Eating in Taichung

Part of the fun for me going to Taichung was to stay with my brother and sister-in-law, Sam and Debryn, and their two children, Kaizen, 6 years old, and Tia, just 2 years old.  

This page is mostly street scenes in Taichung.  We did all of our eating in street restaurants, where tasty meals are cheap and even healthy, and I will cover some of those.


Breakfast on the street.  In this case, green onion crepes.  We also had fried eggs stuffed inside a flaky pita bread, with dried powdered beef added, washed down with cold soybean milk.  Delicious. 

A familiar street scene. 

Tia, trying on a hat.

Debryn ordering a papaya blend.  A large 20oz cup is about a dollar.

Fresh chicken.

Live eels.  Note the plump frogs hanging from the red bucket.

If American's love their hamburgers, the Taiwanese love their beef noodle soup, called "neuro mien."  As with hamburgers,  neuro mien may be forgetable, or it may be exquisite.  For example, most places will boil packaged noodles, often a flat, fettuccini styled noodle.  However some use fresh noodles and one place in particular takes it even a step higher.

After kneading dough from scratch it is shaped like a loaf of bread.  The cook then uses a sharp wedge of tin to strip away comparatively thick noodles from the dough, which fly into a pot of boiling water.  

Even the water is a factor.  In Mario Batali's restaurants in New York, the pasta water is used for an entire night without changing it.  As the night progresses the water becomes increasingly starchy, and it is accepted that the very best pasta comes out late at night as it is quickly boiled in very starchy water.  In this Taiwanese restaurant, the water is very starchy, and the fresh pasta is boiled only briefly.

The other key ingredient is the soup.  Cubes of beef are simmered for hours in a stock containing, among other things,  soy sauce and anise.  This rich broth is ladled over a bowl of just cooked noodles and a few fresh greens are added.  

One eats neuro mien with chopsticks and a flat Chinese spoon.  Pickled cabbage and hot chili sauce are added to taste.  It can be exquisite.

In the U.S., big city China Towns or Asian strip malls will often have a noodle shop or restaurant which serves Taiwanese beef noodle soup.  It is worth a try.


Stripping noodles into a well starched pot of boiling water.

Ladling the rich beef broth onto the noodles. 

A moment of admiration.

Kneading the dough at a boutze shop (dumplings).


Flatten the dough, stuff with ground pork, green onion, garlic and ginger, then pinch together.  Steam in stacked bamboo steamers.

Thanks for visiting,

Don Webster

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Robin Dale:  Composer, performer, uses strong rhythm, tribal percussion, and lyrics which convey a respect for his adopted Taiwan.

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