Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Great balls of taro

This isn't really a review of anything in particular, just a small snack that I've liked since I was a kid. In my area of 三愛里 (san ai li), there's an open market known as 東門市場, or roughly translated as East Gate Market. It's the equivalent of Morton Williams in the sense that it acts as a supermarket for Taiwanese people, but if you go... expect to be grossed out by open air fish stands and various fruits that I wouldn't dream of eating. Anyway, there's a little stand in one of the alleys which sells fried food, tempura fish cakes, fried pork rinds, fried fish balls etc. One of the things I always eat when I pass by is their fried taro balls.

The fried taro balls are made by first shredding and steaming the meat from the taro plant. Once it's been steamed to a soft consistency, it gets mixed together with sugar and melted lard until it resembles a purple version of mashed potatoes. Rolled into ovular balls like truffles, they get battered very thinly and fried until just browned. The skin isn't crispy as expected, but looks more like the skin on an unshaved baked potato. It breaks cleanly revealing the soft and fluffy taro filling, which has a hint of subtle sweetness. Not so rich that you'd feel bad about eating a huge bag, which is good since you'll most likely find the bag empty before you plan on stopping. Half a pound, which works out to about 25 of these awesome nuggets costs about 45 NT ($1.50). I think you can probably find these at a lot of different street vendors, so if you happen to come across it... I'd buy a half pound bag, which is just enough to satiate a sweet tooth.

Another okay run. I ended up doing about 5.06 miles in just a shade over 40 minutes, yes I kind of dogged it today. For some reason, even on flat ground, it feels more difficult running in Taiwan than it did in America. Maybe it's the humidity, maybe it's the lack of runners to pace me (seriously, I'm not fast, it's just really easy to blaze senior citizens), I don't know. In any case, it was a pretty trying run this morning, which left me with my calves ridiculously sore. Hopefully I can get in a nice long 10 miler before it starts raining (it is the tropics).

distance for the day: 5.06 miles
distance biked for the day: 0.00 miles

distance on the year: 277.95 miles
distance biked on the year: 142.68 miles


Post a Comment

oh snap. I can control the text here?