There are over one hundred night markets in Taiwan. These night markets are noisy streets lined up with vendors selling local delicacies, special drinks and handmade products. They are not originally created for foreign visitors, they were originally small local gatherings for local Taiwanese to enjoy some form of healthy night-life for local food and drink. With the fame of some large night markets spreading out to the globe, night markets have then become a must itinerary for foreign visitors. This time, we went to one of the largest night markets, Liuhe Night Market, in Kaohsiung to search for some delicious local food.
Kaohsiung is a place that feels so much like a suburb in Bangkok. As it is in the south of Taiwan and very close to the ocean, there are a lot of seafood in the night market. Seafood is a kind of delicacy that you may not see so much in any other night markets in Taipei. If you are to visit a night market in Taiwan, you should always go there with an empty stomach. As there are so many food choices along the street, I am pretty sure you will eat from stall to stall until you can eat no more!
Let us should you what we had on our one night out at Liuhe Night Market:
Soy Sauce Marinated chicken, pig blood, soy bean curds – authentic, local food in Taiwan. You are able to find this in every corner of Taiwan and in all night markets. Just select what you want to eat and put them in the steel bowl, the owner will then package them up in a plastic bag or a foam box for you.
Seafood cooked in the way you like. This stall serves you fresh seafood dishes. The chef prepares your dish according to your preference. What I like is the local ambience when enjoying my seafood dishes with local beer. I was surrounded by locals who were talking loudly, laughing wholeheartedly and eating eagerly. They just made me feel the food was delicious! In Taiwan, most people lead a low-sodium diet. Each dish contained only original fresh juice of the seafood with minimal seasoning except chilies, garlic, and ginger.
Seafood congee is another kind of local favourite for the late night. Here you can choose whatever combination of seafood you like. The congee was boiled for hours, it was smooth, hot and full of the aroma of Japanese rice. With fresh seafood in it, the congee tasted perfectly fresh. I like to add some black pepper powder and soy sauce as extra flavours to the congee!
This stall is the heaven for popcorn lovers. Besides basic flavours of caramel, salt, and cheese. You can choose to have Japanese matcha, strawberry, almond chocolate, Mexican chili, Malaysian curry, garlic pepper, wasabi and many more flavours to choose from! I tried Japanese matcha and wasabi flavours with an intention to give my taste buds a contrasting taste! I really hope to see wasabi popcorn to be served in the cinema in Bangkok!
Salty chicken is another kind of local food that you can find in any night markets in Taiwan. The chicken was quite bland to me. The chicken was not tender enough. I believe the chicken should be marinated long enough before cooking. However, as it is what you will see in any one of the night markets in Taiwan, it is included here for your reference.
Doesn’t this stall look like a dessert stall you can find in Thailand? However, there are more choices. There are four kinds of flavours for glutinous rice balls – sweet potato, taro, red beans and peanuts. Of course, you can do your mix and match!
My most favourite stall is this oyster cake stall. A thin dough was used to wrap a chicken egg and some chopped Chinese chives. It would then be deep-fried right in front of you and served. It looked so simple but it was super delicious! Crispy on the outside, hot and aromatic inside. The egg was not fully well done, egg juice dripping out from the cake! As I know I couldn’t find this anywhere but Taiwan only. I ate three big pieces.
Southern Taiwanese noodles is another local delicacy. You may only find it mostly in the night markets in the south of Taiwan. Thick bone soup with handmade noodles. Again you can choose your own ingredients in the noodles! I chose squid, vegetables and pig’s intestines!
When you visit Taiwan, always buy the fruits there. As Taiwan is so close to Japan, you can easily find quality fruits rom Japan everywhere. Big, juicy and delicious! All expensive fruits in Bangkok are sold at a super affordable price in any night markets and even high-class supermarkets. Of course, I had a lot of strawberries and cherries!