On Friday Hoeteck gave his well-received and well-attended talk. Later Chi-Jen took us to have dinner at Din Tai Feng, famous for its dumplings. Their specialties are the steamed dumplings called shao long bao, which they make with soup inside. How do you get soup inside the dumpling? (Think about it for a bit, the answer is at the end.) The kitchen is at the center of the restaurant, and it has glass windows all around. The cooks all wear white shirts and surgical masks, and work around a big table. The image of an operating room is very strong. The dinner was great. Later we went to Taipei 101, the “tallest building in the world.”

On Saturday, Chi-Jen took us to Yehliu, a seaside town famous for its rocks that have been eroded by the sea into amazing shapes.

Some of them look like mushrooms

This is the “sandal”

And this is the “Egyptian head”

But first, we stopped at a restaurant where we picked our favorite fish and crabs from an aquarium and had them cooked to order. The huge fish, which yielded three different dishes (sashimi, soup and grilled) was surprisingly cheap.

A religious festival of some kind was also going on. The parade included men dressed up as giants.

One can see the head of the person driving the giant showing up in the giant’s belly.

There was a market of sort next to the park with the rocks. They were selling snacks such as these. (The ones closer to the camera are wasabi “chips”, quite spicy.)

Here is how these flat things are made flat.

There was a lot more being sold in the market.

So, how about the dumplings? The soup is frozen, and a bit of frozen soup is put in the dumpling when it is made. When the dumpling is steamed, the frozen soup melts.

About these ads