Raohe Night Market – What We Ate

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
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.
fried pork buns-7
Tsui Jian Bao – 10 pcs. for NT$100 or P142 or US$3.15

Angie and her son had dessert of shaved ice with an assortment of toppings to choose from. This was similar to our own halo-halo or Malaysia’s ice kacang.
shaved ice dessert

shaved ice dessert-1

shaved ice dessert-2

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. 
shaved ice dessert-11

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.
sweets

Chris was daring to order stinky tofu. It was my first time to try it since I couldn’t stand the smell. It was truly out of this world stinky.
fried stinky tofu

It looked pretty normal right? Just like fried tofu.
fried stinky tofu-1

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.
stinky tofu
stinky tofu

We were fascinated by a vendor making oyster cakes. It was totally different from the process we thought we knew.

1. First saute the oysters and shrimp. I guess they also sold shrimp cakes.
the making of oyster cakes

2. Add the rice flour and water mixture. Let it cook for a while.
the making of oyster cakes

3. Then add beaten eggs on top.
the making of oyster cakes

4. Fold the oyster cake.
the making of oyster cakes

5. And that’s how oyster cake is made. Yum!
the making of oyster cakes

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.
fresh orange juice
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.
fresh orange juice-1

Right beside the orange juice were these sweet potato fries. At this point I was already very, very full but I couldn’t resist since sweet potatoes from Taipei were on my food wish list.
sweet potato fries

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.
sweet potato fries-1

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.
P1060126

P1060135

I watched in amazement on how fast they were stuffing these buns with chunks of pork then dipped them in chives before closing it up.
Hu Jiao Bing Black Pepper Pork Buns

There were several people making these pork buns non stop.
Hu Jiao Bing Black Pepper Pork Buns-1

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.
Hu Jiao Bing Black Pepper Pork Buns1

Hu Jiao Bing Black Pepper Pork Buns-2

The buns weren’t soft like siopao instead were like Indian crusty bread. These buns were called Hu Jiao Bing or  Charcoal baked black pepper pork buns.
Hu Jiao Bing Black Pepper Pork Buns-3

Hu Jiao Bing Black Pepper Pork Buns-5
Hu Jiao Bing
Hu Jiao Bing Black Pepper Pork Buns-4

Hu Jiao Bing Black Pepper Pork Buns-6

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 Black Pepper Pork Buns-7
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.

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