A Guide to a Traditional Taiwanese Breakfast
Breakfast usually comes in the form of street food in Taiwan. Vendors will set up shop on the curbside in the morning hours and make these dishes on the spot for commuters on their way to work via foot or mopeds.
Now, a traditional Taiwanese breakfast probably does not rank high in terms of nutritional value. There's a lot of dough and deep-frying involved, but at Yung Ho City Restaurant in Rosemead, California, that's part of its charm.
"It reminds people of their childhood," said owner January Tsang. Tsang is the daughter of the founder of Yung Ho, a Taiwanese immigrant who started the restaurant after learning the craft of baking in Taipei, Taiwan. "My dad started cooking when he was 17 in Taiwan," she says. "He picked up cooking and baking knowledge after working at various places. We actually had a couple of bakeries back in Taiwan."
Yung Ho is one of the main Taiwanese breakfast joints in the San Gabriel Valley, a hotbed of Chinese and Taiwanese food in Los Angeles. The restaurant has been in operation for 19 years and with the exception of a brief five-year hiatus, has always been owned and operated by the Tsang family. "This was my dad's legacy," Tsang says.
The shop opens seven days a week at 7 a.m. and everything from the soybean, to the twisted cruller, or you tiaos, is handmade.
We talked to Tsang who gave us a detailed breakdown of each individual dish. Check out the slideshow for a guide to a traditional Taiwanese breakfast »
1045 E Valley Blvd, Suite 105, San Gabriel CA 91778 (map)
About the author: Clarissa Wei is a food writer. She writes heavily about Chinese and Taiwanese food and has yet to find stinky tofu in the States that has impressed her. You can follow her on Twitter @dearclarissa.