5 Taiwanese Meal Alternatives for Missing the Holidays

Oh, dear. It’s that time of year in Taiwan again. The weather is starting to chill just a bit, and you’re starting to see boys and girls pairing off into couples (not as religiously as it happens in Korea, but it still happens).

Street Food in Asia

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It’s the time of year when you know that your momma is baking her famous apple pie back home, and sadly, you know you’re not going to have two (or ten) slices this year because you’re abroad.

Yup, it’s the holiday season, and you’re not home. No Thanksgiving casseroles, Christmas puddings, or New Year Ham for you. As exciting as living abroad is, getting through the holidays can be tough, especially if it’s your first year away from home.

Good thing you have friends like the staff at RTT to help you get through the misery of the absence of holidays in Asia. Once you hunt down and taste these holiday foods and treats alternatives, your sprits will lift, and you’ll be glad once more that you made the decision to live abroad.

1. Teppanyaki

Delicious, hot, and cooked right in front of you, what more could you want in a holiday dinner? The places for teppanyaki are really amazing. You choose your meats, sides, and spice level and they serve it up to you tableside on hot foil plates.

Might I suggest choosing a spicy lamb, grilled mushrooms, and spicy bean sprouts? It’s absolutely the best. (I’m actually a little jealous that I’ll be having boring turkey this year while you get spicy variety!)

 2. Braised Pork Rice

A well-known delicacy in Taiwan, this dish is cheap and easy to find. Fatty pork is heaped onto steaming mountains of rice in this mouth-watering bowl. The smoky meats and warm bowl is perfect for holiday eating.

3. Pineapple Cake

Are you sad that you’re going to miss out on all the desserts back home? Well, wipe those tears because you have something even better in Taiwan than plain, boring pumpkin pie. You have Pineapple Cake!

This is a sweet staple in Taiwan, and practically an icon. The thick pastry is filled to near bursting with candied pineapple. One bite, and you’ll forget everything you remember about pumpkin sweets.

4. Fried Chicken

What could possibly be a better substitute for fried turkey (if that’s what your family cooks) than fried chicken? Nothing! There are a few places that even deliver through food panda.

So this holiday, invite a few friends over, buy beer and wine, and order a few buckets of fried chicken and French fries. (Oh, and if you look online you might even be able to find powdered eggnog.

Order that a few weeks before the holiday to spike with rum, and you’re really set for a holiday party abroad!)

5. Chicken Wing Rice Roll

A very busy man who needed to get his fill of rice and chicken on the go invented this meat and rice combo. What exactly is a chicken wing rice roll? It’s a chicken wing that’s stuffed with rice.

It’s greasy and so satisfying, and it’s impossible to have just one. The best one I ate while in Taiwan was off the coast of Tamsui (Danshui), one of the neighbourhoods of Taipei.

Calling all expats and world travellers! What food in your country of travel did you choose as your holiday alternative? Chicken? Pizza? Live squid? Share your answer with other traveling holiday fiends in a comment below!

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