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Eat Snap Repeat

Vancouver's tastiest food blog. Defunct since 2010 :(

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A deep fried story – ESR in Taiwan

Eat Snap Repeat Around the WorldThis post made me really crave for Taiwanese food again…so I’m going to continue the ESR Around the world series with Taiwan’s love for all things deep fried.
In Vancouver, we only get to see a highly stylized version of old Taiwanese favorites such as deep fried tentacles, deep fried chicken nuggets, deep fried tofu, deep fried tempura, deep fried chicken thigh, deep fried pork chop, deep fried etc.; all served on trendy Ikea plates in equally fashionable bubble tea shops. The majority of people (who drink bubble tea) in Vancouver are used to these type of places, and come to expect from them quality in presentation and atmosphere.
What some might not have a chance to see is that these dishes have very humble roots on the streets of Taiwan, which still has presence today. If you don’t mind standing on your feet while eating, or getting take out, these frying stalls found in any night market in Taiwan can make your deep fried fantasies come true for about $3.
Deep fried story

You know when you first walked into Daiso, and immediately you feel this shock like you’ve just walked into the heavenly Matrix of plastic household goods and think “No words…No words to describe….they should’ve sent a poet…“. That’s what this deep fryer on wheels cart will do to your taste buds.
How it works is you pick a bit of anything you want in a basket, and the musclebound owner weighs it for price and fries it for you in their oil vat, sprinkles a bit of magical flavor dust, and gives it to you in a little plastic lined baggie.

Deep fried story 2

The flavor is top notch, all that pungent aroma of deep fried protein and spices hits your nose full force as you try to dig out the different fried miscellany from the little bag with your wooden skewer.
Vegetarians are not left out either. There are plenty of vegetables that taste good after being deep fried, as well as soy based meat alternatives. I don’t mind eating a broccoli or two if it was covered in batter and anointed with scalding oil.

Deep fried story 3

“Fry me to the moon…and let me play among the stars…”
– Frank Sinatra

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Taiwan: 士林夜市 Shi Lin Night Market

Eat Snap Repeat Around the WorldTime for the first installment of Eat, Snap, Repeat Around the World in Taiwan!

Vancouver has no shortage of Taiwanese cuisine restaurants, and a few popular players have been covered by ESR in the past. The food served at these establishments are a reasonable subset of restaurant food in Taiwan, and gives us Vancouverites a window into what food in Taiwan might be like. But what is Taiwanese food really like? By that I mean if I was living in Taiwan, what would I be picking up on my way home for dinner, or share with friends on a summer night after a movie? Those questions were answered on my recent trip to Taipei.

In this first post on Taiwan, we’ll look at one of the best known food spots, 士林夜市 Shi Lin Night Market.
Shilin - Taiwan Night Market 士林夜市

Being the size of Vancouver Island, but with a highly developed rapid transit system similar to Japan, just about anywhere in the capital city of Taiwan is reachable in 15 minutes. The Shi Lin night market is located right outside one MRT station, and within a 5 minute walk of another. The market itself is not enclosed in a marked area, and spills into the alleyways of several street blocks. Stalls of food, drinks, clothing, trinkets, are intermixed into a huge jacuzzi for your senses.

Shilin - Taiwan Night Market 士林夜市

 Continue on for details…

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