July 30, 2009

Tribal Cuisine

Living in the nature and utilizing natural materials are the tribe’s belief. Utensils (plate and spoons) are made with betel-nut leaf or coconut leaf. Soup bowls, cups, and tea pot sets are made with bamboo tubes. Lots of wild plants growing in the mountains are cooked by the tribe people and become popular vegetable dishes in Taiwanese food cuisine. Millet, Rice, Taro, Corn, Sweet Potato, Beans….are the main sources of the tribal food.

Here are some traditional tribal dishes. Trust me. They are as tasty as their looks…

BBQ Pork and Sausage(烤山豬肉與烤山豬肉香腸)

It is very easy to prepare BBQ pork. Sprinkle salts on the pork belly, then smoke on the stone grill, and cut it into slices for serving after it is fully cooked.

Chinafu (奇那富)

Typical dishes for Rukai and Paiwan tribes. Wrap millet, pork, and dry taro with Liavilu leaves (假酸漿葉), and wrap again with Yueh-Tou leaves (月桃葉). Tie it with string, and then boil it with water until fully cooked.


Similar to the Chinafu, but only wrap millet and pork with Liavilu leaves, and wrap with banana leaves again for cooking.


Make taro paste into an oval shape and sprinkle outside with stir fry peanut chips.

Shan-Su (山蘇)

Shan- Su is a wild plant in the mountains. This dish is usually prepared with black bean paste.

Below is the Shan-Su plant. Common names are "Bird's Nest Fern", or Spleenwort. More information about this plant, please visit: http://home.howstuffworks.com/birds-nest-fern.htm

Kuo- Mau (過貓)
(wild plant, grow in the mountains) this dish is usually prepared with garlic.

Bamboo tube rice (竹桶飯)

Insert sticky rice and water with a 1:2 ratio into a bamboo tube. Then insert some vegetables on top of the bamboo tube to close the opening. Bake the bamboo tube until the rice is cooked. Keep it warm for 15 minutes before it is served.

Stir fry bamboo shoots and Bamboo shoots soup
(My favorite dishes)

Millet wine (小米酒)

Millet wine is the most popular drink for celebration events in the tribes. Add sugar to skinless millet and cook until it becomes paste. Cool down and work through the yeast process for 4-7 days. Then it will be ready to serve. Millet wine tastes very sweet; however, it will get very strong after a few minutes. Doesn’t the wine pot look so unique? It is made with a large bamboo tube! I regret that I did not bring one home. Look at the cute bamboo tea or wine cups next to the tea pot!

Shu Bean with small prok rib soup (樹豆排骨湯)

Smoke Fish (Pacific Saury, 秋刀魚, “autumn knife fish”)

Lots of trout fish grow in the Alishan area. The best trout that I have ever tasted was in Lijia. It was smoke baked trout with garlic and salt. Very simple. But it was so tasty and fresh!

Please see more tribal cuisine photos in the below slideshow, and listen to a tribal song-飲酒歌

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Anonymous said...

Gee, they make my mouth water!! Teresa

Micki said...

Yes, I miss all the dishes! Good thing is that we can buy the Shan-Su plant here, and grow in the garden. You can find it in Home Depot, Target, and other nurseries.

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