Destinations Magazine

Taiwan – Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

By Spunktitude @spunktitud3

Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

One of the must-try local dishes when you are at Sun Moon Lake, would be the regal-sounding President Fish 总统鱼 which breeds abundantly in this largest freshwater lake in Taiwan.

President Fish, Taiwan

Sun Moon Lake is abundant with fish and shrimp varieties such as the chi li fish 奇力鱼, lake shrimp, and the famous aruzay曲腰鱼(identified by the slight curve on its abdomen) which has a juicy and tender meat quality when steamed or fried. Although aruzay is not unique to Sun Moon Lake, those found in Sun Moon Lake tend to be larger, and can grow to over 30cm long. Many fishing boats with four-handed fishing nets can be seen at Sun Moon Lake catching the aruzay. The bigger the aruzay, the better the taste, and smaller the bones.
Aruzay is the favorite dish of the late President Chiang Kai-Shek and hence renamed President Fish by local fishermen. It is now the signature dish of many restaurants in this area.

Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

We were naturally curious how a President’s favourite fish would taste like, hence visited one of the local restaurants to try.

Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

We must be really lucky, cos’ a multi-pineapple greeted us!

Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

Steamed chicken with spring onion 葱油鸡

Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

Fried Sugar Cane Shoots 甘蔗芯

Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

Braised Pig Trotters 卤猪脚

Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

A local wild-grown vegetable called “passing the mountain cat” 过山猫
It has a ‘sticky’ feeling but tastes absolutely great. This was one of my favourite dishes during my trip. I still reminisce the taste now and then.

Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

Dried Lily Soup with Mushrooms 金针汤
Mushrooms are another delicacy of Sun Moon Lake, you should try them as well.

Sun Moon Lake Delicacies

And the star of the show – President Fish
We had our fish steamed to preserve its taste. It has a lot of small bones, so do be careful eating it. The fish was fresh and meat tender. I usually do not eat freshwater fish but this was ok, except for the troublesome bones lol.
Other Sun Moon Lake local delicacies which you can try include the ailanthus prickly-ash 食茱萸, Siberian ginseng 刺五加 as well as Assam black tea 阿萨姆红茶 which Taiwan is a big exporter of.


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