2012年9月27日 星期四

你知道如何向老外介紹台灣小吃嗎? CNN歸納40個絕不能錯過的台灣美食(二)

Small eats are the big thing in Taiwan

11. Tian bu la (甜不辣)
Don't waste a single drop: water down the brown sauce and drink it up.

Tian bu la refers to fish paste that has been molded into various shapes and sizes, deep-fried, then boiled in a broth. Before eating, the pieces of solid fish paste are taken out of the broth and smothered in brown sauce.
Doesn't sound like much, but it delivers plenty of the sweet flavors and chewy textures beloved by Taiwanese. Tian bu la is basically a Taiwan take on Japanese oden, with more sugariness, tougher fish cakes and a signature sauce. 
After finishing the pieces of fish cakes, there's more to come. Get some soup from the vendor and add it to the remaining sauce in the bowl. Mix and drink the flavor bomb.   

Simon Tian Bu La (賽門甜不辣), 95 Xining South Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City; +886 2 2331 2481  (台北市萬華區西寧南路95號)

12. Ba wan (肉圓)
Ba wan: dumplings for giants.

The ba wan is Taiwan's mega dumpling.
Made with a dough of rice flour, corn starch and sweet potato starch, it looks almost translucent after cooking. Pork, veggies and sometimes eggs are stuffed inside and gravy is poured on top. 
It is commonly believed that ba wan was invented during periods of scarcity. The simple pork dumpling was then a luxurious snack enjoyed only during the Lunar New Year festival. 

Tonghua Bawan (通化肉圓), No. 7, Alley 39, Tonghua Street, Da'an District, Taipei City; +886 2 2707 8562  (台北市大安區通化街39巷7號)

13. Fried chicken (鹽酥雞)
Perfect street food: boneless and bite-sized.

In the fried chicken hall of fame, Taiwan deserves its own exhibit. Not only has it made the giant fried chicken cutlet (No. 35 on this list) a cult classic, but its popcorn chicken is dangerously addictive.
The chicken is chopped into bite-sized pieces, marinated, dipped in batter and deep-fried. A generous sprinkling of salt and pepper complete the morish morsels. It's a ubiquitous snack on the city streets.

Taiwan's First Popcorn Chicken Store(台灣第一家鹽酥雞創始總店), No. 530-1, Bei'an Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City  (台北市中山區北安路530-1號)

14. Flaky scallion pancake (蔥抓餅)
The flaky scallion pancake, Taiwan's food porn queen.

There is nothing more appetizing than the sight of a flaky scallion pancake being slowly torn apart. Add cheese and egg fillings to maximize the visuals.
Devour this night market staple in a few bites to ensure it is steaming hot and chewy.

Shida Night Market, Taipei City  (台北市師大路夜市)

15. Oyster vermicelli (蚵仔米線)
Oyster vermicelli: taste of the sea.

A bowl of great oyster vermicelli should have a thick, flavorful soup base while the thin rice noodles and oysters should still retain their distinct texture.  
Some people will add chopped intestines for a funky dimension to the soup.
It is a gooey, slurpable dish, more soup than noodle, with an intense briny taste.

Ay-Chung (阿宗), 8-1 Emei St., Wanhua District, Taipei City; +886 2 2620 9989  (台北市萬華區峨嵋街8-1號)

16. Stinky tofu (臭豆腐)
You need two hands to eat this, one to hold your nose.

This is the world's best love-it-or-hate-it snack and Taiwan does it just right. 
The "fragrant" cube of bean curd is deep-fried and draped with sweet and spicy sauce. It you hold your nose, it looks and tastes just like a plain ol' piece of fried tofu, with a crisp casing and soft center like pudding.
But what's the fun in eating that? Inhale deeply and relish the stench, the smellier, the better.

Raohe night market, Taipei  (台北市饒河街夜市)

17. Sweet potato (地瓜)
"See, it has a perfect Taiwan shape."

Leaving taste, smell and nutritional value aside, the sweet potato stands out for one particular reason in Taiwan -- it is shaped like the island. For this, the sweet potato occupies a very special place in every Taiwanese heart.
Taiwan-grown sweet potatoes are added to soup with ginger, or roasted by street vendors in ovens converted from oil-drums, or ground to a flour and added to other dishes to give texture, or fried into sweet potato chips.
As long as the beloved root vegetable is in it, Taiwanese love it.

18. Shaved ice mountain (刨冰山)
Taiwan's summer blockbuster is the shaved ice mountain.

One good thing about the hot, humid and stormy summers in Taiwan is the excuse to eat shaved ice mountain.
An oversized pile of shaved ice is heaped with fresh fruit and flavorings, such as mango pieces, juice and sweet condensed milk. It wins hands down just by looks alone. 
A more traditional take is a smaller option, less dramatic but with freshly made mini rice balls.

Feast on mango shaved ice at Yong Kang 15 (永康15), 15 Yong-kang St., Taipei City; +886 2 2321 3367  (芒果刨冰:台北市永康街15號); For classics go to Tai Yi Milk King (臺一牛奶大王), 82 Xin Sheng South Road, Section 3; +886 2 2363 4341  (傳統刨冰:台北市新生南路三段82號)

19. Pepper cakes (胡椒餅)
So good that we ate half of it before remembering to take a photo.

The must-have at Rao He night market, the pepper cake is a crispy pocket filled with juicy pork that is infused with the aromatic bite of black pepper. Baked on the wall of a clay oven, the pies are a delicious ode to the pepper plant.
Make sure you get more than one, or risk the overwhelming sense of regret when you have to wait again in the long queue for more.

Raohe night market, Taipei  (台北市饒河街夜市)

20. Din Tai Fung Dumpling House (鼎泰豐小籠包)
Din Tai Fung: building an empire on a dollar-sized dumpling.

Xiaolongbao may be a Shanghainese delicacy, but some argue that the Taiwanese perfected it. Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung does its Shanghai comrades proud with their succulent pork soup dumplings. 
Din Tai Fung’s bite-sized xiaolongbao have a consistently high quality. Their paper-thin wrappings hold rich hot broth and tender pork meatballs.
Gasps can be heard intermittently at Din Tai Fung as diners brave the scalding hot soup that squirts out upon biting the dumpling. 

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House, 192 Xinyi Road, Section 2, Taipei City; +886 2 2321 8929  (鼎泰豐:台北市信義路二段192號)



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