Taiwan Mashup Round 2
This happens each time I go on a trip. I take a TON of photos. Easily a thousand and then it takes over a month to get them up here. Meanwhile I slack on writing recipes. The last time I was in Taiwan I slapped my wrist for not getting a photo of my top food experiences. Ice Tea is the jam in Asia. Everything from unsweetened to super sweetened, caffinated to un, green, white, oolong, grain, rice and more I don't know about. Delicious and reliably easy to find at every take out 7-11, Family, or OK Mart. I was actually told not to take this photo, but ha ha I did. What's the harm?
Jie Tui! Jie Tui! Oh this Jie Tui was fantastic comfort food, even though my hosts Faith and Brett told me it was a little better before ownership changed a few months ago. I worked really hard on this trip, so most of my meals were on the go. Neighborhood joints like this are life savers. This little store front restaurant is sort of a "Shanghai style Lunchbox place", but with fewer options than I'd seen before. Jie Tui (gee tw-hi) means chicken leg. Moist slow cooked in some kind of goodness chicken leg. Hacked up and served with roasted vegetables (unlimited eat-in), and rice, and of course the ubiquitous bucket of homemade hot sauce on the table. It is good. Its is 2-3 meals. It costs $80 Taiwan, or $2.75 American. It was $2.50 until recently. Sadly I can't give you direction here. Its on some road in the Zhonghe or is it Yonghe District of Taipei.
2 very important things to note in this picture. 1, cell phone. Yes everyone in Taipei has a pretty nice cell phone. 2, Brett is putting bone chunks on a piece of tissue. For whatever Kleenex/tissues are used for napkins. I don't get how that happened, they are not very absorbent or really good for eating with, but inescapable in Taiwan restaurants.
This little metal doo-dad is a very important invention. Another ubiquity on tables. Many restaurants in the tropical climate of Taiwan are open store fronts. No fourth wall, or only a partial wall. This thing holds straw and chopstick wrappers from flying around in the wind. Simple and effective, it keeps the streets clean.
Fish are extremely fresh in Taipei. End of story. I have never seen anything fresher, even in the grocery stores. Everything is luminescent with glowing wet skin, and clear eyes. No fish smell ever ever ever. Notably I remember swimming with these fish in the coral reed. So I was a little sad to think of eating these ones.
A plate of cold treat at Mod Bar in Taipei including thousand year old eggs (the black things), cold pork parts, tofu, and some other stuff I don't remember.
Little fish with peanuts and chilies. You see this a lot too. Tastes exactly as it looks. High in protein.
A view from inside the kitchen as I patiently wait for some pineapple to roast. Rum soaked roasted pineapple is one of my favorite desserts.
Everyone, everywhere loves French food and pastries. There was a schmancy macaron place in the department store where my kitchen was located. The flavors you see here (top to bottom, left to right) are black sesame, chocolate, strawberry, yuzu, green tea, and another chocolate. These were a little too sweet, but just right. I like the simple modern packaging too.
Late night snacks for sure! This is the sausage stand outside of Party Time Karaoke. The sausages are okay. Sweet, and bundled in a split rice bun, which you can see here. The specialty here is that you can GAMBLE for your dinner. Get the highest number of dice pairs against the sausage lady and you win your sausage for free. Ordering 6 sausages you get to play 6 times. We won 2 out of 6. Not bad. See that white bowl on the cart to the left of the sausage lady? That's the bowl you roll the dice in. This is an awesome way to make eating more addictive. Love it.
Hello Kitty fish cakes by the pound for ramen/soup at the grocery store.
After dinner scene of an empty Taiwan beer bottle, empty bottle of whisky (Taiwan consumes 1/3 of the world's whiskey) top shelf sea snail can / ash tray and peanuts.
Stir-fried squid with garlic, chilies, ginger, and greens. I've explained to people over and over that Taiwan's style is lighter and cleaner than other Chinese cuisines. No heavy complicated sauces coating fried food. Perhaps that's the American version of Chinese they are thinking of. In Taiwan it's just really great ingredients. Squid in Taiwan is superb. I am spoiled by the seafood in Taiwan.
This is probably not a Taiwanese invention, but a great method for brewing espresso. In the same vain as Blue Bottle's technique, fresh grounds are put in a sieve over a cup. Hot water slowly seeps into the grounds, and down the glass for thick awesome coffee. I also loved the amber rocks of sugar. I like my coffee sweet and strong.
And finally a pretty girl holding a tray of strawberries. In the small island of Taiwan if the food is not in season then it's hard to get. You can not have strawberries year round like you can in America. Its not a tragedy though. When you do get them you LOVE them and put them on a tray and serve them in their whole form with champagne. Very special and classy. These strawberries were from Japan, which made them seem even more special.