“The Food of Taiwan” by Cathy Erway


Beyond Chinatown:

Her name may belie the fact that she grew up with family dinners prepared by her Taiwanese mother and uncle, but Cathy Erway, author of The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove and the blog Not Eating Out In New York (both essential DIY readings for NYC-dwellers), wants to spread the gospel of Taiwanese food.  Using her knack for sharing personal discovery and appreciation for food from farm to table, her forthcoming cookbook, The Food of Taiwan, introduces the cuisine and culture that is much loved in Asia as a unique jewel but has only recently gained recognition in the United States thanks to an increasing number of Taiwanese restaurants and social media-friendly articles like CNN’s 45 Taiwanese Foods We Can’t Live Without.

To master Taiwanese cooking, Cathy spent time in Taiwan visiting restaurants and night markets and researching recipes and techniques.  However, much of what makes Taiwanese food so interesting is found outside of the kitchen.  She also explored the sub-tropical island’s local ingredients — vegetables, herbs, spices, and bountiful catch from the sea — as well as the complex historical, social, and ethnic influences and confluences that led to the remarkable diversity of Taiwan’s food.  The joys of sharing the kitchen and table were an important part of her culinary experiences in Taipei.  Cathy got in with the locals and found herself helping with the preparation a banquet for three generations of a family and another for a group of old friends that often gathered at a shop turned teahouse.

Back in New York, her recipes were perfected at six “Taiwanese Test Kitchen Dinners” at her apartment in Brooklyn.  At each dinner, ten dishes were prepared for and served to ten guests, allowing Cathy to test her recipes and receive feedback, some of which led to realization that people here might not be ready for bitter melon.


As one of the few English-language cookbooks dedicated to this cuisine, The Food of Taiwan is poised to get a new audience salivating over the food from the island of 23 million and shows another facet of the unending diversity of the Chinese-speaking world.The Food of Taiwan presents traditional recipes, like this recipe for Dried Radish Omelet (菜脯蛋), (a salty-sweet omelet with a crunch that is often eaten with congee, but is great on its own), as well as Cathy’s own creations that incorporates Taiwanese cooking techniques and flavor combinations, like cilantro and peanuts.

The Food of Taiwan is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and will be released on March 24, 2015.  Pick up your copy online at Amazon. For updates on the book and events, follow the book’s Facebook page.


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How to make Taiwan’s famous ‘Ice Cream Burrito’



Audrey Magazine:

Yes, you read that correctly. An ice cream burrito.

Found around Taiwan’s famous night markets, the ice cream wrap features peanut candy shavings and a spring-roll crepe cover. There is a savory version of this with pork, cabbage and ground peanuts that is a long-standing, traditional dish. However, it’s the tart ice cream and crunchy peanut candy that makes the sweet version such a hit, starting from its origins in Yilan to trendy settings in Taipei.




The ice cream burrito, which can be found all over Taipei’s night markets, comes in various versions such as pineapple, taro and peanut ice cream.

And how exactly does one make this famous treat? First, the crepe is made and laid out. The peanut shavings are then placed on top of it and three scoops of ice cream are set onto that. Then there’s another layer of peanut candy shavings plus the optional coriander. The treat is then folded up like a burrito and put in a to-go bag for you to hold as you explore the rest of the night market.




Another popular option is to include cilantro, which is reminiscent of cilantro in other sweet treats such as mango salsa. All of these options do not disappoint! They serve as another example of the creative and delicious food adventures found in the nooks of Taiwan night markets.




Homemade run bing with pineapple and peanut ice cream

Make one flavor of ice cream if you prefer, or use shop-bought. Serves 6.
For the pineapple ice cream: 400g tin pineapple or 300g fresh pineapple, chopped ½ tin condensed milk 400ml double cream
For the peanut ice cream: ½ tin condensed milk 500ml double cream 125g peanut butter
For the brittle: Butter, for greasing 100g roasted, salted peanuts 150g caster sugar

6 frozen spring roll wrappers, defrosted
Handful of coriander leaves, chopped

To make the pineapple ice cream, put the fruit (drained, if using tinned) in a food processor or whizz with a stick blender to a smooth puree.

1. In a separate bowl, whisk the condensed milk and cream to stiff peaks, then fold through the fruit puree, mixing fully or leaving slightly marbled, if you like.
Pour into a lidded, plastic, freezer-proof container, then freeze until firm, around 4 hours.

2. To make the peanut ice cream, put all the ingredients in a bowl then whisk to stiff peaks. Pour into a lidded, plastic, freezer-proof container, then freeze until firm, around 4 hours.

3. Next, make the brittle. Grease a small baking tin, then put the peanuts in a large, dry frying pan, then, over a medium heat, toast until golden. Add a pinch of salt, then add the sugar, swirling, but not stirring, the pan, until the sugar has melted and turned to a dark golden color. Pour into the baking tin and allow to harden.

4. To assemble, lay a spring roll wrapper on a work surface, then grate or crumble over a generous amount of peanut brittle. Top with three scoops of ice cream – just peanut, just pineapple, or a mixture, if you like – then add more brittle and a scattering of coriander.
Working quickly, fold in the top and bottom of the wrapper, then roll up. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers, and eat immediately.