Local dishes in Kaohsiung are generous, tasteful and fair in price, reflecting the generous and straightforward temperament of Kaohsiung's inhabitants. Milkfish congee (shi mu yu zhou) and fish ball soup (qi yu wan tang) are typical seafood snacks of Kaohsiung. They are delicious, no matter whether served independently or with other seafood.

    To enjoy an in-depth travel experience in Kaohsiung, you can join the locals for breakfast. Pot burn noodle soup (guo shao yi mian) and batter omelette (mian hu dan bing) are popular local breakfast dishes and are sure to make you feel really full and satisfied. If you're hungry in the afternoon, you can help yourself to scallion pancakes with pork (cong you rou bing), duck rice (ya rou fan), or white sugar cake (bai tang guo), which are typical Kaohsiung street snacks that can satisfy your appetite. Local cuisines of Kaohsiung are served in generous helpings and have a rich taste, making you feel refreshed and energetic to continue your journey.

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    Milkfish congee

    Shi mu yu zhou

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    Milkfish is a kind of tropical fish with delicious meat, but it's not easy to cook because of its thorny body. Kaohsiung locals are fond of milkfish. There are many famous milkfish restaurants and stalls that have been operating for years. All fish bones are removed so that customers can enjoy the delicious milkfish without worrying about getting a fishbone stuck in the throat.

    Many Kaohsiung locals are fond of milkfish congee as breakfast. The soup with chopped spring onion is delicious, and the fish is fresh and tender, with no fishy smell at all. A single bowl is enough to give you the strength to deal with the day's work. Several long-standing restaurants add shredded meat and oysters to milkfish congee to enrich its taste. The rice is chewy and tastes good but not too greasy.

    photo by 張采如 (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Fish ball soup

    Qi yu wan tang

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    A bowl of steaming fish ball soup can be served with rice or noodles – the delicious taste warms the heart. To taste delicious, fish ball soup must be made from fresh fish paste. The fresh catches of the day are carefully selected to make the fish paste by hand, which is then kneaded into the shape of balls in the palm and cooked in boiling water.

    Kaohsiung fish ball soup is very chewy and only served with a little seasoning to retain its naturally simple, fresh, and sweet taste. The dish can be served with a lightly flavoured broth and a little chopped spring onion to enrich the soup flavour and be more stimulating to your appetite.

    photo by Liang Bo Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Duck rice

    Ya rou fan

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    Duck rice is a common and widely favoured dish in Kaohsiung, not least because locals are especially fond of duck meat. You can find delicious dishes of duck meat in many traditional markets and streets. The ingredients of duck rice are simple: roast duck and rice. The delicious roast duck is cut into long, bite-sized slices and spread on top of rice, which is then served with duck oil and tender ginger slices.

    Kaohsiung duck rice looks simple but tastes great. The fresh duck meat is tender and tastes better when served with tender ginger slices. It's a must at the dinner table. The rice served with duck oil is sweet but not greasy. If you have a good appetite, you can eat several bowls in a row, which is very enjoyable.

    photo by bryan... (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Scallion pancake with pork

    Cong you rou bing

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    Spring Onion Pancake with pork is a popular choice when Kaohsiung locals want something to eat in the mid-afternoon. Stalls are set up on the street to fry scallion pancake with pork in pans right in front of customers. The aroma spreads and attracts nearby students and office workers to queue up to buy some.

    This snack is a kind of deep-fried pancake filled with tasty spring onion and meat. An egg can also be added to make it more nutritious and delicious. Basil can be added together with spring onion to make the whole dish tastier and more stimulating to the appetite. It will make you want to eat this delicious street snack every day, just like the locals in Kaohsiung.

    photo by Chi-Hung Lin (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Pot burn noodle soup

    Guo shao yi mian

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    Many Kaohsiung locals are fond of noodle soup for breakfast, so many local restaurants open early in the morning to sell pot burn noodle soup. The restaurants cook noodles quickly and thoroughly in traditional pots and serve the dish hot in a large bowl. In Kaohsiung, there are many stalls and restaurants specialising in pot burn noodle soup, each of which has a unique recipe of cooking the soup, noodles, and ingredients to give different flavours. Some restaurants cook the soup with large pork bones, add pasta, vegetables, and eggs, and boil the broth in a short time to let the egg spread in the soup. This makes the dish look fuller and taste better.

    Some restaurants have come up with creative recipes, like adding Thai sour and spicy flavour and Korean kimchi together with ingredients such as fresh shrimps or shredded meat. After having a bowl of pot burn noodle soup early in the morning, you'll feel energetic and be ready to see a few more scenic spots in Kaohsiung.

    photo by bryan... (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Mutton hot pot

    Yang rou lu

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    Gangshan District in Kaohsiung is famous for mutton hot pot. Many people come to Gangshan from afar just to taste this famous dish. Mutton hot pot in Gangshan is made from freshly slaughtered sheep. Mutton hot pot comes with many choices and different soup flavours, such as Angelica sinensis soup, spicy soup, and stewed soup. They are all top-grade winter tonics that provide the boost you need in the cold weather.

    When having mutton hot pot in Gangshan, you can also order some mutton side dishes, such as noodles drizzled with mutton fat and rice noodle soup drizzled with mutton fat, which are unique dishes of Gangshan. They taste delicious and are quite nutritious.

    photo by bryan... (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Fresh tomato slices with ginger soy sauce

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    Kaohsiung locals have a creative way of enjoying tomatoes: they slice fresh tomatoes, put them on a plate, and dip them in ginger soy sauce before eating. Restaurants select large tomatoes and cut them into pieces, and you can enjoy the tomato slices by dipping them in sauce with chopsticks. The sauce's ingredients include soy paste, ginger soy sauce, and sugar, to give a rich flavour that's both salty and sweet.

    Tomatoes are served with the sauce to fully bring out their naturally fresh and sweet taste. Some restaurants add plum powder or garlic to the sauce. You can choose them according to your taste. Fresh tomato slices with ginger soy sauce is a popular and unique street food in southern Taiwan.

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    Deep-fried egg crisp

    Ji dan su

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    Many children in Kaohsiung are fond of having deep-fried egg crisp after school and their parents will take them to enjoy this treat in different flavours if they've behaved themselves. It can be found in curry, red bean, egg, and peanut flavours. A piece of dough filled with stuffing is fried in a hot oil pan. After frying, the oil is drained slightly and the dessert is served in a paper bag, ready to eat.

    In Kaohsiung, deep-fried egg crisp is available in many long-standing stalls. Some famous stalls offer free deep-fried egg crisp to customers willing to sing a Taiwanese pop song in front of the stall. Many customers do not dare to sing in front of others. If you have confidence in your own voice, you may as well practice a Taiwanese song at home first, and then enjoy delicious deep-fried egg crisp for free by showing off your singing talent!

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    White Sugar Cake

    Bai tang guo

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    White sugar cake is an afternoon snack favoured by many locals in Kaohsiung. It's a kind of glutinous rice food that's fried in an oil pan and then sprinkled with sugar. It can also be sprinkled with black sesame or peanut powder to enrich its flavour, too. White sugar cake has crispy skin and a soft filling of glutinous rice, making it very chewy.

    White sugar cake evokes childhood memories for many locals in Kaohsiung. When school is over in the afternoon, kids would buy bags of white sugar cakes from the street stalls. The sweet taste made their walk home more enjoyable. When travelling in Kaohsiung, have a bag of white sugar cake while strolling down the street to experience the daily life of local people.

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    Batter omelette

    Mian hu dan bing

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    Batter omelette is a typical breakfast in Kaohsiung, with simple ingredients and preparation method. The batter made from flour and sweet potato powder is mixed with fresh eggs and fried in a pan until the omelette is golden yellow. Such a simple meal has undergone many creative iterations in Kaohsiung, with many restaurants adding new ingredients to give this breakfast snack some special surprises. They may add pickled cabbage, Taiwanese braised dishes, dried radish, and brown rice pudding to the batter omelette recipe.

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