10 Taiwanese Foods You Have to Try

It’s the 5th day of #Project14Lists, and today, I’m switching things up a bit. 😱 Most of you know that I love books (hence the book blog), but one of my other loves is foooood! If you didn’t know, I’m Taiwanese American, and I love introducing my friends to the amazing foods Taiwan has to offer. 🍴 I’m definitely not an expert on Taiwanese cuisine, and my taste is pretty basic. However, being with my family this holiday season is making me really appreciate our culture, and I wanted to share some favorites with you all!

1. Bubble TeaTaiwanFood5

Let’s start with something easy—bubble tea, or bōbà (波霸)! Boba is a sweet refreshing drink, and it can be made with or without milk (because you know that many Asians are lactose intolerant). The little black balls are chewy tapioca balls, but if you’re not a fan of them, boba can also come with other toppings like pudding, aloe jelly, or fruit! I recently tried cheese boba which is a tea base with a layer of cream cheese on top. It may sound gross, but it actually tastes like cheesecake! 🍰

2. Braised Pork RiceDSCF4178.jpg

Braised pork rice, or 滷肉饭 (pronounced: lǔ ròu fàn), is a delicious savory comfort meal. In the old days, eating meat was often a luxury, so families would cook a small piece of pork and braise it into a savory meat sauce so that it could feed the whole family. The delicious meat would then be served over some steamed, fluffy rice with some vegetables for everyone to enjoy! 🍚

3. Taiwanese Breakfast20150516-taiwanese-breakfast-max-falkowitz-4.jpg

Taiwanese breakfast can consist of a variety of different foods from egg crepes to rice burritos. My personal favorite is fried dough wrapped in baked flatbread, or 燒餅油條 (pronounced: shāo bǐng yóutiáo) dipped in savory soymilk, or 豆漿 (pronounced: dòu jiāng). This definitely isn’t an everyday type of meal because as you can probably tell, it’s not exactly the healthiest meal, but it is insanely delicious. 😋

4. Popcorn Chicken922f30d54c8eb9b58c77d022d7990f16.jpg

Every culture has their own take on fried chicken, and Taiwanese fried chicken, or 炸雞 (pronounced: zhá jī), is a popular street food, especially at local night markets. Bite-sized pieces of chicken are coated and fried with flour and seasoning mixture. Its flavored with salt and pepper, chili powder, and lightly fried basil leaves. 🐔

5. Snow Iceo.jpg

What’s a more perfect way to end a hearty meal than with some refreshing snow ice, or 刨冰 (pronounced: bào bīng)? It’s very similar to Korean patbingsu. Milk or cream is frozen and shaved to create a lush, creamy base. In Taiwan, shaved snow is often topped with a variety of toppings like fruit, taro balls, red beans, mochi, or condensed milk. In the U.S., flavors and toppings have expanded to include treats like Fruity Pebbles and chocolate chips! 🍧

6. Stinky Tofu 6797591200_8da957f3e8_k-950x550

Stinky tofu, or 臭豆腐 (pronounced: chòu dòu fu), is a well-known street food that has a pungent order but delicious flavor. The tofu is fermented in a brine of milk, vegetables, and meat. Stinky tofu can be eaten cold, steamed, stewed, or, most commonly, deep-fried, and it is often accompanied by chili sauce or soy sauce. Again, I promise…it tastes way better than it smells! 🥢

7. Soup Dumplings TaiwanFood6

Soup dumplings, or 籠包 (pronounced: xiǎo lóng bāo), originated from the Jiangnan region of China and are more specifically associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. It’s also an extremely popular dish in Taiwan because of a restaurant called Din Tai Fung. Soup dumplings are like your typical dumplings but next level because when you bite into them you feel all cozy and warm inside from the soup. 🥟

8. Oyster Omeletohwajian.jpg

Oyster omelets, or 蚵仔煎 (pronounced: ô á chian), are another popular Taiwanese street food. The omelet consists of a filling primarily composed of small oysters. Potato starch is mixed into the egg batter, giving the resulting egg wrap a thicker consistency. It’s very different from a traditional Western omelet, but it’s just as yummy. If you like oysters or seafood, this is the dish for you! 🌊🍳

9. Pineapple Cake

http_cdn.cnn.comcnnnextdamassets150520113210-best-taiwanese-food--10sunnyhills-pineapple-cakett

Next up is the pastry that my mom always loves to buy at bakeries and share with our friends! Pineapple cake, or 鳳梨酥 (pronounced: fèng lí sū), is a buttery pastry filled with pineapple jam. It might sound like a simple dessert, but it’s always fun to share with family. 🍍

10. Beef Noodle Soup http_%2F%2Fcdn.cnn.com%2Fcnnnext%2Fdam%2Fassets%2F150520113853-best-taiwanese-food--2beef-noodle.jpg

Like fried chicken, many cultures have their own version of a noodle soup comfort dish. In Vietnam, there’s pho, and in Japan, there’s ramen and udon. In Taiwan, there’s beef noodle soup, or 牛肉麵 (pronounced: niú ròu miàn). Every year, Taipei holds an annual Beef Noodle Festival, where various chefs and restaurants compete for the title of the “best beef noodles in Taiwan.” It’s delicious, filling, and will warm you right up! 🐮🍜


Participants - Project14Lists.png

#Project14Lists is a project Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch started, with a goal to write and post a bookish list every day from December 18th to December 31st. Participating bloggers are tasked to come up with creative list ideas, and on each day until December 31st, write a list and post it on their respective blogs. Check out who else has accepted this blogging challenge here.

If you’re interested in joining the fun as well as entering an exclusive giveaway for participating bloggers, read this!


 Have you tried any of these dishes? What was your favorite? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! 💕

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53 thoughts on “10 Taiwanese Foods You Have to Try

    1. AGHHH YES!!! And my heart is breaking that you don’t love stinky tofu, but also it’s totally understandable because it STANKS 😂I think I’m able to withstand it because my family would eat it growing up, so it’s associated with fond memories. I HOPE YOU GET TO FULFILL YOUR BOBA CRAVING ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love youtiao though I’ve never seen it being eaten in flatbread before! I usually dip it in Milo or sneakily dip it into someone else’s cup of coffee. Not sure if anyone does that as well HAHA

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this list with my whole heart!! Anything about Asian food deserves love ❤ I don't think I've tried anything on your list besides bubble tea (which, as an Asian, I am of course in love with), except for maybe braised pork (but I may know it as a different name in Thai haha!). But snow ice looks so delicious, and the way you described beef noodle soup reminds me of some Thai noodle dishes — I truly hope I get to try those foods one day! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AWW ❤ Yay!! It makes me so happy when people love food that I introduce them too 🙂 I hope you get a chance to try them and eat til your heart's content 🙂 I feel so bad that I didn't know you were Thai!! 🙈 I LOVE Thai food, but most of the Thai food I've eaten so far are the basic curries, pad thai, and pad see ew…but it's all SO FREAKING DELICIOUS :O I'm craving it now that I'm thinking about it! If you ever had Thai food recs, please send them my way 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this post made me so hungry, ahhh! I love boba and soup dumplings (not really together haha) and basically everything else on this list so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ALL OF THESE LOOK SO GOOD. It sucks being vegetarian because then I have to go and find veg versions of all of these. Haha. (But also now I want to make lists of my fave North Indian dishes, and then my fave South Indian dishes and ooh, my fave Thai dishes lmao. I love food. So much.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahhh it’s ok!! I’m pescetarian (not the same thing I know, but I can’t eat a lot of the meat dishes) so it’s a struggle! The good thing is that all the desserts are vegetarian ❤ You should definitely try the Taiwanese breakfast if you ever get a chance because it's one of my guilty pleasure foods that I can eat happily knowing there's no meat!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tiffany!! Literally just ate my dinner by the time I’m commenting on your list for today, but my belly’s rumbling again! I love a good xialongbao (especially from Din Tai Fung) and I miss the warm feeling after sipping the hot soup. 😭 I didn’t know how lucky we were to have a lot of the food on this list available here in the Philippines. I swear, after Christmas, I’m definitely getting myself some boba and beef noodle soup.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YESSS Din Tai Fung xiaolongbaos UGH I’m craving them right now!! I was getting so hungry writing this post 😂🙈 I’m so happy that you have a lot of these foods available in the Philippines!! Definitely send me some of your own food recommendations so I can try ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Counting the days when we can eat at Din Tai Fung again aghhh. My personal favorite Filipino dish is caldereta (usually beef stew but can be any type of meat really) but there’s also adobo (actually a way of preserving meat but it’s so tasty), and halo-halo (literally a mix of desserts in a cup). Honestly there’s a whole lot more but they are all amazing. 😍

        Liked by 2 people

  6. My mouth is watering from all of these foods! Now I’m craving for Beef Noodle Soup and Braised Pork. ❤ I've tasted Beef Noodle Soup before and it's delicious. Perfect for rainy season. I love Bubble Tea, I always request for extra tapioca balls (we call it here "sago" or pearls) I want to try Taiwanese breakfast. I haven't tried that before. Love your post, Tiffany!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely agree that noodle soup is perfect for rainy season!! It’s so nice to have something warm when it’s all cold and wet outside ❤ I hope you get to try Taiwanese breakfast sometime!! It's definitely one of my all time favorites 🙂 Thanks Beatrice!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. omggggggg. so many people i knew went to taiwan this holiday and i’m so jealous. i’m salivating at all these foods. i went taiwan a few years back and am dying to go back. i miss the chicken cutlet and mee sua there.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh, yumm!
    I’d defo try most of these! Maybe not the oyster thingie cuz i don’t like oysters.
    I tried boba the first time this summer, and loved it. Only had the fruity one cuz i’m also lactose intolerant.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This post was so lovely to read! I would totally try out all of what the breakfast has to offer.
    I’m not super fond of oyster but if they’re little, I would totally try those out. But all the rest too. Maybe not the tofu.

    In Italy we have few places that say to do good bubble tea but I never tried those out. They’re all in places far away from my usual zones

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Now i’m Hungry…this is such a good list i have tried bubble tea in Scotland i loved it!! But we don’t have it here in Nigeria. or at least i have not seen it yet. That’s it i’m packing my bags to Taiwan.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. My little Asian heart loves this list so much! I have eaten all of these except stinky tofu! I can’t bring myself to get past the smell! Lol. Since I work at a boba restaurant, I have boba tea at least 3-4 times a week. 😊 IT’S SO ADDICTIVE MY GOODNESS! Haha

    Liked by 3 people

    1. OMG SO LUCKY!! You have instant access to all the boba! Have you tried all the different flavors then? 😂 I definitely agree that stinky tofu is pretty weird, but I think because I grew up eating it, I associate it with some great memories so now it’s okay for me to eat 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are SO MANY drinks there, and I tend to gravitate the most towards Green Teas, so there are a ton of milk teas and slushes that I haven’t tried yet! Lol!

        Oh, I can totally relate with how eating that is kind of nostalgic! There are a lot of weird food that I associate with great memories from when I was young, so I’m really used to eating those! Haha. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Aaah this list made me so hungry! 😆 My favorites on this list would have to be the 小籠包 and the Chinese donut in the picture you had for the Chinese Breakfast section. There are a lot of similar foods I can see in your list with traditional Hong Kong Cantonese foods (I’m half-Cantonese 😊), and in Hong Kong we have this HK-style French toast that is absolutely delicious! Have you ever tried it? Anyways, great list!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. these all look so good (i’ve heard bad things about stinky tofu though hahaha xD) the only thing i’ve tried here is boba. that pineapple cake looks soooo good and i love dumplings!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Loved this post! Never knew bubble tea was of Taiwanese origin! All the food sounds super yummy! Had read about Taiwan in the lonely planet magazine and wanted to visit the place. This makes me wanna go there even more!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Everything here sounds good and now I really want to try them all especially bubble tea. Wonderful post!

    Like

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