Monday, February 22, 2010

[台北] - 寧夏夜市-蛋黃芋餅 - Ningxia Road Night Market Taipei - deep fried bun (taro, duck yolk, pork floss)

So here at another new favorite night market of mine, called Ningxia Road Night Market 寧夏夜市(in Taipei City), it is said that Taipei started right here at this spot. It might not be the oldest night market in all of Taiwan, but this place certainly has a lot of local appeal and seems way less touristy than the overly crowded Shihlin Night Market.

In addition Ningxia Road Night Market is apparently famous for vendors who manage to keep some uber old school flavors (in Mandarin, Goo Dsao Wei - 古早味) alive through the years. Some are new vendors who successfully replicated those flavors, and some have been around 30 years or more.

So what's this Fried Taro cake thang? It's a snack bite offered by one vendor on the main strip of Ningxia Road Night Market. The sign is blue with white Chinese letters, on the right as you walk in from the entrance. It's easy to walk by and make it an afterthought, but it's really something you don't want to miss and try out.

There are two versions actually at this one unique vendor stall (no chairs, just get to go). The first is what they called Dan Hwang Yu Bing 蛋黃芋餅 (egg yolk taro cake), and the second one appears to be without the egg yolk, with a flakey exterior layer. Both are deep fried of course.

The first one costs a bit under US$0.70 and the other is US$0.50. Of course the locals buy these in bulk, whereas you the visitor are well advised to try the egg yolk version once before you gobble them down like Pac Man.

4 to 4.5 stars for this killer snack. Here's a rundown of the stall behind the scenes:

1) Cooked duck egg yolks. Note the bright red almost crimson kyrptonite like colors. Yes this will weaken you by destroying your cholestrol levels, in addition to the deep frying, but who cares! You're on holiday yes? Look at how beautiful they pile it up, like a mountain!

2) A mountainous pile of pork floss, or shaved dried pork 肉鬆 (rou song). Tons of flavor, these things go virtually with anything, from rice to porridge, to bread and sandwiches, to even sushi and handrolls if you must.

Vendor person basically takes 1) and smothers it in 2). Then takes a scooper to obtain the right amount of taro dough, then rolls 1 and 2 together inside.

Then this simple delicious muthafugga is DEEP FRIED, allowed to cool and excess oil to drip out, then bagged into paper and sold.

The exterior is roasty toasty, but the insides have a near mochi like chewiness to it. The yolk gives it a mild salty kick, and the pork floss yields the additional sweet and almost crunchy like texture. Even if you wait 5 to 10 mins after buying it before eating, it is STILL a piping hot piece of delicious fried taro ass.

For those watching their figure, might just want to have only one or two at the most (and save room for other kinds of gluttony). There's a whole lot more stuff to eat. Good thing the road is long so you can do a lot of walking to help burn some of that taro ass off.

寧夏夜市 蛋黃芋餅 (Ningxia Road Night Market, Deep Fried Egg Yolk Taro Bun)
台北市寧夏夜市(寧夏路與民生西路交叉口) - Ningxia Road x Mingshen West Rd