Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Market, A Foodie’s Paradise

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This installment of TWIF is a combination of camera-rendered jpegs, and Lightroom manipulated Nikon raw files, as I am experimenting with shooting raw.  It’s somewhat overkill for doing web work like our blog, but I’m having fun getting into the development aspect as I started out when I was 17 shooting Kodak tri-ex B&W film and making prints in my own darkroom.  At any rate, enough of that and onto the photos…food photos to be precise!

Shots below were taken in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Market, a foodie’s paradise and given the vibrant colors of the dishes, an artist’s paradise as well.

This Week in Food 1245

Our regular readers will probably recognize this shot from downtown Hukou, where I went one day for lunch (before departing for Kaohsiung for the birth of our baby).

This Week in Food 1245

This is a bowl of rice noodles (mi-fen) and garnished with pork meat.  A pretty typical Taiwanese lunch, and it was quite good.

This Week in Food 1245

Without any ceremony whatsoever, we go straight to the Hukou night market where we’ll take a look at several things such as these grilled squid.

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

Now I have to say, I’m not happy.  The regular quick-fry place that Hui-chen and I have been going to for years, is no longer at the night market.  I was wandering around looking for it when the boss of the place across from where it used to be spied me looking.  He told me that the quick-fry boss opened up his own restaurant, but he wasn’t sure exactly where it was.  He heard it was in Yangmei.  Now I have to go investigate this new place, but when will I have time?

I ordered some food from this other boss and was disappointed.  The omelet looking thing with the red sauce is an oyster pancake.  I hadn’t had one in many years and the instant I bit into it, I remembered why.  It’s made from a sticky flour that remains totally gooey when cooked, and with the oysters (which I normally love) it was just a gross mess.  Plus the sauce was really bad.  The one good thing was the San Miguel draft beer.  At least that never changes.

This Week in Food 1245

So, I went down to the other quick-fry boss, where I had not gone to in years.  This place has no menu you can look at.  You look at the food and tell them how you’d like it prepared.  Of course you can ask for suggestions but it does not always work out exactly how you think it will (see below).

This Week in Food 1245

This is the boss hard at work.

This Week in Food 1245

This is what I got – mountain pig.  Normally the dish looks more like this, and I have eaten it many times at the now defunct quick-fry restaurant.  But it never looked like this.  It was just OK.

This Week in Food 1245

The boss posed for a photo.

This Week in Food 1245

The sign says “black pig sausage” and therefore I had to try it!  This couple was very nice, and they put up with my poor Chinese.  I ordered a garlic flavor sausage.

This Week in Food 1245

In this shot the boss lady is filling the sausage with wasabi!  The resulting flavor was fantastic!  Remember they had already added garlic to the sausage.  Wow!

This Week in Food 1245

Next, a Japanese import:

This Week in Food 1245

Squid balls (not the Andrew Zimern kind!).  I got 3 packs and took them home.  They were great while watching a movie!

This Week in Food 1245

This is a shot of the Hsinchu Foodies (a Facebook group) dining at the Golden Triangle in Hukou.  Shawn (far left) from Titty Tea put together a food tour of Hukou and everyone had a great time.

This Week in Food 1245

Now, we’re down in Kaohsiung, where our daughter was born.  Hui-chen being confined to the convalescent center, I went out to eat with her mother, sister and sister’s husband.

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

Below, they’re making baozi dumplings.

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

Most of the time I just let HC’s mother do the ordering.  She nails like 99% of what I like so the most I have to do is maybe add one dish.

This Week in Food 1245

I just love Taiwan greens, such as this dragon mustache in the foreground.

This Week in Food 1245

Always, one of the best wonton soups, ever.

This Week in Food 1245

Like many restaurants in Taiwan, and Asia in general, this place uses blood as an ingredient.  I do not eat blood or else I could report on this Hot & Sour soup, which contains duck blood.

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

As always, these meat and pastry products are outstanding!

This Week in Food 1245

Now for the steamed baozi!

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Shrimp filling.

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These are “tang bao” or soup dumplings.

This Week in Food 1245

Now, we change scenery to a place that I visited 2 times in one week – in the Guang Hua tourist night market area.  This was my table right off the street.

This Week in Food 1245

No menu, just told the waitress what I wanted, I began with salt shrimp.  I always eat the shell too.

This Week in Food 1245

Our regular readers know that I’m crazy about deep fried oysters.  This dish didn’t disappoint!

This Week in Food 1245

Oyster soup.

This Week in Food 1245

Liver flavor Chinese sausage.  Fantastic flavor!

This Week in Food 1245

There is a name for this dish of grilled pork with the vinegar dip, but I forgot it, lol.  It was good nevertheless.

This Week in Food 1245

The Guang Hua area is several blocks long and bustling with activity even on a weekday night.

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

Now I told you that I went back to this same place another night.  This time I took more photos of the food they have on offer.  The speckled snake looking thing in the upper right hand corner is moray eel.  If you’ve never had moray eel, you don’t know what you’re missing – they are fantastic!

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

The dark colored sausage is the liver flavor that I like.

This Week in Food 1245

At first I thought this was snake, but it’s eel of some kind.

This Week in Food 1245

As I was waiting for the dishes, I took this shot of the signs that show where this night market is.  The little brown sign on the left says “Guang Hua Tourist Night Market” but the English omits the word “tourist” for some reason.

This Week in Food 1245

Water spinach.

This Week in Food 1245

Plain boiled shrimp with garlic.  Nice dish.

This Week in Food 1245

Deep fried pork large intestine.  Great Taiwanese style dish.

This Week in Food 1245

These are wok-fried mini cabbages, almost like Brussels sprouts.

This Week in Food 1245

I just had to get another order of this liver sausage because it was so good!

This Week in Food 1245

Of course, I try not to go back to the same places over and over, so I went out to explore a place I haven’t been back to in a few years – the Wu Jia road night market.

This Week in Food 1245

Every Saturday night there is a street night market, in addition to the regular everyday night market.  I took a walk down the street and shot a few photos for our readers.  Then I went to eat at the regular night market vendor area.

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

But onto the food.  I haven’t been here in probably 4 years, maybe more.

This Week in Food 1245

You’re not seeing things: that is a cobra on the sign.

This Week in Food 1245

They serve snake, and I got a bowl of snake soup.  At first the boss lady kinda ignored me.  I guess she figured I was in the wrong place but when I spoke to her in Chinese and told her I wanted some snake soup she brought it over right away.

This Week in Food 1245

This is the aftermath of the soup.  You can see the snake bones on my plate so you know I wasn’t joking.  This was the real thing.  The soup has ginger and rice wine flavoring.

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This is the boss posing in front of a jar of snake liquor that he made.

This Week in Food 1245

I decided to walk around and check out another place where I used to eat.

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

And here it is.  I found out later that they’ve been here for 30 years so I shouldn’t have been concerned.  They serve….

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…. really excellent duck meat!  I love duck and I seldom had it in the US where duck is ridiculously expensive.  It’s cheap and plentiful in Taiwan though.

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Those are duck intestines on the left.  They make a nice dish too.

This Week in Food 1245

Sliced duck meat with a rich brown sauce for NT.  Hard to beat.

This Week in Food 1245

This Week in Food 1245

So good, I had to get another order!

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After that delicious duck, I walked around to find one more thing to top off the evening.

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And that was this grill place.

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Here you see the boss lady brushing on some sauce as she charcoal grills the various fare.

  • Ramin Assemi

    Wow, I shouldn’t have read this post. I love snake soup, think it’s the tastiest meat with the most pleasant texture. And wasabi filled sausage? Wonton soup? Pastry? Liver sausage? SOUP DUMPLINGS? Uhhh… I wanna eat that! Now I’m hungggryyyyyy ;-)