Category Archives: Taiwanese Culture

My Chinese New Year Party Food 新年辦桌 – what to cook

Chinese and Taiwanese New year is coming along shortly! One of the big questions that many people will have is what dishes to prepare. One of the best places to find traditional and New Year Taiwanese dishes is Taiwan Cooking on YouTube. It’s my mother’s site and she loves to cook – a lot.

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農曆新年將近,今年很高興可以和很多台灣姐妹與她們的家人一起提早過了一個既溫馨又快樂的新年團聚,內心理真的有著滿滿的溫暖,喜悅和感恩! 在此也恭祝大家新年快樂! 羊羊得意!!

She recently held an early New Year lunch party and made a huge amount of great food for the day. Many Taiwanese sisters managed to share a great, happy, warm New Year together! Please have a look at the wonderful range of food she prepared in the video I have embedded below.

There’s lots of favourite Taiwanese and Chinese dishes shown off above. To help you easily find some of my favourites she prepared that day you can look at these links:

Happy New Year everyone! 羊羊得意!

Spring rolls, ready to eat!

How to make Spring Rolls 春捲 for Taiwanese, and Chinese, New Year

Here’s some great Spring Rolls my mother made. These are beef and onion ones but you can alter the recipe to include any sorts of other fillings including the likes of pork, chicken, bamboo and bean sprouts – whatever you like. Chinese (Taiwanese) New Year is almost here and these would be a great addition to your dinner table spread!

Please watch the video and you will be able to see the cooking method and technique for making beautiful, golden crispy spring rolls at home – using the best ingredients from your local shops.

In my mother’s recipe the following ingredients were used:

  • 500g beef mince,
  • sliced spring onions,
  • spring roll pastry,
  • salt, pepper,
  • egg for ‘glue’
  • sesame oil, rice wine, a little sugar
  • + dipping sauce made from ketchup, lemon & sugar

 

Spring rolls, ready to eat!
Spring rolls, ready to eat!

As mentioned above you can change the contents to suit your own taste and also you might like to use chilli or sweet chilli in the dipping sauce. Hope you like it!

Visiting a potter in Yuanlin

Yesterday I visited a potter in Yuanlin in Taiwan. He lives in the town where my auntie lives and is an old school friend of my mother’s. Now pottery isn’t his full time job but he has developed this hobby into a very nice little business and so the whole ground floor of the house is dedicated to pottery, art and the making and display of these pieces.

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There are so many variations of the teapot and cup shape to see in his studios and they look fantastic as you can see from these pictures.

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Tea is important to Taiwanese culture and having a show-piece set of traditional tea making and tea drinking pottery is very important to most families. A matching set with teapot at it’s centre can be a great talking point for visitors and guests.

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A full tea set can contain a teapot, various kinds of burners to heat water and/or keep your tea hot and of course cups. The pottery in Yuanlin I visited had many beautiful examples to see but also lots of other pottery examples, mainly consisting of bowls and vases which could look good anywhere in your home in groups or individually.

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Also here you can see pottery being made at the weekends and see the craftsman at work. Currently the studio doesn’t have its own website but when it does I will share the link here.

Temples of Taiwan

If you go to Taiwan you will definitely experience the sights, sounds and even the smells of the temples there. The sights are sometimes beautiful, ornate and even foreboding. The sounds can be quiet or extremely noisy thanks to the use of Firecrackers to scare demons and ghosts etc. Also you will probably notice a stong smell of incense when you walk or drive by a temple.

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The temple that reminds me best of recent times when I was in Taiwan is one at ‘Song Bo Lin’. I remember it well as I learned to drive in the nearby Nantou City and the driving instructor took me there as training! After I passed my test and got my own car I liked to drive to this small town with its busy mountain temple and surrounded by tea growing areas just to chill out. The smell of tea and incense was often heavy in the air.

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There are lots of beautiful and intricate designs you can see at temples in Taiwan. The picture above was taken when I went on a picnic with my mom, also near Nantou. The picnic was great as we cooked meat and vegetables within fires and then went to this nearby temple to have a look around. On that day there were lots of offerings displayed on tables which would be burned and set to the dead…

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Also not far from my home town there is the famous Bagua Mountain Scenic Area which is a Buddhist temple. This is in Changua county and I often went past this impressive sight on the way to my aunties house. These Busshist temples are often dominated by a very large and impressive statue. Sometimes the Dao temples also have statues of their gods towering above the temples, usually also in hillside and countryside settings where they are all the more impressive.