Wednesday, May 4, 2011

April Food Post

{In which there is more Taiwanese food than usual, and I rave about salad}

I know you guys tend to be more interested in seeing photos of uniquely Taiwanese food, which makes sense considering that I'm in Taiwan and most of you are not. But when I do eat Taiwanese food, I like to go for the same staples. Either that or the food isn't particularly photogenic. Which means not many of those photos make it into these posts, as this series isn't so much a record of what I eat as a collection of photos I like that happen to have food as their subject (and I wouldn't have had all these photos of food lying around had Diane not requested them). But this week, you're in luck, as more of the photos are of  Taiwanese food.

I went to 基隆廟口 (a street full of traditional Taiwanese food in front of Keelung Temple) with my aunt and uncle in early April, during my four-day weekend. I basically ate whatever they wanted to eat, which resulted in me being exposed to foods that I've never had before — pretty cool. Unfortunately I don't remember the names of the food I ate. Should have paid more attention, but oh well.

This was sold right at the entrance to the temple. It's basically huge flat noodles rolled up in soup. (I gave the mushroom to my uncle because mushrooms are gross.)

Have no idea what this is, either. Some sort of jello-like snack with peanut powder. A passerby even stopped my aunt to ask what it was and where he could buy it. Still don't remember the name.

We didn't eat this, but I took a photo of it because it looks cool. Haha. The octopus tentacle can be roast to order.

Oh, I bet you guys will be excited about this. A lot of traditional Taiwanese breakfast stores are open 24/7 and people frequently go there for a midnight snack (I thought it was weird since I considered this sort of stuff breakfast, but my friends assured me everyone does it).

I ate 燒餅油條 (best translation I can come up with: Chinese oil stick in roasted flatbread) and soy milk for lunch, along with 蘿蔔糕 (daikon/turnip cake, not pictured), followed by delicious flaky desserts.

I got ones with red bean and green bean (not such a fan of taro). So yummy!

Oh and here's a random pineapple truck:

My coworker Sandra loves buying pineapple from that truck. And yes, it's a lot of pineapple.

Here's some more Taiwanese food:

Yes, Taiwanese food is great, but as a Californian I'm spoiled by the wide variety of cuisine available there and can't help wanting to eat different things once in a while. Mall food courts tend to offer more choices, which is awesome. Once in a while, my coworkers and I will go to Miramar for lunch.

The Indian food there is awesome. Wish I could say the same for the Korean food though — I miss the kind of Korean food available in the States. Here, the dishes have been altered to cater to Taiwanese taste buds.

Here's some random photos of desserts. But maybe you guys don't like that sort of photo as much? I was puzzled that the bonus March Food Post II wasn't nearly as popular as the regular March Food Post.

Last, but certainly not least, we have my favorite meal of this entire month.

Yes, a salad that I made myself. It's so beautiful I can't limit myself to just one photo.

Just one more...

Lest you think I'm being overindulgent, let me assure you that this, in addition to being my favorite meal, was also the most expensive and time-consuming meal of the month of April. The cost of the avocado alone could buy 2-3 regular meals. (I remember when I was younger, I read this book where the narrator mentioned that her family was too poor to afford avocado. Back then, I didn't understand why, but now it makes a lot more sense.) This also explains why the salad will probably be the closest I ever come to cooking; eating out is so much cheaper and more convenient.

I was soooo happy to find avocado and garbanzo beans available at Sogo's City Super, which also offers a lot of imported goods that aren't sold at regular grocery stores. The first time I made the discovery I was so excited I made the mistake of buying lettuce, spinach, and bell pepper there, in addition to sesame salad dressing, bag of mixed fruits and nuts, Greek yogurt, and muesli. I assure you it was a very expensive grocery run, and that the salad ended up costing as much as a gourmet meal in Taiwan. But I had been craving salad so much (specifically, the kind I used to eat with my roommate Amy in Berkeley) I didn't even mind. Later I wised up and learned to buy veggies at small produce markets located in alleys, where I was able to buy much more food at a fraction of the cost (but I'll still have to go to Sogo for the imported goods).

Oh and the salad pictured was actually created just for this blog. The first time I made that salad I didn't even bother with a knife due to sheer laziness; I just washed the produce, ripped them into pieces, dumped them in a pot, then mixed with nuts, dried fruit, garbanzo beans, and dressing. But since I wanted to brag about my salad, I thought it might be nice to have a photo where it actually looked edible, so I very carefully cut and arranged everything this time around (although I still dumped it in a pot to mix before eating).

But yeah, hopefully I'll be eating more healthy stuff now that I know where to get cheap produce, even if I need very expensive toppings to make it appetizing for me.

Here's to healthy eating!

with love,


  1. ahahahahahahaahahahahah. you... make food?
    i'm still super jealous of all your photos. they make everything look AMAZING. and while there isn't a lot of variety in taiwanese food, i'm always still impressed by all your different pictures! knowing you, i honestly thought you'd end up eating dumplings and niu rou mian every single day. i love love love these pictures and am flattered you think of me and my demands :D

  2. LOL i DO end up eating dumplings and niu rou mian all the time! well, kind
    of. my favorite thing to order is dumplings in beef soup which combines the
    two :P and yeah you better feel special! hehe. whenever people ask me about
    why i photograph my food i always say "my sister told me to" lol. and i
    totally didn't expect your demand to turn into a monthly thing. but
    whatever, that's one fewer time i have to think of something to blog about
    each month haha. :)

  3. I LOVE your photos of food! And I totally get the thing about Korean food. I had to drive an hour out of Miami to get Korean food, and it was just so-so. But the main reason I replied is: DUMPLINGS IN BEEF SOUP???
    PICS! That sounds so unbelievably delicious. I've been making beef soup a lot now. It's so delicious and actually a lot cheaper than a lot of things I've been making lately.

  4. mom told me this morning that you made a salad for yourself and I did not expect this totally ....
    it looks sooooo beautiful and delicious. you really surprised me!

    BTW, you may want to turn off the shutter noise on your camera, it is better if you want to take photos in public places since grandpa told me that people turn around to look at you when they heard the shutter noise.

  5. lol really? but it's just dumplings floating around in soup and doesn't look
    as good as it tastes... i had some photos but they were kind of meh so i
    didn't post them. but i'll see if i can't manage to make one look decent-ish
    for next month haha. :)

  6. mushrooms are gross? your FACE is gross.

    other than that, you're totally making me wish my instant microwave food tonight was something else.

  7. hahahahahahah :P
    thanks for the celebrity comment XD

  8. Hm, couldn't youtiao just be... Chinese donut? It's not sweet, necessarily, but to me, fried dough = donut, so... yeah in any case, youtiao with daoling/soy milk is amazing. Miss it so much. Also, props for your pretty salad! Love avocados, but they're really only affordable in California :\

  9. haha yeah, chinese donut works too :) i know, taiwanese breakfasts are
    awesome right?? i should totally take advantage of it way more than i am
    sighh, i'm spoiled by the abundance of avocados in california. we even had
    avocado groves right behind our high school.

  10. hahaha yeah, amazing what i can do when i actually put in some effort, huh :P

    hmm i've already turned off what sounds i can, so i don't think i can do anything with the noise the camera still makes. i guess there's no escaping other people's curiosity...

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