Monday, February 27, 2006

Taiwan fooding

I know, I know, a long time coming.

We arrived in Taipei on Friday night and bypassing the hotel, we went straight to Shilin night market and the first thing we ate was the infamous chicken cutlet.

I definitely feel there was some "mochi" powder in the batter as the chicken was so juicy! The chicken is first marinated and then covered in batter and deep fried to perfection. Very juicy chicken with a light but crispy outer layer that was chewy yet yielding. The chicken sellers refuse to cut the chicken, saying it compromises its juiciness.... I love cooks who refuse to yield to customer demands in favor of the flavaaaaaaaah! We had alongside the chicken, some spicy dumplings and smelly tofu. Mmmmn, once you get hooked on the smelliness, you start craving it!

Anyhow, we moved onto other yumminess including some Tien Bu Lah (sweet not spicy) which were flat cakes of . chewy fishcake that were deep fried and served with a sweetish pink sauce with marinated sliced cucumbers. Yum yum, I could eat buckets of these...unfortunately there IS a difference between the good and the bad these ones were average at best. Along these we had some Oh Wa Szen (fried oysters in literal translation) which was a baby oyster pancake with some gooey stuff inside served with the same kind of sauce

We then moved on to one of my favorites and if you're week of tummy (you wusses), you might want to skip the next paragraph.

It was pig kidney soup in loads of alcohol and ginger. Lovely, spicy and with a kick, one of my faves.

Along with it, my parents ordered a serving of squid soup for the boy. A bit bland with large pieces of squid and bamboo shoots.

I caught my dad mesmerized by the sausages, of which he bought a small baggie full along with chopped large chunks or raw garlic (sweet and smoky tasting but I'm not one for sausage, much to my English boy's dismay). My dad wanted some noodles so left him with a plate of fried noodles (and the luggage) while we went exploring for other things, including Oh Wah Misua which was oyster in thin noodle thick soup. Odd sounding but yummy especially with the toppings of coriander, sprinklings of dark vinegar and sesame oil.

We were starting to slow down by now...and and in case you think we were even MORE gluttonous than we were, we shared everything. Ok, I conceed that that the chicken cutlet was huge but everything else was small appetizer sized portions.

Following that, we had to try to new thing at Shilin, grilled mochi! We tried three kinds. The first one was grilled soy mochi and the second was ?? mochi. The lovely cook gave us also a sample of sesame sweet mochi. They were delicious but I have to admit that the soy mochi was the best.

Finally, we ended with taro and peanut ice. Pressed taro root into ice and pressed peanut ice they were both mouthwateringly good but we couldn't finish. They were each so good that after you swallowed, you could savor the taste in your mouth before drooling for more.

So, in conclusion, come for the chicken and stay for the ice, my two favorites of the Shilin night market. DEFINITELY worth a visit.

PS. I'll post this now in case you want to check out my Flickr account but I'll post with pics later.

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