It was our last night in Taipei and I still haven’t fulfilled my food wish list. My cousin Angie took us to Raohe Night Market and I was pretty sure I was going to achieve my list. After seeing stall after stall of tempting food and holding out until I saw this -Tsui Jian Bao or fried pork buns or fried siopao. These little treasures were the first on my list. They actually made the buns in front of you. They had two varieties – pork or vegetarian.
Tsui Jian Bao
OMG! These were sooooo delicious. The pork was so juicy that when I first took a bite the sauce actually dripped. The dough was soft with a crisp bottom. It reminded me of a heartier xiao long bao. Our group bought 10 pieces of each kind to share. Then we went back to buy another 10 pieces of pork. It was that good.
Tsui Jian Bao – 10 pcs. for NT$100 or P142 or US$3.15
There were toppings like grass jelly, lemon jelly, mochi balls, boba, fruit, peanuts, red and green bean, pudding, taro, passion fruit sauce and other sauces. I tried a little and it was quite refreshing.
Rochelle’s son bought these sticky, cold sweets with different fillings like red bean paste, yellow bean paste and some I couldn’t identify. The outer layer was clear and had a bite to it. It was unique and yummy.
I took a bite and it wasn’t that bad at all. I didn’t care for all the sauces and stuff they piled on top. But a bite was my limit. I had to distance myself from Chris or risk losing my appetite.
We were fascinated by a vendor making oyster cakes. It was totally different from the process we thought we knew.
After all that walking and eating I was parched. I saw this huge container of fresh orange juice. I love orange juice but I haven’t had any for a couple of years due to my acid reflux. But I remembered Taiwan’s oranges are the sweetest so against better judgment I bought a glass.
It was the sweetest and best fresh orange juice I’ve ever had in my life. I let my friends try it and they all immediately bought their own glass. It was worth my suffering after.
I took a bite and closed my eyes and groaned. It was soooooo sweet! It was a far, far cry from the sweet potatoes in Manila. I only ate 2 pieces and took the rest home. I ate it for breakfast the next morning. Thank goodness for the toaster over in the dining room.
After almost 2 hours of walking and eating we were finally at the end of Raohe street. Cousin Angie immediately joined the queue for this small stall. I wondered what they were selling to have a long line like this.This was definitely the most popular food in the entire Raohe Night Market. Angie told me the lines were even longer during winter.
I thought they were just ordinary siopao until I saw how they were cooked. They had this tandoor oven with hot flaming charcoal in the bottom. The buns were places on narrow ledges on the sides of the oven.
I was too full but I had to try it while it was hot and fresh from the oven. The pork was chunky and juicy and very, very peppery. It was different and very good. I realized the the Taiwanese liked black pepper very much. It was evident in most of the food I ate in this trip. Now I liberally put black pepper on my food.
This black pepper pork bun must be eaten while hot. I ate my left over bun a few hours later and bread hard and chewy. The filling was still good and spicy though.
Hu Jiao Bing 胡椒餅 NT$45 or P64 or US$1.40
It was the perfect ending to a day of non-stop eating that started with snacks at World Soybean Magnate, a late lunch at Din Tai Fung, and more snacking at Raohe Night Market. Yes, Taipei is indeed a foodie’s dream come true. And yes I was able to fulfill 80% of my food wish list at Raohe.