Photos by MJ Klein, including FOOD PHOTOS!
This installment of TWIF is a combination of camera-rendered jpegs, and Lightroom manipulated Nikon raw files, as I am experimenting with shooting raw. It’s somewhat overkill for doing web work like our blog, but I’m having fun getting into the development aspect as I started out when I was 17 shooting Kodak tri-ex B&W film and making prints in my own darkroom. At any rate, enough of that and onto the photos!
Our regular readers will probably recognize this shot from downtown Hukou, where I went one day for lunch (before departing for Kaohsiung for the birth of our baby).
This is a bowl of rice noodles (mi-fen) and garnished with pork meat. A pretty typical Taiwanese lunch, and it was quite good.
Without any ceremony whatsoever, we go straight to the Hukou night market where we’ll take a look at several things such as these grilled squid.
I’ve written about “crustacean man” before. He’s still at the night market every week.
Now I have to say, I’m not happy. The regular quick-fry place that Hui-chen and I have been going to for years, is no longer at the night market. I was wandering around looking for it when the boss of the place across from where it used to be spied me looking. He told me that the quick-fry boss opened up his own restaurant, but he wasn’t sure exactly where it was. He heard it was in Yangmei. Now I have to go investigate this new place, but when will I have time? Anyway, I ordered some food from this other boss and I was rather disappointed. The omelet looking thing with the red sauce is an oyster pancake. I hadn’t had one in many years and the instant I bit into it, I remembered why. It’s made from a sticky flour that remains totally gooey when cooked, and with the oysters (which I normally love) it was just a gross mess. Plus the sauce was really bad. The one good thing was the San Miguel draft beer. At least that never changes.
So, I went down to the other quick-fry boss, where I hadn’t eaten in several years. This place has no menu you can look at. You look at the food and tell them how you’d like it prepared. Of course you can ask for suggestions but it doesn’t always work out exactly how you think it will (example below).
This is the boss hard at work.
This is what I got – mountain pig. Normally the dish looks more like this, and I have eaten it many times at the now defunct quick-fry restaurant. But it never looked like this. It was just OK.
The boss posed for a photo.
The sign says “black pig sausage” and therefore I had to try it! This couple was very nice, and they put up with my poor Chinese. I ordered a garlic flavor sausage.
In this shot the boss lady is filling the sausage with wasabi! The resulting flavor was fantastic! Remember they had already added garlic to the sausage. Wow!
Next, a Japanese import:
Squid balls (not the Andrew Zimern kind!). I got 3 packs and took them home. They were great while watching a movie!
This is a shot of the Hsinchu Foodies (a Facebook group) dining at the Golden Triangle in Hukou. Shawn (far left) from Titty Tea put together a food tour of Hukou and everyone had a great time.
Now, we’re down in Kaohsiung, where our daughter was born. Hui-chen being confined to the convalescent center, I went out to eat with her mother, sister and sister’s husband.
We’ve featured food from this place before, being a place that HC’s mother likes. Here we see the guys making baozi dumplings.
Most of the time I just let HC’s mother do the ordering. She nails like 99% of what I like so the most I have to do is maybe add one dish.
I just love Taiwan greens, such as this dragon mustache in the foreground.
Always, one of the best wonton soups, ever.
Like many restaurants in Taiwan, and Asia in general, this place uses blood as an ingredient. I do not eat blood or else I could report on this Hot & Sour soup, which contains duck blood.
These meat cakes were great, but I’m always cautious when I eat them, because of what happened to me once when I bit into one.
As always, these meat and pastry products are outstanding!
Now for the steamed baozi!
These are “tang bao” or soup dumplings.
Now, we change scenery to a place that I visited 2 times in one week – in the Guang Hua tourist night market area. This was my table right off the street.
No menu, just told the waitress what I wanted, I began with salt shrimp. I always eat the shell too.
Our regular readers know that I’m crazy about deep fried oysters. This dish didn’t disappoint!
Liver flavor Chinese sausage. Fantastic flavor!
There is a name for this dish of grilled pork with the vinegar dip, but I forgot it, lol. It was good nevertheless.
The Guang Hua area is several blocks long and bustling with activity even on a weekday night.
Now I told you that I went back to this same place another night. This time I took more photos of the food they have on offer. The speckled snake looking thing in the upper right hand corner is moray eel. If you’ve never had moray eel, you don’t know what you’re missing – they are fantastic!
The dark colored sausage is the liver flavor that I like.
At first I thought this was snake, but it’s eel of some kind.
As I was waiting for the dishes, I took this shot of the signs that show where this night market is. The little brown sign on the left says “Guang Hua Tourist Night Market” but the English omits the word “tourist” for some reason.
Plain boiled shrimp with garlic. Nice dish.
Deep fried pork large intestine. Great Taiwanese style dish.
These are wok-fried mini cabbages, almost like Brussels sprouts.
I just had to get another order of this liver sausage because it was so good!
Of course, I try not to go back to the same places over and over, so I went out to explore a place I haven’t been back to in a few years – the Wu Jia road night market.
Every Saturday night there is a street night market, in addition to the regular everyday night market. I took a walk down the street and shot a few photos for our readers. Then I went to eat at the regular night market vendor area.
But onto the food. I haven’t been here in probably 4 years, maybe more.
You’re not seeing things: that is a cobra on the sign.
They serve snake, and I got a bowl of snake soup. At first the boss lady kinda ignored me. I guess she figured I was in the wrong place but when I spoke to her in Chinese and told her I wanted some snake soup she brought it over right away.
This is the aftermath of the soup. You can see the snake bones on my plate so you know I wasn’t joking. This was the real thing. The soup has ginger and rice wine flavoring.
This is the boss posing in front of a jar of snake liquor that he made.
I decided to walk around and check out another place where I used to eat.
And here it is. I found out later that they’ve been here for 30 years so I shouldn’t have been concerned. They serve….
…. really excellent duck meat! I love duck and I seldom had it in the US where duck is ridiculously expensive. It’s cheap and plentiful in Taiwan though.
Those are duck intestines on the left. They make a nice dish too.
Sliced duck meat with a rich brown sauce for NT. Hard to beat.
So good, I had to get another order!
After that delicious duck, I walked around to find one more thing to top off the evening.
And that was this grill place.
Here you see the boss lady brushing on some sauce as she charcoal grills the various fare.
We have more food photos coming up from Kaohsiung, as there are quite a few night market areas here and we went exploring them for you!
Thanks for reading. Please leave us your comments below!
Articles in series This Week in Food: