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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Letters From Taipei: Noodles Galore

It's all about Taiwanese noodle culture in this week's installment.

close up noodle stir fry

Photo: Sara Conrad (Earth Eats)

While many like meat in their noodle dishes, vegetarian options abound.

Cuisine is large part of how a country knows itself and presents itself to the world. Taiwan is an extremely diverse place, and the nation’s diversity is clearly evinced by the wide array of food its people make, serve and consume.

Food and travel also go hand-in-hand, the dishes you eat helping you understand the new cultures you come into contact with.

Beyond Rice

While lovers of rice, the Taiwanese eat a lot of noodles as well.

Bought on the street at small stalls, you can get “dried” noodles, noodles in soup or fried noodles for about $1.00. I was expecting this, as I’ve been to Mainland China before. What I wasn’t expecting was the Italian and curry noodles. They’ll cost you a little more — $3.50 — but are well worth it.

Though I was dubious of trying Taiwanese-Italian fusion at first, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Taiwan’s take on Italian fare.

Taiwanese-Italian

At most Italian noodle places, you can choose between red, white, pesto or curry sauces, all of which are watery (though still full of flavor) and can be slurped up soup-style once the noodles are gone.

Many Taiwanese opt for pasta with fresh seafood, especially muscles with pesto noodles. A hot dog with red sauce and noodles is also popular. For my vegetarian noodles there were pea shoots, baby corn and Chinese mushrooms.

As for the curry, it’s wonderful too, and I must admit that I had never thought of putting spaghetti and curry sauce together. I will definitely be experimenting with this when I get back to the US!

Read More:

  • Letters From Taipei: Fruity Abundance (Earth Eats)
  • Letters From Taipei: An Introduction (Earth Eats)
Sara Conrad

Sara is an eternal student. Currently studying Tibetan Culture at Indiana University, she loves to cook with fresh, organic, vegetarian ingredients – but also has never turned down fake mashed potatoes in a buffet line.

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