Must-Try Street Foods in Taiwan
Taipei is not just a city packed with sight-seeing sites; many visitors also come to Taipei just to eat. The city is filled with barbecue street vendors, night markets, and numerous eateries serving scrumptious food.
In between Taiwanese beef noodles, roadside snacks, and old-school breakfast, below is the list of top Taiwan street foods you should try the next time you are in Taipei.
Spring Onion Pancake
Also known as a Scallion pancake, is a savory flatbread folded with oil and minced scallions. It is pan-fried, which gives it crisp edges yet also a chewy texture.
It really tastes good, and it’s probably one of our favorite street foods in Taiwan.
Oyster Mee Sua
This is Taiwanese wheat vermicelli mixed in a tender soup with oysters and pork intestines. This food can also be found in several Taiwanese street food stalls in Singapore, but the Taipei version is the best.
For those who don’t like oysters, many street food stalls serve plain mee sua, which is just as good.
Lu Rou Fan (braised pork rice)
The minced juicy pork is braised in velvety gravy and then served with a boiled egg on the side.
Lu Rou Fan is a must-try dish if you find yourself in the streets of Taipei. The sauce may vary from pork belly chunks to fat or lean minced pork for varied texture.
Beef noodles in a popular Taiwanese dish. A well braised succulent beef in a big bowl of hot soup broth is irresistible.
Beef noodles, or as the Taiwanese call it, niou rou mian, is the most favorite dish for the locals in Taipei, to the extent that there is an annual Taipei Beef Noodles Festival dedicated to this revered dish.
Ba-wan (Taiwanese meatballs)
This dish is prepared by snuggling a meatball inside a delicious spongy steamed skin, then fried and drenched in gravy. The filling includes mushrooms, pork, and diced bamboo shoots.
This dish originates from the Beidou township, but you can find it now anywhere in Taiwan. Ba-wan comes in two variations- steamed and deep-fried and is served in a starchy gravy with some sweet chili sauce.
The rice ball comes with different fillings, the common one being crispy you tiao, pickled vegetable (Suan Cai), pork floss, and an egg, all swathed in nuo mi, sprinkled with sesame seed fragrant.
This street dish comes in a plastic sleeve, thus perfect having it to-go.
Flamed grilled beef cubes
The raw beef is grilled using a fire torch then sprinkled with rose salt seasoning, turning it into appetizing succulent beef cubes.
The moment you put one of these cubes in your mouth, it will melt to give you beef saps you have never tasted anywhere else.
You will only find this in the streets of Taipei. Iced milk cubes are dunked in batter before being deep-fried. Deep-fried milk is one of the most unique Taiwanese street food, and very delicious too.
When served, the fried milk is typically hot, so the best way to eat is by taking tiny bites; nevertheless, it will not take away the sweetness.
Smelly / Stinky Tofu
Don’t let the name, and eventually, the smell put you off. This dish can be smelled before you even see it, and believe me, the smell won’t be inviting.
Nonetheless, a trip to Taipei will be incomplete without trying smelly tofu. You got to do it.
The inviting smell of grilled squid can be felt from a mile away. The chewy texture and delicious smell will make you try it more and more.
Small sausage in Big sausage
This was an ingenious work of Taiwanese street food vendors. The big sausage consists of rice molded in a sausage bun, and the small sausage a Taiwanese pork sausage.
Gua Bao or the “Taiwanese Burger” as they normally call this in the U.S. Gun Bao is a steamed bun filled with soft and tender braised pork with sweet sauce, peanut powder, and cilantro.
Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Bao is a soup dumpling that has pork or seafood filling. They are also called a soup dumpling in English-speaking countries because they are filled with hot soup (and therefore must be eaten carefully).
Ban tiao (flat rice noodles) is a popular noodle dish from Kaohsiung’s Meinong district. This stir-fried noodles are normally cooked with sliced pork, scallions, and bean sprouts.
Tian Bu La (Taiwanese Oden)
Tian bu la are deep-fried Taiwanese fish cakes made with a thick paste which incorporates mild white fish fillets, eggs, and potato or tapioca flour.
This Taiwanese street food is very similar to Japanese oden, but its a bit sweeter.
Oyster is a very popular street food in Taiwan. The Taiwanese version of Oyster Omelette uses sweet chili sause compare to the Singaporean version that uses Luak chili that makes it really spicy.
Taiwanese mochi is almost the same as the Japanese mochi. Mochi balls are served either with Dried Peanut, Bean Paste or Sesame Shaving Fillings. Nowadays, Taiwanese mochi often comes with bean paste fillings.
How about you? What’s your favorite snack or street food in Taiwan? Feel free to share by posting a comment below.