
In Taiwan, there’s no specific recipe for beef noodle soup. Every shop seems to have its own take on the dish, each one boasting that it has the best recipe! The country is even home to the most expensive bowl of beef noodle soup in the world and there is an annual beef noodle soup festival in Taipei. Though, there’s no need to search out this dish at festivals or expensive restaurants, you can find it everywhere – and it’s up to you to decide which place has the best recipe!
#3 Oyster omelette
As a small island, Taiwan has plenty of fresh, delicious seafood at its disposal. In fact, you’ll be hard pushed not to find seafood restaurants in any town or city you visit. The oyster omelette is probably the most well-known seafood dish in the country, but arguably the sauce served with the omelette is even more delicious than the omelette itself.
#4 Fried stinky tofu
This dish neither sounds nor smells particularly appealing. The tofu is fermented and really does smell as bad as it sounds. However, once you get past the smell, it has a sweet and spicy flavour that most people who try this dish love. However, few foreigners have the guts to try it! Perhaps you can be one of the few…
#5 Egg pancakes
This tasty breakfast dish, dan bing, is made up of a thin crepe filled with scrambled egg and your choice of other filling. Popular choices are bacon, cheese, corn and tuna. The crepe is usually served rolled up and chopped into bite-size pieces.
#6 Gua bao
Bao is starting to make its way around the world, popping up more and more at both traditional Taiwanese restaurants and hip food stalls. In its simplest form, bao are steamed buns that taste both fluffy and doughy. They’re often stuffed with some kind of delicious marinated meat and eaten as a quick snack. Gua bao is filled with braised pork belly and pickled Chinese cabbage along with a few other chopped herbs and crushed peanuts.
#7 Rice-flour pasta soup
Hailing from Keelung City, this unusual dish can’t be found everywhere, so it’s worth stopping to try it if you spot it! Rice flour batter is cooked on the sides of a large wok, sliced into pieces and then dropped into a tasty broth. (In fact, watching this dish being made is almost as fun as eating it.) Dan bian cuo, as it’s known in Taiwan, is usually served with shrimp, dried squid or pork as well as cabbage, mushroom and bamboo shoots.
#8 Any fried chicken!
Taiwan is becoming increasingly famous for its delicious fried chicken. There’s no particular recipe or style of fried chicken to look for, simply follow your nose in any popular night market. There’s sure to be a few tasty morsels around!
#9 Bubble tea
Much like bao, the bubble tea phenomenon has started to spread across the world. In Taiwan, you’ll find a few popular chains dotted all over the country, such as Cha Cha Go and Yi Fang Tea. Choose from a variety of tea flavours, from fruity ones to milky ones, and then pair your tea with flavoured jelly or tapioca balls. It’s the perfect refreshing drink for a humid summer in Taiwan! Alternatively, try a slightly more adventurous recipe, such as WangTea Egg’s drinks which feature bubble tea served with a tea-soaked boiled egg!
#10 Shaved ice
Known locally at baobing, this refreshing dessert is made of finely shaved ice flavoured with sugar cane juice. You can then top your bowl of ice with various toppings, most of them resembling tapioca or some other kind of jelly. Alternatively, have your shaved ice with a healthy helping of fruit and drizzled with condensed milk.
There’s so much more food to try than the top 10 we’ve mentioned above. Make sure to ask the locals what they recommend and be adventurous with your food choices!
If you enjoyed this blog, you may also like 10 dishes you must try in Vietnam. Or, you may find our Taiwan guide useful: Everything you need to know about teaching English in Taiwan.