Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Deep Fried Taro Balls and the Ones with Pickled Egg Yolk (劉芋仔香酥芋丸蛋黃芋餅) @ Ningxia Night Market [Taipei, Taiwan]

In the entire Ningxia night market, no other stall commanded a queue even half as long as the one above. It was so famous; my friend assured me i would not any problem identifying the stall.

The exact words were "you would know". 

With just two items on its menu, both of which could hardly be classified as a healthy snack by nutritionists, i am curious as to why the deep fried taro balls and its salted egg yolk spin offs have managed to generate so much hype! 

Of course the quality of yam matters (my mom, who made a mean yam cake, would know) but on second thought, once the quality issue has been addressed, it should not be too difficult for a competent house maker to come out with a similar tasting deep fried taro balls right? 

At NT$20 apiece, the fried yam balls with salted egg yolk and black pork floss were the ones everyone was sure to order. I can understand why; the plain yam balls cost NT$15 each and you just need to top up a mere NT$5 for much more ingredients! 

These, shaped like scoops of ice creams, were the plain ones. 

Productivity is key to more sales and despite the long queue, it took only about fifteen minutes for me to get to the front of the stall where i waited patiently to have my freshly fried order! 

Would you be able to identify the difference? The round ones were deep fried taro balls without filling while the flatter ones had egg yolk and pork floss. Under a temperature of roughly 18 degrees, it felt so nice to hold them in my hands through the paper bag! 

Let's start with the less famous one; delicious! Exuding a naturally earthy flavour that didn't have that tardy, bitter aftertaste, it was obvious that top quality yam was used for the plain taro balls! Mom would have enjoyed them tremendously! 

Its more popular sibling was a different story; tasted a bit weird in my opinion as the taste of yam was heavily diluted by the stronger tasting egg yolk and savoury pork floss. It might actually perform better without the yam.


Ningxia Night Market. 
You would know the stall when you see it. 

For an overview of my 9 Days, 8 Nights Taiwan Trip [Cingjing (清境) - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) - Taichung (臺中) - Taipei (臺 北)], click HERE.

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