Wanderlust Taiwan- Fish Ball Rules! Cheap and Yummy Noodle Soup vs. NY Pizza and Bagel 佳興魚丸店的魚丸冬粉

This is typical of a “small eats” place in Taiwan. The store is petite with less than 10 tables. The owner and his family work the restaurant. They control all aspect of the operations, from buying and making the goods to serving and cleaning. They are friendly and welcome you with big smiles. The menu is simple: only fish related items – fish balls and fish skin in different kind of noodle soups.The prices range from $35 TWD or just slightly more than $1 USD for dry noodles to $65 TWD or a little more than $2 USD for fish & fish skin with noodle soup.
The dark vinegar, Sha Cha sauce, chili and white pepper. You may create the perfect taste yourself with these condiments.Fish balls with meat in the middle, fish and vermicelli noodles in fish broth 
Tofu steamed in sauce.

Less than $3 USD gets me a warm, yummy and fulfilling noodle soup plus steamed tofu that are brought to my table. In the NYC area, $3 gets me maybe a slice of cheese pizza or a bagel with cream cheese while I wait in line to order. How I miss the taste of Asia and the easy and cheap access to food.

Happy Thursday, Hardworking and Slaving New Yorkers!

This experience took place at

佳興魚丸店
台北市和平東路二段
Taipei City, Taiwan

Wanderlust Taiwan- Home Cooked Taiwanese Cuisine for the Gypsy

I got lots of feedback on my “Wanderlust Taiwan – Leaving in a Few Days with a Heart of a Gypsy” post. People wrote to me. My ex-pat friends took me to lunch as did my local friends. They made me cry and felt that perhaps I do have a place where I may call home. Although homesickness is universal, it’s harder on the soul when the home has no geographical address. It leaves the heart in mid-air and between continents.

What do the Taiwanese do when we feel sorrowful? We eat to restore a sense of belonging and love.  I am proud to be immersed in this tradition.My local friends made me a well-thought out home-cooked meal, starting with a Nespresso coffee.
Clockwise from 9pm: stewed tofu滷香豆干, parboiled Taiwanese spinach清燙空心菜, stinky tofu fermented辣味蔭鳳梨臭豆腐 by my lovely friend, Nancy, at her home especially for me, garlic and vinegar cucumbers蒜味醋拌小黃瓜, carrots and daikon, noodles麻油麵線. In the center is stewed beef and tripe,滷牛腱,牛肚(堅持要用台灣牛)+翁家版酸甜辣椒醬. 
Handmade tapioca balls from lotus root flour with no preservatives
Tapioca balls in caramelized brown sugar,黑糖蓮藕粉波霸. Ends with Oriental Beauty tea.

Here is a clip of how the stinky tofu was steamed and prepared.

My love affair with Taiwan will continue next summer when my heart will beat with delight and my soul soar with glee. This is the journey of a gypsy.