Food Glorious Food! – Taiwan Trip #17

April 2, 2009 at 11:21 am | Posted in itchy backside | 1 Comment
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Taiwan is known for its many good food. The thing is, I am never a food person, although I do have a sweet tooth and welcome any ice-cream or chocolate. Strangely cakes do not appeal that much to me…heee….

Walking along the Shilin Night Market, you would be able to see a lot of interesting stuff that they sell. Besides the food, the signs on these mobile hawkers were interesting too.

stick
This reminded me of Bangkok. They had all sorts of skewed meat to be heated
up when you order 

beancurd
Stall selling fish cakes and stinky beancurd

hotdog
These hotdogs were coated with a layer of flour and deep-fried before serving

bird
Grilled quail eggs

Tisu Boy had been saying that he must eat the “Pig Blood” in Taiwan, since we dun have it back home anymore due to hygiene reasons. But the strange thing was we looked at so many stalls selling it, and it didn’t look anything like what we had in Singapore. They called it the Pig Blood Cake (豬血糕), which was made from pork blood and sticky rice. Those that were sold in Singapore were a kind of congealed pig blood, without mixing anything. In the end, we saw something similar to those we had back home, but these were made from duck blood….According to Wikipedia, these are called “blood tofu (血豆腐), or “red tofu” (红豆腐) in China, and are most often made with pig’s or duck‘s blood, although chicken‘s or cow’s blood may also be used. These are simply cut into rectangular pieces and cooked.

So gamely, Tisu Boy ordered a set for himself…eeee….I dun take these…. :O We were asked to take a seat inside the shop…had wanted to take-away, but since it was such a cold night, we thought it would be a good idea to rest in the warm and cosy shop.

blood
I think the stall owner thought Tisu Boy order ‘one set’ for TWO person…
it was such a big serving!

fishcake
Especially when he thought “one set” meant “one piece” and went to order
some other stuff to share. These were all fish balls, fish cakes and mushrooms
for me so I would have something to munch on while he savoured his ducky blood… :p

Besides this duck blood, Tisu Boy also tried the ducks’ tongues…. 😮

tongue
Quack quack quack…..looked scary to me….

Then we also saw a few of these familiar signs as seen on guidebooks…

frog2
The “Frog laying eggs”. Wonder why all the signs had this same design…
think they were some kind of franchise….

So what on earth are “Frog laying eggs” (青蛙下蛋)?  

It is actually made of 粉圓, a kind of jelly, similar to those in bubble tea. When boiled in water, it looked whitish like frogs’ eggs. Served with ice, milk and other toppings like green beans or lemon, and we have a delicious cup of jelly drink…hmmmm…similiar to that of our ice-jelly 文头雪….

frog
This picture cropped off the big bowl of jelly in the foreground. This is similar
to our ice jelly…they called it 愛玉

? Why called that? Isn’t that ice-jelly?

It was only then I realised I never know how ice-jelly is made….

Actually the jelly is made from the gel on the seeds of a fig, Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang, found in Taiwan and East Asian countries. The fruits are the size of small mangos and are harvested just before they ripen to a dark purple. They are then halved and turned inside out to dry over the course of several days. The dry fruits can then be sold, or dried aiyu seeds (愛玉子) can then be pulled off the outside skin and sold separately. To make the jelly, the seeds are placed in a cotton cloth bag and submerged in cold water and rubbed. A slimy yellowish tea coloured gel will be extracted from the bag of aiyu seeds as it is squeezed and massaged. The bag is discarded and the extracted gel is then allowed to set into a jelly either in a cool location or in the fridge. Today, those sold in Singapore hawker centres or food courts are not made fresh this way but from commercially ready powder form, according to a local food variety show that I missed recently. They showed how they found an old stall owner who knows how to make ice-jelly the traditional way but stopped doing so as he couldn’t get fresh ingredients here. For filming the show, the TV crew specially flew in the aiyu seeds from Taiwan. Hope they will re-run the show again…

We also tried some of the more ‘normal’ food.

egg
Cakes made into cute shapes…

cake2
Itchyfingers tried this stall…and asked for all animal shapes only…. :p

cake
Nice little animal cakes….would be nice to have some red bean fillings…. 

One of the most bizarre thing food stalls we encountered must be this one. It was located just opposite the Ximen station, which was the centre of the hip Ximending shopping area…So out of place!

dried
Shop selling dried duck, fish, sauages and other dried meat. A totally out of
place shop, sharing the prime location with its neighbours of hip bubble tea,
eateries and fashion outlets…The boss looked grumpy, so Itchyfingers had
to shoot it from a distance…and were surprised to see a customer the next minute… 

At Jiufen 九份, Itchyfingers tried this nice dessert made from yam…apparently it was a popular old shop…

yam
The original Granny Lai’s shop. One side was the kitchen, the other side was
where customers take a seat enjoying the hot dessert… 

yam2
Very nice and not too sweet

bun
Cute name and sign for shop selling buns…. The country pumpkin buns 
😀 

egg2
This was even better…the Bastard Eggs….hahahah….Specially concocted
eggs with three flavours…. 

Then of all things, Tisu Boy had to order this to try….exotic loreeeee….

snail2
Grilled snails….and he asked for the original taste, with no added spices,
only a pinch of salt…. 

snail
Turned out to be not so nice since the lady didn’t give him all the hot ones…
It smelt fishy to me…. 😮

There were simply too much interesting food to try in Taiwan, too bad we didn’t have big stomach to try all, and there were a lot of pork stuff which I do not take. But since I have a sweet tooth, would strongly recommend the Frog Laying Eggs jelly drink as well as the yam dessert! Hahaha…. 8)

Also see related posts:
> Everyone Says Good Good Eat…Again! – Taiwan Trip #16
> Answer to Nature’s Call #3 – Taiwan Trip #15
> Nine Portions with Nine Lives – Taiwan Trip #14
Déjà Vu and a Brief Encounter – Taiwan Trip #13
Letting Our Imagination Run Wild – Taiwan Trip #12
Walking in the Wind – Taiwan Trip #11
A Walk Along the Cliff – Taiwan Trip #10
Away From the Concrete Jungle – Taiwan Trip #9
Shit Happens – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #8
Gorilla in the Mist – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #7
It’s a Cat! No! It’s a Bear! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #6
Wow Cow! Holy Cow! So Many Cows! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #5
Gong Xi Fa Cai! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #4
Holy Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #3
Wow Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #2
Buy One Get One Free! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #1 

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  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).


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