(This is a continuation of my earlier post about the Night Market in Hualien, Taiwan)
The pervasive influence of Japanese culture in Taiwan manifests itself even in the Night Market, where one finds such goodies as sushi:
...and takoyaki (Japanese fried octopus dumplings):
The takoyaki comes in a variety of flavors: curry, cheese, pepper, wasabi, and more. In addition, this lady also sells "Dragon-Phoenix Legs", which are deep fried chunks of meat mounted on skewers (located to the masked lady's left in the photo below). We found it amusing that the sign on this stall proudly announces "one box of takoyaki for $35 (Taiwanese dollars), 3 boxes for $105". Either the owner of this business has a penchant for stating the obvious, or a lot of their customers must be math-challenged ;-) Also, the octopus on the sign is missing 2 legs:
Some Western influence is also present, as shown by this Taiwanese rendition of the French crepe, which is filled with beef, vegetables, and cheese:
...and this steak-noodle-egg combo (which costs less than 3 US dollars):
Some stalls specialize in a particular type of dish, such as this fellow who makes fishball soup:
...and this stall that specializes in stews. One collects the ingredients one likes (from the array of meat, vegetables, tofu, noodles, and more), puts them in a plastic basket (taken from the stack of baskets on the counter), and hands them over to be magically transformed into one's very own delightful, personalized concoction. If one looks closely at the upper right hand corner of this stall's sign (click the picture below to enlarge), one can see the signature of Ma Ying-jeou, the President of Taiwan:
For dessert, one can have sugar-coated fruits on skewers. (The strawberry ones are my wife's favorite. A variety of other choices are available, such as plum and pear):
...and then cool down with some fruit juice or a grass jelly beverage from this stall whose sign unabashedly declares "Good Beyond Words":
So far, I've only scratched the surface of the pleasures of Hualien's Night Market. Also, the Night Market in Hualien is dwarfed by that of Taipei, which I have yet to explore so...
I can't wait for our next trip to Taiwan!