Since 2010, Korean variety show Running Man has been running all over the world visiting various different countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and England.
Over the course of their visits outside of South Korea, they have never failed to promote other countries’ specialties and culture.
This includes when they visited Taiwan in episode 347. The members HaHa, Yang Se-chan and Song Ji-Hyo needed to try the countries’ food specialties as part of their mission.
Here are the Taiwanese foods featured in that Running Man episode and why they are so special:
1.Taiwanese Beef Noodle
There are plenty of variations when comes to beef noodles around Asia. However, the Taiwanese version of this dish is like kolo mee for Sarawak. It is listed as one of the must-try foods when visiting the country.
Generally, beef noodles are either cooked in a clear broth or with braised meat. The Taiwanese version is the latter. In Taiwan, people prefer the tomato variation of the braised beef noodles. It is red in colour, cooked with chunks of tomatoes, sometimes even without soy sauce.
2. Danzai Noodle
Also known as Ta-a or danzi noodles, this dish has history that can be traced back 130 years.
Legend has it that a fisherman named Hong Yutou began selling this noodle to earn money during off-season when typhoons were frequent. Usually served in small size, this dish is more like a snack rather than the main course.
On top of the noodles, it is made with bean sprouts, cilantro, shrimp and minced pork.
3. Stinky Tofu
This Taiwanese food requires first timers to gather their guts to try. Traditionally a Chinese snack, it is also found in mainland China and Hong Kong.
In Taiwan, however, the tofu is usually served deep-fried with sour pickled vegetables. Visitors can find the deep-fried stinky tofu in Taiwanese night markets. Other ways to cook it in Taiwan are with spicy hot soup and barbecued over charcoal.
4. Mango Shaved Ice
Mango shaved Ice is a quintessential Taiwanese dessert. Now you can find Taiwanese dessert chains popping up around the world serving mango shaved ice as their star menu item. It is basically made from freshly cut mango, mango ice cream and sweet mango sauce.
5. Pineapple Cake
Here is one of those Taiwanese foods you can bring home as a gift. It is a sweet traditional pastry made with butter, flour, egg, sugar and pineapple jam in between.
Pineapple played an important economical role in the country’s history which started when it was under Japanese rule (1895-1945).
During this period, Japanese brought in pineapple cultivators and set up processing plants. By the late 1930s, the country was the third largest pineapple exporter in the world.
In 2015, CNN readers voted Taiwan as the number one food destinations in the world. If you are planning a visit to the country, you can start with your must-try Taiwanese foods with this list.