The usual suspects of the Taiwan Street Snack – Oyster Mee Sua, Fried Chicken, Tian Bu La, Taiwan Sausages… someone seemed to miss out Pork Pepper Buns!
It’s the ONLY reason why I go to Raohe Street Night Market 饶河观光夜市. Not that there’s anything really bad with this street market. It just feels a little ‘oily’ to me.
RaoHe, with an Owl mascot, is one of the oldest night market in Taipei and located near Songshan 松山Train Station. You can drop by if you have bought your clothes at Wu Fen Pu 五分埔, or take a cab from 101. This 600m long street has a penchant for northern Chinese noodle dishes and oily specialty snacks such as fried chicken and sausages. Along the sides are clothing, shoes, accessories and CD shops.
Remember to go to the end of the street and spot a queue in front of 福州世祖胡椒饼. You can’t miss it. This is one of the most popular, if not, the most popular street stall in the Raohe Street Night Market.
The secret of its success is the rich and juicy filling of its buns, made of fresh pork, marinated in a special sauce concocted using a secret recipe. The plentiful green onions and strong peppery taste is almost a perfect combination. The pepper buns, lightly sprinkled with sesame seeds on the crust, are crisp on the outside and piping hot in the inside.
I used to just call it the ‘Pepper Buns’, but found out about the origins from it’s name which is福州世祖胡椒饼 Fu Zhou Shi Zu Pepper Buns. You may have eaten Fu Zhou fishballs and realised that it’s similar – big hot balls with moist meat filling. This particular stall added pepper to enhance it’s original taste, and also ‘Pepper’ 胡椒 in 闽南话 sounds like ‘Fu Zhou’ 福州.
While queuing, tou can observe a line of workers, filling up the buns with huge portions, quickly doughing them to the round shapes. It’s then baked over charcoal to over 200 degrees, and best eaten fresh out of oven.
You can probably see other imitations such as ×× 胡椒饼 around, but this is the real McCoy. Don’t miss it!