Definitely time for an update! Lots and lots of delicious stuff to go around. Plus I’ve been on an inspiration kick for the last couple weeks and you could probably use a break from all my soap boxing.
You’ll recall from my last post that eating paleo in Taiwan is easy. Sure, there’s lots of noodles and rice to go around, but they are easily avoidable. Even when in a specifically noodles or rice restaurant, it is totally cool to request a veggie replacement for your rice. Buffets are also abundant. This is great not only because it helps me avoid wading through a Chinese menu, but also because I get to avoid toxins and load up on all the meat balls and fish heads I could ever dream of.
You’ll also note most of my photos are fairly low quality and in take out containers. This is because I am a giant sissy, and I don’t want to look stupid taking photos in restaurants or at markets and street-side stands, which are the truly interesting shots I’d love to share. Anyway, this means I hurry up and snatch photos whenever I can, without much attention to detail or composition.
Item number one! Very common here. A whole fish on a plate, often in curry or some lemon sauce. Broiled, baked, or steamed. This may be haddock. Possibly mackerel. Correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t know what half the things I eat here are called, in Chinese or in English. n00b.
Take out number one. Steamed fish filet on top of cabbage, seaweed and some sort of noodle (avoided!), and what looks like a mushroomy thang sandwiched in the upper left hand corner.
This is a close up of seaweed sauteed in pork fat. Touche, Taiwan. Touche.
Lots of stuff going on here. At the very top: fried sweet potato. I’m pretty sure the Taiwanese roll the sweet potato as-is in a tiny bit of sugar then drop it in a deep frier. Not great for your health, but not horrific, either. Plus, these things are hugely addictive. I have to try really hard not to over-do it. Below the sweet potato is a slab of barbeque-fried mackerel. I’m sure the fish sauce has some omega 6′s in it, but hopefully that’s balanced by the omega 3s in the fish itself. It’s a bit sweet (as, unfortunately, many typically savory dishes are in Taiwan, perhaps the only Taiwan downside). Below that, on the right, is an egg and scallion “pancake,” but it’s just eggs so it’s really no pancake at all. On the bottom left, of course, is my heaping dose of seaweed again. I love the curly ones, they’re my favorite. Or they were. You should know that I’ve dialed it back on the seaweed. I think I over-did it once, finding out later I had eaten about 3000 percent my daily dose of iodine for a few days in a row, and I had this really high, no-sleep-for-two-days-but-high-energy, can-feel-my-heart-beating-in-my-chest episode. It felt nice, rather like some of my favorite recreational drugs, but hyperthyroidism isn’t the best thing in the world for our health. Moreover, the next time I ate a big portion of seaweed I got enormously ill. Could be completely unrelated, but now I have no taste for it at all.
Some similarities in this photo with the last one. It’s a smorgasbord. One stick of sweet potato, a tiny portion of scrambled egg, and another serving of seaweed are scattered throughout. This type of seaweed is kelp, and said to have the most iodine in it. Also here: bottom middle: sauteed bamboo. Savory and tangy and a bit chewy, it goes great with mushrooms, with seaweed, and with eggplant or potatoes. Bottom left: meatballs, which are surprisingly common here, and which have fairly western flavors. I like them a lot, despite the fact that I don’t exactly know what’s going into them. And finally, upper left: chicken stomachs! A staple at my favorite buffet. I eat them often. I don’t know how nutritious they are, exactly, but since they’re organs I snarf ‘em. My other “go to” buffet has an absolutely to-die-for cucumber, pepper, and liver dish. I’ll get some photos of that one in the next post.
Finally some food that I know intimately how it was made! Because I made it! Welcome to my kitchen. This is a heaping many-days-serving load of cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots and cabbage in the back, fresh from the street market. On the right is a dish of minnows and mini shrimp. This is my favorite snack of all time. Take a bag of minnows and throw them right on the stove with some butter, salt, garlic, and onions. Or just them and butter is fine. Stir ‘em up for ten minutes and you’re good to go to munch on all week. The little shrimp are the same. Sometimes I toss ‘em together, and sometimes I leave ‘em separate. They’re crunchy and salty and fishy in the best proportions imaginable, and I really, really hope I’ll be able to get my hands on some in the states. On the front left are some cuttle fish. Like… mini squid? I guess. Also for these, just buy ‘em and throw ‘em in a pan to sautee. I eat them whole. They taste great but can get a bit.. pungent?.. in the digestive track and brain. Still, the body and tentacles and whole shebang really is another fantastic paleo snack.
I’ve really been getting my fair dose of omega 3s lately, eating mostly veggies and seafood. My skin has cleared up enormously, so now I know that a lot of my acne problems were due to inflammation. There’s also a lot of salmon here, for really cheap. My favorite buffet (again! told you it’s great!) had salmon in it this week, so I filled up two carry out containers and walked home with EIGHT SALMON FILETS FOR FOUR DOLLARS. This is the coolest thing that’s happened to me all week.
Finally, some sweet lime-orange-mango-vodka drink thing. Life ain’t about perfection, it’s about life. Drink up!
Hopefully I’ll grow a strong pair of balls or ovaries and get some awesome behind-the-scenes shots for you for next.