Top 10 Most Popular Taiwanese Street Foods

Nguyen Cam Ly 8 0 Error

Immerse yourself in the vibrant Taiwanese culinary paradise with our guide to the most popular Taiwanese street foods. From the iconic Iron Eggs to the chewy ... read more...

  1. Soup Dumplings, or Xiao Long Bao, is one of the most popular Taiwanese street foods that have captured locals' and tourists' hearts. Imagine this: a steaming, delicate dumpling, filled with flavorful pork or perhaps juicy shrimp, wrapped in a thin, soft dough. But here's the magic - inside these dumplings lies a surprise: a hot, savory broth, just waiting to burst with flavor when you take a bite.

    This street food's explosion of flavors and eating experience make it stand out. Traditionally served alongside slices of fresh ginger and a dipping sauce made from soy, vinegar, and chili, Xiao Long Bao in Taiwan offers a full flavor sensation. Fragrant ginger will add an interesting flavor, perfectly complementing the delicious dumplings.

    Taiwanese Xiao Long Bao makers are true masters of their craft. They skillfully wrap the dough around the tasty filling, making sure each dumpling is a little bundle of happiness and flavor. This dish is a part of Taiwan's vibrant street food culture and a delicious symbol of the country's culinary heritage. People gather around these street stalls not just for a quick bite but for an unforgettable culinary adventure.

    Main ingredients: wheat flour, ground pork, scallions, ginger, gelatin, chicken stocks, Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce (Sheng chōu)

    Recommended place: Night Market in Kenting, Taiwan

    Price range: around $0.10 each

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  2. In Taiwan, Gua Bao, often known as the Pork Belly Bun, is a delicious street food choice. Both residents and visitors taking in the colorful street food scene will find these buns, which resemble an Asian sandwich, to be an excellent joy due to their expert and creative skill. The best part is the soft bun hugging tasty braised pork belly. This pork is cooked super slowly until it's incredibly tender and soaked in a delicious sauce that you just can't resist.

    Braised pork belly is cooked to perfect tenderness and then mixed with a sweet and salty sauce that adds richness. The softness of the steamed buns contrasts beautifully with the melt-in-your-mouth pork, creating a wonderful combination. Typically, Gua Bao is garnished with a mixture of toppings, including fresh, crunchy vegetables like pickled mustard and cilantro, adding a refreshing crunch to each bite.

    Some vendors also sprinkle crushed peanuts on top for added texture and flavor. Gua Bao is among the most popular Taiwanese street foods, especially at bustling night markets or street food stalls. Watching the vendors skillfully assemble these buns is a treat in itself. From the fluffy bun to the flavorful pork and colorful toppings, they carefully create each one to ensure each element works perfectly together.

    Main ingredients: pork belly, soy sauce, red wine, five-spice powder, sour pickled mustard greens, chopped cilantro, peanut powder

    Recommended places: any popular Taiwanese night markets

    Price range: about $1.8

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  3. Stinky Tofu is a staple of every Taiwanese street meal. An obvious stand selling them may be identified just by scent. Believe it or not, this meal tastes better than you may imagine, so don't allow the disagreeable scent to deter you. It tastes mild, but in case you're curious about the texture, think of it as old soft cheese.

    The fermentation process for Stinky Tofu varies widely, but it typically includes brine that allows the tofu to ferment for up to a week. Brine typically includes fermented milk, vegetables, and meat, creating an extremely distinctive odor, often described as particularly unpleasant. The foul-smelling tofu changes once it's deep-fried until the outside is crispy and golden brown. A crispy, delicious treat is what comes out. Its crunchy outside contrasts with a soft, creamy center, creating an unexpectedly pleasing contrast.

    What sets Stinky Tofu apart is its complex flavor. Although the smell is strong at first, the taste is far from what you would expect. To balance the rich flavor, this dish is often served with pickled vegetables or spicy sauce. Some vendors offer variations such as steamed or boiled stinky tofu, each with its distinct flavor and texture.

    Main ingredients: cabbage, bamboo sprouts, chili sauce, soy-based sauces, fermented vegetables

    Recommended place: Shenkeng Old Street in Taipei, Taiwan

    Price range: between $4.8 and $6.9

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  4. Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken is the go-to street food that steals the show with its flavorful punch and crispy delight. It is just little chicken bites soaked in a super tasty mix of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice wine, and some awesome spices. That special marinade is the secret behind its delicious flavor.

    After absorbing all those wonderful flavors, the chicken is dipped in potato or cornmeal. This coating gives it a super satisfying crunch when it hits the fryer. And this is where the magic happens - deep frying turns these marinated nuggets into crispy golden pieces. You won't be able to stop eating it because of the flavorful spices and the delightful crunch of the coating. You won't want to leave this flavor-filled celebration; it's more than just a bite.

    It's a portable treat that turns every bite into a flavorful journey when served with refreshing side dishes like pickled vegetables or a dipping sauce. The roasting aroma and the sight of these crispy bites being cooked fresh draw you in for a delicious experience. So, don’t miss the opportunity to savor this crispy, savory delicacy if you see Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken on the menu while visiting Taiwan.

    Main ingredients: chicken, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cayenne pepper, eggs, corn starch, garlic, ginger
    Recommended place:
    Shida Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan.
    Price range:
    ~ $10

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  5. Every night market has a different take on this straightforward Taiwanese street dish, each with its unique flavor. Oyster Omelet gives a pleasant salty taste, and it's a terrific change from your typical egg meals. To make the meal even more delicious, some people add greens like lettuce or scallions along with sweet chili sauce.

    The meal is made of tiny oysters mixed with egg batter and potato starch. Depending on the location, chefs may occasionally add a splash of hot chili sauce combined with lime juice to enhance the flavor of the entire meal. Unsurprisingly, Tainan, located in Taiwan, is known as the snack city because of its exceptional oyster omelets made possible by the abundance of fresh oysters that the city receives from its seaside position.

    The process of making O Ah Jian is a sight to behold at street food stalls. Vendors skillfully pour the batter onto the hot griddle, scatter the oysters, and expertly flip and fold the omelet until it's perfectly cooked. With delicious oysters, savory egg powder, and aromatic sauce, this is a dish that leaves lasting memories, adding a delicious chapter to your Taiwanese culinary experience.

    Main ingredients: oysters, eggs, potato starch, wheat flour, light soy sauce, fish sauce of vegetable oil lard

    Recommended place: Shuangcheng Street, Zhongshan District in Taipei, Taiwan

    Price range: around $1.50 to $3

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  6. Scallion Pancakes are a beloved Taiwanese delicacy, crafted from a simple yet flavorful combination of wheat flour, oil, and finely minced scallions. These flatbreads, known for their unleavened nature, offer a delightful blend of textures and tastes. These pancakes frequently have a mix of tastes, but the main element is usually scallions. Layers of flavor and scent are added to the dough by adding ingredients like sesame seeds, fennel, and bell peppers.

    Once expertly cooked, these pancakes will emerge from the grill golden brown and crispy. They're often cut into wedges or squares, perfect for easy sharing or chewing on the go. The most appealing thing is that the pancakes are often served with soy-based sauce, adding a fragrant and delicious taste that complements the crispy texture and delicious taste of the green onions.

    Although their exact origin remains somewhat mysterious, many believe these pancakes originated in Shanghai, with similarities to Indian paratha flatbreads. Regardless of their origin, Scallion Pancakes have become an iconic street food in Taiwan, loved by locals and tourists alike. They represent Taiwan's vibrant street food scene, offering a fusion of simple ingredients bursting with flavor. They're a popular go-to for a quick bite or a tasty snack while exploring Taiwan.

    Main ingredients: wheat flour, scallions, vegetable oil, salt

    Recommended place: Gongguan Night Market, Luosifu Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan.

    Price range: approximately from $0.14 to $0.69

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  7. Peanut Ice Cream Roll is another great street food you should try. It's an ice cream burrito or spring roll filled with ice cream, candied ground peanuts, and cilantro. It’s a good balance of sweet and savory, all wrapped into a piece of crunchy pocket. Imagine this: a thin, crepe-like pancake is skillfully spread onto a freezing-cold plate. Then, a generous scoop of creamy ice cream - often vanilla or strawberry - is placed in the center. With a twist and a flick, the ice cream is expertly wrapped in the pancake, creating a cozy little roll.

    Before rolling up completely, its sides are sprinkled with a little crushed peanuts. These peanuts stick to the outer layer, creating a characteristic crunch for the ice cream roll. This dish isn't just about flavor; it's a performance. Street vendors often make this dessert right before you, rotating and flipping the ingredients on an icy-cold plate until they come together into a perfect roll.

    The special thing about Peanut Ice Cream Rolls is how different they feel when you eat them. Just think about it: smooth, creamy ice cream meets crunchy, nutty peanuts. Each bite gives you this great mix of creamy and crunchy, making all the flavors explode and amazing. When you take that first bite, the cool, creamy ice cream blends perfectly with the crunchy peanuts, making it super tasty. It's so delicious, you'll want seconds.

    Main ingredients: eggless spring roll wrapper, ice cream, candied ground peanuts, cilantro, vanilla, strawberry, sugar

    Recommended places: Huaxi Street (Snake Alley) Night Market; Jiufen’s Jishan Street in Taipei, Taiwan.

    Price range: around $1.40

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    Video by @Vakies
  8. Flame Grilled Beef Cubes are chunks of beef seasoned with spices and cooked barbecue-style. They grill right in front of you with a handheld blowtorch. This street food spectacle begins with top-quality beef cut into bite-sized cubes. These cubes get a flavor boost from a special mix of spices, enhancing their taste.

    The magic happens when the skilled vendors fire up their blowtorches, grilling the seasoned beef cubes to perfection. The sight of the flames dancing around the meat adds to the excitement of the street-side culinary show. After the flames do their magic, you get these juicy beef cubes. They have this awesome char on the outside and smell so good that anyone passing by just has to stop for a taste.

    These tasty morsels are often served on skewers, making them easy to eat on the go. They're the perfect street food snack - juicy, flavorful, and tender. Finding Flame Grilled Beef Cubes in Taiwan is a breeze, especially at bustling night markets or street food stalls. A tantalizing aroma of sizzling steak and the visual appeal of sellers with torches entice hungry patrons seeking a taste of this flavorful cuisine.

    Main ingredients: beef, soy sauce, sugar

    Recommended places: Shilin Night Market in Taipei, and Fengjia Night Market in Taichung, Taiwan.

    Price range: about $6.90 for 130g

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  9. Iron Eggs are a must-try if you enjoy boiling eggs. Taiwanese street cuisine is distinguished by its chewy and delicious nature, in addition to its black hue. Constantly stewing the eggs in a spice mixture and air-frying them gives them their black hue. Remember that this is not the same as a century egg.

    It's during this prolonged simmer that these ordinary eggs transform into something extraordinary. They absorb every bit of the soy sauce, tea, and spices, turning a rich, dark hue and acquiring a uniquely concentrated flavor. The texture changes too, becoming chewy and dense, almost like a savory, concentrated egg gummy bear. Creating Iron Eggs is an art that demands patience and culinary finesse. It's not just about boiling eggs. It's a slow, meticulous process.

    Iron Eggs have become an icon of Taiwan's street food scene, earning their place among must-try snacks. They're not just a treat for your taste buds; they're a symbol of the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into creating unique culinary experiences. These eggs offer a savory adventure, introducing locals and visitors alike to a distinct flavor profile and a chewy texture that leaves a lasting impression.

    Main ingredients: chicken, pigeon, or quail eggs, soy sauce or strong tea

    Recommended place: Tamsui, Taiwan.

    Price range: roughly around $0.35 to $0.7 per egg

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    Video by @MikeyChenX
  10. Taro Balls are a basic and chewy meal made of mashed taro, water, and flour. This popular delicacy in Taiwan may be enjoyed in a variety of ways, including deep-frying it with a sweet filling, eating it warm with ginger soup, or serving it with shaved ice and sweet syrup. This meal is typically served in places to eat blended with green beans or sweet potatoes.

    These little balls are cooked in boiling water until they float to the surface, indicating they're perfectly done. Then, they're scooped into a bowl and served with various toppings or in sweet soups. The beauty of Taro Balls lies not only in their appearance but also in their tasty taste. They have a subtle sweetness and a soft, chewy texture that's simply delightful.

    You may frequently see sellers expertly creating these vivid balls in front of your eyes when you stroll through Taiwan's lively night markets. Watching them expertly roll and shape the dough into these perfect tiny balls is like watching art being created. Whether you're seeking a sweet dessert or a refreshing snack on a hot day, Taro Balls are a fantastic choice. They're a wonderful and exciting way to sample the variety of Taiwan's street food scene, bringing some color and flavor to your food exploration.

    Main ingredients:
    peeled taro, sweet potato starch or tapioca starch, sugar, water
    Recommended place:
    Jiufen Village in Taipei, Taiwan.
    Price range:
    from $0.7 to $0.95 for a bowl

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