“Noisy, crowded, and smelly” may be the first few words that come to mind when someone mentions Taiwan’s night markets. Don’t shy away from it, though, as you’re about to discover the charm of the seemingly chaotic streets.
1. Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐) : Despite its distinct odor, it tastes crunchy and is surprisingly delicious. I have a few friends who initially hated its odor but ended up liking the dish- so it’s definitely worth a try! It’s usually served with chili paste, sweet cabbage, and a uniquely Taiwanese soy sauce.
2. Oyster Omelette (蚵仔煎) : Fresh oysters cooked with beaten eggs, vegetables (either cabbage or green onions), and topped with Taiwanese-style ketchup. It is super chewy and fulfilling!
Generasian Tip: Try out authentic Taiwanese oyster omelet at Taiwan Tasty in New Jersey!
3. Scallion Pancake (蔥油餅): aka flatbread with minced scallions. It is simply flaky, chewy goodness, kind of like an Asian croissant if you will. I personally hate scallions in general, but I can make an exception with this, and it’s actually one of my favorite snacks!
Generasian Tip: The Bao in NYC serves authentic scallion pancakes!
4. Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken (鹽酥雞): Not your average fried chicken, guys! Mixed with basil leaves, salt, and pepper, it is the go-to snack for many Taiwanese peeps.
5. Peanut Ice Cream Wrap (花生捲冰淇淋): Taro, two scoops of peanut ice creams, peanut brittle, and cilantro wrapped in a crepe is one of the most iconic Taiwanese desserts. The contrasting flavors of peanut and cilantro mix so well together – it’s heavenly.
6. Tofu Pudding (豆花): Soft tofu served with sweet toppings such as cooked peanuts, grass jelly, green beans, boba, taro, etc (there is usually a wide variety of choices), and topped with either ginger or almond syrup. It can be made either hot or iced. A must-try classic Taiwanese dessert!
Generasian Tip: For all the sweet tooths in NYC, check out MeetFresh on 3rd Ave and 6th Street.
7. Taiwanese Sausage (大腸包小腸): Taiwanese pork sausage wrapped in sticky rice sausage, usually topped with pickled cabbage, garlic, and soy sauce. To be honest, I thought it looked disgusting at first until my boyfriend forced me to take a bite – I’m so glad he did.
8. Oyster Vermicelli (蚵仔麵線): Misua noodles served with oysters, pork intestine, and cilantro. It’s my go-to late night dish!
9. Taiwanese Shaved Ice (雪花冰): Ice shavings with sugarcane juice/syrup and various sweet toppings such as fruits, taro, yam, grass jelly, boba, etc (customizable), with bubble milk tea shaved ice being one of the most famous flavors. A perfect dessert for summer!
10. Bubble Milk Tea (珍珠奶茶): In case you didn’t know – the world famous boba originated from Taiwan! For all the boba lovers out there, you should try out the extensive range of flavors offered in Taiwan’s night markets! I personally like passion fruit QQ the best :’)
Generasian Tip: Most of my Taiwanese friends don’t think the famous Boba Guys is authentic. But Coco is a Boba shop originated from Taiwan, so it’s definitely worth a try!
Night Market, Stinky Tofu, Oyster Omelette , Scallion Pancake, Salt & Pepper Crispy Chicken, Peanut Ice Cream Wrap, Tofu Pudding, Taiwanese Sausage , Oyster Vermicelli, Taiwanese Shaved Ice , Bubble Milk Tea