Our 5 Favourite Taiwanese Dishes

Regularly voted as the best food destination in the world, Taiwanese food is incredible. 

With a culture of gourmet snacking all throughout the day, the capital, Taipei, has about 20 streets dedicated to just food, and each food shop dedicates itself to the perfection of just one dish. 

Here’s our 5 favourite Taiwanese dishes!

 

Beef Noodle Soup

 

Considered the national dish of Taiwan. Whilst seemingly simple, don’t let this fool you. It’s flavours are of pickled mustard greens and the signature five-spice mix of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and fennel seeds. The classic wheat noodles and tender chunks of beef from every cut imaginable are left to brew for days at a time and every restaurant’s version is a unique and closely guarded recipe.

 

Gua Bao, the Taiwanese Hamburger

 

Gua Bao is an eastern take on the hamburger and is definitely tastier (and probably healthier) than their western counterpart. A northern Taiwanese specialty that features puffy steamed buns which are stuffed with delicious cuts of sweet pork belly that’s been braised in a mixture of rice wine, soy sauce and Chinese five-spice powder. The buns are then topped with crushed peanuts, pickled mustard greens and cilantro.

 

 

Bubble Tea

 

Whilst it’s not a dish, we couldn’t make a list like this without including probably the most refreshing drink in the world – bubble tea! Taiwan is undisputedly the bubble tea capital of the world and is the go-to beverage for all of Taiwan. The tea is a mixture of black tea leaves, milk, ice and chewy tapioca pearls. The pearls are made from tapioca starch from the South American cassava plant which was introduced to Taiwan from Brazil. 

Stinky Tofu

 

Stinky Tofu is, as you’ve probably guessed, very stinky! In fact, the stinkier the better. This is the ultimate love-it-or-hate-it snack, but Taiwan gets the balance just right. The tofu is left to ferment for days in a mixture of milk and meat/fish/vegetable brine and is then deep fried and draped in sweet and spicy sauce. Even if you end up hating it, the smell will definitely be a memorable part of your Taiwanese adventure.

 

Fan Tuan

 

These mouth-watering rice rolls are a staple of Taiwanese cuisine and are usually eaten for breakfast. First sticky white rice is packed down flat and stuffed with traditional ingredients of pickled radish, mustard greens, chunks of braised egg, pork floss, and a deep fried cruller. Then the whole thing is packed with more rice and squeezed into a perfect oblong. You’ll find that every food shop has its own take on Fan Tuan so no dish will ever be the same.