Ningxia Night Market (寧夏觀光夜市) – 7 Delicious Snacks To Try in Taiwan
[TAIPEI, TAIWAN] Singaporeans love night markets, and it’s always a must to visit one, if not all, of the night markets in Taipei. Be it the heady summer heat or wintry cold, the changing seasons cannot deny our pursuit of delicious snacks. Nicknamed the stomach of Taipei, Ningxia Night Market (寧夏觀光夜市) is one market that you definitely must visit.
You know the market must be awesome when you see tons of locals there. A good part of the market is usually closed when it rains. This time, the market was unfazed by the constant drizzle and remained operational when we were there. That’s because a shelter has been built permanently over the whole stretch of Ningxia Night Market. Now, you can savour all the Taiwanese delicacies without having to worry about wet weather conditions.
One way to get to Ningxia is via the reliable Taipei metro. You can take the red line to Shuanglian (雙連), locate exit 1 and head west after you find Minsheng West Road (民生西路). The night market will be on the left side. You can’t miss it!
新社烧烤杏鲍菇 King Oyster Mushroom
Who can resist these firm and crunchy babies? The thick and stumpy mushrooms are grilled to perfection, before being brushed with a thin layer of sweet sauce. Also known as King Trumpet Mushroom, the mushroom is available in eight different flavours – from cumin to rose mineral salt. Each serving costs 100 NTD, which amounts to about $4.
青草茶 Bitter Tea
From a tender age, I have been convinced by loved ones to gulp down a cup of 青草茶 bitter tea whenever we chance upon it. The tea is believed to boast several health benefits, such as dispelling heatiness from the body. I’m sorry to report that its taste is unbearable (for me at least). After the first sip, the herb taste that you might have detected is quickly overshadowed by an unpleasant bitterness. Luckily, the hawker presents you a sweet upon your purchase. So keep it and pop it in your mouth if you need to.
What I love about night markets is that you get to watch your food being prepared right in front of your eyes. Witness how 牛妈妈 herself skilfully manoeuvres her way through large braising pots and prepares drool-worthy dishes that are loved by the locals. We tried the 沙茶牛肉面 (NTD 90) Beef Noodles with Sha Cha Sauce. Think yellow noodles and beef slices drenched in thick sha cha sauce. The first thing that caught my eye is its HUGE portion. I felt that it would have been more enjoyable, if the noodles did not carry such a strong alkaline taste. You might like to share a bowl of 焢肉饭 (NTD 60) too.
There’s something comforting about tucking into a bowl of rice when I’m in Taiwan. If you agree, then you need to pay 方家 a visit. Although they serve up a number of dishes, they are apparently best known for their 鸡肉饭 Rice with Chicken (NTD 30) and their 卤肉饭 Rice with Braised Pork (NTD 30). The former comes with shredded chicken, and a bowl of hot steaming rice with light soya sauce. I prefer the latter though. The sweet and savoury braised pork bits were tender, and paired excellently with the rice.
Liu Yu Zi Taro Fried Balls
If you haven’t had taro fried balls, you’re in for a real treat. Encased within these crispy yam balls (NTD 20) is a pork floss filling. Careful, for you might become addicted to its earthy, sweet and chewy insides. On the other hand, the Fried Yam Ball with Salted Egg Yolk (NTD 25) offers a lot more texture and taste. The sweet yam and savoury egg yolk tasted decent at first, but it became more jelak with every bite. The taro fried balls without the salted egg yolk are still the ideal snack!
For the Taiwanese, milk tea isn’t just a beverage. It’s a way of life. Flavoured pearl milk tea has invaded every part of the world, and has made Taiwan a popular travel destination. However, few are aware of the nutritious purple rice milk. Beyond its range of health benefits, the purple rice milk is very delicious. Its taste is akin to our pulau hitam, but less sweet. Purple glutinous rice sits at the bottom of the drink. Warm your belly, and hands, with a cup, if it’s cold out there!
Peanut and Sesame Mochi
What better way to end off this entry than to introduce my favourite snack in Ningxia? For NTD 40, you get two palm-sized homemade mochi slapped on a plate of ground peanut and sesame seeds. For the first mouthful, we were advised to dip the mochi into the ground peanuts only. It’s super yummy! Before you know it, you might have ordered another to go.
There are also tons of food stalls that lie adjacent to Ningxia Night Market. With more than ample delicious street food at affordable prices, Ningxia will definitely please both your tummy and wallet.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the stalls featured here.
Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to the cafes/stalls listed above. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!