Raohe is one of the most famous night markets in Taipei and while it doesn’t have the scale of Shilin, it more than makes up for it in quality and it’s better value too. Here are my top 8 things to eat at Raohe Night Market.
1 – PEPPER BEEF BUN
Before you even have a chance to start deciding what to eat, assuming you enter from the temple-end of the market, you’ll be faced with a lot of people lining up to try Raohe’s most famous delicacy. Black pepper beef buns are famous across Taipei but the city’s best is found right here. Tender, peppery chunks of steak and greens in a rich gravy stuffed inside a soft but crispy fried pastry. The perfect way to start your Raohe feast.
2 – BARBECUED SQUID
What can be better than a stick of tender, barbecued squid. Not much, methinks. Raohe has several stalls selling just that – simple and brilliant. The meat; nice and soft but with a perfect amount of firmness and with that addictive Taiwanese marinade flavour too. Yum.
3 – LITTLE SAUSAGE IN BIG SAUSAGE
Yes it looks filthy and it sounds ridiculous. But it tastes flippin’ fantastic. Take one Taiwanese sausage (sweeter than the normal western variety), plonk it in a sticky-rice sausage (also very tasty) and top with pickled vegetables and chilli. What a mouthful.
4 – STUFFED CLAM
Hard to describe exactly what this is and the picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it tastes great. It’s basically a clam shell, filled with a mixture of clam meat with lemon, garlic, cheese and chives. Delicious.
5 – SOFT SHELL CRAB (WITH BEER)
The soft shell crabs at Raohe are really tasty – crispy, fresh, and with that lovely soft inside. Imagine how good that would be WITH A BEER.
Fortunately 7Eleven (as always) is just around the corner – what a perfect combo as you decide on the next dish.
6 – DOUHUA
Douhua, otherwise known as “tofu pudding with little tapioca balls” (literally what it says on the signboard) is a light, delicately flavoured, not too-sweet dessert that is the perfect way to end a night of spicy, salty snackage. Well either that or the perfect refrain before round two kicks in.
7 – PEACH WITH PASSION FRUIT AND PLUM POWDER
After hours spent stuffing MSG-filled snacks into your face, fruit is an excellent remedy, and at Raohe you’ll find something a little different – one of the sellers near the centre of the market sells unique fruit combos – green mango, guava or peach slices covered in passion fruit and then topped with a thin layer of plum powder. I went for the peach and man, does it taste good. The sweetness of the peach with the sharpness of the passion fruit and the saltiness of the plum powder – a winning combo.
8 – PAPAYA MILK
To settle the stomach after a night of near-constant abuse, look no further than a pint of seriously tasty papaya milk. It really is just that. Milk. And papaya (and probably half a tonne of sugar). The seller at Raohe is quite famous in Taipei and often has a queue, but it’s worth the wait. And your stomach will thank you.
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