A touch of Shanghai cuisine (in this case, in Taichung 台中)

When I’m in Taiwan – it’s all about the Taiwanese small eats (台灣小吃).  These little shops (you cannot even call them restaurants) line alley ways and markets have some of the most delicious food (though lacking amenities). And if you’re in Taichung (台中), you typically will continue that trend – if for no other reason it has the largest night market in Taiwan (Fengjia Night Market – 逢甲夜市).

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Yet through all the food chaos, sometimes (albeit only very occasionally) a sit down restaurant is in order. You still want good food, but with service, a place to actually sit down, etc.  And time and time again, we end up returning to Su Hung (蘇杭) restaurant (Foursquare); this one is located in Mode Mall near Taichung Main Train Station (Taichung City Guide Article).  It provides a wide selection of Shanghai cuisine and has great service as well.

Typically, when I’m talking about Shanghai cuisine, I’ll talk about something like Dongpo Pork (東坡肉) – also known as soy sauce stewed pork.  On an interesting side note, the dish is named after a famous Chinese poet – Su Shi (蘇軾) – for unknown reasons (check Wikipedia reference Su Shi).  Yet, for today’s post, what impressed me was something that I’m very rarely impressed by … the soup!

It’s all about the soup!

For all you gourmands out there, the revelation that soup is a wonderful dish is quite obvious.  And while, I do consider myself a foodie – I do not consider myself refined enough to be a gourmand.  As well as a child, I used to drink canned soups which outside the benefit of giving you 1/3 to 1/2 the daily dose of sodium in one sitting <sarcasm>, it also had the additional benefit of just tasting like salt <bleh>!

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But what awoke me from my soup palette slumber was the serving of the Stewed Seafood, Pork, Tofu With Napa Cabbage Soup In Clay Pot (砂鍋白菜).  The variety and colors in this soup are amazing –  the picture above hardly does it justice.   It was apparent that the soup had been cooked for a very a long time to allow the pork, tripe, vegetables, and clams to mix together.  The subtle fat which contains all the flavors (and for that matter, nutrients) merge together to create a sea of distinct yet also subtle flavors that would not have been found by just eating the items individually.

It’s very hard to get this soup right – but when one gets it right, its easy to recognize the delectable greatness!

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