How can I not go to a night market for food when I am in Taiwan? Although I didn’t get a chance to go to night markets in Taipei, but I did manage to go to Tze Chiang Night Market in Hualien. It’s on a smaller scale compared to the night markets in Taipei, but you will get most of the popular Taiwanese street food here. More over, you will find some local delights only available in Hualien.
Our First Hualien delight was the Coffin Toast (棺財板), pronounced as “Guan Cai Ban”. Coffin Toast originated from Tainan, and with some variation, the Chiang family modified the toast which they call “Chiang Family’s Hualien Style Coffin Toast”. Coffin Toast may sound a little eerie, but in Mandarin, “Guan Cai” actually has the same pronunciation as “promotion and wealth”, so it really is a name of prosperity!
Coffin toast is deep fried thick toast quite similar to French toast with savoury fillings. The fillings available are black pepper chicken/pork, pumpkin seafood, pineapple prawn, tuna mayo, sweet and sour fish and more.
Chiang Family’s coffin toast is widely publicised by food shows in Taiwan.
Inside the store.
Having eaten too much during the day (Live Jumping Shrimps and Manmei Pork Knuckle), we had no more stomach to eat other things except for a small stick of sugar coated fruits (糖葫蘆) from “Cow B” (牛B葫蘆王), which is the name of the store.
Sugar coated fruits is one of my favourite desserts of Taiwan. There’s a few types of fruits you can choose – strawberry, tomatoes and more. You can also choose to top up the fruits with sour-plum powder, chocolate, condensed milk and honey.
The one I chose was strawberries and tomatoes/seaweed with sour-plum powder. Gary is a fan of strawberries and I am a fan of cherry tomatoes with seaweed. The combination of cherry tomato and seaweed may not seem to jive at all, but the sourness of the tomato and the sweetness of the seaweed, together with the sour plum powder is a divine combination. I can feel my mouth watering right now as I am writing this…..
The stick was wrapped up for easy eating.
Being unsatisfied that we were only able to try two kinds of food at the night market, we took away the Taiwanese spring roll (潤餅) back to the hotel with us just incase we got hungary at night (NTD35 each). There’s two types of stuffing – pork and vegetarian. On top of that you can choose the flavour you want – original, wasabi, chilli and garlic.
Making of Taiwanese spring roll.
This simple spring roll uses the most common ingredients of bean sprouts, bean curd, eggs, white cabbage, pork fillings and peanut powder, yet it provided such satisfaction to me. The essence to this spring roll is the sugared peanut powder, which gives the spring roll a slightly sweet taste with the fragrance of the peanut.
What the spring roll looks like when it is wrapped up.
Tze Chiang Night Market Address:
At the intersection of Tze Chiang Road and Heping Road, Hualien City.