Posts Tagged ‘rice balls’
Cute name for a shop, huh? As you can see I had Hong Kong style dessert two nights in a row. Oink oink to you too. This one was after Yum Cha with Kwan and Pui. Kwan said her favorite dessert place was nearby so after some wandering we rolled ourselves into Ji De Chi, which according to the wall decorations, is a favorite of local celebs and has garnered itself a few awards.
I’ve been saving the best for last.
The Night Market was my first meal in Taipei. After the giddiness of seeing my MV buds simmered down we MRTed it to Shilin in the drizzle to partake in one of Taipei’s best traditions. There’s also a story here of Jeff forgetting his Blackberry and harassing an unsuspecting security guard to check his email but that’s less interesting.
There are heaps and heaps of good food at the Night Market. Come hungry. This is NOT snacktime.
Our first victim: oyster pancake.
Egg with crispy edges = good, bits of green onion = good, oysters = good, gelatinous clumps of unknown origin = weird but palatable. I *think* it’s some concoction of rice flour. But why?
Follow the crowd. Hop into the long line in front of “Large Fried Chicken” (real name) and be rewarded with obvs genetically enhanced fried chicken.
Too bad there’s no size context on this because it is HUGE. I had to hold the thing with both hands. It has a familiar five spicy taste (reminds me of the pork chop at DTF). We asked for it spicy so there’s a bit of a bite thanks to that sprinkling of red stuff. Julia and I shared this and couldn’t finish. I lovingly refer to this as 8 chickens since it’s about the size of 8 chickens. The crowd does not lie.
Jeff disappeared while me, Julia, Ellen, and Kim lined up for big chicken. He returned with two servings of dumplings swimming in peanut sauce. This was an unlikely favorite of mine. It’s the peanut sauce that’s the winner here. It’s more salty than sweet with a bit of heat at the end. Reminds me of good satay sauce.
We strolled down several streets with Jess and Jeff leading the charge and stopping periodically when they came across their faves. This stall served baos with meatballs.
This was just alright for me. Tastes how it looks. Meatball with bao dough all around. Bonus points for being piping hot.
Turn the corner into another line of street stalls. They are big on sausage in Taiwan. Lots of street stalls with an astounding variety of sausage. Impressive.
The bestest stall of them all – scallion pancakes. I could probably eat these nonstop for several days. In Taiwan they are made even more delicious by a plethora of sauces – bbq, curry, etc and the option of adding eggs and/or bacon. The cakes come out flaky, buttery, and piping hot. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. After Julia and I were left hangin’ by the toilet restaurant we stuffed ourselves with scallion pancakes. OMNOMNOMNOM.
This vendor makes itty bitty mochi balls filled with red bean and rolled in ground peanuts. Pretty cool to see her doing her thing. Also pretty cool how easy it is to procure mochi desserts in Asia.
Alright. What we’ve all been waiting for. Stinky tofu. You can smell it from a mile away. My nose wrinkles just looking at this next picture.
So. I tried it. I didn’t spit it out. The verdict? It tastes like it smells.
So concludes our jaunt through Taipei. Not bad for 4 days, right? I’m ashamed to say I did not have boba (tapioca balls in the milk ice dessert kinda counts though) or thick toast. Who’s up for Taipei Round 2?
One of the first stalls on Smith Street is the Ah Bolling stand. I recognized the name from the guidebooks and made sure to leave some room in my tummy for a visit after dinner.
For a mere SGD1.50 you can get 4 balls in your choice of soup: almond milk, peanut, and I can’t remember the third. The balls come in sesame, peanut, red bean, green tea, and a few other flavors. I used to keep these in my freezer in Mountain View (minus the soup part) but these are a gillion times better than those.
The almond milk is lightly sweetened and a bit watered down. Next time I think I’ll try the peanut soup (a bit of a brain fart for me to not get peanut soup when the place is called Ah Bolling Peanut Soup). The red bean filling is heavy and sweet but the black sesame was my favorite. A little bit salty, nicely grainy, and sweet at the end. I liked the rice flour outside since it’s slightly sticky but not gummy.
There will be plenty of additional visits to Chinatown Food Street.