Shilin Night Market – Part 2

5 Jan

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Part One of my trip to the Shilin Night Market is here.

Part Two covers what we ate.

We started at a stall famous for shen jien bao, pan-fried pork buns. SJBs are one of my favorite things to eat, and this stall draws a crowd.

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Here’s the beautiful SJB. They offer them in both pork and veggie versions, for 25 NT (about 80 cents) each. They are juicy inside, and the skin is thick and bready. I wanted to buy ten of them and just call it a night, but my obligation to you, dear reader, drove me on.
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Just kidding. I was dying to go back to Hot Star, the fried chicken cutlet stall.
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This might be the single most popular stall in the market. The guy in the blue Hot Star t-shirt above guided people into a snaking queue of about 30 people.
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It’s really quite an incredible operation, with about six employees serving at least two or three people per minute. The line moves pretty quickly.

They cost 55 NT each (about $2). They’ll ask you if you want the spicy sprinkled stuff at the end. You want it. A lot of it.
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If you’ve been to boba places, many of them sell a kind of “popcorn chicken.” The Hot Star chicken is like a giant piece of popcorn chicken (with bones).
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Here’s the whole chicken with a hand for size comparison. It’s a great deal.
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We ended the night at the shaved ice place in the basement food court.

A similar stall is where I first had Taiwan’s unique take on shaved ice. Just like at Blockheads, the flavor is mixed with sweetened condensed milk before it is frozen into a block and then shaved to order into a fine snow.
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We got the peanut flavor with chocolate sauce. This version was pretty good, not great. Not as good as Blockheads or the ones I had at the night market before.
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We weren’t super adventurous this time, as we had had a big lunch that day. Just enjoying a few night market favorites and a stroll through the spectacle.

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