i love shilin night market. i know its a touristy night market and the food is aint that great but i guaranteed you, you will go back one happy kid after visiting this night market*.
the night i went to shilin, it was raining. pouring to be more specific. thus i made a quick rush for shelter at the “food section” (shilin is sorta divided into two sections – food and (across the road) fashion items). as i walked in, i knew i have to once again braved the rain and queued up for my favorite fried chicken – 豪大大雞排 (you need to be careful of the imitation stall – of course the tell-tale sign was the queue).
for years, 豪大大雞排 (hao da da ji pa) served up these humongus sized bread crumb coated fried chicken. the chicken breast were pound into a thin fillet thus speed up the cooking process and leaving the chicken to be moist and juicy. to serve, they sprinkled some mystery powder aka chinese five spices and “something else”. the best bit was they dont cut the chicken – you just need to bite into it.
of course i couldnt finish my fried chicken in one sitting. i had about one-third of it and saved the rest for later.
while i was munching on my chicken, i made my way around the market for more grub. as i was walking, i kept smelling this “drain pipe” smell. after awhile, it dawned onto me that it was the smell of 臭豆腐 (stinky tofu). for those of you who are not familiar with stinky tofu, its basically tofu marinated in prepared brine made up of fermented milk, vegetables and meat.
the smell of the tofu was disgusting. its very bad. but i absolutely love the taste of it. and i know i need to have some.
after browsing around, i decided to stop at this one particular stall for their beef noodles. and to my delight, they collaborated with the next stall which sells stinky tofu so i got to have two great dishes!
in taiwan, they fried the stinky tofu and served them with pickled vegetables (in this case, cabbage). once the dish was presented to me, the “stinky” smell was not that bad. when you bite into it, you get the crispy skin and the soft tofu. yummy. and that sauce that came with it was sweet and sour (perhaps from the pickled vegetable) and complement the tofu. really this was one of the best street food!
next came the beef noodles. it was a big bowl of comfort food. the soup was flavorful, rich and i could taste the herbs and spices that went in. and the big chunks of beef were juicy and tender. the noodles were not overcooked but it was quite a bit. i ended up finishing the soup and beef but not the noodles.
after dinner, i went walking around for awhile. by chance, i bought a pair of ballet pumps for S$5 *happy dance*. of course, i did not last long walking in rain. still i feel my life was completed with the yummy food and cheap shoes!
*for food at night market, i personally like shi da night market (for taipei). the quality of food is better.