As one of the shopping haven in Asia, Taiwan has so much to offer when it comes to shopping. You can buy any Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese goods here cheaper due to the proximity to Japan and Korea. Not forgetting the various new Taiwan street brands co-owned by many celebrities only available in Taiwan. There is so much to bring home but here is my top 10 things to buy if you are in Taipei and they are mostly food.
1.Instant Oyster Mee Sua
You have eaten this so many times in Taipei and you just cannot get enough of it. Fret not as they now come in instant packages like this where the noodle and sauce is prepared and you just need to buy your own oysters or meat or intestines to top it up and you can enjoy your own mee sua in the comfort of your own home.
Where to buy : Taoyuan airport duty free shop
2. Iron Eggs
Iron eggs are considered a delicacy of Taiwan and is made by constantly braising and brewing chicken or quail eggs over and over again in the same pot of sauce. The steps of brewing the eggs over and over again results in a chewy and crunchy skin with very deep flavours which have been absorbed by the entire egg. Now available in small vacuum packs, this is a great snack to bring around.
Where to buy : Supermarkets or any food souvenir stores
Singaporean love pineapple tarts any part of the year just like Singaporean love Bak Kwa anytime of the year. Pineapple tarts is also very popular in Taiwan, one of the better ones is this gourmet brand Sunny Hills. Personally, I love the buttery crust ones with a pineapple filling which is slightly tangy so Sunny Hills is the brand for me. For others preferring the stiffer crusts can try the many brands available.
Where to buy : Sunny Hills flagship store ( look out for my post on Sunny Hills) / Another famous brand is Lee Yi biscuits ( look out for my post on Lee Yi ). Other brands are available at all food souvenir stores.
4. Sun Biscuits
Sun Biscuit is originally from Tai Chung and is made into a shape of a circular flat biscuit which resembles the look of the sun. The fillings are made of maltose (condensed malt sugar) and is wrapped around a flaky crust. The ones I like is from Lee Yi which has a more buttery crust than others which taste more flour based.
Where to buy: Lee Yi Main stall, Taipei Main Station, Underground Mall, Unit 11-2B
5. Old Ginger Tea
Ginger has many healing properties which includes curing nausea , alleviate stomach discomfort including reducing intestinal gas production. Due to its spiciness, it helps to warm the body and enhance blood circulation in the body. Old ginger are much more effective,nutritious and more aromatic. In addition, it is also spicier as compare to young ginger. Taiwan is famous for their brown sugar ginger tea and it is sold in these convenient sugar cubes where you can add to any dessert or add it to water to make the soup base for dumplings.
Where to buy: Supermarkets, airport duty free shop or food souvenir stores
6. Hua diao Chicken Noodles
Every country has their own special noodles and Taiwan has 2. One is this hua diao chicken noodle which comes with a huge sachet of gravy with real chicken chunks. Each packet of noodle also includes a packet of real Chinese wine sachet which gives the noodles it’s fragrance. Try it and you will know it is one of those instant noodles to hit your favourite list. You can buy this in Q10 but it costs at least 30% more so while you are in Taiwan, you should stock up on this. They also have the bowl version but will take more space in your luggage
7. Chilli Pork Flavour Instant Noodle
Instant noodles lovers would have seen the beef and eel versions available in NTUC in the bowl form but never the pork version as the importer did not bring in the pork version. Like the beef version, each packet comes with a sachet of real meat and gravy which adds on the deep flavours for the noodles. You will never regret having this and since it is not available in Singapore, make sure you bring more packets home.
Where to buy: Supermarkets or convenience store
8. Salted Egg Malt Sugar biscuits
This biscuit has gained popularity recently with cheese crackers and salted egg yolk mixed with malted sugar filling. Each biscuit is packed separately in vacuum packs and is highly addictive.
Where to buy: Any food souvenir store
Sachima is made of fluffy strands of fried batter bound together with a stiff sugar syrup, showing similarity to American Rice Krispies Treats. The Sachima mainly consists of flour, butter, and rock sugar. The Fujian version which is closer to the current Taiwanese version is made of wheat flour, vegetable oil, egg, milk, granular sugar, and malt sugar. The Taiwanese version is made of brown sugar and is not as sweet as the Cantonese versions so it is suitable for the healthy living concept currently.
Where to buy: Airport duty free shop
10. Taiwanese Sausage
Although we can get Taiwanese sausage from our supermarkets and mostly are made from factories in a fixed mould. This one from a particular stall in Taipei is handmade from black pork with the right mixture of fatty meat and lean meat. You can read about my review of the sausage in my Chen Ji Mee Sua post.
Where to buy: No. 165, Section 3 Heping West Road at Wanhua District in Taipei City