THE best place to visit in the Songshan district is the Raohe Night Market. The Raohe Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Taipei (and Taiwan) and my personal favorite. Video linked at the bottom!
Raohe has your typical night market finds, Michelin-starred stalls, and unique eats. You can shop for trinkets such as bracelets or other more “antique-y” things. But in this post, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite or most unique things I get at the Raohe Night Market.
1. Black Pepper Bun | 福州世祖胡椒餅
One of the most prominent stalls at the market is the Fuzhou Black Pepper Bun stall. The Chinese for it is 福州世祖胡椒餅, which translates to Fuzhou Clan (or prominent family) Black Pepper Bun. You can observe the whole cooking process as you wait in line (and you’ll be waiting a while depending on how late/early you get there). Speaking of the cooking process, they take a ball of dough and add pre-seasoned pork. They then smack that whole bun topside down onto a bucket of green onions, evenly coating the bun. They then seal the bun and place it in a brick kiln to toast it. The end result is a crispy yet chewy bun.
2. Hsia Kang Ming Peng Stinky Tofu｜下港名彭臭豆腐
At Hsia Kang Ming Peng Stinky Tofu you’ll find two things I enjoy eating. Pictured here is what they’re primarily known for, their stinky tofu. In fact, there’s even a video of Hugh Jackman enjoying stinky tofu here. I say, if Wolverine (or Sherlock, depending on what you like) likes it, it must be good. This was actually my first time having stinky tofu in Taiwan (after almost a year there, believe it or not). Surprisingly, stinky tofu tastes better than it smells. It actually has a slightly bitter after taste to it, although that may be the smell affecting taste? The texture is really interesting, with a crispy outer-shell and a chewy inside. The hot sauce they have elevates the flavor to a whole new level. I later discovered that there is even better stinky tofu offered other places, but we’ll leave that for another post.
The other thing I like buying here I forgot to capture. It’s Oyster Omelet or 蚵子煎. The textures, the flavors, and the sweet and savory sauce on this Oyster Omelet are the best I’ve had in Taipei. I like it even better than the one I had at Ningxia. Honestly, the omelet was my favorite thing at this stall, even over the stinky tofu.
3. Okonomiyaki｜大阪燒 Fukushima yaki
The final favorite at Raohe I liked was the Okonomiyaki at Fukushima yaki. It’s not surprising to see a Japanese dish in a Taiwanese night market. The 大板燒 at this stall is topped with corn, cabbage, tuna, mayonnaise, dried seaweed, and bonito flakes. It has a really nice fluffy texture and the salty umami flavors are well balanced. Optionally you can have them add some wasabi but I hate wasabi so I told them please leave that off (sorry, not sorry). If you’re vegetarian, let them know before you order so they can leave the tuna or eggs off.
Bonus: Sin Sin HongKong Rice Roll | 心心港式腸粉
To the right of the Okonomiyaki stall is Sin Sin HK Rice Roll or 心心港式腸粉. Rice Noodle Rolls is a Cantonese dish that you usually find in Guangdong or Hong Kong. It’s made from sheets of rice flour dough that are steamed and filled with either meat or veggies. They offer three options, Shrimp, Beef, and Pork. Pictured here is the Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll. They then top it off with either a soy sauce base or spicy sauce. The texture with the shrimp is very soft and chewy, or Q as a Taiwanese person might say. If you pass by, give it a try!