Eating Taipei

We made our annual pilgrimage to eating Taipei. This was on condition we got to see *my* friends for a change. This we did. And, because it was Taipei, we ate across Asia: China, Japan, Myanmar and Tibet. This is a document of all the great things we ate. Food is awesome in Taipei because of its torrid past and present.

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Of the food we had, and pictured here was:

  • Teppanyaki. It was OK. Most of the dishes tasted similar, however, Thai basil elevated them.
  • We had lunch from a Myanmar café. That was interesting. A totally different combination of flavours, most of which I didn’t recognise. Peanuts were a major component.
  • The old fish market. This was out of this world. I’ve never seen shrimps or crab legs this large. If I did it again, I would get more vegetables, some sweetcorn maybe.
  • Family wedding. An assortment of Chinese dishes trooped out over a couple of hours. Overall, not bad. Shrimps weren’t quite as big but still juicy. Lamb chops (not something I’d associate with Taiwan) and eel (more Japanese, I’d guess).
  • Tibetan. A certain style of Indian food executed competently. The garlic naan was amazing and the chicken tikka good.
  • Even the final meal at the airport food court wasn’t bad. Despite my being in a wheelchair (another story) at this point! You can’t go wrong with fried chicken in Taipei!

All I can say is: if you ever get the chance to go to Taiwan: GO! Great place, great food, lovely people. Yes, English, well, American is widely spoken and there’s a 7-11 on every street corner.

Japanese Flaked Mackerel with Vegetables

This Japanese Flaked Mackerel with Vegetables a variation of this dish which has become one of our staples since mackerel turns up often on the supermarket last day shelf and freezes so well. This dish thrives on the basis that “soy/mirin/sake makes everything better”.

We originally got our recipe from [easyazon_link identifier=”1840917431″ locale=”UK” tag=”thenomr03-21″]Everyday Harumi: Simple Japanese food for family and friends[/easyazon_link] which is a great repository of Japanese recipes. Panko pork, oh yes.

Carrot, mushroom and onion

I have to say though, that chopping the vegetables is a royal pain in the neck. It’s fiddly and time consuming. Fine if you get into the zone and don’t worry about time.

Ingredients

Serves 2

2 mackerel fillets
100g mushrooms (shitake if you like) chopped
8g ginger
100g carrots chopped
50g onion chopped
oil for frying
2tsp sake
2tsp caster sugar
20ml mirin
20ml soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp awase miso

Method

Chop the ginger and with a teaspoon scrape the flesh off the mackerel.

Put the skins to simmer in a pint of water with soy, miso, salt and so on for a nice fishy miso soup to go with the mackerel.

Ginger and Mackerel

Chop the carrots, onions and mushrooms.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the mackerel and ginger and fry until the mackerel is opaque.

Darkening the mackerel

Side note, stainless steel frying pans can be pretty non-stick. The trick is to heat the pan before adding the oil. Something about the pits in the steel. You can see from our frying pan that is gets a lot of use!

Add the vegetables and simmer until they start softening. Then add all the liquids and miso and simmer gently, stirring, until the sauce is mostly absorbed.

Suteeing in sace

Serve on the Japanese rice that’s been in your [easyazon_link identifier=”B00ABYI0IE” locale=”UK” tag=”thenomr03-21″]Rice Cooker[/easyazon_link]. You DO have a rice cooker, right? That and the [easyazon_link identifier=”B01HMITHY2″ locale=”UK” tag=”thenomr03-21″]bread machine 23620, 600 W – Black[/easyazon_link]are the two devices that get use in our house.

The resident Asian in our house is quite picky about her rice. Obviously Taiwanese rice is amazing (it is) but a close second is Japanese short-grain rice which in Europe can be grown in Italy, California or Texas or anywhere suitable. Our preferred brand is Nishiki  (in a 10kg bag, thank you Amazon) but we’ve also used Yakuta. Basmati rice is a dirty secret here.

Serve on the rice. A nice side is spinach with sesame or Japanese pickled cucumber, sunomono. If you’re feeling particularly fusion, Chinese bashed cucumber works too.

Serving on rice

Enjoy!