Real talk: The thing about street food that you can eat with your hands is that you can always trust it to be affordable and generous in portions. Even better, it goes perfect as breakfast as well as a late night dinner.
When it comes to street food though, no other places on this planet stands out more than Taiwan. Yes, the now infamous Gua Bao is well documented on this blog but with the plethora of different hand food items existing in Taiwanese cuisine, it’s time to go deeper.
Taiwan’s street food is VAST, and its range goes from tempura to fried octopus to tofu, but one thing that’s hard to find outside of Taiwan has to be pig’s blood cake on a stick.
But the sad part – I guess – is that the Taiwanese pig’s blood cake isn’t really a food item that many Taiwanese people hold in high regards. It’s more of a throwback dish that many tend to be more nostalgic about, rather than go out and getting it. Since it doesn’t really get that much love amongst today’s youth, and because a lot of dopey foreigners find it weird – less and less vendors are selling it, even at night markets.
Luckily, Eddie Huang got hold on some. Peep the video:
What is a Taiwanese Pig’s Blood Cake?
It’s the result of sticky rice after it gets drenched in pig’s blood, then steamed and bathed in a pork soy broth, rolled around in peanut flour, and finally topped with cilantro.
Taiwanese blood pudding is different from the Spanish morzilla, fundamentally it’s closer to what the Koreans call soondae. In terms of flavor, the soy broth provides a rich pork flavor with the peanut flour lending a touch of sweetness, and the cilantro giving it an extra kick.
Thanks to the sticky rice, the Taiwanese pig’s blood cake has a texture that is consistent throughout. Yes, the thing is chewy, but it is able to maintain individual grains. The peanut flour – kind of like the crushed peanut toppings on a gua bao – brings that sweet complexity that highlights the broth even further.
Did someone say party in my mouth?
How To Make Taiwanese Pig’s Blood Cake
- Pig’s blood is boiled with sticky rice, until it forms a matrix with the consistency of an eraser.
- Once a giant block of it has been cooked, it’s then sliced into ice cream bar sized chunks and stabbed with wooden skewers.
- Keep in a steamer box for the texture to tighten up.
- Dip the pudding pop in a tonkatsu sauce mixed with pork soy broth.
- Roll around in a bath of peanut flour.
- Top with a sprinkling of cilantro.