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Cuisines in Taiwan have several variations. In addition to the following representative dishes from the people of Hoklo (Hō-ló) ethnicity, there are also Aboriginal, Hakka, and local derivatives of Chinese cuisines (one famous example of the last is Taiwanese beef noodle). Taiwanese cuisine itself is often associated with influences from mid to southern provinces of China, most notably from the province of Fujian (Hokkien), but influences from all of China can easily be found. A notable Japanese influence exists due to the period when Taiwan was under Japanese rule (1895-1945). Traditional Chinese food can be found in Taiwan, alongside Fujian and Hakka-style as well as native Taiwanese dishes, including dishes from Guangdong, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Hunan, Sichuan, and Beijing.


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    Ingredients & Culture    

Pork, rice, and soy are very common ingredients, as with many Taiwanese cuisines. Beef is far less common, and some Taiwanese (particularly the elderly generation) still refrain from eating it. This is in part due to the considerations of some Taiwanese Buddhists, a traditional reluctance towards slaughtering precious cattle needed for agriculture, and an emotional attachment to such beasts of labor. Ironically, beef noodle remains one of the most popular dishes in Taiwan, in spite of this traditional version.

Taiwan’s cuisine has also been influenced by its geographic location. Living on a crowded island, the Taiwanese had to look aside from the farmlands for sources of protein. As a result, seafood figures prominently in their cuisine. This seafood encompasses many different things, from large fish such as tuna and grouper to sardines and even smaller fish such as anchovies. Crustaceans, squid, and cuttlefish are also eaten.

Because of the island’s sub-tropical location, Taiwan has an abundant supply of various fruits, such as papayas, melons, and citrus fruits. A wide variety of tropical fruits, imported and local are also enjoyed in Taiwan. Other agricultural products, in general, are rice, corn, tea, pork, poultry, beef, fish, and other fruits and vegetables. Fresh ingredients in Taiwan are readily available from farmer’s markets.

In many dishes, the Taiwanese have shown their inventiveness in their selection of spices. Taiwanese cuisine relies on an abundant array of seasonings for flavor: Soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, fermented black beans, pickled radishes, peanuts, chili peppers, cilantro (sometimes called Chinese parsley), and a local variety of basil (九層塔 Jiucengta, literally meaning “nine-storey pagoda”). The resulting dishes thus combine and form interesting tastes which make Taiwanese cuisine simple in format yet complex inexperience.


    5 Must-Try Taiwanese Food/Drinks 



Bubble Tea 珍珠奶茶

Bubble tea represents the “QQ” food texture that the Taiwanese love. The phrase refers to something that is especially chewy, like the tapioca balls that form the “bubbles” in bubble tea. It’s said this unusual drink was invented out of boredom. Variations on the theme include taro-flavored tea, jasmine tea, and coffee, served cold or hot.



(Source of Picture: hoolee.tw)

Oyster Omelet 蚵仔煎

Here’s a snack that really showcases the fat of the land in Taiwan.

You’ve got something from the sea and something from the soil.

The eggs are the perfect foil for the little oysters, which are easily found around the island, while sweet potato starch is added to give the whole thing a gooey chewiness ‑ a signature Taiwan food texture.



Beef Noodles 牛肉麵

You know a dish is an obsession when it gets its own festival.

Beef noodle soup inspires competitiveness and innovation in Taiwanese chefs. Everyone wants to claim the “beef noodle king” title.

Whether you’re visiting the trendy Pin Chuan Lan’s rib-eye steak noodle restaurant or have made a foray into the first makeshift noodle shack you spot, it’s almost impossible to have a bad beef noodle experience in Taiwan.



Taiwanese Fried Chicken 鹹酥雞

Taiwan deserves a special place in the fried chicken hall of fame. The chicken is chopped into bite-sized pieces, marinated, dipped in batter, and deep-fried. A generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, and deep-fried basil completes the morsels.



Traditional Taiwanese Breakfast 台式早餐

The three best dishes to kick off your day in Taiwan? Sesame flatbread, deep-fried Chinese donuts, and soy milk.

* This article is credited to Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN. For more information, please visit https://goo.gl/3rmLRi