(Miao Kou stands)
Between Ren 3rd Rd. and Ai 4th Rd,
near the Dianji Temple
date visited: 10/22/2006
Finally get to blog about night market food! Somehow my camera is always forgotten or out of battery everytime we go, even though I have been going a lot less than I did when I was younger- I loved to go to Shih Lin night market (but that's another entry!).
Keelung is about a half hour away from Taipei. Their night market is pretty famous- there are usually so many a lot of people there! There's two long rows of food stands where you can sit at the counter and order your food- there's a lot to choose from.
Some people are scared of eating foods from stands or from street vendors, but luckily I've never had any problems with it.. In general, I think you just stick to ones that are busy or look clean- and with the Keelung Night Market having such high traffic- it means their turnaround rate is high enough that nothing is ever really sitting around.
While all the stand number/names have brief English descriptions here, ordering is most likely a point and nodding experience if you don't speak Chinese. Wander around from stand to stand until you see something that you like and see if there's a seat available. One of my favorites is the gua bao (NT$30), which is like a sandwich made with a soft steamed bun with tender pork, ground peanuts and pickled vegetables inside- I suppose you could compare it as a chinese carnitas soft taco if you really had to make the reference.
I also like the chinese spring/summer roll- which is made with a thin crepe-like skin wrapped around cabbage, ground peanuts, soybeans and carrots.
A lot of what you like is probably personal taste- if you are adventurous, you can try the soup with intestines or the boiled various intestines at the stands. This soup has a tiny bit of chinese herb taste to it, which makes it taste "good for you" without being overly pungent. Paired with freshly fried fishcake or "tem-pu-la," it's a sweet and spicy match to the plainer notes of the broth.
There are also a few fresh juice and shaved ice stands. If you get a chance, you can come with an empty stomach and sample and hop around until you are full! With everything being around NT$25-100 (less than US$1-3), you could easily snack all day!