Shi Ling, Night Market

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OC Night Market ain’t got nothing on this! If in the Taipei area, an absolutely must go to is the Shi Ling Night Market. You can go around 5pm but the real night life begins after dinnertime and when it gets dark. Here, you have a wide variety of shops to browse through and if your lucky, you can negotiate or “sa jia” for a cheaper price with the store keeper. This may be a little messed up, but one of my favorite parts of the night market is when the police come. As I mentioned in a previous post, there are some shops that are not there legally, and those are the ones that occupy the space in the road. The vendors there have a system going though, as there seems to be one person at the entrance or somewhere that keeps a lookout for the cop. If one is spotted, the other vendors down the line will all get notified and they will quickly pack up, roll up, or pick up their items and disappear either into an alleyway or a legal shop that allows them to stay there. This is what it looks like when the cops have just come:

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The area is quite clear because it is normally occupied by vendors like the one in the middle with the blue wrapping. Once they have waited about five minutes or so, they will come back out and lay everything back out and continue to sell until another cop has come. It’s tiring for them but quite amusing.

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With all bought and said, my focus is still always on the food. Shi Ling never disappoints with their wide variety of snacks and small eats!

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Roasted corn is waiting for someone hungry to come and snatch them up.

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Green onions wrapped in bacon grilled and smothered in bbq sauce. The line for these go long and around the corner!

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Behold. The wait was about 20 minutes for this one (jk, got three).

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Peanut powder stuffed mochi balls covered in more peanut powder! Super chewy and super delish! I loved these when I was a kid! I would say I’m trying to watch my figure now but that would be a lie.

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Ahh….you know it’s coming before you even see it. Stinky tofu. My friends back at home forbid me to order it because they can’t stand the smell. But these are a classic to Taiwan, and a must try especially if you come to the night market. This stall makes some of the best that I know. These people are waiting for the next batch to finish.

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The tofu first starts as firm white tofu. Then they fry them until they look like the above photo.

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Then they’ll take scissors and cut them into four pieces and continue to fry them until crispy on all sides. They then place them on the racks to drip dry, place into bags with cabbage and sauce and serve.

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I stared at this french bull dog for a good five minutes who was staring down this drain for even longer. There is probably a mouse or something down there. Not going to dwell upon that fact. Moving on.

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Papaya milk. There are four things I drink on a regular basis when I come to Taiwan: tea, apple sidra, papaya milk, and watermelon juice. On this night, I had two cups of papaya milk from this stall, both finished within 10 minutes.

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There is also this stall which specializes in baked meat buns. My favorite though is watching them make it, it looks so simple and easy to them. They’ve probably already made hundreds and maybe even thousands and is tedious but it’s so cool to watch and see how your food is made instead of just buying it in a package at the market or having it served to you at a normal restaurant.

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Yes I would like two chicken skins, a couple chicken buts, three chicken hearts and some mutton. Chinese cuisine likes to utilize basically every part and leaving nothing to waste! I personally did not have a heart to try these… (did you get that?).

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I’ve probably been to the night market ten or more times? I used to go several times during one trip back but it never get’s old! There’s always an excitement, a new discovery, and a new item to try!

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