Taipei Food Diary: 士林夜市
Famous for its many stalls selling frog eggs, squid, beef skewers, and egg waffles, I managed to discover some hidden gems (also known as vegan options) during my excursion to the Shilin night market in Taipei.
First off, there was the Michelin star recommended vermicelli. I’m not sure how a street stall can gain such recognition, but of course, it was worth a try. What made it even more special was the fact that they had the 清湯 (clear soup) option, meaning it could easily become a vegan dish.
The noodles were served in a thick, soupy base, and although it was extremely exhausting to be eating hot noodles on a hot day, it still tasted delicious. The coriander - although unpleasant to eat on its own - added an extra tangy flavour to the noodles, upgrading it from a regular bowl to one that was enjoyed by numerous fans standing around.
To balance out the hot, salty noodles, the next thing I ate was the complete opposite in nature: a cold, sweet bowl of 豆腐花. Unlike in Hong Kong, where all you're given is a spoonful of sugar to sprinkle over, at this stall, you had the choice of two additional toppings to be served with your food. Since I am can't drink milk tea with boba, I decided to try boba with my 豆腐花 instead! On top of that, the white slippery cubes reminded me of one of my favourite childhood snacks - nata de coco - so I decided to add that as my second topping. However, I was slightly disappointed to find out that it was not actually nata de coco, but was in fact some type of almond infused jelly...
Next off, we came across a beautiful stall of pancakes. Not ordinary pancakes - but pancakes that could be folded around different fillings such as taro (what I got), mangos, chocolate, etc. Not all of them were vegan, but I made sure that the filling I got contained no egg or dairy, and to do so, I also had to remove a part of the snack that was made with cream. As you can see, it was quite difficult to take a photo of this pancake as the filling was threatening to ooze out, but it was delicious nonetheless, and I'll definitely be going back if I ever have the chance to!