Wednesday, March 17, 2010

[台北市] - 寧夏夜市 牛媽媽 - Ningxia Road Night Market: Beef Mama Taipei

Finally a place where I think Anthony Bourdain might like if he were to visit Taipei! Yes, a place that also dishes up the nasty bits! And it isn't in one of the more super touristy places either, but a night market that has a lot of history, in addition to preserving the cultures and traditions of what the locals like to eat in terms of classical no nonsense street food.

All you hard core Asians will love this place too.

Especially Koreans and Singaporeans!

Located about halfway through the Ningxia Road Night Market 寧夏夜市, somewhere on the left side of the enclosure is a vendor that specializes primarily in beef and beef parts, and dirt cheap and might tasty too, called Beef Mama 牛媽媽. They've been around quite some time and are now at the 2nd generation of family ownership. My dining partner in crime told me this place is a fine example of old school (1950s era) Taipei street cuisine, where it all started.

It would be nice if we could transplant a beef specialist street food stall like this...

Beef Mama also uses A LOT of Sa Cha (or sacha) sauce  沙茶醬 to kick up the flavors multiple notches. WIKI has a small entry on this

If this is not your bag, stay away. Sa Cha is sometimes confused with satay, which has similar flavors but are in fact very different.

Gasp.... pig? Well apparently they also specialize in Kung Rou Fan. It's not on the beef themed wall menu though.

Sa Cha sauce can be purchased at any Bay Area Chinese supermarket. Make sure when you buy one to try at home for cooking or hot pot, get the brand that has a cow or red bull on it, and made in Taiwan. That's the best quality you can get. Similar to the WIKI picture.

Honeycomb tripe (stomach) soup - NT$80

Beef "hip" soup - NT$50 (if I remember correctly, "hip" is a nice way of saying the testes, the Mandarin naming is "Yau Gwor" or fruit of the hips, how ELEGANT, more so than calling chicken feet Phoenix Claws in dim sum... screw the feet, go for da BALLSAC!)

Beef liver soup - NT$50
Beef heart soup - NT$50
Lamb meat soup (no nasty bits) - NT$50
Beef tripe soup (see other picture) - NT$50
Stir fried heart valves - NT$110
Sacha sauce stir fried bone marrow - NT$150
Sacha sauce stir fried beef brains - NT$110
Sacha sauce stir fried honeycomb tripe (stomach) - NT$110
Sacha sauce stir fried (beef) testes - NT$110
Sacha sauce stir fried beef heart - NT$110
Sacha sauce stir fried beef liver - NT$110
Sacha sauce stir fried beef (non nasty bits) - NT$90
Sacha sauce stir fried lamb - NT$90
Sacha sauce stir fried beef with noodles - NT$80

The beef tripe soup was insanely homey good.

A light but flavorful clear broth, obviously cooked for a long time with a lot of material, including the tripe. The julienne slices of ginger added a very nice and fine touch to the flavors. Included on the side was some soy sauce paste dipping sauce seasoned with vinegar and garlic, to dip the sexcellent tripe pieces in which added to the enjoyment a beefillion fold. Interestingly the tripe wasn't really the stomach lining or anything. It actually tasted like high quality beef with a lot of tendons and ligaments in it. You would have thought this was a cut near the rib eye or something!

The hollow stem veg (kung shin tsai) stir fried with lamb slices in sa cha sauce was incredibly good also.
Crispy stems, bursting with juice, flavor. A non gamey lamb with all the energy from the wok, made this a great body warmer from the cold and super wet winter during my visit.

Sa Cha stir fried noodles, other people's orders.....

Didn't try the balls(ac), the hearts and the brains.

I'll let Dorothy eat those on her way to find the Whizzer of Oz.

台北市大同區寧夏路50號前﹝牛媽媽攤位﹞Taipei City Datong District, Ningxia Road #50 (Beef Mama stall)


1 comment:

  1. I love food, I love eating, I love experiencing a culture through eating but I am still rather reluctant to try cow (or chicken) balls(ac) or brains ... still need some time to overcome that ...