We thought it would be fun to share some easy recipes for some Taiwanese dishes with you. We made sure each recipe is easy to prepare. If your local grocery store doesn’t have some of the ingredients, you can check an Asian / international foods market. Enjoy!
- Taiwanese Sesame Paste Noodles (one of our favorites)
- Taiwanese Fried Cabbage (a staple food in Taiwanese homes)
- Taiwanese Fried Tofu (also a staple)
- Green Bean Soup (sweet dessert)
Now that you can cook some simple Taiwanese dishes, you might wondering about Taiwanese eating customs. Here are a few:
- We eat with chopsticks and spoons, mostly using small bowls. This is handy because the same bowl can be used to drink soup after a meal.
- One might eat 2-4 bowls of rice, with various toppings, in one meal, depending on how hungry one is.
- Staple foods include rice, noodles, many different kinds of tofu, fried / boiled / steamed green vegetables, with small portions of fish or meat.
- It is expected that one hold one’s bowl in one hand, while holding one’s chopsticks in the other hand. The bowl is often brought directly to one’s mouth, so one can scoop hard-to-get bits of rice into one’s mouth. Not considered rude at all 🙂
- Feel free to slurp your noodles as loudly as you please. This is also considered normal. Actually the slurping helps cool down hot soup noodles.
- Especially when eating out with larger groups (6+ people), Taiwanese like to eat family-style at round tables, in which every person uses their own bowl of rice, but helps themselves to different dishes of food on a large lazy susan in the middle of the table, like in this picture.
- When out with a couple of friends, Taiwan’s busy night markets are a popular destination. More info on night markets on our blog, here, and here. Because Taiwan’s high population density, people often sit crammed together, and even end up eating with complete strangers. No one seems to mind though 🙂
- Taiwanese have traditionally considered soup a kind of drink, and have not drank tea or other beverages with meals. This has changed in recent generations, and now you will often drink green / jasmine tea, or soft drinks with meals.
- When eating at restaurants, the dishes are served whenever they’re ready, as opposed to the whole table at once.
- Restaurants and dining tables in homes rarely ever have tablecloths. Most restaurants have sparse decoration.
- Tips and taxes are already factored into meal prices, through expensive restaurants will commonly add a 10% service charge to the check.
- Many Taiwanese are vegetarians, especially if they are strict Buddhists.