September 30, 2004
My Favorite Street Food in the World...
Yutai: Drooling yet?
Everybody else: This is a 豬血糕/Zhu Xie Gao (Literal translation: pig's blood cake), usually found on street corners or in night markets of Taiwan. Might sound pretty gross, but it's damn delicious. It's a rice cake made from glutinous rice and (from what I've been told) chicken blood—not pig's blood as the name suggests. Either way, it's good. The black-colored rice cake is then steamed to tender softness and, just before serving, dipped in sweet chili sauce, coated with crushed peanuts and topped with chopped cilantro. (25NT/~75¢US)
You can usually find this in Taiwanese restaurants around the world, but don't bother ordering it. Everytime I've tried it, it's been really, really terrible. The taste is wrong and the texture is wrong as well. Just horrible. I've also tried buying frozen ones from Taiwanese supermarkets and those are no good either. Why nobody can make a half-decent 豬血糕 outside of Taiwan is beyond me.