While Taiwan is home to amazing views and hiking trials, it is also home to mouth watering dishes. Taiwan offers a unique cuisine that is also rich with the country’s culture and history.
When in Taiwan, be sure to try out these dishes to experience Taiwan at its fullest.
Beef noodles is known as Taiwan’s national dish for good reason. This noodle dish is made of beef, broth and noodles. The dish’s broth flavorful and aromatic while its beef braised and stewed.
This dish can be found all over Taiwan in restaurants and street vendors, and can be flavored to suit any taste bud.
This savory pancake is unlike any other pancake around the world. This pancake consists of dough loaded with green onions and pan fried to a crisp. Scallion Pancakes can be eaten as a snack. They are crispy on the outside while chewy on the inside. You are also able to order this snack with an egg on top, adding richness to the dish.
Pork Pepper Bun
While Taiwan offers buns of various flavors, one of the most popular buns is the pork pepper bun. These buns originated from Fuzhou, China, becoming a popular street food in Taiwan over the years.
You can find this snack in Raohe Night Market, where these buns are generously filled with peppery minced pork and cooked by sticking the dough to the sides of a cylindrical oven. These buns are flavorful, juicy and peppery, a great snack to have while roaming the streets of Taiwan.
Braised Pork Rice
The dish consists of rice topped with tender minced pork belly and slathered with a thick gravy. While this dish sounds simple, it is comforting to locals and travelers alike. Braised pork rice can be eaten as a meal itself or along side other side dishes.
Braised pork rice is fatty and flavorful, from the pork and gravy. The best way to eat this dish is to mix all the ingredients together so that the gravy covers the whole dish.
Taiwanese Fried Chicken
Known to be one of Taiwan’s most iconic street food, the Taiwanese Fried Chicken consists of a large chicken cutlet coated in batter and deep fried to a golden brown tint. This cutlet is usually flavored with MSG-filled seasoning, giving the snack an aromatic and umami flavor.
This fried chicken is not like any other fried chicken you will find around the world. Taiwanese Fried Chicken can be found in various stalls at night markets and street vendors. The dish should be crisp on the outside while still tender and juicy on the inside.
Pork Intestine Mee Sua
This is a type of noodle dish made out of thin wheat-flour noodles with silky smooth gravy. The noodles should be soft and flavorful, with the gravy covering every bit of the dish.
This dish is typically served with pork intestine and oyster sauce to give the dish more texture and flavor. At particular stalls, you may even find actual oysters in this dish. Consume this dish with some add ons you can find at the store, including chili sauce, vinegar, garlic and coriander to give the dish an extra umami flavor.
While many may be opposed to the smell of this dish in Taiwan, it is one you have to try. The strong scent of this dish comes from fermented tofu that is usually steamed or fried. This iconic snack can be found in night markets and street stall vendors.
This dish while some may perceive as smelly, has a unique taste — crisp on the outside while fluff inside. Stinky tofu also comes with duck blood curd and pickled cabbage to balance off the flavors of the tofu itself.
A renowned Taiwanese snack, pineapple cakes are made of pineapple jam wrapped in pastry. This cake is usually eaten as a snack of bought as a gift. As the Taiwanese hokkien word for pineapple is ‘ong lai’ translating to ‘coming luck’, gifting pineapple cakes in Taiwan is a symbol of wealth, fortune and prosperity.
These pineapple cakes are light and buttery from the shortbread crust while sweet and tangy from the pineapple jam. The sweetness and buttery-ness of the snack should balance off, complementing each other, leaving you wanting more.
Ice Cream Peanut Roll
This unique ice cream dish is like no other, one that is on the fence between sweet and savoury. This dish consists of peanut shavings, ice cream and coriander wrapped in a traditional popiah skin.
This ice cream roll may include various flavors of ice cream giving the dish a unique flavor. As this dish consists of various ingredients, it also gives off a unique texture, with the crunchiness of the peanuts, creaminess of the ice cream and chewiness of the skin. Nevertheless, these flavors and textures are wonderfully balanced with every bite.