Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ching Guang Market, Taipei

Yesssss!  Found more of my photos.  A few of these are from Ching Guang Market (晴光市場) in Taipei.  I have family who live just a five minutes walk away.  A lot of the vendors have been here for decades and super duper nice to the residents who are regulars.  They'll only be very nice to you, however.  For some reason, Taiwanese are so much more genuinely friendly and welcoming compared to Americans.  This is especially true in the South or in smaller cities.

 Chicken sausage.  Crispy skin 'cuz nothing is better than frying a sausage.

 Fried tofu.  Crispy outside, silky and delicate on the inside.  Fun contrast in your mouth.  The quality of tofu used was excellent.  Very rich.  You could actually taste the soybeans and their subtle sweetness.

My aunt loves this vendor's goose.  I don't know how to describe the taste...its yet still has enough chew.  Taiwanese don't like mushy meat.  We want some toothiness and spring to the texture.  But of course, the oh so "Q" skin is the best part.  Very lightly salted and seasoned but it'll make your mouth water all the same.

*sniff*  *sniff sniff*  HEY.  THAT SMELL.  I KNOW IT!  I WANT IT!

baboom. Fried stinky tofu.  Fried of the left, boiled in a ma-la (literally: numbingly hot) base on the right.  My favorite Taiwanese dish.  The more pungent, the better.

Some people (foreigners, usually) are put off by the smell.  But, I want to help spread the word that this is the equivalent of a "fragrant" cheese.  I think Zimmerman (Bizarre Foods) did an episode in Taiwan and was pleasantly surprised at how the smell in no way reflected the taste.  Not sure, but I think his tofu was grilled in that episode...  IMO, fried is the only way to go.  It'll taste nuttier.  Try it.  You might like it.  The fried preparations usually come with spicy picked cabbage and hot sauce.  A big plus.

On a related note, I find it funny that the Taiwanese love stinky tofu but are hesitant about trying stinky cheeses...

I'll update this post after I find and process more photos.  I don't know how my portfolio got out of sync.  In the meantime, check out Jin's post on this very same market.  Damn I miss Taiwan and its good eats...if you want comfort food, look no further than Taiwanese cuisine.  So much rich, satisfying, fried, carby goodness.

1 comment:

kirbie said...

Aw, your photos really make me miss Taiwan. Stinky tofu is the best.