TAIWANESE FOOD, EXPLAINED

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What is Taiwanese food?

Taiwan is an island surrounded by clean waters with rocky mountains and fertile plains. It’s no surprise then that Taiwanese food emphasizes fresh ingredients, cooked quickly to retain as much flavor as possible, with less of a focus on spice and more on texture. These techniques and flavors are exemplified through Zai Lai’s leafy greens, oyster omelet, and stir-fried rice noodles.

What are some of Taiwan’s food influences?

Taiwan’s culinary tradition is diverse, influenced by Dutch and Japanese colonization and waves of immigration from various regions of China dating back to the 17th century. 

What are popular Taiwanese dishes?

Five Spice Pork is the quintessential homestyle Taiwanese dish with each family having its own recipe. Beef Noodle Soup is elevated to an art form in Taipei with its own annual festival. Street food culture is prevalent with night markets in every city selling scallion pancakes and steamed pork buns.

How is a Homestyle Taiwanese meal set up?

Taiwanese food is served family-style with small bowls of rice in front of each individual and family servings of entrees and vegetables for everyone to share. Zai Lai makes a family-style meal easy with our Family Festival Meal. Gather some friends together, order a Family Festival Meal and share your lives as you share your food.

What does “Homestyle” mean?

Homestyle to Chef Edward means straightforward, made-from-scratch cooking that results in clean, nourishing food. It’s what he grew up eating and he’s delighted to share it with you. Do note that Taiwanese cuisine has regional variations so it may not taste exactly like your mom’s cooking if she’s not from the middle of Taiwan.

Is this food from Thailand?

We get this question all the time, please don’t be embarrassed! Taiwan is an island off the coast of China. Thailand is further south, next to Cambodia and Vietnam.

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