culinaria eugenius in taiwan: i seafood, i eat it

Part II of a photo essay of my trip to Taiwan.  See Part I here

One of the chief delights of Taiwanese cuisine is seafood in all its divine mystery.  I already gave you a hint with my pictures of crabs in the last post.  That was merely, only, scarcely, barely the beginning.  Above: uni (sea urchin) sashimi on a bed of seaweed at the Shi-Yang Culture restaurant in Xizhi City, Taipei County; I’m not sure what the fish next to it is, probably a relation to mackerel.


Grilled wild eel (front) and greater amberjack (back) served with house-made soy sauce seasoned with tiny fish. Shen Yen Teppanyaki restaurant, Loudong, Yi-lan Province.

Simple grilled fish with lime and prune at Ba-Ian Hot Springs Resort restaurant in the Yamingshan National Park. One of my favorite dishes of the trip.

Nanmen Market fish, prêt-à-porter, Taipei.

Shin Yeh Seafood restaurant sauteed spicy squid, Taipei.  At this restaurant, you’re able to pick out a great number of fish and shellfish in tanks outside the restaurant, priced by the kilo, then have the chef prepare it in a number of ways.  The dishes were garnished beautifully — not sure if that was just for us, since we had government VIPs in the group.

Black parrotfish sashimi at one of the most unusual and lovely restaurants we experienced, Shen Yen Teppanyaki, Loudong, Yi-lan Province.

Shrimp and abalone sashimi at Shi-Yang Culture Restaurant.  Taiwanese abalone are quite small and have electric blue outer shells.

Oysters with fermented black beans, a dish often served at home over rice.  Ba-Ian Hot Springs Resort restaurant.  Special guest star: the arm of my excellent guide, Jeff Lee, who introduced me to the dish.  Thanks, Jeff!

Steamed fish with soy crumbles, a specialty of Sichuan province.  Served at Shao Wei, a humble family-style Sichuan restaurant in Taipei.

Nanmen market fish cakes in the shape of bunnies, in honor of the Year of the Rabbit.

Prawns are brought in live to the Ningxia night market and prepared in inventive ways, like this oven simulator (aka a hair dryer).  Looks good enough for a date with a handsome press minister, no?  Stay tuned, dear friends, stay tuned.

Grilled whole fish at Shin Tung Nan Seafood Restaurant, Taipei.  As a part of our banquet meals, we were always served at least one whole fish: steamed, grilled, or fried.  They were often some of the best dishes of the day.

Shrimp and pork crown dumplings and smoked Shanghai-style fish at the renowned Ding Tai Feng dumpling house in Taipei 101, the mile-high wonderbuilding.

And last but not least, gloopy shark fin supreme soup at Palais de Chine, Taipei.  I wasn’t a fan.  Couldn’t get the image of finning out of my mind.  Some gourmet, huh?  The “surf and turf” tenderloin with scallops in the background was good, though.

Full yet?  I’m not kidding about this is just the beginning, folks.  I’m still overwhelmed just looking at the pictures I took.  I keep forgetting about an entire meal and relive it again when I browse the set.  More to come, then.  Allons-y! (Can you tell I spent a week with a dashing French restaurant critic? Stay tuned!)

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