Thursday, October 20, 2011

my first taste of stinky tofu!!!

So as some people may know my sister Evo came to visit me in Taiwan. I blame her for my lack of updates because instead of writing in my blog I have to clean up after her and entertain her. She actually told me to mention her in my blog. That is the reason she came to visit because she wants to be immortalized in the internet world. Well she is staying for three weeks and her visit is almost over. Yah I'm hecka behind.

So the first thing I took her to was the Erchong Night Market which happens only on Thursdays. I've never been myself but a whole bunch of co-workers were going after work and had invited me. It was a good day because my last session of the day was cancelled so I was able to go home and pick my sister up and then ride the bus back since the night market is only a couple of blocks away from the school. We were the first ones to arrive since everyone still had to work. It's been a real trial trying to feed my sister. First of all I never eat around my neighborhood because I'm always at work and then we have food delivered to us at school. Second when I do eat out I always have someone who translates or who can speak the language order. So now here I am with my sister in tow demanding to know what to eat and what everything was and I had no freaking idea. The few attempts to try was sad since by the time she got here it was super late at night and most everything was closed or sold out. So I got her some skewers, similar to the ones I had in Zhudong, because that is literally the one stall where you don't need to know any Chinese to be fed.

Evo fell in love with the beans and wanted some more skewers at the Erchong Night Market. The Erchong Night Market is super tiny and is located in an empty lot. We had already walked around two times before discovering there weren't that many options when my co-workers arrived. We sat down at a little stall and prepared to try new things.

páigǔ or spare ribs
Ok honestly when I looked at this dish I was getting super excited because I thought it was ox tail meat minus the soup. My grandma makes an awesome ox tail soup and the meat is super tender and you eat it with soy sauce. This wasn't anything like that and I'm not exactly sure if its beef or ox but it wasn't tender...I love how the stall wraps all the bowls in plastic bags so they don't have to clean. Very efficient.

Update: Apparently its pork and not the steamed spare ribs I like.

oyster omelet
Oyster omelet is well known in the Taiwanese night market scene. Apparently they use mini oysters and not the oysters I'm use to see which is in those big half shells. I thought they were clams because they were small in size and looked like clams. Well I had a taste and I didn't like it either. The sauce was funky and the consistency of the skin of the omelet which isn't made entirely out of eggs as the word omelet implies was weird too. Had a taste to try a new thing but wasn't very satisfactory.

stinky tofu or chòu dòufu
In Taiwan stinky tofu is commonly served deep fried, drizzled in a sauce with pickled vegetables.
Depending on where you go in Asia to eat stinky tofu, it will be served differently. Even though I've known of a stinky tofu place in Chinatown in San Francisco I never had the slightest interest in trying it out. Here in Taiwan I'm being all adventurous and trying all these "new" things I would never try back home just to say I've done it. I keep saying I will try stinky tofu but every time I pass by a stinky tofu stall at a night market I just can't get past the smell. This time my co-workers ordered it and when stinky tofu is cooked the smell isn't as strong. My sister and I decided to try it together just to say yes we've had it! Well the first taste of the stinky tofu didn't actually taste bad it tasted just like deep fried tofu except I don't like the taste of tofu so it wasn't that awesome. I decide to have another bite and that's when I literally felt stench of the stinky tofu in my mouth. It wasn't pleasant and I didn't continue eating any more. At least now I can say I've done it and would only recommend it if you want to cross it off your list.

While we were eating one of my TA's asked me how we were planning to go home and we said by bus. She told us the bus stopped running at 10:30 pm and when she told us it was already 10:33 pm. We hustled over to the bus stop thinking that if the bus left the last stop at 10:30 we would still be able to catch it. Well we stood at the bus stop for 30 minutes and no bus showed up. A creeper in a scooter did pass us by 2 times and stared at us. It wasn't even the fact that he would pass by and make a U-turn and come by again. It was literally 10 minutes or so before he would pass us again so he had to be making a detour somewhere. The third time he passed us, he stopped and handed my sister his number! He proceeded to say something in Chinese to her and of course she responds and English and he leaves with a confused look on his face. I'm surprised he didn't realize we were speaking English since we were speaking super loud and being our typical obnoxious selves. I say bravo to that man because really I didn't think Asian men had the courage to actually approach women let alone give a stranger their number. So kudos to you sir and maybe more Asian males should be following his lead! I tried calling my taxi guy just to be told he didn't have his car that night and then had to call for some back up. Apparently since we were in such a small little city there weren't any taxis nearby and so my good friend Chad offered to pick us up. We three-way rode a scooter which was pretty awesome and something I probably would never had the chance to do since that really only happens with children.

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