Thursday, April 22, 2010
[永和] - 樂華夜市 大漢草原 新疆羊肉串 Xinjiang style Da Han Lamb Skewers at Lir Hua Night Market in Yong Ho
Every time I visit Taipei, a trip to the neigborhood night market in 永和 township, Lir Hua Night Market 樂華夜市 is inevitable. It's not a super foodie destination by any means, but it has that great local atmosphere and of course, not visited heavily (or at all) by foreign tourists. There are also lots of shops selling non brand name and brand name clone type wares, clothing, lots of cheap trinkets, and a few fun things for the kids (including a pet vendor that sets up a giant tub of mini feeder fish for kids to play fishing games on busy days). Definitely one of the slightly more family friendly places.
There's not a lot that I would recommend here, but this stall called Da Han (full name is Da Han grassy fields) 大漢草原 caught my eye. They specialize in Xinjian style lamb skewers 新疆羊肉串. I'm sure there are other places that do this even better, and perhaps this isn't even near the best what the night market has to offer, but this certainly did not disappoint.
Da Han at Lir Hua Night Market appears to be the flagship stall, and they have operations in Rao He night market as well. According to the website, the owner of Da Han had a nostalgic craving for the lamb skewer, and personally flew over to Xin Jiang to apprentice the art of lamb grilling on skewer from a master. The rest is history...
The prices are quite reasonable, about NT$12 or US$0.40 a skewer. Choose between the signature lamb, beef, pork, chicken, and something that is called soft bone (lamb cartilage?) Since Xinjiang is heavily inhabited by Islamic Chinese, pork is nothing something on the menu, but this is in Taiwan so one must adapt.
It's really easy. Pick the # of skewers you want, specify type of meat, and how spicy you want it. They are then grilled to order. The smell alone while you wait, is a major tease in itself. I only had a chance to try two lamb skewers, and it was quite amazing. It's like yakitori, but cheaper. The amount of meat on each stick is not a lot, but cooked to perfection, and the various spices and salt really bring it all together.
Oh yeah. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa gooooooooooood!
大漢草原 新疆羊肉串 (Da Han Grass Fields Xinjiang Lamb Skewer Stall)
永和 樂華夜市 (located inside Lir Hua Night Market in Yong Ho Township)