ILLUSTRATION: 5 Traditional Desserts in Taiwan

ILLUSTRATION: 5 Traditional Desserts in Taiwan
Photo Credit: Loso Kao

What you need to know

The News Lens shares five common traditional Taiwanese desserts.

What do you do after a night of chowing down in Taiwan? Go for dessert, naturally.

Desserts in Taiwan can be easily found in night markets and on street corners, but don’t expect your usual cakes and pudding.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Shaved Ice (bao bing)

The Taiwanese version of shaved ice is generally topped with red beans, mung beans, taro balls, peanuts, fresh seasonal fruit (like mango and strawberries) and served with a generous drizzle of condensed milk or honey. It is perfect for staving off the heat during the humid summer months.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Tofu Pudding (dou hua)

Tofu pudding is a type of very soft tofu which originated in China, where it is a savory dish eaten for breakfast. However, in Taiwan, tofu pudding is sweet and served with sugar syrup, sometimes infused with ginger and topped with red beans, dried longan, peanuts or even cooked barley.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Grass Jelly (xian cao)

The Chinese mesona plant is boiled with starch or rice flour to extract this black jelly, which is said to keep the body cool. Although the plant belongs to the mint family, the jelly itself has a herby fragrance and is served with shaved ice or in milk tea.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Aiyu Jelly (ai yu)

Aiyu jelly is a dessert native to Taiwan. The jelly is extracted from the seeds of a fig that grows in the Alishan area. Commonly served with lemon juice or honey, aiyu jelly is a refreshing drink most often found in Taiwan’s night markets.

Photo Credit: Loso Kao

Pineapple Cake (feng li su)

This iconic Taiwanese pastry combines the tart sweetness of pineapple with a golden, crumbly pastry. It often comes wrapped in beautiful packaging and has become the go-to souvenir for tourists.

Editor: Edward White