Tag Archives: Night Market

Midnight Cravings – Taiwanese Fried Chicken

Home Sweet Home :) After a long 9 hour flight Mr Bao and I finally got back to Melbourne, Australia ~ even though I’ve been away for so long, I settled in right away hehe it was so nice to see people walking at a ‘normal’ pace and not ‘power-walking’ hahaha

I was a little overwhelmed by everything that I had to deal with though – my poor car had an extremely flat tyre, had to open a mountain of mail, pay the bills to ensure we still had water, gas and electricity and a whole heap of other things to do :( but I guess that’s what you get when come back from an extended holiday ~ Anyhow, so by the time I got all that done… it was way past mid-night and I had serious cravings but surprisingly didn’t want dessert lol rarely happens hahaha I actually craved for FRIED CHICKEN…not KFC…but Taiwanese Fried Chicken :D

There’s two types of Taiwanese Fried Chicken, one where it’s cut into thumb-size pieces and then deep fried, while the other is a large piece of chicken breast shaped like a pork cutlet :)

Thumb Bite Pieces VS Chicken Cutlet

For those who may not have heard or had Taiwanese Fried Chicken before, it has a unique taste because it is deep-fried and often seasoned with white pepper, chilli and fried basil. But because different stalls will create their own seasoning it’s hard to describe the taste of it :( sorry! I’m still working on my writing skills, but if there’s any Taiwanese restaurants near you, I highly recommend you trying ~ It’s so addictive even more so than KFC :D

I only ever really go to these two places for fried chicken in Taiwan – Ji Guang Delicious Fried Chicken (繼光香香雞)and Hot Star Large Fried Chicken(豪大大雞排). 

Ji Guang ~ Thumb Sized Fried Chicken

Gonna start with Ji Guang Xiang Xiang Ji (繼光香香雞) first ~ they specialise in the ‘bite sized’ form of the fried chicken :D They opened their first store 38 years ago and developed a special seasoning that using more than 10 herbs and spices ~ the exact same recipe is still used today.

Constantly frying ~

Apart from the fact that it’s so delicious, I love going to Ji Guang because they are constantly frying new batches of chicken and I have never bought cold or stale fried chicken which I think is crucial :)

Its a bit scary the amount of oil used ~ but it is so yummy that the calories are worth it hehe definitely not something people dieting should eat :P

Weighing the chicken ~

You can buy the fried chicken in either a small or large size, which is weighed ~ I’m not really sure of the difference in weight but I think the small size is more than enough for 1 to 2 people.

Small Serve Fried Chicken $55TWD ($1.8AUD)

The best way to describe Ji Guang’s fried chicken would be they are bite sized chicken thigh pieces coated in a light batter then deep-fried until golden brown and then tossed in its special seasoning. You can either have the original or have it with chilli, for those who can’t eat spicy food, I recommend staying away from the chilli powder as it is quite hot :) Oh did I forget to mention ~ It’s also quite cheap too! You can buy a small pack for less than $2 AUD:) so there’s no excuse to share hahaha YAY I don’t like sharing! The chicken is mine :D

Now to the next famous fried chicken Hot Star Large Fried Chicken (豪大大雞排), they serve their fried chicken in form of a large cutlet ~ Hot Star opened their first store more than 10 years ago and has reminded one of the most famous stalls at the Shi Lin Night Market ~ no matter when you go, whether it be rain or shine there will always be a line waiting :)

I recognise this lady ~

Because I’ve been going to Taiwan on a regular basis for many years, I recognise this nice lady, who will organise the long queues, serves the chicken and takes the money ~ it amazes me how she can do everything so quickly and efficiently :)

Big Fried Chicken Cutlet~

They only come in one size and once price $55TWD ($1.80AUD) same price as Ji Guang once again a cheap eat :) Instead of using chicken thigh, at Hot Star they use a large piece of chicken breast and some how make it even bigger, coat it with a thick floury batter and then deep fry it ~ Once again they use a special type of seasoning and you have the option of adding chilli powder :) For me I always add the chilli powder because the hotter the better ~

MASSIVE!

I think this picture shows you exactly HOW big this chicken cutlet is! It’s bigger than my face hahaha It’s really filling if you had the whole thing so even though they don’t cut it for you, I suggest you sharing with someone, so you can save some room for other goodies at the night market ~ I have to admit though, not everyone likes Hot Star’s fried chicken, because they say the batter is too thick and it’s not as crispy as Ji Guang as it’s such a large piece.

I really can’t say which one I prefer :) Because I love them both hehe when I feel like something more crispy, I’ll go for Ji Guang, when I want something salty and filling I go for Hot Star ~ It’s also easier for me to get Hot Star because they have a store in HK too also read on their website that they’ve opened in Singapore too :D

No matter which store you go to ~ I really hope you get to try some delicious Taiwanese Fried Chicken soon and become addicted like me hehe

What are your mid-night cravings? :D

Ji Guang Delicious Fried Chicken (繼光香香雞)
108, Taiwan, Taipei City, Wanhua District
武昌街二段100號
PH: +886 2 2381 5869

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken (豪大大雞排)

台北市士林區文林路113號 (陽明戲院前攤位)
No. 60號, Jīhé Road, Shihlin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
PH: +886 926 028 315

Must Go – Shi Lin Night Market

Thank you everyone for the kind comments :) I’m still coughing and have sort of lost my voice >_< but I feel fine, I think I just need some time to get over this annoying cough ~

Anyhow, getting on with today’s post, have you noticed night markets are an Asian thing? :) I was just sitting here thinking about it and…I have never really heard of night markets in Western countries, certainly not in Australia. That’s why I wanted to share with everyone one of the most famous night markets in Taipei ‘Shi Lin Night Market’ (士林夜市).

It is conveniently located in the CBD of Taipei and they have a MRT Jiantan Station (劍潭) there which makes it extremely easy for tourists to get to :)

Shi Lin Night Market

I always have to go to Shi Lin Night Market when I go to Taipei, simply because they have all the things I want ~ especially the FOOD :D Taiwan is known for their street food, one of the most iconic Taiwanese creations to me would be their ‘Pearl Milk Tea’ and their ‘Oyster omelette’. But there’s definitely lots more to it than these :) that’s why I wanted to take you around Shi Lin Night Market with me :) I may not be able to provide the full location and name of the store, as they constantly change, however, I promise you will be able to find these street snacks when you go to Shi Lin Night Market ~

First stop – Toffee Strawberries (冰糖葫蘆)

Toffee Strawberries

Have you seen these before? These originate from Beijing and are a kids favourite :) they’re basically the Asian version of a ‘toffee apple’, but instead they use strawberries, tomatoes and plums ~ and because they use smaller fruits it’s much easier to eat than a toffee apple.

Only $40TWD ($1.3AUD) each

For only $40 TWD you can get yourself a toffee strawberry skewer ~ The sugar syrup really hard so it’s extra crunchy when you put it into your mouth :)

Eat immediately :)

I love these so much that I once ate 4 in a row! Then asked the lady to wrap another 6 for me to takeaway so I could have it on the plane. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t work out :( because the sugar syrup actually melts and becomes a big sticky mess. So I highly recommend you eating it as soon as you get it ~ There’s quite a few stalls selling these so you’ll have no trouble finding them ;)

Second Stop – Honey Sausage

'Big Flower Sausage'

There’s a few stalls that sell similar sausages but I find ‘大花香腸‘ the literal translation is ‘Big Flower Sausage’ is the best :) they have a wide variety of sausages, you can have it plain, with wasabi, garlic or chillies :) but knowing me hahaha I obviously wanted a sweet sausage so I got the sausage with honey ~

Reheated in front of you ~

The sausages are pre-made, but they are reheated when you order and they will customise it according to the flavour you’ve chosen :)

Cutting it open to put some honey in :)

It’s a pork sausage and the nice lady will make cut the sausage and then squeeze honey into the slits and recook it on the grill ~ It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savoury. By the way, the white sausages you see and ‘rice’ sausages, so there’s no meat in there ~ I’ve never tried, but I bet it’s just as tasty.

Third Stop – Sticky Tofu (臭豆腐)

Sticky Tofu $50TWD($1.6AUD)

Sorry guys, I was too busy eating and forgot to take a picture up close of the Stinky Tofu, it’s basically fermented tofu that ‘stinks’ lol and then they fry it :) but I need to warn you, it’s one of those things that you either ‘love’ or ‘hate’ like durian ~

Fourth Stop – Braised Food (滷味)

Yummy braised goodies ~ Bought by weight

I find it a little hard to explain ‘Lu Wei’ (滷味), its a form of braising meat, tofu, eggs and other goodies in a special type of sauce which is similar to ‘soy sauce’. As the ingredients are braised in the sauce for a  long period of time, it’s got a strong flavour to it ~ I’m sorry if I didn’t do very well in explaining the taste! You usually purchase the amount according to the weight, for those who don’t understand English, I would suggest you telling the store owner you would like ‘$50 TWD worth of something’. It’s usually enough for two people to try :)

Fifth Stop: Taiwanese Tea Stall

All different types of Taiwanese tea~ $200TWD ($6.4AUD) per pack contains 20 tea bags

After eating so much food, it’s always nice to have some tea to help with digestion. Taiwan is also known for their teas ~ You can easily find stalls selling them and can also purchase a cup of hot or cold tea on the at the stall. The common flavours are – Ginger, Burdock root, Rose and Ginseng.

My fave Ginger Tea $40TWD($1.3AUD) per cup

My favourite would have to be ginger tea with muscovado sugar :) It’s really good for warming the body and clearing nasal congestions ~ Perfect for me right now. It’s extremely easy to make, you just need to put the tea bag into a cup and pour hot water over it, stir and you’ve got yourself a hot cup of ginger tea YAY!

Last stop tonight: Cheesecake Stall

New Stall ~

This is a new stall I found on my trip this time :) It was on the corner near a convenient store ~ I was immediately attracted to them because of the large sign ~

Classic Cheesecake $170TWD ($5.4AUD)

I thought it was a pretty good deal for $170TWD ($5.6AUD) you get a mini 3 inch cheesecake all to yourself :) It had a very soft texture but had a strong cheese flavour. Yum yum definitely getting some more next time.

Hope you have enjoyed this ‘virtual’ tour with me around Shi Lin Night Market as much as I have :D Please let me know if you need help with translations or getting to the night market ~

Shi Lin Night Market (士林夜市)
Danan Rd., Wenin Rd., & Jihe Rd.   
Shi Lin District
台北市士林區基河路101號
 

Taiwan Treasures – Ai Yu (Fig) Jelly

4 more days everyone TILL it’s CHRISTMAS!!! Yay!!! Sorry for being quiet the past few days :) I went on a quick 3 day 2 night trip to Taiwan with my sister ~ Let me quickly introduce you to my sister – Win Win (She chose the name) she’s the most annoying person but is also my best friend and partner in crime :) we basically have the same hobbies and tastes! We both love desserts, macarons and cheese ~ only difference is…I like liquorice and she hates it haha

City view of Kaohsiung

Beautiful day ~

For those who aren’t familiar with Taiwan ~ It’s a small island on the Southeast of China and is shaped like a leaf. Up the top there’s Taipei, its capital city and down towards the southwest there’s Kaohsiung the second largest city in Taiwan. And that’s where we went :) I’ve been to Kaohsiung a couple of times because Win Win has frequent business trips to Taiwan and I always tag along . I have a soft spot for Taiwan, I think it’s a beautiful place where the people are always friendly and its never the same, there is always something new for me to explore!

Taiwan is also known for their food, especially street food and snacks :) and after thinking for a long time I just HAD to share with you guys, my love for the Ai Yu Jelly ()!!! The literal translation of Ai Yu Jelly is ‘Love Jade Jelly’ and the story behind it is, the jelly is named after the daughter of a Taiwanese business man who developed this recipe in the 1800s and since then has been a popular Taiwanese dessert.

Anyway, Ai Yu jelly is basically a jelly served with a lemon sugar syrup and is made from a native type of fig “climbing fig” found in Taiwan.

"Climbing Fig"

Source: Wikipedia

The fruit from the fig trees are turned inside out, where the seeds are left to dry and the seeds are then used to produce the jelly :) If would like to know more about making the Ai Yu Jelly you can visit Pure and Holy and if you understand Chinese this Youtube video is great because it shows you the whole process ~

The finish product - Ai Yu Jelly $20 TWD ($0.65 AUD)

I know some of you might be scratching your head right now :) “Why is she going crazy about this jelly? Isn’t jelly jelly?” hahaha I know it’s hard to comprehend and it’s quite hard to explain why I love this jelly so much! But I think it’s because its so refreshing with the lemon sugar syrup, it’s great for quenching anyone’s thirst and I think it’ll work great as an appetiser!

2 bowls in a row

I was SO obsessed both Win Win and I had 2 bowls in a row!!! And we went back for another 2 bowls the next day!!!

You can easily find stalls/carts selling Ai Yu Jelly at most night markets in Taiwan such as – Shilin Night Marketand the one I went to at the Liu He Night Market.

They often look something like this ~

There’s no English menus so it might be harder for those who don’t know Chinese, but either way I hope I’ve enticed you to explore Taiwan and try their famous AI YU JELLY!!!

Liu He Night Market
Liuhe Rd., Kaohsiung City.

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