Not sure what else to bring back from a Taipei holiday trip? Taipei’s supermarkets are full of hidden treasures to stuff your luggage with!
Canned foods are lifesavers. Whether you’re looking to enhance your home-cooked dishes with extra flavours or just craving for a late night snack, a delicious munch is just one pop away.
Before you overstuff your luggage with Taiwan instant noodles and authentic supermarket snacks, you’ll need to leave some extra space for popular canned foods too!
Here’s 18 Taiwan canned foods you need to buy before flying home from a Taipei holiday:
1. Red Braised Eel
You’ve heard of red braised pork belly, but have you tried Red Braised Eel? Some say eel is the pork belly of the sea because of the similar rich, fatty flavour that gets you hooked. Make sure you grab a few more cans of this delicious Red Braised Eel!
Price: ~S$4.90 (NT$109)
2. Peanut Wheat Gluten
What’s wheat gluten, you ask? Also known as seitan, wheat gluten has a chewy texture that’s similar to meat, hence it’s commonly used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes. This Peanut Wheat Gluten is widely consumed in Taiwan and it uses locally harvested peanuts too!
Price: ~S$1 (NT$23)
3. Oriental Pickling Melon
Oriental Pickling Melon, known as yìn guā (荫瓜) or bāi guā (白瓜) in Mandarin, is a type of vegetable in the cucumber family. Most notably used as a side dish in Taiwan’s famous braised pork rice, its sweet and tangy flavour is perfect to reset your tastebuds!
Price: ~S$0.90 (NT$20)
4. Atlantic Mackerel in Tomato Sauce
When craving for something sour and tangy, this 3-pack Atlantic Mackerel in Tomato Sauce hits the spot. Whether it’s instant noodles or toast, this is the perfect protein addition to a late night munch.
Price: ~S$4 (NT$89)
5. “Ocean Chickens”
Huh? There are chickens in the ocean? Labelled as “Ocean Chickens” in Mandarin, it’s actually just canned tuna! Just like chickens, tunas are very high in protein and low in fat, hence the nickname. So if you’re craving a healthier chow, go for “Ocean Chickens”!
Price: ~S$7.10 (NT$158)
6. Pork Floss
Hsin Tung Yang has been making meat floss since 1967 and it’s also one of Taipei’s most popular brands for processed meat including jerkies, sausages, and canned meat. When holidaying in Taipei, you definitely need to stock up a few cans of their best-selling classic pork floss!
Price: ~S$5.70 (NT$127)
7. Fish Floss
In addition to pork floss, Hsin Tung Yang also has fish floss that’s equally delicious. You can sprinkle the fish floss onto your porridge or stir-fried long beans for that extra savoury, meaty flavour!
Price: ~S$4 (NT$90)
8. Vegan Seaweed Rice Seasoning
If white rice is too ordinary for you, sprinkle some of this Seaweed Rice Seasoning! You can also use it as garnish on a variety of stir-fry vegetables and meat. Our Taiwanese friends say they even add it to soup sometimes!
Price: ~S$3.30 (NT$73)
9. Pickled Chilli Peppers
Taiwanese folks love their pickled food! You can add them to plain congee and even instant noodles for that extra kick. For the spicy food lovers, these chunky Pickled Chilli Peppers will have you burning for more.
Price: ~S$3.90 (NT$86)
10. Pickled “Black” Cucumber
Perhaps one of the most famous canned or pickled food in Taiwan is none other than this Pickled “Black” Cucumber. The dark colour comes from the mixture of soya sauce, black vinegar, and a little sugar. Crunchy, tangy, and savoury, this small bottle of pickled cucumbers will run out within the first week you reach home!
Price: ~S$1.80 (NT$26)
11. Pickled Bamboo Shoots
If you enjoy bamboo shoots in Japanese ramen or Thai stir-fry dishes, you’ll definitely love these Pickled Bamboo shoots too! It’s slightly crunchy and a little sour, perfect for working up an appetite.
Price: ~S$1.60 (NT$36)
12. Goose’s Grease with Shallots
Goose’s Grease, also known as goose fat, has a rich, silky texture that’s perfect for cooking at high temperatures. You can also enjoy the fine, savoury flavour by adding it to your porridge or noodles directly!
Price: ~S$12.50 (NT$279)
13. Goose’s Grease with Chilli
For those looking for some heat, they’ve also got goose fat fused with chilli. You can sauté baby potatoes, mushrooms, and peppers easily with this spicy and savoury goose fat for a delicious sautéed dish!
Price: ~S$11.60 (NT$259)
14. Barbecue Sauce (Sha Cha)
Hotpot lovers should be very familiar with this Barbecue Sauce, or better known as Sha Cha sauce! Made with garlic, shallots, chilli, fish, and dried shrimp, this savoury sauce is extremely popular for soup bases, barbecued meats (hence the name), and of course, a dipping sauce for hotpots.
Price: ~S$4 (NT$89)
15. Minced Pork Flavour Sauce
Remember Tong Yi Mian (Tong-I Noodle), the OG of all Taiwan instant noodles? Their instant noodle sauce has become so popular that they’ve started selling a whole tin of it! You can use the Minced Pork Flavour Sauce to cook all sorts of meats and vegetables, or just douse it over your favourite dry noodles for a hearty slurp!
Price: ~S$8.50 (NT$189)
16. Red Yeast Sauce
Always wanted to make the famous red yeast wine chicken at home? This Red Yeast Sauce has got your back. Red yeast wine chicken is often said to support heart health and lower cholesterol, so it remains very popular among the older generation.
Price: ~S$3.80 (NT$84)
Dougan, a firm variety of tofu, is often marinated in soya sauce for a savoury flavour. Dougan can be eaten on its own as a snack, but it’s even better when you steep it in instant noodles!
Price: ~S$2.70 (NT$60)
18. Quail Eggs
Flavoured eggs are the best comfort food, especially when you’re craving for a savoury snack in the middle of the night. These hard boiled Quail Eggs are marinated in soya sauce for maximum flavour and you can eat them straight out of the bag!
Price: ~S$2.50 (NT$56)
Canned food can add quite a bit of weight to your luggage, so just pick a few favourites and don’t go too crazy! Also, if you need help planning a Taipei holiday, here’s four guides to get you started:
Part #1: Taipei Food Guide – Which Best Restaurants to Eat?
Part #2: Taipei District Guide – Which District to Stay in Taipei?
Part #3: Taiwan Travel Guide – Which Day Trips from Taipei to Take?
Part #4: Taipei Itinerary Guide – 4D3N in Taipei
Enjoy a travel experience with no fees worldwide!