15 Foods to try in Taiwan

Taiwanese food is the ultimate street food experience.  Quick nibbles, easy to carry and bite-sized, yet appetizing dishes have become popular. Asians, especially Filipinos, thrill to such foodstuffs since we relish in taking snacks every other hour, right?

Being colonized by Chinese and Japanese, it’s no perplexity that Taiwanese cuisine has their former colonial masters’ influences but safe to say that they perfected it in their own style. To whet your appetite, here are the top foods to try around this small, subtropical country:

15. Exotic eats

Pig’s blood cake,fried duck tounge,scorpion, stinky tofu,cockroaches,crickets, among others are some examples of exotic foods that you can try at any night market in Taiwan. A must -try for any foodie out there.



If you’re into seafood, you can try a good selection of salted fish, squid, prawns, scallops or sea shells at any food stalls in Taiwan. They are either grilled or deep-fried.


13.Pearl tea

Although in other Southeast and Northern Asian countries, the craze on tea is apparent, in Taiwan, it’s even more. Philippines has gradually likened tea. Thanks to our wide contact to the closest neighbor we have in the north. Sugar and pearl-laden tea flavors have been cherished. Their milky tea with chewy, large tapioca balls,  which they invented in 1980s, is a must try.



12. Taro Balls

Taro refers to the purple root vegetable, like sweet potato. Taro balls is a traditional Taiwanese dessert that can be found everywhere in Taiwan, especially at night markets. It can be served hot or cold. These chewy and bouncy balls are sometimes mixed with red beans, grass jelly, pearls and shaved ice, almost look like an ice cream.


11.Beef Noodle Soup/niu rou mian

Noodle is our pasta in the East. Long, thick noodles topped with clumps of beef shanks, and pickled greens is a classic Taiwan comfort food. If you suddenly get hungry and want to fill up your stomach right away, this fast food won’t surely disappoint you. Plus, most of the time they are readily available due to the deep demand in most eateries and restaurants.




10. Dumplings


Everyone knows where dumplings originate. In every China town, sampling dumplings as a snack is such a ritual. As a side  dish or even as the main meal (just add rice) , dumplings with its varied fillings and sauces presented in small doughs is a perfect example of street food. It might be a Chinese food, but  a Michelin-star restaurant in Taiwan proves that they have the best dumplings in the world.



Isn’t it a Japanese rice cake? Certainly, as Taiwan was once under Japan rule, some Japanese eats were incorporated into Taiwanese’s. Such instance is the Mochi. Most traditional mochi are filled with red bean paste and rolled in peanut powder Taiwanese sausage.



8. Taiwanese sausage

My first taste of Taiwanese sausage was in Hong Kong. And I liked its balance of sweet and salty oomph that I promised I will try it again someday. So, when I visited Taiwan, I didn’t miss the chance to champ some sausages while roaming around the night market.



7. Taiwanese barbecues

Barbecues is a phenomenon in Taiwan although, Taiwanese skewers are said to having been originated from Mongolia. Other types of barbecue can really get healthy. Some are them are sliced meat, noodles, vegetables or a combination.



6.Taiwanese Breakfast

A typical Taiwanese breakfast has lots of carbs like bread, seamed buns and stir-fried noodles. It also has a variety of pickled vegetables and is normally washed down by a hot glass of soy milk or a cup of geen tea.

Related article: Foods to try in Laos



5. Turnip cake

A mixture of shredded turnip and rice flour is pan-fried and mixed with fried eggs on top.



4. Fish Balls

Fish balls are made of fish, of different kinds and comes in many colors, sizes and flavors. The common version of fish balls is the snack version wherein they are boiled in water and sauces.



3. Thin crepe

Such a sweet treat. These are thin crepes added with grated mix of peanut and sugar, later, with scoops of ice cream. It’s both so sweet and cold.


2.Dorayaki Ice Cream

Although, Japanese in origin, Dorayaki is a dessert made from two pancakes typically with a red bean filling. But in Taiwan, they put the ice cream instead as filling. And there are various types of ice cream flavors to choose from. In Juifen, you can find lots of this snack.


1. Themed restaurant

To complete your Taiwan culinary experience, you can also try to dine at a themed restaurant that will surely amaze you. One instance is the Modern Toilet resturant which I chanced upon in Ximending night market. Will you still have the appetite to eat the pooh2x-like ice cream and the beef soup served in a toilet bowl-shaped plate?



How about you, what’s your favorite Taiwanese food ?





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Anna La Viajera
Anna is a travel buff, logophile, choreophile, an adventurous foodie & glossophilia.She loves writing, dancing, traveling & learning languages. She speaks more than 5 languages and have been to more than 20 countries so far. In her leisure time, she loves to listen to music, dance & try cooking.

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