Tuesday, March 23, 2010

[台北] - 寧夏夜市 賴記雞蛋蚵仔煎 Lai's range chicken egg oyster omlette (Ningxia Road Night Market)

One of the most well known and common $taple$ of Taiwane$e $treet $nack$ is the oyster omlette 蚵仔煎.

For a mea$ly two George Wa$hington$, or NT$60 (arguably a tad bit cheaper elsewhere) you can get some natural viagra that is fresh and gives you a giant boner, I'm talking about appetite for more oral fixings that the food vendors have to offer.

Lai's is located in the outer edge of Taipei City's Ningxia Road Night Market 寧夏夜市 where this market is well known for a long block of nothing but the finest of street food. More importantly this market is one of the least touristy joints (unlike the overcrowded Shih Lin Night Market with elbow to elbow crowds), practically no shops, and a high concentration of vendors that adhere to one philosophy, keeping tradition alive by preserving the original ancient/old school flavors and receipes from 30 to 50 years ago.

Lai's is a fine example of local street cuisine. They've been around 30 years and their signature oyster omlette is still their strongest seller. NT$60 or about 2 bucks gets you a perfectly well done dish.

It is said that Lu Gang 鹿港 (a seaside town with a port) in Changhua County is the birthplace of the oyster omlette in Taiwan, brought over by Fujianese immigrants from China. They use no eggs in their receipe and a ton of basil. The addition of eggs seems to be more of a Taipei variation (no basil in this version).

The kitchen is outdoors, with some nearby stools and tables, and a separate indoor section for those who prefer to be off the street.

Lai's Range Chicken Egg Oyster Omlette rundown:

-Fresh baby oysters (Er Ah 蚵仔) native to Taiwan (probably from by the coastal waters near south central west side)

-Free range chicken eggs

-Tung ho 茼蒿 (Garland chrysanthemum) also a great veg to use with hotpots

- in house made special red sauce (like a light ketchup with some savory, sweet, and sour)

- potato or yam starch to thicken, it's a tad bit gooey texture, so native Japanese who like the "neba neba" (sticky) (and I mean things like natto you sick minded folks) will find some comforting similarity.

All this grilled on top of a high heat metal surface.

The whole combination just blends together so well.

The clear broth baby oyster soup is great too.

The atmosphere is incredible, with locals and like minded street food lovers around you. It's all very simple, but yet ridiculously impossible to recreate abroad for some reason.

賴雞蛋蚵仔煎 (Lai's Chicken Egg Oyster Omlette by Ningxia Road Night Market)
台北市大同區民生西路198之22號 (Taipei City, Datong District, Mingshen West Rd, 198 by #22)
(Tel) 02-2555-0381
(Hours) 15:00-2:00(隔週二休 closed Tuesdays)

There's actually another 30+ year old place nearby that's quite famous and here's a pic of the storefront for those curious. Until next time....


  1. I love the oyster omelette! :) Great blog you have. I need to check some food you recommend :)

  2. this weekend, I met a chef in LA who said he used to own a stall Shilin market. He's reportedly opening a new "stall" inside a food court come May 1st in Rowland Heights. It's gonna be called "路邊攤". Sufficed to say, I'm a WEE bit excited cuz my friends told me his 蚵仔煎 is AWESOME. At the restaurant where he served o ah jian, they priced it at US$3.25, which makes it ALMOST as cheap as Taipei. ZOMFG!