This is Katie, the scientist’s much elder sister, living in Taiwan. As I haven’t gathered up enough courage to write my own blog, I figured that I can get my feet wet by being a guest blogger. Even though I am not an expert foodie like my sister, I will try to write about some local favorites or customs in Taiwan.
My friend came to visit me at work here in Sanchung (三重), a Taipei “suburb,” earlier this week. I took her to a local shop here. It is called Talent Show Pig Feet and Lurow Rice (五燈獎豬腳魯肉飯). The lady shop owner was a contestant in a talent show who won many times in a row. The shop is quite famous and has been featured on many TV shows and in magazines.
As the name of the shop indicates, it sells mainly two things: Pigs Feet and Lurow Rice. The food is served cafeteria style. You can order pigs feet or Lurow rice first, then move on to select from veggie dishes and three kinds of soup for a complete meal.
Pigs feet is used in many traditional Taiwanese dishes. Nursing mothers eat Pig Feet & Peanut Soup to give their babies more milk. People who consider themselves in a string of bad luck eat Pigs Feet with Long Life Noodles to give their luck a boost. It is also a favorite among the ladies because it is reportedly rich in collagen, which makes skin more supple. The skin has been stewed for many hours until all the fat has melt away and the meat can be separated easily from the bone. One serving of pigs feet cost NT80 (around 2.40 USD). The portion shown in the picture is two servings.
Lurow (Stewed Pork) Rice is one of the most common foods here in Taiwan. Ground pork (and sometimes pork belly) is stewed with soy sauce and various spices, simmered for hours until it is ready to melt in your mouth. Put the Lurow on top of rice or cooked noodles, and it becomes a delicious meal in an instant!! It is almost a Taiwanese version of spaghetti. The Lurow rice here cost NT20 per bowl (around 60 cents)
Our meal for two, complete with Pigs Feet (NTD 160) + Lurow Rice (NTD 20) + two veggie dishes (NTD 60) + soup (NTD20), totalled NTD 260, less than 8 USD. This shop offers disposable chopsticks and paper bowls. The dining room is not quite as clean as fast food restaurants, but it is acceptable. As for the taste, many of my friends said that they would come back to visit me just so they could go to the shop again.