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Taiwanese food is the perfect blend of Chinese and Japanese cuisine. However, native Taiwanese dishes are also pertaining in the cuisine. Fujian cooking and Hakka-styles are extremely influential in Taiwanese cuisine. Some traces of Japanese cooking are found in food of the region due to the fact the once Taiwan was ruled by Japan.

Taiwan is mainly a land of Buddhists who refrain themselves from eating many food stuffs, but still this cuisine is famous for using varied ingredients including meats, vegetables, cereals and seafood.

Overview of Taiwanese Cuisine

Taiwanese food highly depends upon the assortment of seasonings such as soy sauce, cilantro, mustard, rice wine, vinegar and chili peppers. Fermented vegetables and tofu are also the most favorable ingredients.

Rice and noodles are the staples . Among the meats; beef is usually prohibited in many regions of Taiwan due to Buddhists culture in the country. Pork extensively used in making Taiwanese meat dishes.

Seafood has greater significance as this is the most accessible and popular source of protein. Taiwan being a highly populated country, has many farmlands and poultry farming is little problematic. Tuna, grouper, sardines and squids are some of the widely popular forms of seafood in Taiwanese cuisine.

The sub-tropical location of the Taiwanese Island, there is an abundant supply of fruits. Papaya, melon and all kind of citrus fruits are enjoyed by the people of Taiwan. However, native as well as imported tropical fruits are also easily available in Taiwanese markets.

Xiaochi is a very important part of Taiwanese food. It is basically a term used of street snack foods on the lines of ‘Tapas’ or ‘meze’. Usually, Xiaochi is not cooked at Taiwanese households; only street vendors sell them to people on the go.

Taiwan is also famous for various regional specialties including Nantaou, Danshui and Changhua dishes. All these regions in addition to other regions are famous for making one or more traditional dishes.

Popular Dishes of Taiwanese Cuisine

  • Beef Noodle Soup – Though beef is not typically enjoyed but this dish is derived from Chinese cuisine and has greater importance in Taiwan.
  • Ba-wan – This is also a Chinese derivate prepared with meat stuffing wrapped in tapioca flour sheets. The meat balls are served in sweet and sour sauce.
  • Taiwanese Sausages – Not different from other sausages, but little sweeter in taste.

Health Facts Related to Taiwanese Cuisine

Extensive use of seafood includes high amount of protein in Taiwanese food. Other ingredients including fresh vegetables and tropical fruits are also healthy for a regular diet.

Taiwanese Dishes incorporate the essences of Hakka, Aboriginal and Chinese cuisines. Soy, seafood, pork, and rice are some of the common ingredients used in food preparation. Taiwanese dishes heavily rely on various type of seasonings prepared by combining vegetable ingredients with rice wine, soy sauce, fermented black beans, sesame oil, etc.

Special Regional Taiwanese Dishes

  • Danshui : They constitute deep fried tofu dish. The Danshui are stuffed with crystal noodles and covered with fish paste. This dish is usually served with spicy sauce on its side.
  • Changua: This very famous dish from Ba-wan is a very popular type of dumpling prepared using gelatinous dough and is usually filled with vegetables and pork. Bamboo shoots and mushrooms are commonly used for making the changua.
  • Taichung: They are wafer-thin pastries having a sweet center. Usually molasses or honey are used in the center.
  • Guan cai ban : This is a coffin bread which resembles French toast. Sometimes it is served as a soup which is filled with curried chicken or black pepper beef. The bread is cut thick, dipped in the egg, and fried deeply. The bread is then split open, stuffed with ingredients, and eaten.

Typical Taiwanese Dishes

  • Ô-á-chian; They are a type of Oyster omelet prepared using tapioca starch, oysters, eggs and chrysanthemum leaves.
  • Koe-á bah: A variant of patty prepared by steaming pork with Taiwanese style cucumber.
  • Eel Noodles: They are Cantonese egg noodles prepared using eel fish. The eel fish and noodles are cooked in starch.
  • O· bí-ko: A typical Taiwanese dish prepared using rice and pork blood.
  • Sanbeiji: This is a very popular Taiwanese dish , whose name in chaste English translates to “three cups chicken”. The dish is named so because it is made up of soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil.
  • Tōa-tn̂g pau sió-tn̂g: A Taiwanese snack prepared using sausage. A small sausage is tied around a large sausage. The dish is usually wrapped in basil and garlic. Customers can opt for their favorite flavors.
  • Ló·-bah-pn̄g: A pork patty, which is stewed in spices and sauces. This patty is served with a sauce.
  • Chhài-pó-nn̄g: A white radish omelet.


  • Sian-chháu: Grass jelly which is served cold or hot depending on the taste preferences of a consumer.
  • Bubble Tea: Boba milk tea which is prepared by adding the tapioca balls to milk tea.
  • O-á-peng: This is a very typical Taiwanese ice cream prepared using taro root paste.
  • Zukak kway: Cakes prepared using glutinous rice flour and mugwort.
  • O’-giô-peng: A kind of gelatinous dessert prepared with aiyu jelly. The aiyu jelly is made from seeds of fig.
  • Moon Cake: A typical Taiwanese cake prepared using filling of sweetened red bean paste or lotus seed paste. These fillings are surrounded by crust and contain salted duck egg yolks.