As promised here is a list of my top 5 favorite street food in Taiwan. I just want to mention that there was a cup of milk tea that was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. But as it was milk tea, and not exactly food so I left it out.
#5. Some bread thingy, chinese name something-something bing. (remember bing, which means round cake, is one of my favorite chinese words.)
My friend and I saw these delicious little bread things cooking one night while walking around Shilin, the biggest night market. But I passed them up. I figured that I didn’t want bread filling my stomach at that time. I later regretted it and on my last night headed back to right a wrong.
Cooked in these giant oil drum like things, this bread was crusty on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. I got the spring onion flavor and while it wasn’t heavily flavored, it was delicious and tangy oniony flavored. I was right though, it really filled me up, and I ate only half before abandoning the rest rest for the sake of more food.
#4 Taiwan Ji Pai (literally chicken steak, but more of a giant fried cutlet.)
This is a well-known famous snack with places in China selling Taiwan Ji Pai. But I got it at one of the most famous places on the biggest night market. Even early in the night there was a long line for these crispy fried cutlets. These things are HUGE and not for the faint of heart. Mostly white meat these cutlets (close to the size of my head) are breaded, fried, sprinkled with powder than handed to the next greedy customer in line. It was a quick turnover, but a much higher demand. It’s not at all greasy, but crisp and delicious while the chicken is moist and juicy.
Alas, I also threw out about half of this delcious ji pai only because it was so darn big, and I wanted to try some of the other street food.
#3 Taiwan Sausages
I mentioned these briefly in my street food article but they were the one thing I looked for almost everywhere I went. You could get normal hot dog sized, or super sized long sausage size, but my favorite were these little bit sized ones. The vendors truly know how to cook these little nuggets of yumminess with the skin of each one breaking as you bit into it allowing the moist juices fill your mouth. I’m not a fan of sausages in asians countries (because who knows what’s in them!) but something drew me to these bright red lovelies and I’m so glad I did. A friend told me they sell them in Shanghai and I will definitely keep an eye out for them, as I cannot go the rest of my life without trying another one.
#2 Snow! (Okay, technically shaved ice, but it’s basically snow)
As a New England girl, I have always been a fan of eating snow. In fact, after a big, fresh storm you’ll find me outside munching away (after I check there is no yellow snow of course). That’s why this Taiwanese treat was right up my alley. Summer gets really hot and sweaty in Taiwan so they like to eat cold things to help cool them down. The weather was slightly cold when I was there, but I didn’t care. The second I saw the big pile of shaved ice with different toppings I knew I had to get it. (Twice in fact, once I got it covered in chocolate sauce, the other time a variety of fresh fruit.) In China, they don’t like cold things. Even in the height of the hot, humid summers the drinks are served luke warm. So having a delicious icy cold treat was totally refreshing.
It looks like coconut, but it’s really just shaved ice. Not at all crunchy, but more fluffy like fresh snowfall. I’m not sure how they do it, but it’s genius and I want the machine that makes these. Honestly I would be happy just to eat a big bowl of the snow, but it was delicious with the toppings, especially the fruit. I also ate it on a day my hometown in America was getting pummeled with 2 feet of snow in a blizzard. So I felt like I shared a little bit with my friends.
And my number one most favorite street food in Taiwan?! Drum roll please………….
I can hear you say what the heck is that?! But hear me out. It’s two scoops of ice cream, on a base of shredded peanut candy, wrapped in a burrito. Yes, a ice cream peanut burrito! Why do we not have these in America and why have I never had these before?! My Taiwan friend Jaddie introduced me to them and she said she used to eat them all the time as a kid which made me incredibly jealous. We had them in a small town in the northern part of Taiwan and despite me looking everywhere for them I never saw them again the rest of my trip. But this is another food that I must eat again before I die and might be worth a trip back to Taiwan just for this snack.
So that is my top 5 favorit street foods in Taiwan. Have you been to Taiwan? What’s your favorite street food?