Taiwan’s Barbecue

In a stretch of my previous post about fried stuff, I unintentionally found myself lining up in a night-time barbecue stall on Friday night.

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Technically, the store is not serving barbecue because their food are all fried, just that Filipinoes don’t know how these stalls are called and “barbecue stalls/stores” came to be common term they use in the Filipino communities around. In some cases, the stores are called “shang-chi-pay stores” because of the fried chicken breast they sell, and which Filipinoes are fond of eating among other stuff these stores sell. The reason being so is the taste is not at all new to their taste buds- just a simple breaded fried chicken- so they can warm up with it so easily. Many, if not most, Filipino buy just shang-chi-pay in this stores, nothing else.

There are so many to choose from, more than the store if fried stuff I visited a few days ago.

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I bought many kinds, and was conveniently handed to me packed in paper bags along with sticks for eating piece by piece. Back at the apartment I simply tore the paper bags off over a plate. Presto!

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Among other things they sell, I took home 5 kinds…

Squid rings, green beans, rice sausage:
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Everything is fried, as expected. I ordered each separately but the vendor mixed everything and stuff in one bag.

The leafy stuff are basil leaves, added everytime with anything bought, along with some finely chopped onions to spice up. The rice sausage is uncommon to many, I believe. It’s actually a gelatinous rice, precooked and stuffed in to some
membrane, and them fried upon ordering. I suppose it’s not to be
eaten on its own. These foods are possibly meant to be eaten on the run, hence the sausage form affords rice in convenient package. Brilliant!

Rice sausage:
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The two other things, skewered with bamboo sticks: chicken gizzard, and chicken tails. Yes, also fried (but at least it gives me some kind of justification to call the store “barbecue stall”).

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Barbecued chicken gizzard is not something new, at least to Asians. But chicken tail got me excited.

Let me clear that “tail” as it may cause confusion. Tail, if referring to fowl or birds, implies the “feather tails”. This case, I say tail to refer to the hindmost part without the feathers. The Taiwanese call it pì-gu, which literally means buttocks, and is a more precise description being the “end most part” excluding the feathers; but for me, buttocks also implies a shape (you know what I mean) and the pointy shape does not conform to it so let’s keep calling it “tail”.

In the Philippines, many chicken parts that are otherwise considerably too repugnant to be included in supermarket “dressed chicken” end up skewered and barbecued in street stalls. There are chicken heads, gizzards, intestines, feet, comb (rooster crown), and 1-day-old chicks. I must admit I eat loads of them every time I visit home. But this one, the chicken tail, hands down beats them all flavor wise.

I may have made some doubt there. But consider this: what is the best tasting part of a chicken? Most would say the skin. That is why no matter how many warnings how much cholesterol the chicken skin has, people still keep eating them. Right? The tail, taste like a concentrate of the skins flavor.

I don’t know why. But possible because of some sort of “oil gland” in it. Ever noticed a chicken, or any fowl for that matter, grooming? It picks something from its tail (not the feather tail), and appear to spread all over its feathers. That’s it, it’s their grooming oil. That exactly what is in the tail, and that’s what it lends it a concentrated flavor. I absolutely love it, although afterwards I need to contemplate how much cholesterol I just took in yet again.

I figure these stuff ate eaten as is, but I ate them over rice. Except the rice sausages- otherwise I’d be eating rice over rice. Then I’d be more odd than I thought…

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Here are other snaps, I was allowed to take pictures of their preparation table.

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