I recently found a new Taiwanese private tutor to encourage my neglected Mandarin Chinese studies. My tutor is a 24-year-old graduate student at Wenzao University in Kaohsiung. She is getting her masters in English, and I am her lucky practice student.
Wenzao is known for teaching languages, and for a suspiciously female-dominated student population. Most of my foreigner male friends date the English student “Wenzao girls.”
Ruhua was a tutor for my friend, and in yet another stroke of luck, she loves food as much as I do. So last week she showed me a few of the famous places in the Yancheng neighborhood.
I often go to the Buddhist lunchbox restaurant with lots of traditional Taiwanese food served completely vegetarian. It isn’t vegan though, they still have egg options.
We went to a Cantonese-style lunchbox with roast duck and pork over rice. She explained that even though it was comparatively expensive for lunch, 90 NT = $3, she would treat herself because, she groaned, “The skin is so crispy!”
Afterwards she wanted to show me a dessert place around the corner, mochi the glutinous rice Japanese dessert is pronounced more like ‘mo-sure’ in Chinese with another more formal name niangao 年糕.
The fillings she suggested were peanut, taro and red bean-strawberry. I would recommend the taro. Taro is that purple starchy sweet root vegetable so popular in Asian countries, like Taiwan, China and even the Philippines. I still don’t like the sweetened red bean filling. For me beans are more at home in bean dip and enchiladas, but not desserts.