Nearly every week we receive inquiries from prospective food vendors asking if they can sell meat skewers, stinky tofu, boba milk tea, or shaved snow ice at our events. Unfortunately, our answer is always “No, because we already have enough of those foods.”
So, we decided to compile a list of popular Taiwanese foods to stimulate the minds of any aspiring food vendors out there. The idea is to try something that nobody else has the guts to do and have fun with it! It can be a classic food in its original form that no other vendors have done, a fusion/combination of foods, or something completely new. Just think, this list is only of Taiwanese foods. Think about all the Korean, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, American, etc. foods you know of and mix them up! The combinations are endless as long as you use your creativity. They can be simple or extravagant!
With that in mind, let’s look at some foods we’ve dug up from Taiwan and a fat bible of Taiwanese foods to get the creative juices flowing…
1. Let’s start off with an easy one. Lamb or beef stir fried noodles. This is not your average chow mein. To make this right, you have to use a vegetable called kong xin cai AKA Chinese Water Spinach. Adding some chili peppers is a nice touch as well. Sometimes this can be cooked with Chinese BBQ satay sauce.
2. This one is fun: mini eggs. Usually they use quail eggs.
3. Gua Bao or Pork Belly Buns is a popular food item. You can serve them traditionally with some cilantro, green onions, peanut powder, and hoison sauce. Or you can get creative and add other ingredients such as egg, pickled vegetables or kim chee? Could be the next XLB in America.
4. This one is simple: tempura with sweet and sour sauce.
5. This is bread that you can find at any Chinese bakery but they add some different ingredients in the middle along with mayonnaise or other sauces. It’s like a Chinese hot dog.
6. How about Chinese style burrito with crepe like skin?
7. This makes us salivate just looking at it. Buns stuffed with meat, pickled vegetables, and chives. What combinations can you make up?
8. Boiled mochi then sprinkled with a ton of peanut or black sesame powder. Yes. What other flavors can you imagine?
9. Another classic, the rou zhong AKA zhongzi AKA sticky rice dumplings. They can have meat, peanuts, shrimp, and mushrooms. How else can it be made?
10. Oyster or shrimp pancakes. This is simple to make: starch, egg, vegetables, oyster or shrimp, and sweet & sour sauce. What’s your spin on this?
11. This is Dou Hua–Chinese dessert with soft tofu. The toppings are endless. Perfect for hot summer nights at the night market.
12. Rice flour noodle soup with a bit of meat, celery, cilantro, and a dash of white pepper powder.
13. This is no ordinary Taiwanese sausage. It’s like a hot dog within a hot dog. Slice it open in the middle and cram in some goodness. What a difference a little change makes.
14. Taiwanese style steak with spaghetti and egg on a sizzling platter.
16. Scallion pancakes. A very popular food sometimes served with egg. What else can you do to fluff it up?
17. Red bean cake. How about trying different shapes and flavors?
18. Ruo Buo Gao AKA Turnip Cake. Sometimes served with egg. This is a popular breakfast and dim sum dish but people eat it any time.
19. This is ingenious yet nothing new. Take a baked potato, break it up but don’t mash it. Then top it with some meat, corn, vegetables, and anything else that fits. Drizzle some butter or other sauces on. Nothing new per se but appetizing! It’s all in the presentation?
20. Hello Kitty egg flour cakes. Hello Kitty anything is popular. You can make other shapes with the right mold…
21. …for example, penis cakes! Just need to get the mold. Look at all the flavors! Have some fun with these ideas!
22. Five spice tofu with green onions, garlic, and BBQ satay sauce. Sorry for the bad photo–it was good!
23. Alright, if you must sell skewers how about chicken cartilage?
24. And if you really must sell skewers at least GO ALL OUT!
Share these ideas with your entrepreneur/chef/foodie friends!