We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Love Singapore’s street food and hawker stands? Now you can get one last, airport-based fix
Did you love that Singapore street food that the country is so famously known for? Sad you couldn’t indulge in one more helping of nasi lemak or one more chopstick full of the most perfectly flavored noodles before leaving?
Well, now you can.
Changi Airport Group (CAG) has introduced the Singapore Food Street, or a smorgasbord of all things street food, to the Singapore’s Changi Airport.
Located in Terminal 3, the Singapore Food Street boasts hawker fare from 13 popular local street stalls. The food street will feature more than 200 dishes by household hawker names such as East Coast Lagoon BBQ Seafood, Odean Beef Noodles, and Changi Village Nasi Lemak.
The dining area will not only feature the country’s most sought-after street food and dishes, but it will also evoke the atmosphere that makes Singapore the uniquely delicious destination that it has become known to be.
The Singapore Food Street will feature Peranakan-style décor and will be run with nostalgic-looking pushcarts.
“[The Singapore Food Street] brings to the airport Singapore’s colorful hawker food culture, which is a big part of the average Singaporean’s lifestyle. Not only do travelers now get to sample the best of local delights in Changi Airport, they can also dine in an environment that is uniquely Singapore,” states Ivy Wong, CAG’s Senior Vice President of Airside Concessions.
The 13 famous hawker stands that will now be featured in the airport are:
Tiong Bahru Meng Kee Roast Duck
Sin Ming Road Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh
Jalan Tua Kong Minced Pork Noodle
Bugis Street Hainanese Chicken Rice
Old Airport Road Fried Kway Teow & Carrot Cake
East Coast Lagoon Fried Rice Noodle
East Coast Lagoon BBQ Seafood
Odean Beef Noodles
Newton Circus Satay / Satay Bee Hoon
Changi Village Nasi Lemak
E-Sarn Thai Corner
Singapore Food Street Beverage Stall
Alexandra E. Petri is the travel editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @writewayaround
Serve up a street-food inspired meal at home with Krista Simmons' recipes
As part of our Fresh Cooks Live: TODAY's Spring Cookalong series, Krista Simmons, travel writer and food editor for LAist.com showed us how to take our taste buds around the world without leaving the house.
"I was definitely a different kind of kid," Krista told TODAY.com. "Instead of watching cartoons, I was obsessed with PBS cooking shows like "Great Chefs, Great Cities" and Julia Child. The travelling foodie writes about her adventures and cooks delicious meals inspired by her trips, which she shares with her readers and followers on Twitter and Instagram.
"I love wandering around the globe and gathering inspiration from the sights, smells, and sounds of street stalls and farmers markets," she said. "These dishes are all tweaked to make sense for the home cook. They're approachable, and a bit more healthy too, to help me keep my balance when I'm on terra firma."
- 1 young coconut
- 1 oz coconut water
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz lemongrass ginger simple syrup (see recipe below)
- 1 stick lemongrass, quartered
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Candied ginger
- Lime wedge
- Bamboo cocktail toothpick for garnish, optional
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 sticks lemongrass, cut into quarters and bashed
- 2 bulbs ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped into a large dice
Combine simple syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool while still in the pan, allowing the ginger and lemongrass to steep. Once cooled, strain out lemongrass and ginger and place in a squeeze bottle. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Place the quartered lemongrass stick into a shaker and muddle to open up the aromatics. Then add ice, coconut water, gin, lemongrass simple syrup and lime juice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a coupe glass and garnish with 1/4 lime wedge and candied ginger. Sip and enjoy!
Indian curry roasted cauliflower with coconut raita
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
- Cooking spray
- raisins (garnish)
- toasted coconut flakes (garnish)
- cilantro (garnish)
- 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
- meat from 1 young coconut, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons chopped green onions
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Place a large pot on a high flame, then add two tablespoons coconut oil to melt until it’s sizzling hot. Toss in cauliflower florets, and allow to caramelize, stirring once or twice to ensure it doesn't burn. While the cauliflower is caramelizing, toast mustard seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and curry powder in a small skillet. Once cauliflower is caramelized, add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil to coat. Then add in the toasted spices while stirring into the cauliflower in about three separate batches, being sure to coat evenly. Once coated, turn down the heat to low, add salt, and cover to cook on low for about 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the raita. Using a fork, combine all the ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl, then garnish with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. Garnish the finished cauliflower with coconut flakes and raisins, and serve alongside a bowl of the raita.
Chicken satay skewers with Sriracha peanut sambal
- Coconut oil to coat grill
- 1.5-2 lbs chicken breast tenders (10 1/2 inch strips)
- 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek, preferably Huy Fong
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- Thai basil, crushed peanuts, and lime wedges (garnish)
- 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp sambal oelek, preferably Huy Fong
- 1/4 cup coconut water
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
To make the marinade, combine yogurt, coconut water, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, sambal and curry powder. Add chicken tenders one at at time, making sure they are evenly coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.
Place 10 bamboo skewers in a shallow pan of water to soak for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning. Remove, then thread chicken onto sticks and place on a platter to take to the grill or grill pan.
Turn on your grill to medium-high heat. Coat the grill with coconut oil to prevent sticking. Place skewers on grill, and cook for about 3-4 minutes each side, until fully cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, make the sambal. Place all the ingredients into a blender, then pulse util smooth.
Serve the satay on a bed of Thai basil leaves with a lime wedges and a small bowl of the sambal for dipping.
Singapore’s Airport Cooks Up Street Food Fare - Recipes
By Tris Marlis - Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013
The World Street Food Awards, a recognition programme component of the World Street Food Congress, has crowned Singapore as the Best Street Food City. The lion city has met the criteria for this category, including having an engaging relationship between governments, street food vendors and industry players to preserve, promote and celebrate comfort street food culture.
Singapore’s street food culture tracked back to the 1950s when immigrants came to Singapore with their heritage recipes. It was estimated there were about 24,000 illegal mobile hawkers on the streets of Singapore then. Due to health and environment concerns, the government created “Hawker Centre” in the 60s with up to 150 small kitchen spaces where street food vendors were relocated. They are provided with clean water, electricity and proper setting. Today, there are 107 such hawker centres island wide where hawkers continue to dish out their iconic fare in these places – no frills, cheap and delicious.
Best Street Social Enterprise Food Association (Dignity Kitchen)
ny Singaporeans today can bid for a stall, starting from as low as $21 per month. Her Government will also fund up to 90% of any citizen looking to study at approved street food academies. They have also started issuing licenses for mobile food trucks and pop-up street kitchens to relive the good old days when street food was on the streets.
Besides winning Best Street Food City, Singapore has also secured victory in other categories: Best Street Food Hawker Centre (Old Airport Rd), Best Street Food Café (Immigrants Gastrobar), Best Street Social Enterprise Food Association (Dignity Kitchen) and Street Food Entrepreneur of the Year (George Quek of BreadTalk). Three of Singapore’s hawkers are among the Top 20 Street Food Masters of the Year, including Wee Nam Kee, Hill Street Char Koay Teow and JB Ah Meng…
(from top left, clockwise) Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice, JB Ah Meng white pepper crab, Hill Street Char Koay Teow …
The World Street Food Awards is the first of its kind which recognises street food excellence and seeks to inspire skills development, stimulate education, create jobs and self-employment opportunities. The congress comprises a worldwide team of advisors (including World Street Food Council members) alongside a team of international researchers and peers, including event creator Makansutra. It has, for the last 17 years, been working to identify the list of reputable players in this field internationally. The award is divided into 10 categories, covering various aspects of this industry.
50 Favorite Street Food Dishes from Around the World
The following is only the tip of the street food iceberg of possibilities, in alphabetical order so we don't get into arguments as to whose is better. We include some traditional dishes as well as a few unusual suspects.
If you're concerned about eating street food for fear of getting sick, read our tips for eating local and staying healthy.
Argentina Street Food: Empanadas
Although empanadas (stuffed pastries, usually savory) can be found throughout Argentina, the best ones are from the Salta region in the northwestern part of the country. It is also the only region where hot sauce is common. Hurrah!!
Armenia Street Food: Kebabs
Although kebabs — grilled ground or chunked meat on a skewer — are not unique to Armenia, we did find that when we wanted a quick and easy snack, a kebab wrapped in lavash (flat bread) was the street food of choice.
Australia Street Food: Meat Pies
Hearty, savory, delicious and cheap. Australian meat pies (and don't worry, there are also vegetarian varieties) were a staple quick snack or meal during our travels throughout the country. You can usually find them everywhere, from gas stations to small cafes, even if you are in the middle of nowhere…which does happen a lot in Australia.
A visual prompt in case you forget what's inside the pie.
Bali (Indonesia) Street Food: Nasi Campur
Nasi campur is essentially a Balinese mixed plate served with rice. Most restaurants will make the choice for you, but at warungs, the local food outlets on Bali, the nasi campur selection is up to you. You can choose from delectables such as sate lilit, spicy tempeh, chopped vegetables, spice-rubbed meat, chicken, and tofu.
Bangladesh Street Food: Singara
Singara are spiced potato and vegetable mixture pockets wrapped in a thin dough and fried. What distinguishes a good singara is how flaky the texture is. Some are so flaky, as if they're made with savory pie crust. Singara are ubiquitous and inexpensive (as cheap as 24 for $1).
Bolivia Street Food: Salteñas
Salteñas are empanada-like pockets filled with chicken or meat and finished with a distinctive slightly sweet, baked crust. The salteñas pictured below were filled with both chicken and ground beef, a boiled egg, herbs, and an olive. Spice options include fiery, hot, normal and sweet. Something for everyone.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Street Food: Ćevapi
Walk through downtown Sarajevo and it's hard not to be gripped by the smell of ćevapi, the Bosnian national dish of grilled meat. Ćevapi is often served in installments of five or ten minced meat logs tucked into a round of flat bread. Our preference is with onions and a side of kajmak (thick cream). You won't need to eat for days after one of these meals.
Brazil (Bahia) Street Food: Acarajé
Acarajé is an Afro-Brazilian dish that comes from the Bahia region, but you can also find it at markets and street stalls in other parts of the country. It is made from a spiced, mashed bean mixture, usually with ground shrimp, that is made into balls or patties and fried in fried in dendê oil (palm oil). It is then usually covered (or filled, like a sandwich) with salty shrimp (camarão do sal), herbs, vegetables and some sort of sauce. You can find acarajé stands on the main squares of Salvador, but our favorite was at a nearby beach.
A hearty portion of acarajé on the beach in Bahia.
Cambodia Street Food: Breakfast Soup
We found our tuk-tuk driver having breakfast with other drivers when we exited the temples at Banteay Srei near Siem Reap. He invited us to join him and he introduced us to a fantastic morning soup. It consisted of a subtle yellow curry fish broth with fresh rice noodles, paper-thin chopped banana blossom, cucumber, and cabbage — all topped off with a spoonful of dark sweet sauce. A bowl of bitter herbs and long beans circulated our table for the final touch.
Chile Street Food: Completo Italiano
When we arrived in Chile, we were on a mission to eat a proper completo (hot dog). Although we usually practice hot dog avoidance, these beauties were hard to resist. The one pictured here merges avocado, tomato and mayonnaise in the flag-like completo italiano.
China Street Food: Jiaozi (Dumplings)
Selecting just one street food dish from China borders on the impossible, but we'll go with the crowd favorite Chinese dumplings. Of the hundreds of dumplings we sampled in China these pork, shrimp and leek dumplings at Da Yu dumpling joint near the No. 6 bathing area in Qingdao stick out. Fresh, delicious and perfectly steamed.
Colombia Street Food: Arepa
Colombian gluten-free comfort food at its best. An arepa is a fried round of cornmeal dough. They can either be served plain, as a side starch to a meal, or stuffed with cheese (arepa de queso), egg or other fillings. The stuffed varieties are more interesting and tasty. Each region of Colombia has its own arepa specialties so it’s worth trying a few different varieties as you make you’re way around the country.
Cheese-filled arepas on the grill at a market in Bogota.
Ecuador Street Food: Ceviche
It seems like each country in Latin America serves its own unique style of ceviche, so we found it necessary to try it in each country we visited. While we have to admit that Peruvian ceviche is our favorite (see below), this bowl of shrimp ceviche with from the Central Market in Quito ran a close second with its fresh shrimp, plentiful herbs, and bits of tomato. Oh, and we were big fans of the popcorn as a side.
Egypt Street Food: Sugar Cane Juice
The first time we visited Cairo was in December 2011 when demonstrations were still taking place on Tahrir Square and news channels around the world were lit up with scenes of violence and protest. But our experience in the almost 8-million person city was filled with encounters like this one, with a friendly sugar cane juice master of Old Cairo. And in case you're wondering, we did not get sick.
El Salvador Street Food: Pupusa
Pupusas (stuffed corn tortillas) are the go-to street food of choice throughout El Salvador. Filled with refried red beans, cheese and a dash of chicharron (salty pork rinds), the pupusas below from a simple street stand east of central park in Juayua were the best we had eaten anywhere. Top with pickled vegetables and chili peppers. Delicious!
Ethiopia Street Food: Street Side Coffee Ceremony
A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony will likely take at least twenty minutes from start to finish for the first cup of coffee, but it is absolutely well worth the wait. You need to sample a few, and perhaps only then will you begin to fully comprehend how important coffee is to Ethiopia, the purported birthplace of the stuff.
Georgia (Republic of) Street Food: Khachapuri
Khachapuri, the ubiquitous signature Georgian cheese-stuffed bread oozes gooey goodness. A common site on the Georgian table — at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Because the cheese inside is mildly brined, it's salty goodness is like a diet-demolishing siren call.
Germany (Berlin) Street Food: Döner Kebab
Everyone knows about döner kebabs in Berlin. But Mustafa's on Mehringdamm Street in Kreuzberg is not your typical döner. Rather than flakes of beef or veal, shavings of chicken pressed with roasted vegetables fall from Mustafa's spindle and are served with a fabulous mélange of potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad, feta-like cheese, freshly squeezed lemon and mystery sauce.
If you are vegetarian, you can also opt for pure veg. You'll know you've arrived at Mustafa's when you see the long line snaking down the street.
Greece (Crete) Street Food: Bugatsa
On the Greek island of Crete, it sometimes seemed as though all we did was eat. In the island's main city of Heraklion, just prior to our departure, we were recommended to try bugatsa, a pastry filled with cream and/or cheese, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The most famous bugatsa is served at Kipkop, a bakery founded in 1922 by Armenian immigrants whose descendants dish the same original recipe to this day.
Guatemala Street Food: Chuchito
Guatemala served as our first stop in Central America. We took to street food in Antigua almost straight away. This, a chuchito (similar to a Mexican tamale – shredded meat and vegetables stuffed in a mass of boiled, ground corn), was smothered in fresh guacamole, salsa and cabbage.
Haiti Street Food: Mayi Moulen Kole ak Legim
Lots of street food in Haiti is fried — plantains, pork, other meat bits, potatoes, etc. But if you're looking for a hearty meal for just a couple dollars, this dish of cornmeal, beans and vegetable stew (mayi moulen kole ak legim) is where it's at. The cornmeal consistency is somewhere between polenta and cream-of-wheat (or cream-of-cornmeal, as it were).
Honduras Street Food: Baleada
While the rest of Central America is all about the corn, Honduras' staple street food dish — the baleada — is made with wheat flour. And honestly, this was a relief after three months of maize. Stuffed with combinations of cheese, beans, eggs, and various meats, baleadas quickly became our Honduran comfort food.
Hungary Street Food: Langos
How can anyone resist fried bread smothered in sour cream? That is why the Hungarian langos is an easy favorite. Make your way into just about any market in Hungary and you are sure to find langos, if the signature aroma of it doesn't find you first. Try garlic langos and you'll be vampire-free — and probably friendless for a few hours.
India Street Food: Aloo Tikki
There is so much street food goodness in India, but we'll have to go with this aloo tikki (spiced potato snacks) stand in Varanasi as one of our favorites. The aloo tikki was good, but the charismatic vendor who roped me in to cook for him is what made the experience. Note: if you do venture to eat street food in India, stick to the cooked products and be wary of fresh herb and vegetable toppings that may have been washed in unclean water.
Iran Street Food: Spiced Fava Beans
After all the kebabs and meats in Iran, we were thankful to find this vendor selling a big pile of steamed, spiced fava beans in the mountains near Kermanshah. Delicious with a dash of vinegar and red pepper. I think he found our vegetable-deprived group a bit odd as we kept coming back for additional servings.
Italy (Naples) Street Food: Seafood Fritto Misto
Italian food is all about the freshness of ingredients. Even the simplest of dishes are delicious for this reason. And this is especially so in Naples, a foodie’s paradise in the southern part of the country. This city is known for its love of all things fried, including pizza fritta (yes, that is fried pizza), but our favorite street food snack in Naples was the simple cuoppo napoletano filled with fritto misto (mixed fried things). This simple paper cone is filled with lightly fried fresh fish and seafood (shrimp, clams, squid, octopus, etc.) straight from the fish vendors at Pignasecca market. Vegetarians, don’t despair, as you can also find fritto misto made with fried zucchini blossoms, zucchini, aubergine and more. Delicious, as well as filling.
Japan Street Food: Takoyaki
Octopus balls? Yes, please. Takoyaki are fluffy hot rounds of chopped octopus in herbed dough. All part of the experience: watching the masters quickly turn their takoyaki with long toothpicks in something that looks like a cupcake pan, so that the balls cook evenly on all sides. Takoyaki is often topped with a sweet sauce, aonori (powdered seaweed), and ample helpings of hanakatsuo (dried bonito fish flakes).
Jordan Street Food: Knafeh
Street food doesn't always have to be savory. Knafeh is a decadent Middle Eastern dessert made from a gooey, white cheese base with semolina bits baked on top and covered in sweet syrup. Though we take every opportunity we get to eat the stuff, we have yet to find a knafeh better than what is served up at Habibeh (Habiba) in downtown Amman, Jordan. Every person we've spoken to who has visited Amman mentions this knafeh with a longing sigh.
Kyrgyzstan Street Food: Samsa
Samsa are meat, onion and spice filled dough pockets. These are a staple of street food stalls, fresh markets and hillside animal markets across Kyrgyzstan. However, for the best samsa in the country, head to Osh in the south where the “Oshski samsa” is baked inside a clay tandoor oven.
Laos Street Food: Or Lam
It's possible to visit Luang Prabang and be tricked into thinking you're eating Lao food, as many restaurants pimp Thai curries as Lao food. After asking around we finally found Or Lam, a spicy stew with mushrooms, eggplant, meat, lemongrass and chillies. In the back is khai paen (spiced, dried river weed) and jaew bawng (a Lao dipping sauce). All of this goes perfectly with a cold Beer Lao.
Madagascar Street Food: Mofo Anana
One of our favorite snacks in Madagascar is called mofo, the country’s signature savory spiced beignet fritters or pakoras. Our favorite was the mofo anana (literally, leafy green bread) that are fried fritters filled with leafy green strips and spices. You can find these in markets and street (just be sure they are recently fried), as well as on menus in restaurants and hotels.
Fresh mofo anana with afternoon tea at our village homestay.
Malaysia Street Food: Sambal Sotong
It's worth traveling to Malaysia, if only for the cuisine. Malaysian street food is a delightful melange, drawing influence from China and from across Southeast Asia. And that doesn't even touch the country's Indian food scene. Many street food stands specialize in just one dish, and it's not uncommon to find that multiple generations have worked together to perfect their recipe.
Malta Street Food: Qassatat
Qassatat are a traditional Maltese savory pastry (or pastizzi) that you can find all over the island. They are round with a whole at the top so you can see the fillings. Traditional fillings include either peas or ricotta, but our favorite was the one chock full of spinach. They might not look like big, but they are rather hearty since they have quite a bit of savory fillings. We picked up a couple of qassatat at one of the pastazzi stands at the Valletta bus station and found to be a great and filling picnic lunch during our day hikes along the coast.
A hearty qassata in Malta serves as our picnic lunch on hikes along the coast.
Mexico (Oaxaca) Street Food: Tlayuda
When we decided where to spend two months in Mexico, we choose Oaxaca primarily because of its cuisine and street food scene. One of our favorite street food or market snacks was the tlayuda, a large semi-dried tortilla, sometimes glazed with a thin layer of unrefined pork lard called asiento, and topped with refried beans (frijol), tomatoes, avocadoes, and some variation of meat (chorizo, tasajo or cencilla, or shredded chicken tinga). It can either be served open, or when it’s cooked on a charcoal grill, folded in half. One is often enough to feed two people.
Myanmar (Burma) Street Food: Mohinga
Geographically, Myanmar sits at the intersection of South Asian (Indian), East Asian (Chinese), and Southeast Asian (Thai). Culinarily, it does too. This was a pleasant surprise for us and Burmese food exceeded our expectations. And one of our favorite Burmese dishes was mohinga (or mohinka), a soup that includes rice vermicelli in a fish-based broth of onions, garlic, ginger, and lemon grass. It was usually topped with sliced banana blossom, boiled eggs and fritters (akyaw). This is usually served for breakfast, but try to seek it out any time of the day.
Nepal Street Food: Momos
It's hard for me to resist dumplings anywhere, and Nepal's momos were no exception. Served steamed or occasionally fried, momos are a staple in and around the areas of the Tibetan plateau, including all over Nepal.
Paraguay Street Food: Tereré
When it's brutally hot and humid and you're waiting hours for the bus, a shot of tereré, the national drink (nay, the national sport) of Paraguay, definitely helps. Tereré looks like yerba mate, but it is served cold and can be enjoyed for hours.
Peru Street Food: Ceviche
Peru was the culinary highlight of our travels through Latin America. The cevicheria at the Surquillo market in Lima bustles with people, especially on the weekend. A huge plate of mixed seafood ceviche runs about $4-$5. Discussions about Peruvian family life and politics are free of charge.
Portugal Street Food: Pastel de Nata
These unique flaky-crusted, creamy custard-filled treats lining the streets of Lisbon are addictive. The original pastel de nata is believed to have been made by nuns in nearby Belem where they used left over egg yolks to make the pastry's signature custard filling. It’s hard not to stop at every bakery in Portugal showcasing these beauties in the window and sample one (or two) with a bica (local espresso).
A beautiful tray of pastel de nata on the streets of Lisbon.
Singapore Street Food: Hainanese Chicken
Hainanese chicken rice is a culinary specialty unique to Singapore. The description may sound unremarkable, but its flavor delights. The dish consists of chicken broth, slices of roasted (or steamed) chicken served with cucumbers and herbs, hot sauce, sweet soy sauce, and a light chicken stock soup with vegetables. Delicious in its subtlety.
South Africa Street Food: Bunny Chow
Bunny chow is essentially a hollowed out piece of plain, white sandwich bread stuffed with curry (or masala, if you like). Rumors have it that it was designed this way to make it easy for plantation workers to take their lunch to the fields. Bunny chow serves as culinary evidence of South Asian influence in South Africa, and more specifically in the city of Durban.
Sri Lanka Street Food: Hoppers
A hopper is a typical Sri Lankan dish that is a thin bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk, often with the option of a fried egg inside. It is usually served with a simple curry for a delicious, savory snack. They are almost as fun to eat as they are to watch being made by the masters at work on the street with their special hopper pans and smile.
Hoppers, a Sri Lankan breakfast of champions.
St. Maarten / St. Martin Street Food: Johnny Cakes
Local food can be heard to find in St. Maarten / St. Martin, but if you look hard enough you will indeed find it. When you do we recommend trying a johnny cake, a fried snack made with corn meal popular throughout the Caribbean. It can be eaten on its own or on the side of soup, but it is also often cut in half like a roll to use in sandwiches. Our favorite in St. Maarten was the johnny cake with salt fish.
A delicious salt fish johnny cake in St. Maarten.
Thailand Street Food: Street Side Red Curry
Thailand is where our love affair with street food really took off. Thailand is one of those places worth visiting, if only for the street food. So while we know that Thai street food goes well beyond curries, a beautiful plate of shrimp red curry covered with fresh Thai basil was the dish got it started all those years ago on our first visit to Bangkok.
Turkey Street Food: Borek
There's a lot of bad and soggy borek (stuffed thin pastry) in the world. During our visit to Istanbul en route to Iran, we became regulars for this man's crispy cheese-stuffed borek. Convenient, too, as his shop was right across the street from our flat in Beyoğlu.
Uganda Street Food: Kikomando
If you ever find yourself hungry in Kampala, Uganda then head to the Mengo Market for some kikomando. Kikomando is a filling dish made of beans mixed with slices of chapati. It is said that if you eat a lot of it you will be strong like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Commando. Not sure about that, but a plate of it will stuff you for the rest of the day.
Ukraine Street Food: Varenyky
I have a weakness for dumplings of all varieties, and Ukrainian varenyky are no exception. These smallish dumplings are usually stuffed with either ground meat, potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms or cheese. You are usually offered the option of steamed or fried, and they are then topped with fried onions and served with smetana (sour cream). You'll find varenyky served at all local festivals and are a staple of any Ukrainian cafeteria or restaurant.
A hearty serving of cabbage and mushroom stuffed varenyky in Kyiv.
Uzbekistan Street Food: Plov
Plov is the Uzbek national dish. Think rice pilaf with fried julienned carrots, red pepper, caraway seeds, and chunks of meat. Plov is so ubiquitous throughout the region that self-described local connoisseurs can discern differences that are imperceptible to foreigners, much like the relationship Americans have with pizza and chili. We’ll keep our radar tuned for the first Central Asian plov cook-off.
Vietnam Street Food: Cha Ca
Vietnam is another incredible destination for street food lovers. During our winter visit to Hanoi we tried cha ca which is a distinct hot pot meal of fish, turmeric, dill, coriander and other greens served with noodles, peanuts, vinegar and chilies. As with many meals in Vietnam, you'll be served piles of greens, noodles, spices, and other tasty bits to tune your dish to the precise flavor profile you seek.
Xinjiang (China) Street Food: Laghman
We place Xinjiang street food in its own category as the region is a distinct ethnic blend of Turkic and Mongolian. So although Xinjiang cuisine shows some hints of what one might call “traditional” Chinese influence, its dishes are often quite different from mainstream Chinese food. One of our favorites was pulled noodles, or laghman, which we enjoyed not only for the taste, but also for the flair of its preparation. Pulled noodles are tossed, beaten and pulled to ensure the right consistency before being dunked in soups and suoman, a blend of noodles, vegetables and meat.
How to Start a Mobile Food Cart Business? A Step-by-Step Guide
First Step: Market Research
Market research involves finding out the “who, what, where, why and when” of your business, and while it’s not the most exciting part of your endeavour, it’s certainly an essential one.
It can be risky and even silly to assume that you already know the answers to these questions and then get caught out later on.
Here’s what you need to address at this stage:
- Where will you set up your food cart business?
- When will you open to ensure the best business?
- How will the weather affect your trade?
Locations & Business Opportunities
Finding a couple of great locations will play a major factor in your success and it depends on several key factors:
- Where you’re allowed to park by law
- Where the customers are
- The prime hours for each location
Some great places and opportunities to consider for trading are:
- Office parks
- The business district
- Empty lots
- Shopping districts or malls
- Popular tourist locations
- Sports venues
- Parks and beaches
- Bus and train stations
- College campuses
- Festivals and events
- Conferences and conventions
- Private events (weddings, birthdays, etc)
- Corporate events
Most of these locations will require permits and/or owner agreements, so make sure to check with your local authorities & institutions beforehand.
When it comes to festivals, events, conferences and conventions the best thing to do is to get in touch with organizers and lease your space well in advance.
Chef’s Favorite Piada at Piada Italian Street Food ($8): This Ohio outfit continues to add Twin Cities locations. It specializes in Italian flatbread wraps and assembling orders in front of customers, which is half the fun. A tasty bet — not just a clever name — is the Chef’s Favorite Piada, served with toasty flatbread, lettuce, mozzarella, sweet and spicy peppers, parmesan and a spicy diavolo sauce. A protein can be added to the wrap, which ranges in price from 99 cents to $1.99. Several locations including Woodbury, 345 Radio Drive 651-363.3529 Mall of America Culinary on North, 952-303-5458 and Chanhassen (190 Lake Drive E. 952-934-6581 also coming soon to Eagan, 3333 Pilot Knob Road, according to the restaurant’s website mypiada.com
Chipotle Chicken Arepa at Hola Arepa. (Pioneer Press: Nancy Ngo)
Slow-roasted pork arepa at Hola Arepa ($12): Hola Arepa’s food truck quickly gained a following with downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis lunch crowds for its arepas, the popular Venezuelan street food. The food truck was such a hit that the owners opened a bricks-and-mortar location so fans could nab arepas year-round. At the Twin Cities restaurant, cornmeal cakes are made fresh on the griddle and topped with meats, vegetables, cheese and sauces. You really can’t go wrong with any of the topping choices, but the front-runner for us was the slow-roasted pork with black beans, cotija cheese and a house-made special sauce. You can’t go wrong with the chipotle chicken arepa, either, a dish as tasty as it is pretty. The yuca fries served with orders are also a treat. And good news for St. Paulites: In case you haven’t heard, Hola Arepa plans to open a second location, this one in the keg and case building of the former Schmidt Brewery site on West Seventh Street. Hola Arepa: 3501 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis 612-345-5583 holaarepa.com
Jibarito Sandwich at El Jibarito Food Truck ($8): On warm weather days, make a beeline for this bright-yellow food truck. Everything we’ve tried from this truck that dishes up Puerto Rican street fare has been aces. The best of the bunch: the Jibarito sandwich with thin, fried plantains that hold together flavorfully seasoned steak topped with lettuce, tomato, onions and cheese. A creamy-tangy “mayo ketchup” pulls it all together. El Jibarito Food Truck: downtown St. Paul area Eljibaritofoodtruck.com
Pork gyro at the Naughty Greek ($8.20): Athenian Street food wouldn’t be complete without a pork gyro. And this fast-casual spot in St. Paul specializing in Athenian street fare shows us how it’s done. Shavings of slow-cooked pork comes off the rotisserie tender in the middle and crisp on the edges. Toppings include a tasty house-made tzatziki sauce and decadent Greek fries. The Naughty Greek: 181 N. Snelling Ave., St. Paul 651-219-4438 thenaughtygreek.com
Brazilian Corn Cake at Ziggy’s Street Food & Cocktails. (Pioneer Press: Nancy Ngo)
Caribbean corn cake at Ziggy’s Street Food & Cocktails ($8.50): A local restaurateur opened this year-round food truck in downtown Stillwater last summer and dishes up street foods from different parts of the globe. The standout here is the Caribbean corn cake with pork belly, pico, pineapple salsa and cilantro that hit savory, salty, spicy and citrus notes all in the same bite. Brazilian corn cakes with chicken, a tomato-coconut sauce, lettuce and pico are a close runner-up. Ziggy’s Street Food & Cocktails: 132 Main St. S., Stillwater 651-342-1773 ziggysmn.com
(Top left– clockwise:) Shrimp, Salmon and Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice at PinKU Japanese Street food. (Pioneer Press: Nancy Ngo)
Singapore’s Airport Cooks Up Street Food Fare - Recipes
1 Season, 6 Episodes | IMDb: 7.6/10
This is Netflix’s second swing at a cannabis cooking show and it hits more often than not. The conceit is simple, cannabis chefs step into the studio kitchen and make the best THC or CBD infused plates they can. It’s fairly fast-paced and the food is legitimately repeatable in your own kitchen (for the most part).
Each episode is just over half-an-hour and there are only six total, so this is a really easy binge if you’re stoned and couch-locked.
Can’t Miss Episode:
With only six episodes, just start at the beginning. Though, episode five, High Holidays, is a particularly fun episode with a “Danksgiving” theme.
15. Million Pound Menu
2 Seasons, 12 Episodes | IMDb: 6.5/10
This British show is equal parts fascinating and entertaining. Burgeoning cooks gather to do a pop up for the public and a group of judges, who are also restaurant investors. Meaning there’s are some serious stakes at play here. Pop up chefs, home cooks, and food truck chefs are cooking for their professional futures.
The show doesn’t flinch as it takes you into what it’s really like to create a fully realized concept for a restaurant and then actually make that business function in the real world, in front of people willing to give you sometimes millions of dollars (well, millions of pounds in this case).
Can’t Miss Episode:
Episode five from season one is a great place to start. The episode covers two concepts: A small plate Korean restaurant and a reimagining of the British dish bubble & squeak into a whole menu. While it’s clear early on which of these two will get funded, it’s still a fun and hunger-inducing watch.
14. Flavorful Origins
3 Seasons, 40 Episodes | IMDb: 7.6/10
More than anything, this show is beautiful to look at. The Chef’s Table aesthetic is on full display as the camera and narrator takes us around two Chinese provinces with a laser focus on the food.
Farms, markets, hawker stalls, family dinner tables, and professional kitchens blend to create a clear sense of the place through the food the people grow, prepare, and eat. The episodes are also about 12 minutes each, making this a really easy binge.
Can’t Miss Episode:
Season two (Chaoshan Cuisine) episode two about Hu Tieu is a great place to start. The thick rice noodle takes on many forms over the 13-minute runtime and will have your craving noodles immediately.
13. The Final Table
1 Season, 10 Episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10
This was a huge step up for Netflix when it came to fast-paced cooking competitions. Real-deal chefs gather in-studio to cook food based around a different nation’s food culture each week, creating a truly global feel.
While the show punts on their American episode, the rest of the series moves at a break-neck pace and features some truly inspired cooking.
Can’t Miss Episode:
Start with episode one based around Mexican cuisine. It’s an hour-long episode but will give you a great introduction to the show overall.
12. Ugly Delicious
2 Seasons, 12 Episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10
Chef David Chang’s first Netflix show has a lot to offer. The show follows the chef around as he does his best to fill the shoes of Anthony Bourdain. There’s a clear travel element that’s focused on a food theme for each place. The second season focuses even more with Chang taking you into his family’s home as he has his first child and ponders food for kids before heading off to India and Australia.
Once you get through Ugly Delicious, check out Chang’s other food and travel show, Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner, especially the episode in Cambodia with Kate McKinnon.
Can’t Miss Episode:
Season one, episode six (about fried chicken) is really when Chang hits a stride. The episode travels from Nashville’s hot chicken scene to a Chinese KFC to a Japanese home kitchen by the end. Plus, it’s all about fried chicken. That’s an easy subject to watch for an hour.
11. Somebody Feed Phil
4 Seasons, 22 Episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
There’s something very infectious about Phil Rosenthal’s wide-eyed wonder at all the beautiful food in the world. While this show is just as much about travel as it is food, it’s really Rosenthal’s affability that carries the hour-long episodes. You really want to be at the table with him as he dives into amazing looking dishes found all over the world.
Can’t Miss Episode:
Episode five of season one, New Orleans, is a great place to start. From there, jump around to whatever episode piques your interest. Don’t skip Tel Aviv or Saigon though.
10. The Chef’s Line
1 Season, 30 Episodes | IMDb: 6.9/10
This cooking competition from Australia is incredibly addictive. Home cooks are brought into a studio kitchen to make the cuisine they love for chefs from a restaurant specializing in that food (essentially, it’s a show extrapolated around this famous Gordon Ramsay moment). Imagine loving Italian cooking and having to cook for the head chef of your favorite Italian spot.
While it’s only one season, there are mini-seasons within. The first mini-season covers Vietnamese cuisine, then African, Turkish, Italian, and Chinese foodways. There are eliminations, personal stories, and legitimately great food from home cooks. Plus, each episode is 25 minutes — making this a very easy binge.
Can’t Miss Episode:
Start from the beginning. The first mini-season is five episodes, focused on Vietnamese cuisine, and drops you right into the action.
9. Taco Chronicles
2 Seasons, 13 Episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10
Taco Chronicles comes from Netflix’s Latin American division but feels like a spiritual successor to Chef’s Table. The look and feel of the show are outstanding. Each 30-minute episode takes you into a sub-culture of tacos across Mexico.
This is taco culture at every level from the farms to the streets and everywhere in between. Just make sure to have taco plans before you finish your binge. You’re going to want to feed a serious taco fix. Trust us.
Can’t Miss Episode:
This is a really easy six-episode binge from the beginning. Still, if we had to pick just one episode, it’d probably be barbacoa. The episode covers how the ancient traditions of this dish are still used today.
3 Seasons, 29 Episodes | IMDb: 7.9/10
Steven Rinella has devoted his life to conservation, the celebration of wild foods, and educating the public on those subjects. MeatEater follows Rinella and other hunters as they travel the Americas to hunt, fish, and cook.
This show is unflinching and deeply informational, especially if you’re looking into sourcing your own foods. Each episode ends with a cook, often in nature, of what the crew has recently hunted.
Can’t Miss Episode:
Start with season seven, episode 16. This 22-minute episode takes Rinella out of the field and into his kitchen to demonstrate various techniques for cooking game, fish, and foraged foods. It’s a great entry-level episode.
7. The Great British Baking Show
8 Collections, 10 Episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
There’s probably little left to be said about this massive hit from the U.K. Home bakers assemble to, well, bake. The show has it all — from catty judges to ridiculous recipes to all the drama as the ovens heat up and flour flies. All in all, this is a very easy and fun watch, especially if you have the time to binge.
Can’t Miss Episode:
Collection One is the place to start. Ten episodes ensue as 12 home bakers fight for the championship.
1 Season, 4 Episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
Journalist and author Michael Pollan’s Cooked takes a look at food from a scientific and often personal POV. Each episode looks at how fire, water, air, and the earth help us create the food and flavors we know and love. This is the sort of show for food lovers who want to have a better understanding of what it is that makes food cultures worldwide/ through history so incredibly unique.
Can’t Miss Episode:
Episode one, Fire, is a great place to start. The episode looks at how cooking the food we eat changed us a species and what we owe the animals we choose to eat. It’s heady stuff but worthwhile.
5. Salt Fat Acid Heat
1 Season, 4 Episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10
Chef Samin Nosrat travels the world, digging into how salt, fat, acid, and heat change food and all the ways those elements differ across cultures. Nosrat’s infectious love of all things food really draws you in, with the beautiful dishes and locales adding a layer of wanderlust to the whole affair. It’ll be really hard not to binge this series in one sitting, is what we’re saying.
Can’t Miss Episode:
The first episode, Fat, is a great place to start. Again, just binge this one. It’s only four hours of beautiful TV at the end of the day.
4. Nailed It!
6 Seasons, 42 Episodes | IMDb: 7.4/10
Comedian Nicole Byer and star baker Jacques Torres come together to offer home bakers the chance at winning $10,000 for recreating a ridiculous cake or confectionary. Celebrity guest judges drop in for judging (and zinger) duties. The 30-minute format and one-and-out nature of the competition make this a very addictive show that feels new with every episode.
Can’t Miss Episode:
Pop over to the “Holiday” version of the show. Season one, episode six has Jason Mantzoukas guest judging a New Year’s Eve bake-off and it’s an absolute blast.
2 Seasons, 12 Episodes | IMDb: 7.1/10
This is a crucial watch. The series is a journalist-forward documentary series covering our food supply chains. There are some harrowing aspects to how we get the food we eat every day and they’re revealed here in sobering detail. Over two seasons, the show covers everything from chocolate and big chicken to bottled water and French wine.
Can’t Miss Episode:
The season two opener, The Avocado Wars, is an eye-opening look at how Mexican cartels are shifting to avocados to fill in the gap left by losing part of the cannabis market.
2. The Chef Show
4 Volumes, 25 Episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
Jon Favreau and chef Roy Choi created a great cooking show based around Favreau’s hit movie, Chef. The show takes elements from food and travel TV and stand-and-stir cooking shows and blends them into a micro-talk show format with big-name guests.
This show has it all but still feels small and personal. Plus, the easy back-and-forth between Favreau and Choi as they cook is wonderfully familiar.
Can’t Miss Episode:
The fourth episode of Volume Two where Choi and Favreau head to Hog Island Oysters is a great place to start, especially if you’re looking for a little bit more of a travel element. The episode ends with a massive oyster cook right on the beach that’ll leave you salivating.
1. Chef’s Table
7 Seasons, 31 Episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
Chef’s Table is the gold standard of the Netflix food series. The show has even spun off into a Street Food series that we’d highly recommend watching after this one.
The thrust of the series is a look at a chef, baker, butcher, or cook who has devoted their lives to food. There’s a travel element at play here, but it’s really the single personality at the center of each story that drives this series. From a visual standpoint, this show is also just amazing to look at.
Can’t Miss Episode:
The Volume Six opener with The Grey’s chef Mashama Bailey is the perfect place to start. The show goes deep into Georgia and Savannah’s food scene with one of the region’s most important chefs. It’s a part history lesson, part culinary education, and 100 percent entertaining.
Taiwan, home to the best street food markets in the world
The air is filled with the aromatic mix of soy, rice wine, sesame, spices, frying oil, grilling meat and the high-pitched shouts of hawkers. Clouds of smoke waft above the dozens of small stalls that make up Taipei's Ningxia night market, all brightly lit, sitting under coloured signs, beckoning customers to tables loaded with glossy, roasted duck heads and necks, intestines and hearts of every conceivable nature, piping hot bowls of noodles and freshly made dumplings.
Stepping deeper into the elbow-jostling crowd, my nose leads my eyes towards frying chicken (often lushly marinated in soya milk then spiced and floured), coal-roasted squid, poached quail eggs, pig's blood rice cake, even frog spawn and skewered and grilled crickets. I try gooey omelette of sweet potato studded with small, fat salty oysters and covered in sweet, vinegary, ketchupy sauce. And gelatinous mochi rice balls, topped with peanut and sesame shavings. Above it all is the unmistakeable stench of stinky tofu. This Taiwanese staple begins as regular tofu which is fermented in basins of brine until it reaches a malodorous ripeness - it is then deep fried to render the outside crispy. I muster one biteful and the taste is, well, fine, but the putrid smell lingers on your clothes and in your hair and, for me, hangs on in the memory for just a little too long.
Taiwan probably has the best night market scene in the world and some of the most exciting street food in Asia. With little space at home to cook, the Taiwanese prefer to head out almost every night to the heaving markets for the cheap snacks - or xiaochi - that are found across the island - on corners, in clusters of food-devoted streets or at one of over 100 night markets. Those with no language skills simply stand in front of the stall, point to what they want and use their digits to say how many. Stallholders then write the price down, with dishes generally costing between 60p and £1.20.
"A melting pot of cuisines" is an oft-used cliche - but the food of Taiwan really is. Inhabited first by aborigines, the island sitting between the South and East China Seas was settled by Fujianese then Hakka people from mainland China before being "discovered" by the Portuguese in the 16th century, colonised by the Dutch in the 17th century, followed by the Spanish and then, between 1895 and 1945, the Japanese. At the end of the Chinese civil war, Chiang Kai-shek and the defeated Kuomintang army retreated to Taiwan with more than two million people, including many of the mainland's best chefs.
I am being guided through Taiwan, its culinary history and the wondrous world of xiaochi by the team of street food vendors who last year won the Young British Foodie award and two British Street Food awards for Bao, a London-based bar and market stall championing Taiwanese dishes and ingredients. Er Chen Chang was born in Taiwan but came to boarding school in the UK in 2005 and stayed. She met Shing Tat Chung at Slade School of Fine Art and, together with Shing's sister Wai-Ting (Ting for short), decided to make something of their gastronomic passion.
"When we travelled around Taiwan, we loved the baos (buns) - they had this combination of flavours that just blew us away," says Shing. "It was the first time we'd tried peanut shavings, then there was the soft bun, the salty pork, the sour pickles. There was a great challenge for us to see how far we could go to make that better."
Demand for Bao's baos means the threesome is now looking for premises in central London. They're leading a vanguard of what seems to be a burgeoning love for buns in the UK, a new craving that was gestated at the New York restaurant (now group) Momofuku, whose founding chef David Chang has been dubbed "the king of pork buns".
For this trip to Taiwan, the Bao group has gathered a bunch of like-minded food lovers via the crowd-sourcing travel site Open Trips. But it is a foray that similarly greedy adventurers can replicate with the help of Er Chen's guide to the foodie nooks and crannies of her home city (see below).
"You can come and do this yourself as Taipei is an easy city to negotiate, the public transport system, called the MRT, is great and cheap."
We travel to Ningxia by taxi (dirt cheap if there's a few of you) and the Bao group heads straight for the deep-fried taro stall with its biscuity smell. The queue snakes along the pavement and there is a 20-minute wait for crispy balls of tuber. "I love that people do one thing really well, adapting and perfecting their recipes. If there's a queue, it means they make the best. If you see a queue for food in Taiwan, get in it," Er Chen advises.
So we do, waiting half an hour for a spring onion omelette inside a sweet-glazed hot sesame flatbread at Fu Hang Dou Jiang at Huashan Market (Zhongxiào East Road, Zhongzheng), a famous breakfast joint which shuts at 10am, where Er Chen would come with her family to eat curdled milk with breadsticks and at Din Tai Fung Dumpling House, Taiwan's most famous restaurant, where we debate how to eat our xiaolongbao - soup dumplings (with roots in Shanghai) encased in translucent skin and holding a puddle of broth and a ball of pork.
At Nanmen indoor produce market, stallholders proffer sour cherries, peanuts that are almost black when you pop them from the shell, and samples of Jinhua-style ham. Tables are piled with the remarkable fruit of this island - pineapples, mangoes, guavas. In the basement, people are hand-rolling dumplings, smiling. Hanging on one stall is the famous black chicken, known as a Silkie, with blue-ish black flesh and bones and a deep, gamey flavour.
"I remember when I was young my grandmother would make 'healthy soup' from black chicken and said it would make me tall. It definitely worked," laughs Er Chen. "I am much taller than my parents."
We buy ingredients for a cookery class at Teacher Yong's Cookery School where Er Chen, Ting and Shing reveal some (but not all) of the secrets of making their bun of unfathomable fluffiness (you can book something similar at kitchenivy.com) and when we exit down seven flights of stairs, we are thrust into the busy Ximending area which is packed with young people. Beyond its fashion shops, little sides alleys with stalls selling cheap tat and gay bars (where you can drink outside) is a city that's unfairly under-rated as a tourist destination.
We visit Buddhist and Taoist temples, watch the highly choreographed changing of the guard at the elaborately grand Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, take the fastest lift in the world to the top of the Taipei 101 tower (at 508 metres it was once the world's tallest building), watch early morning tai chi in the park and ponder the world's greatest collection of Chinese artefacts at the National Palace Museum. The city's low-rise architecture makes it seem less dense than many Asian cities and, in recent years, it has cleaned up its smoggy act and cleared green spaces. Taipei is working on showing visitors that what it lacks in architecture, it makes up for with relaxed and friendly people, a rich natural larder and some of the best Chinese food in the world.
From the capital, we take the high-speed train 180 miles south to Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan, and certainly more beautiful than the capital. We watch the landscape change, passing trees in blossom and beginning to fruit, until we reach the station on the outskirts of the city. Our first stop is a pavement cafe where we have breakfast bowls of turkey rice for less than a pound and "little sausage wrapped in big sausage" at the country's biggest night market, Hua Yuan. There's more space here, enough to sit on pop-up tables and chairs, which means we can really savour our next find - pancakes filled with milky ice-cream, peanut shavings and coriander. They are divine. On the train back to Taipei, the Bao group concedes that stinky tofu won't be making it on to the list of new dishes they want to add to their London menu. But that ice-cream pancake? Shing smiles: "That was just amazing. We'll definitely be trying our own version of that when we get back."
Taipei food tips by Er Chen Chang of Bao
Pull your own noodles
Take a taxi into the mountains to Hsu Ren Ping's noodle factory where you see noodles being pulled by hand then hung in the wind like stringy hammocks - and then try to do it yourself. Book in advance.
• No 3 Si Fen Zi, Wu Tu Village, Shi-Ding District
Visit Yongkang Street
Filled with street stalls, cafes and restaurants, this is a funky place. There's the small but famous cong zhua bing stall selling circular flaky pancakes filled with egg. Across the narrow street (at number 15) is the home of the shaved ice mountain, a sweet frozen granita pile, topped with mango and condensed milk, various beans and even taro.
Eat fresh seafood
Take your pick at the Addiction Aquatic Development market and have the chefs cook it for you on the spot. You can also try sushi or hotpot.
Sip bubble milk tea
This mix of brewed tea, milk and balls of tapioca, known as boba, is everywhere. Taiwanese love springy or bouncy food, something with bite or texture - that's why they adore bubble tea.
Dine on fancy Taiwanese food
In vintage surroundings, Si-Zhi-Tang offers daily changing dishes, including pig's trotters cooked in aged hua diao (a type of shao xia wine) with soy beans. Quite pricey at around £25pp but a good example of high-end local food with a twist.
• No 18, Sec 3, Jinan Road, +886 2 8771 9191
Tuck into beef noodles
Try Lin Dong Fang beef noodle shop - the noodles here have bite and the broth is slightly mediciney, made all the better by sticking a spoon in one of the jars of unctuous lard and chilli mix on the tables and melting it into the soup.
• Badé Road 274
Try pineapple cake
Pineapple cake, or fengli su, is a small cube of cake filled with candied pineapple and a mix of winter melon. The best place to get it is at Chia Te.
Get a taste of history
The menu at James Kitchen recalls Taiwan under Japanese rule, with traditional, old-fashioned dishes using local ingredients and methods the owner, James Tseng, learned from his mother, such as oyster and deep-fried dough stick in a seafood broth. £10-12pp for a selection of around six dishes.
• 65 Yongkang Street, Da'an District, +886 2 2343 2275
Advice for tourists
Leaflets and detailed maps about Taiwan's street markets and food can be found at tourist offices and at Taipei airport. Dedicated food tours can be booked via Golden Foundation Tours
The trip was provided by the Taiwanese Tourism Bureau and Open Trips . Flights to Taipei were provided by Eva Air, which flies from Heathrow from £670 return
Where to get a taste of Taiwan in the UK
Bubble tea purveyors have popped up all over the place. Tea shops dedicated to the chewy drink include Cafe de Pearl in Liverpool (cafedepearl.com), Bobo Tea in Manchester (lovebobotea.co.uk) and Hing Kee Bubble Tea in Nottingham (facebook.com/HingKeeBubbleTea). Visit taiwanfestival.co.uk for the top 30 around the UK.
Most of the country's Taiwanese restaurants are in London. Taiwan Village in Fulham (taiwanvillage.com) serves stinky tofu Leong's Legends in Soho (leongslegends.co.uk) has oyster omelettes and spicy beef noodles the Old Tree Bakery in Golders Green and Soho specialises in Taiwanese street food and desserts (oldtreebakeryuk.wordpress.com) the confusingly named Hunan in Pimlico (hunanlondon.com) serves a Taiwanese tasting menu and Formosa in Fulham (1 Walham Grove, no website) will produce a Taiwanese menu on request.
In Edinburgh, try Meadowood Cafe (meadowood.co.uk) or Jade Garden takeaway (12 Canon Street). Elsewhere, your best bet is a Chinese restaurant that offers regional cuisines, which may include a few Taiwanese dishes. Sample the Taiwan-style frogs legs at Blue Moon in Newcastle (thebluemoonrestaurant.com), for example, or the congee, pig's stomach or pig intestines at the Mayflower in Bristol (mayflower-bristol.co.uk). Love in Cambridge (facebook.com/lovein.cambridge) is a home bakery selling Taiwanese pineapple cake and other snacks.
Find out if your local university has a Taiwanese student society - such groups often organise Taiwanese food festivals. Failing that, make it yourself: Taipec.com has a UK directory of Asian supermarkets stocking Taiwanese products.
Bao can be found at east London's Netil Market on Saturdays and at pop-up street food events
UK section by Rachel Dixon
Night shift . a food stall at Shilin night market, one of more than 100 in Taipei. Photograph: Alamy
A cook prepares for the evening rush at one of Taipei's ever-popular street food markets. Photograph: Lap-Fai Lee
A tea ceremony. Photograph: Lap-Fai Lee
Dishes from Audrey's cooking class. Photograph: Lap-Fai Lee
Hsu Ren Ping's noodle factory. Photograph: Lap-fai Lee
A step up for street food
Back when I lived in New York City, I was always a sucker for outdoor street fairs: the experience of wandering around the neighborhood, marveling at bizarre products and the tourists who bought them, and then piecing together a "meal" of various fried goodies, bubble tea and ice cream. Looking back on it now, I'm not quite sure why I devoted so many weekends to the street fair, especially as a source of snacking -- junk food served outdoors, after all, is still junk.
But leave it to Portland, a town where food carts gain a more loyal following than multistar restaurants, to set my street-food experience straight.
Since moving here a few months ago, I've been spending a lot of time at the local version of the street fair -- the Portland Saturday Market. And though the run-of-the-mill corn dogs, pizza and funnel cakes are still options, I'm loving the fact that Portland's market features food booths with original recipes and local ingredients.
Several of them serve up ethnic cuisine that Iɽ never tried before, despite N.Y.C.'s diverse foodie scene. And the best of them completely break the stereotype that outdoor market food is nothing but a deep-fried guilty pleasure.
To get the most of your day at the market, head to its new spot in Tom McCall Waterfront Park and check out these favorites, most of which are recession-friendly to boot.
But after a couple of visits, new tastes and some newsworthy finds, feel free to treat yourself to that corn dog wrapped in bacon -- it'll remind you that compared to what others consider summer staples, here, you've got it good.
My Brother's Bar-B-Q Stand
The intoxicating smell of barbecue sauce probably helped, but I was instantly charmed by the grandmother-and-grandson team manning the kitchen at My Brother's Bar-B-Q, a 34-year veteran of the Portland Saturday Market.
Skip the disappointingly mild Creole chicken-and-rice dish and go straight for the sprawling, charcoal-and-smoked section of the menu.
A giant portion of ribs ($6) features three thick, extra-smoky ribs swimming in a tangy barbecue sauce (prepare to get messy), while the more manageable barbecue pork sandwich ($6) piles juicy, peppery shredded pork into a standard hamburger bun.
Side options include a mountain of hot curly fries (sprinkle on some of the stand's homemade Creole spice mix for an extra kick), baked beans and corn on the cob, but be sure to save room for dessert -- My Brother's mini sweet potato pie ($4) is one of the market's culinary highlights, with a moist, creamy, not-too-sweet filling in a crisp, cookielike crust. As we were waiting for our order, another customer stopped by to give her compliments on the pie. Five minutes and a few bites later, I did the same.
Jalisco's Natural Foods
Healthy Mexican food? It may sound like an oxymoron, but Jalisco's Natural Foods -- in business since 1974, the year the market opened -- stuffs healthy ingredients into your Mexican favorites, for surprisingly delicious results.
Even if you're a confirmed carnivore, try the fresh tofu quesadilla ($5.50), which features springy tofu, jack cheese, lettuce and a pinch of nutritional yeast in a grease-free, grilled wheat tortilla, dressed with a sweet-and-spicy chili sauce (extra points for the meal's portability -- no utensils required).
Meat eaters can add chicken to their burritos, quesadillas or "quesaritos" for an extra 50 cents I highly recommend shelling out the same price for a generous dollop of creamy avocado. And for healthy dessert options, both Jalisco's hefty fruit salads ($4.50 for cups of fresh strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and bananas) and sweet fresh-squeezed apple-berry juice ($2.50) are perfect for sating sugar cravings -- the stand's popular vegetarian chili, however, is "on vacation" until the weather cools down.
Horn of Africa
Iɽ never had East African food before, but Horn of Africa's extensive Kenyan, Somalian and Ethiopian menu (with 10 dishes and three varieties of tropical drinks) reminded me of a more familiar ethnic cuisine -- Indian. Light, flaky sambusas ($2), similar to Indian samosas, house a warm combination of chicken, organic lentils and assorted spices deep-fried bajiya bean patties ($1), while similar to falafel, taste heartier and are perfect for sopping up an addictive sweet white dipping sauce that hinted of tapioca and citrus.
For voracious eaters (like my dining companion, a Portland native who had written off the market years ago), the cart's Safari Plate ($9) features tandoori-style garlic lemon chicken, a mild, braised yellow cabbage served warm and misira diima, a vegetarian red lentil stew, all layered on top of a flatbread called injera that reminded us of a spongy sourdough crepe.
Taste of Poland
Sausages (on a stick, naturally) were one of my old street-fair guilty pleasures. At Taste of Poland, five different house-made varieties are on the menu, with one notable difference: Here, they fill you up without weighing you down. A traditional pork kielbasa ($6), served on a large roll with your choice of fixings, is surprisingly mild and grease-free the sausage's casing is just glossed with a sweet hint of oil. But the standout here is the homemade, plump pierogi, traditional Polish dumplings available as part of three dinner-sized combination plates. My potato-enthusiast boyfriend actually proclaimed them the best heɽ ever had -- and for good reason. The whipped-smooth potato-and-cheese filling contrasted perfectly with a doughy wrapper, and a topping of crumbled bacon and sauteed onions added a terrific saltiness. We combined the best of both worlds with the hearty sausage and pierogi plate (a steal at $8), which included one sausage, three pierogi, potatoes, sour cream, and a refreshing cucumber and tomato side salad.
Cook your heart out
The blessing and the curse of street food venues is that they live and die by the quality of their food alone. While a restaurant might have atmosphere, service, promotions, drinks and a certain reputation working for it, a street food pop-up restaurant is instantly judged by how well the customers around the place receive it. For this reason, your menu should be the bible of your project. If you&rsquore getting into this it&rsquos unlikely you have a middling opinion of the food you made, but even then taking all steps necessary to improve through taste-testing and seeing what hits will always work wonders.