Oven-Fried Pork Chop

 

Pork Chop Bento (排骨飯 Pái-Gǔ Fàn)

Taiwanese Deep-Fried Pork Chop is adapted from Japanese Tonkatsu. Pork Chop Bento (排骨飯 Pái-Gǔ Fàn) is one of the popular street foods in Taiwan. You also can find Pork Chop Bento (排骨飯 Pái-Gǔ Fàn) in many people's bento box during the lunch or dinner hours.

I used to deep fry my pork chops, but I felt so guilty throwing away the used oil (we recycle EVERYTHING in Taipei City since 2000). I have used the oven-fried method to make this dish for the last 5 years. Of course, the texture will be different from the deep fried method, but it is good enough for me. 

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Taiwanese Omelette (chhai-po nng, 菜脯蛋)

A classic Taiwanese egg side dish suitable as a standalone item or mixed in with congee.

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Three Cup Chicken (三杯雞, sānbēijī)

Most modern Three Cup Chicken recipes don't contain the namesake quantity of soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil as the result would be too oily and heavy. Even so remember to fire up the rice cooker as this is not a dainty dish.

Thanks to Amanda Lao for the original recipe!

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Oyster Noodles

Oyster Noodles are a great dish for anyone seeking something hot and gooey.

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Poached Pork (Taiwanese Style)

Poached pork is a great method of preventing a debilitating bout of PDS (pork deficiency syndrome). No need to consult a doctor for this recipe, diagnosis: delicious.

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Shredded Taro Cake

A specialty hailing from Tainan, this dish is best served hot.

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Taiwanese-style Chicken Salad

It's too dangerously hot to cook or bake! Take this cool chicken salad with you!

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Pineapple Bars

Pineapple cakes (ông-lâi-so͘) are incredibly tasty but also incredibly difficult to make at home. This dead simple recipe for pineapple bars is an American twist on a Taiwanese tradition.

The final product ready for mouth enjoyment

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Green Onion Pancake / Iû-tshang-piánn

Enjoy one of the all time favorite Taiwanese snacks!

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Difficulty Level: Medium

Time till Eat: 90 minutes

Hands-on time: 50 minutes

Introduction and History of the Dish

Chinese legend has it that Venetian merchant Marco Polo once had a Green Onion Pancake (蔥油餅 | iû-tshang-piánn in Taiwanese | cōng yóubǐng in Mandarin) in China, and upon returning to Italy, missed it so much and tried to have someone recreate it. Unable to recreate the green onions inside the pancake, they tried put it on top of the pancake instead, and the pizza was born.

We don't know how much truth is there to this story, but Taiwanese love their Green Onion Pancake and could care less of if pizza was its cousin at all. They can be served as breakfast, an afternoon snack, or as part of a meal. Green onion pancake vendors usually open shop near schools as students usually grab these as a snack at the end of the day.

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Steamed Omelette (Oven version)

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Difficulty Level: Easy

Time till Eat: 30-35 minutes

Hands-on time: 5 minutes

Introduction and History of the Dish

Steamed omelette is a traditional home cooked dish that is found in all households in Taiwan. As the name implies, it is usually steamed, but can be made in the oven as well. This is a two-ingredient dish that is perfect for aspiring chefs.

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Taiwanese Style Thick Toast

Enjoy one of the most popular bubble tea shop snacks

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Difficulty Level: Easy

Time till Eat: 10 minutes

Hands-on time: 4 minutes

Introduction and History of the Dish

Thick toast is a snack frequently found at Taiwanese bubble tea shops. Garnished with usually sweet toppings such as Nutella or peanut butter, some do like savory toppings such as pork sung (a type of dried and shredded pork).

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Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken / Kiâm-soo-ke (Air Fryer version)

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Difficulty Level: Medium

Hands-on Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours (mostly for marinating time)

Introduction and History of the Dish

Taiwanese “popcorn” chicken (also called salted crispy chicken, or salt and pepper chicken) originated from the northern part of old Tainan City, the culinary center of Taiwan, around 1979. A newly married couple, surnamed Yeh, who worked during the day at the family’s chicken farm, opened a food stand at the well-known An-pin night market, selling KFC style fried chicken, which was very popular in Taiwan at that time. Seeing that it was difficult to eat the American style fried chicken in a convenient and elegant way due to the large size of the pieces, Ms. Yeh cleverly improved the recipe by using mostly boneless meat, cut into smaller pieces, marinated in a sauce, and then coating them in sweet potato flour before frying. Customers were then able to pick up the bite-sized chicken chunks with thin bamboo sticks (similar to longer toothpicks), and enjoy the delicious snack while keeping their fingers clean. Also different from the American style fried chicken, Ms. Yeh added pepper salt and chili powder to give the chicken an extra kick of flavor. Because of this special salt and pepper taste, Yeh named the dish “salted crispy chicken” (鹽酥雞 | kiâm-soo-ke in Taiwanese | yán-sū-jī in Mandarin). This special snack soon became popular throughout Taiwan, and remains one of the country’s must-have street foods today.

Air fryers have become quite popular over the past few years; they allow a pseudo deep fried food feel without using near as much oil. We decided to try the air fryer with a very popular Taiwanese street food / tea shop snack, popcorn chicken, that traditionally has been deep fried. We think you will agree it was a success, with a nice crispy exterior, juicy interior, without the greasiness that sometimes plagues the true deep fried version.

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