In the Layover Taipei, Bourdain ventures in at the Raohe night market 饒河夜市 for some hújiāo bǐng 胡椒餅, literally meaning pepper bun, but is actually traditionally stuffed with seasoned minced pork and green onions.
I don’t really go out of my way for some pepper buns, but while visiting the Longshan temple area in Taipei, and waiting to cross a street, my guts turned my attention towards a signboard screaming 胡椒餅, pepper buns. With my culinary curiosity growing as I waited to cross, I gave in and treated myself this traditional Taiwanese snack.
The stuffing made it a memorable pepper bun for me, with minced pork and also actual small chunks of meat (was it a fluke?), and the unusual addition of suān cài 酸菜, pickled Chinese cabbage, along with the green onions. I thought the pepper bun was worthy of a snapshot, but the picture does not depict those chunks of meat nor the pickled mustard greens, so I’m now wondering if I haven’t dreamed it at all? 🙄
Also, as I “inspected” the paper wrap, I noticed that the shop went as far as writing out the ingredients of the pepper bun, which is rather unusual from street food vendors.
They claim to use organic CAS-labeled Taiwanese pork, green onions, natural spices, flour, sesame, and absolutely no illegal additives, so we can consume with our mind at peace. 🙂
It was my first time visiting the Longshan area, and I quite enjoyed this older part of Taipei. It’s a place where you feel yourself embracing the more traditional Taiwan, a lot of small eateries and shopping around, not too mentions all the night markets nearby. Should you decide to visit that part of town, I once again highly recommend checking out MKL’s blog, especially the page dedicated to the Wanhua district, where the Longshan temple is situated.
Well, with all that said, I think this will be worthy of a second visit to double check the veracity of the gustatory details mentioned earlier, and to really take the time getting myself lost in the neighborhood.
Name: 赤肉胡椒餅, chì ròu hújiāo bǐng, Red Meat Pepper Bun
Business hours: 11 am to 8:30 pm
Price: 35 NT
Tips: buy 10 and get 1 free