Monday, July 26, 2010

Fried squid w/seafood fried rice (烏賊燒)

Fried squid... rice burrito?

Fried squid is a pretty common affair when it comes to night markets. Chinese people love that stuff. Fried rice too. I'd probably die if I went too long without having fried rice. So of course it's a Taiwanese guy who decided to combine the two into a travel friendly package. That's what you get with 烏賊燒 (wu zei shao), whose shop is located in Taipei's 饒河夜市. It's basically a burrito. Except instead of a flour or corn tortilla, you have a thin shell of fried squid... and instead of beans, rice, and cheese, you have salmon fried rice. Magical right?

Indeed. It tastes as phenomenal as you'd expect. Think about it, fried squid that's well prepared is like chicken nuggets with a more interesting texture (and a very subtle hint of seafood flavor), and let's be honest... pretty much no one can screw up fried rice. What can go wrong? Absolutely nothing. Offered in 5 different flavors (of which I can only recall honey mustard and wasabi), the combination rice/squid roll gets drizzled, very generously, with your sauce of choice. I only tried their honey mustard, but it's pretty freakin' good, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they're all that good.


And the innards. The fried rice would be pretty good on its own. They actually use short grain rice, so it stays stuck together instead of falling apart into a giant mess of rice. It's flavorful, although the salmon part is overstated. It doesn't really have any fish flavor at all. In fact, it kind of tasted cheesy. No problems there. I like cheese too. The squid is nicely fried, crisp, and texturally perfect. Just elastic enough to make you work for each bite, but not annoyingly so. Like I said, each of these things would be fine on their own, but it's the synergy of the flavors that makes this interesting. For 65 NT ($2), I have absolutely 0 complaints.

Although... because they just opened their first store in Taipei(I think the original is in 逢甲夜市), their popularity is currently through the roof. You pull a number to order, and at any given time, there's about a 15 to 20 order queue. I'm pretty sure I waited close to 20 minutes. I'm pretty sure I didn't care.


Rodzilla said...

Wow, do I want this.

exploded daniel said...

This might sound a bit American, but I want them to take it over the top and put it into a griddled tortilla.

Nicholas said...

exploded daniel - haha, I'm proud to be American then. I had a similar thought, that the whole thing would hold together better as a burrito type thing, possibly with a scallion pancake :)

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