August 16, 2015

A sort of homecoming: Lui and Lv

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The Parental Units wanted to do lunch and asked what I would like to eat.  I hadn't really shown Hello Kitty what real Taiwanese food tastes like on this short trip, so I suggested that we hit Lvsang Canteen (呂桑食堂) for some Yilan (宜蘭) specialties.

I was tasked with ordering, and as she wasn't familiar with Taiwanese cuisine - and never mind local specialties from Yilan - Hello Kitty seemed a little bewildered by the choices on offer.  So most of it was left up to me...

Chayote shoots (龍鬚菜) - marinated with dashi (出汁) and topped with bonito flakes.  Clearly Japanese in preparation...

Steamed chicken (白斬雞) - they've never failed me here when it comes to steamed chicken, so of course we had to order it.  How I love the flavor of Taiwanese chicken!  With a nice layer of chicken stock jelly between the skin and the meat.  Of course, a little sesame oil doesn't hurt, either.

Sliced pig's liver (粉肝) - ordered this for mom, but the quality of the liver today wasn't up to par.  Instead of being light gray in color and very fluffy in texture, this was more brownish and a little harder.  Mom did explain that this was all down to the liver itself, and nothing to do with the restaurant's execution.

Deep-fried liver flower (宜蘭肝花) - the updated version of this now uses minced pork instead of liver, mixed in with water chestnuts, spring onions...etc. and wrapped in tofu skin instead of caul fat. Very tasty after deep-frying...

Yilan gaozha (宜蘭高渣) - this will always be my favorite dish here.  Take the stock that comes from steaming your chicken, mix with corn starch, then deep-fry it.  Pretty much the same as what one finds at Fook Lam Moon (福臨門) / Seventh Son (家全七福) / Guo Fu Lou (國福樓) in Hong Kong, but simpler and cheaper.  If you like chicken soup, then deep-fried chicken soup is even better.

Glutinous rice with sakura shrimp (櫻花蝦米糕) - this is the traditional steamed glutinous rice with dried shrimp, shallots...etc. but with the added sprinkle of deep-fried sakura shrimp.  Yum.

Deep-fried glutinous rice with dried longan (桂圓長秈糯米糕) - glutinous rice mixed with diced dried longan and muscovado, battered and then deep-fried.

Actually this was surprisingly not too sweet, with a nice chewy texture inside.

Pretty stuffed after the rice dishes at the end, but with a satisfying smile on my face.  It's been too long since I was last here...

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