Monday, June 06, 2022

bread/taiwanese: i recommend EAT MI

The pandemic had everyone making bread at home, me included. For the first time, I made quick foccacia, no knead peasant bread, salted honey butter parker rolls, easy yogurt flatbread, honey beer bread, easy pretzels and of course, a lot of banana bread (not really a bread, but you know what I mean). Wow, okay seeing that, that's a lot of bread, but it's also been a loooong two years. It's evidence that  I love bread and all kinds of bread. But it wasn't until I got the invitation by a friend to try EatMI that I had heard of bread made from rice. 

Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to figure out how to eat healthier in between those media tastings, brown sugar boba and shaved ice cravings, and carb-bread-cinnamon roll-cake-croissant temptations. And most of the time, the cravings win.

So that’s why I was intrigued by EatMI, a new company making toast and bread with Taiwanese rice. Around the world, people are eating less rice (whether it’s because they are cutting carbs or have other options to pick from) and in Taiwan, rice consumption has fallen more than 30%. So the partners founded EatMI and spent two years figuring out how to make bread made from 100% Taiwanese rice and zero wheat flour, but still have a texture that bread lovers would still enjoy. With a master baker from Jiu Zhen Nan (舊振南), a food business keeping Chinese pastry traditions alive since 1890, and other partners, they are looking for a way to evolve the way people in Taiwan eat rice and the way they eat bread. 

EatMi started with a popup at Taipei 101 in December 2021, a vegan kickoff at Ooh Cha Cha x OmniPork with chef Mai Bach who also helped create some vegan toppings for them for their 101 popup, and then some collaborations with 5 restaurants like M One Cafe and Tamed Fox doing their thing with EatMI toast into eggs benedict, French toast, and bread pudding. 

Shrimp eggs Benedict w crispy hashbrowns
EatMi x M One Cafe 

Charsiu eggs Benedict Tamed Fox with EatMi English muffins

No flour, no wheat, just rice- which makes the bread a great option for those looking for gluten free options in Taipei. The first version of the packaging was individually packed and in a box, with three flavors available- original, nutty and chocolate. (NT$770/ 8 slices, combination box) 

My favorite was the nutty toast and the original a close second. They recommend (and I agree) that the toast is best when toasted longer than you would for normal toast... I use my air fryer and a good 3-4 minutes in it before I top it. I even tried my hand at the French toast that I tried from Brun, and it definitely helps those crusts when I airfried/toasted it a few minutes after griddling. The rice toast has a slightly chewy texture, not as chewy as mochi waffle, but just a slightly chewier than regular toast, and the crusts become caramelized. It's hard to describe, you kind of have to try it for yourself.

Strawberry French toast by Brun x EatMi. This was sooo tasty! 

Just launched, EatMi's second version comes in a sliced loaf, with slightly more eco-friendly packaging, and better pricing at NT$330 for 6 original slices, or NT$380 for 6 nutty slices. It's definitely still a splurge for bread, which is extremely competitive in Taiwan, but much more affordable than the pricing for the first time around. For those looking for gluten-free options, this is much tastier than the gluten free breads I've tried in the states. For more info, check out

Thursday, June 02, 2022

takeout/taiwanese: i recommend SHIN YEH x INLINE

hi guys! As you may know, Covid has been peaking in Taiwan and numbers are at a record high and for the first time, I have a number of friends who have caught (and recovered from) Covid. Since everyone is being more cautious and while things are not shut down (like this time last year), I have been definitely eating more at home, cooking and ordering in. So when Inline reached out and asked if I wanted to check out their service, I looked at the list of restaurants and I said YES. I realized that it had been far too long since I had my favorite dishes from Shin Yeh since it's usually a place I would eat at with my grandmother and visiting relatives, but why not enjoy it at home? 

inline is mainly known for their reservation booking service, but they also have a ton of restaurants that you can order from. For Shin Yeh, they have takeout from four locations- Xinyi Mitsukoshi A9, Nanjing, ShuangCheng (original shop) and takeout/delivery from ZhongXiao branch. The menus have slightly different variations at the branches, and I ordered ahead to schedule a time and got the confirmation once the restaurant opened. While you can click on the top right side to change the language to English, it doesn't translate the dishes' names to English (for now), though the newest OS for iphone lets you highlight the dish name to translate. 

If you're looking for what to order from Shin Yeh, here's what I recommend  (with photos) below: 

1. Signature braised pork 欣葉滷肉NT$270

I was afraid 1 portion of the pork belly wouldn’t be enough since it said it had 3 pieces, but 2 portions was really sizeable with lots of tender chunks of meat! It was still warm when I got it. Would definitely reorder. Enjoyed the leftovers and sauce with rice in a second meal. 

2. Sesame oil kidney (small) 麻油腰只(小)NT$410 

Shin Yeh separated the sesame oil broth so the kidney didn’t overcook. Pork kidney is slightly crunchy and bouncy, yum. This isn't something that I have often, but when I think of this dish, I think of Shin Yeh since it's one of their signatures. It might not be for everyone, but those who love it, love it. 

3. Wok fried pork liver 香煎豬肝 NT$300 

Shin Yeh’s pork liver is slightly sweet and soft. This is another favorite of my family's. IYKYK. Uncover right away so it doesn’t overcook. 

4. Baby oysters with leeks and fermented black beans 
蔭豉蒜青蚵 NT$310 

This was another dish I was slightly worried about overcooking, but it was fine. Juicy baby oysters with the pronounced flavor of fermented black beans - this was one of the first dishes I reached for, and wished I had added a few bowls of sweet potato porridge after eating. 

5. Poached chicken (L) 鹽水土雞(大) NT$480

 I admit I am spoiled by the deboning of Hainan chicken, so the meaty pieces were gone quickly and then the bony pieces were not. 

6. Cashew shrimp 腰果蝦仁 NT$460

They separated the cashews which I thought was interesting, it was either this or the salt and pepper shrimp. This is less work to eat. It's been so long I forgot we like the pineapple shrimp here. Next time! 

7. Stir fried chives with preserved eggs 韭菜炒松花 NT$285

Another perfect with rice dish

What's your favorite dish from Shin Yeh? Check out some other favorites from my previous visits - the clams and loofah or stir fried vermicelli  , or the gua bao. Reminder to self-next time get some sweet potato porridge and pineapple shrimp.

Thank you Inline and Shin Yeh for letting me try my favorites at home.