Taiwan: 5 Essential Night Market Snacks
While Taiwanese snacks can be found just about everywhere on the island, nothing beats a visit to a local night market, where you can sample a variety of delicious and interesting local delights. All night markets are open till late (12pm) with each having its own unique character and signature dish. Upon arrival, it can be slightly overwhelming as the stretch of stalls are endless but it's definately one of the best ways to experience Taiwanese cuisine and culture. Here's a list of the MUST try snacks available at various night markets across Taiwan.
To some, the idea of the combination of oysters and eggs may be hard to stomach. But if you're not a pansy and you enjoy oysters/seafood, this is a great choice for you. This omelette isn’t your typical western style omelette as it doesn’t just rely on egg, but the addition of flour and water, makes up almost half of the omelette itself. To balance out the oysters, fresh leafy vegetables are added to complete the omelette along with a side the ‘secret’ sauce.
Gua Bao "TAIWANESE BURGER"
Gua Bao, literally means ‘cut bread’ and is one of the most popular snacks across Taiwan. The bun is open-faced and is usually filled with either shredded or a thick slice of braised pork along other condiments like pickled vegetables, crushed peanuts and coriander.
Grandma's Rice Ball
Now this particular snack can only be found at the Ningxia Night Market and is located just off the road where many eager locals are seen lining up.
The rice balls are so hot to handle, that the workers use a make-shift towel covered in plastic to protect their hands. Stuffed with meat floss, mustard greens, pickled veg, chilli (optional) and crushed fried breadstick/Chinese doughnut, this meal-in-one rice ball turns out to be the size of a young child's head or the equivalent to a triple cheeseburger from Mc Donald's.
Shallot pancakes are flaky and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, kind of like a Malaysian roti. You can get them plain, just with shallots or you can add extras like ham, cheese, egg and even Taiwanese basil. It's then topped with light brush of sweet, garlicky sauce and you're good to go.
Peanut Ice Cream Roll
Finally, something sweet. This peanut ice-cream roll is made up of a thin crepe, peanut candy/toffee shavings and at least two scoops of ice cream and then coriander (optional). The edges are then folded in, and rolled like a burrito.