Monday, February 23, 2009

night market/taiwanese: i strongly recommend HUA GUANG JIE STREET EATS

Hua Guang Road and Jhong Jheng Road intersection
Shih Lin District

Sausage Vendor
(02) 2833-1616


Kid friendliness: not a lot of seating areas, most offered are cramped and along the sidewalk.

Visit reviewed: 11/23/2008

If you are a stinky tofu lover, you'll have to try this 20-ish year old stinky tofu vendor in Shih Lin that my friend declares has the best stinky tofu in town. Sit down on the side of the sidewalk, order large or small, with or without "la jiou" or chili sauce, and take-in the fried pungent aromas. This location is not as crazy a scene as the Shih Lin night market and it's a quicker stop since all the basic offerings are clustered together in a convenient vendor hopping maze.

While I can't say that not all stinky tofu isn't stinky, I have to say that fried stinky tofu is a smell that has grown on me in the past few years. It makes my mouth water because I think of the crispy hot tofu and the strong flavors and I actually like it, especially with the pickled cabbage. I can't stand the non-fried crazily stinky variety though.

The vendor right next to the stinky tofu also has some good "ba wan" and tempura, but you'll find out that you have to change seats if you want to eat it. You can't sit at the stinky tofu seats and eat the neighboring vendor's food.

There are street vendor rules, you know. LOL

If stinky tofu isn't your thing, there's plenty other of street eats to find on this busy intersection of Hua Guang Road and Jhong Jheng Road in Shih Lin. You can't leave without trying the grilled sausage- you get a half of a large sausage, sliced up for NT$60. Chinese sausage is slightly sweet and fatty, but so good.

This stand is 10 plus years old and watching the sausages slowly rotate on the sausage ferris wheel is slightly mesmerizing, if only the glass weren't so greasy.

Also good are the "tsui jian bao" or the steamed buns with crispy bottoms for NT$10 each. They only have one filling though and that's a slightly mushy pork and cabbage filling. Personally, I prefer the "tsui jian bao" at the Shih Lin Night Market.

A bit further away, there's "do-hwa" or soy tofu desserts, "ai yu" lemon jelly and drinks, freshly roasted peanuts, fried items on a stick, pig's blood on a stick and squid vermicelli. The vendors on the far end of the corner seem a bit deserted, so I'd stick where everyone else is crowding around.

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Anonymous said...

omg... mouth.. water.. oh man... i need eat... tw small eats... grrr....

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the stinky tofu. The first time I got a whiff of that I couldn't believe it was food. But, like you, it has grown on me and now I just love it. I like both the boiled and deep fried varieties. Some vendors do it better than others, but when they get it right, man it's good.

joanh said...

dennis: :) i do miss tw small eats when i'm not there

billy: it's totally a love it or hate it thing.. i can't believe you like the boiled variety though!

Anonymous said...

I love stinky tofu! I would love to see a stink tofu series, where you can find different ways of cooking stinky tofu, where the best fried ones are, etc.

Anonymous said...

20 years old?! That must be REALLY stinky!

I've strangely gotten used to it, too, but I'm partial to only eating it in Shenkeng, when I ride down that way on weekends.

My Chinese teacher is partial to the shop in Raohe night market - yellow in color, and I think it's a chain.

I've always wondered how it came about. Who was the person who first made it and went, "Ai-ya, it's already rotten, it smells terrible, I think I'm going to throw up...I wonder what it tastes like?"

Anonymous said...

i had this awesome stinky tofu at fong jia night market in taichung, so.. good.... :O~~~

Anonymous said...

hey joanh great blog by the way..i dunno if you use facebook, but my friend runs a blog/group called the "taiwan restaurant guide" you should check it out!

Becker said...

your photo of the stinky tofu looks appetizing and mouth-watering already!!! these street foods are so irresistible! thanks for posting. i use your blog to search for restaurants.

Anonymous said...

These are the foods I miss the most from Taiwan... these simple, traditional eats only found and perfected in Taiwan. Another favorite of mine is the stewed minced pork on rice.

I'm seriously considering a trip to Taiwan in May and your blog is making it a lot easier for me to decide!

Roger said...

Stinky Tofu <3!! Frying these at home just isn't the same as the street vendors' /cry

Catching up right now on all the posts I missed...I had to giggle at your rant a few posts down. Heh it's probably inevitable that you get a hater commenting. I like how you dealt with this one, though. I publicly tell my haters to f*ck off too! You go, Girl! ^_^

Anonymous said...

been a while since the last post, com'on joanh, get hungry and get eatin! :D~~

Anonymous said...

Everytime I view this site, I get super hungry and want to go back to Taipei for a visit! And now an entry on stinky tofu, my favorite!! I haven't tried any in Shih Lin market. I will have to try to find that vendor next time I visit.

Anonymous said...

this blog is awesome! waiting for the next update :D

joanh said...

KevCheng: hahah. I kind of don't want to know how it's made. But night markets definitely have the best stinky tofu!

keauxgeigh: haha. not the tofu, but the vendor.. hmm, I haven't had it at Raohe.. I'll have to try it next time. I think supposedly it's all chemicals now and the "real" fermented kind is EVEN more stinky.

dennis: mm

dlin: thanks! i will check it out! =

Becker: thanks! hope to hear from you about your favorites

Annie: i know.. it's weird how it's simple, but can't be duplicated the same way outside of taiwan. hope you have lots of good eats when you come!

Roger: you've tried to fry it at home?? brave! thanks for your support- the rant made me really mad, but the outpouring of support was really surprising and nice.

dennis: ok.. i'm back from LA so more posts coming up!

kirbie: I like the ones at Shih Lin night market and the ones here, which is a bit farther.

Anonymous: thanks! hopefully i will have not such a long gap since I'm back in town.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

Nice blog and great post! Next to the "Shui Jien Bao" is the stand for "Scallop pancakes" (they are fried, eggs optional). The stand has been around since I don't know when, and it has been featured in a few mags. Take the pancakes to go (only option really) and go into the tiny shop for "Do Hua" (sweet tofu) called "Three Brothers". Great way to end a night at the Night Market.

Max mickle said...

Thanks for the stinky tofu recipe. Last summer I ate them at a party and has been looking for an authentic recipe ever since. Now I will be able to make them myself. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great blog! We're going to Taiwan in a few days to visit family, and I am really looking forward to the food. You should consider a section on Taiwan's seasonal fruit - those pink, bell-shaped things especially, I love those!