Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Getting Acquainted with the Cuisine

In my research of regional Chinese cuisine on the island of Taiwan, I learned that the flavors tend to be milder than those of Sechuan, Hunan and even Mandarin and Cantonese, although some of the recipes I found called for chili paste or hot peppers. However, most are flavored with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and fermented black beans. As an island province, Taiwan relies heavily on seafood for its daily sustenance, so many of the recipes are made with fish, shrimp and shellfish. Oysters are a particular favorite. Rice, of course, is a primary staple, as are an abundance of fresh vegetables, as well as an array of steamed buns and dumplings. Everyday fare also includes quite a few rustic stews and soups. For my 'Eat Drink Man Woman' dinner, I will be using several recipes that I think will give us a sampling of typical Taiwanese dishes.