Street Kitchen

Street kitchen serving steamed buns, Nantou, Taiwain. March 2013.
Street kitchen serving steamed buns, Nantou, Taiwain. March 2013.

This was my favorite breakfast place in Nantou. A small family business. 1st floor (street level) is the kitchen and two or three tables inside (right of this photo). The whole business is outside, at the street under the arcades you see in the photo. The family lives upstairs, on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the building. They make steamed buns, two varieties: one filled with pork, the other with vegetables. Other than that, they have soymilk: sweetened of course, and either warm or cold. That’s it.

The place is very popular. While we were sitting inside, enjoying our breakfast, I watched the typical transaction: a car (or scooter) stops at the side of the road and rolls the passenger side window down, the guy from the kitchen walks to the passenger side and takes the order from the driver. He wraps & packs it, hands it back to the car, and gets paid. The whole thing takes less than a minute. Absolutely amazing, and the buns are delicious.

Back in San Diego I was curious how these buns are made. They are actually rather similar to the German “Dampfnudeln” or “Rohrnudeln” (translates to “steamed noodle” or “oven noodle”, I don’t know why it’s called noodle though, probably because it’s made from dough), except that they are not sweet (the German Dampfnudeln that I know where served as a desert, with sweet vanilla sauce). I found a recipe online and just recently made them successfully here in San Diego. :)

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