A Taipei Night Market Thanksgiving

For the first time in the longest I can remember I had 0 plans for Thanksgiving.  My family was all either heading out of town or keeping it real low key and so we decided it was a good time for a trip.

Yada yada yada this is how I ended up at Shilin Night Market in Taipei on Thanksgiving night.

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Now, Taipei has tons of night markets all over the city with varying amounts of people but Shilin is definitely the largest, and consequently the most crowded.  So as long as the sheer numbers don’t bother you then you can basically get any type of strange and delicious food you could desire.  Here is what we ate.

Duck head

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This is basically exactly what it says.  It’s a cooked duck head and this was really the only one done as a “dare” so to speak.  It wasn’t even necessarily a bad dish it is just a lot of effort working around the head/bones/cartilage/etc for low meat payoff. There’s just not a lot there so don’t expect to be full on this.

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Went OK…Also that’s booze in my pocket…

Stinky Tofu with Pao Tsai

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One would think this is more of the novelty dishes in Taiwan but, once you get used to the smell of course, this can be pretty delicious.  You have to know the right place to get it as it CAN be badly made but just go to the stands that are already crowded.

Gua Bao

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Courtesy Shutterstock

This may have been my favorite one of the night and possibly my favorite food on the trip.  It was slightly spicy pork inside a grilled rice bun and it was delicious.

Jua Bing

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Courtesy Shutterstock

These are basically Taiwanese pancakes and the plain ones are good depending on the seasoning.  There are many things that can be cooked into them that, according to my friends, range from delicious to awful(specifically regarding the snail pancakes)

Shui Jin Bao

Basically just steamed dumplings, no need to always reinvent the wheel on a classic.

Taiwanese Stuffed Sweet Pork Sausage

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Taiwan has a thing were a ton of the meat is sweet.  This is great for 1 or 2 dishes then it does get a bit old.  However, since this was our first night there it hadn’t overstayed its welcome yet and was delicious.

After that I wish i could say I ate more but that was about the time I started to feel the maximum capacity of my belly had been reached.  The great thing about Night Markets is it is easy to jump around and sample things without getting overstuffed.  We took advantage but we also only scratched the surface of the amount of food in this place.  Taiwan was full of delicious options and I could probably do half a dozen articles just on the food but alas, my work ethic is limited.  Anyway, it feels like there are small night markets on nearly every street in Taipei so it’s impossible to not get exposure to this sort of stuff, I can only encourage everyone to try it.  Here is a couple bonus videos of us trying the Duck Head…

 

 

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