Saturday, January 9, 2016

Taipei Day 2: Lunch, Maokong, Gua Bao

We are lunch yesterday in a nice place near our apartment in Zhongshan.  The place was filled with families and young folks taking their time over a lazy Saturday lunch.  We ordered dry noodles with pork liver and a soup with tofu that included some other kind of organ meat.  Maybe spleen?

The tofu in Taiwan is fantastic.  Much softer than blocks of firm store bought in the US, but not as mushy as silken.  It's usually very fresh.

We spent the afternoon in Maokong drinking the local roasty tieguanyin and wandering 
the stone paths in the hills.  We grabbed a "bomb pancake" from a bored looking vendor.  It's a dough cake deep fried with an egg in the middle the yolk of which is the bomb that blasts all over your hand and shirt when you bite into it.  
The ride back down on the gondola after dark was spectacular with the city lights splayed across the horizon and the sounds of nightjars rising from the dark forest below.  

Then we repaired to town for incredible gua bao at Lan Jia.  Steamed bun filled with braised pork, pickled mustard greens, peanut powder and cilantro.  You can choose how fatty you want your meat, just like pastrami at a deli or brisket at a barbecue joint.

Next we paid a visit to "the Dudes."  Two guys were working a tiny window, pouring batter into heated iron cups and painting fillings on top with the focus and gravity of doctors performing brain surgery.  There were two options for fillings, a sweet bean paste and a thick vanilla pudding.  


  1. I am too jealous Israel of your non-stop food action in Taiwan. Thanks for sharing it all. That soup doesn't look as spleeny- too slick and shiny but was the texture crumbly? Crumbly and bit black pudding like tends to be spleen.

    I would totally go for custard too! Maybe you can ask for half half next time.

    1. Hster,

      It all seems like a blur being back in Montana in the middle of a slushy thaw. Thanks for looking. The texture of the organ meat was not crumbly. Very silky and squishy with absolutely no flavor.

      We did go for half and half. The bean tasted like a sweet burrito wrapped in a waffle. Custard was more to our liking.