Đây là 1 tập phim tài liệu hấp dẫn mình nhất trong series STREET FOOD – ASIAN FOOD trên Netflix. Taiwan hội đủ mọi yếu tố khiến mình muốn quay lại nhất sau dịch covid. Một nơi vừa có đồ ăn ngon, cảnh đẹp, con người thân thiện, an toàn, đất nước hiện đại tân tiến nhưng vẫn không hề mất đi nét văn hoá truyền thống. Đến Taiwan còn không cần visa nếu có visa Hàn, Nhật. Và mình cũng muốn thực hành vốn tiếng Trung ít ỏi mới học. ?? Dưới đây là nội dung tự ghi lại trong video. Lúc đầu định dịch ra tiếng Việt rồi mới đăng, mà lười quá, tiếng Anh cũng toàn từ cơ bản đọc lại cũng dễ hiểu mà, nên để luôn.
When the outside worlds hear about Taiwan, immediately, they think of Taipei because it is such a busy city. But when you really want to look deeper into Taiwan’s culture, Chiayi is the city to visit.
Chiayi is located in southwestern Taiwan, surrounded by beautiful mountains. Because of the secluded location, Chiayi has not been very influenced by foreign culture. So, the traditional dishes that truly represent Taiwan are best in Chiayi.
Street food is the way to get to know our people. They don’t have usually a stove top at little apartments, so night markets serve very important to Taiwanese people. We can get cheap food, but at the same time, very delicious dishes, like tofu pudding, turkey rice, beefs noodle soup, dumplings, oyster omelets. You can have, like, 50 varieties of food that you can choose from every day.
In today culture, street food has slowly evolved to look more fusion and duplicable. When traditional craftsmanship is not being valued enough, that’s threat to our Taiwanese flavor. But in Chiayi, people are very passionate about preserving tradition.
GRACE CHIA HUI LIN – SMART FISH
There is one very famous fish head stew, at a stall called Smart Fish. Grace keeps the recipe the same way as the old days. Her grandparents started with just one stall, 65 years ago at this night market. Expanding the business while keeping everything the old ways is very difficult to maintain. But Grace has done it.
“The story of our stall goes back more than 60 years. My grandma was very good at business, and my grandpa loved to fish. One time he caught far too many fish. He decided to fry them, so they wouldn’t spoil as quickly. He covered them in yam flour batter, and fried them until they were golden brown. And with it, he created a new signature dish and called it fish head stew.
It has wood ear mushrooms, pork, onions, garlic, peppers for spice, tofu. The secret that makes our food so delicious is we use a lot of napa cabbage. This is our local flavor. Mountain. When you re-heat cabbage, it will produce a sour-savory taste, and Taiwanse people love this flavor.”
“A hundred years from now when people think of Taiwan, I hope they will remember the flavor of Chiayi. It is my dream” (Grace)
LI-HUA & LIU-ZHU – MAGISTRATE LIU
It is one of the oldest stalls in Chiayi, where Liu-Zhu has been serving turkey rice and chicken rice for 50 years.
There are 300 something stores of turkey rice in Chiayi. Everybody eats turkey rice here, because it’s such a warm and filling dish.
“We slow-cook our turkey over 12 hours for the broth. We add pork stock and fried shallots to it, so the dish tastes even better with rice. Our flavor hasn’t changed since the beginning.” (Liu-Zhu)
TSUI-EH – A EH DOUHUA (TOFU PUDDING)
Douhua also known as tofu pudding has been called, “the dessert of Taiwan”. Especially in Chiayi, they put it on top of wood fire, boil it for days. It’s often served with toppings like sweetened tapioca pearls, peanuts, and mung beans.
“There are many new things these days, everyone is coming up with new ingredients. But I’m stucking to the traditional methods. Its much better. Its healthier.” (Tsui-Eh)
Tsui-Eh’s douhua is the best in Chiayi, she’s been making it the same way for 70 years.
To make his goat stew, Uncle Goat, as he’s called, created an oven cave where he cooks it for three days and three nights.
“This goat stew is from the Sui Dynasty in China. The emperor ate this food 1.500 years ago, hoping for immortatily. After that, it slowly disappeared, until I brought it back again today to restore it to its former glory in Taiwan. The medicine pot contains rice wine, and herbs like moghania, blood wine, and cat’s claw.
You have to dig a hole and bury the pot into the earth, smoking it for 3 days and 3 nights. This stew absorbs the earth’s Chi and infrared heat waves. But actually , this whole space is terrible for quality of life. That’s why you cant get this anywhere else. Honestly, making this stew is ruining the health of all of us, young and old, and its sad. That’s why I don’t want my children to take over this business. Their bodies cannot withstand it. Since they were infants, they’ve been inhaling this smoke. The smoke has been accumulating in the house. Before their lungs fully developed , they had already been damaged”
“Making this stew is an act of love. Even though my kids wont continue with it, Im happy that. For now, this wonderproduct still exists. As soon as you take one sip, you’ll think, “oh”, you’ll feel your Chi flow in a loop around your body! Since this recipe is so good, I hope it doesn’t end in my hands.” (Uncle Goat)