Shilin Night Market

Those of you who read the blog regularly will have observed that food features heavily in my posts. I had really enjoyed my street food experiences in Thailand and Vietnam earlier this year, so Thai street food was one of the reasons that I planned an extended stay in Bangkok at the beginning of this trip. But I had no idea that street food was such a prominent feature of Taipei. It has been such a pleasant surprise to find so many areas with extensive street food offerings. I really enjoy wandering along the streets, looking at all of the offerings and then selecting something different to sample.

Last night, I headed to the Shilin Night Market for another fix of Taiwanese street food. The market sells more than food, but food is a large part of the market and is what I was interested in. To get there, I got onto subway train on the red (number 2) line heading towards Tamsui and got off at the Jiantan Station. Once at Jiantan Station, leave via exit 1 and the market is a short walk away.

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Entrance to the covered Shilin Market

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The covered market has two levels: a food court on the basement level and a variety of stalls on the ground level. But the covered section is only a small part of the overall market, which stretches across several nearby streets and lanes. And street food stalls can be found on most of those surrounding streets.

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Cooked oysters
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Grilled squid

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Various meats on bread

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Big cock pineapple cake. I’ve no idea why!
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The ‘big cock pineapple cake’ apparently comes in different flavours
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Fun fair type game to win stuffed toys
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Shooting game using air-powered weapons

Whilst trying to decide what food to eat, I came across this stall in the basement of the covered market. Amongst its offerings were chicken gizzards, chicken skin, chicken hearts and chicken butts! So I ordered some chicken butts, and they tasted OK. Slightly crunchy but well seasoned and slightly spicy.

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Chicken hearts
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Chicken Butts
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The cook adds some seasoning to my chicken butts

 

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There was a long line to buy this ‘original cake’ in large slabs that were boxed up to take home. Selling like the proverbial hot-cakes
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The cake looked so soft and moist – but I didn’t need a big slab of cake so I moved on
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BBQ pork with green onions inside
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This was an opportunity to include some veggies into my diet
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My second food selection for the night. Tasty!
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Grilled squid
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“Wow Frog eggs”
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What’s left of the frog eggs, I presume
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Chicken feet and other meaty options
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One of the lanes in the market area
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Part of the market’s basement food court
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Taking a chance with that rickety stand holding up the shrimp tank!
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Shrimp still swimming around – can’t get any fresher than that!

I was feeling quite full already, but all of the different foods were tempting me. The sight of those fresh shrimp pushed me over the edge. So I sat down and ordered some shrimp for my third feeding of the night. Plus a large beer to wash them down.

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Three large shrimp, grilled in salt

With no room for any more food, I left the market and caught the subway back towards my hotel. But when I reached the hotel, I decided to take a walk to work off some of the calories that I’d consumed. So I wandered around the streets for an hour or so, observing in the night-time activities.

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