Eating in Kinmen
Eating in Kinmen!
Unique food, unforgettable taste
Traveling to Kinmen is not just for ancient settlements and the remains of battlefields. There is food that only the insiders know.
You will never forget the delicacies that can only be found in Kinmen!
Kinmen and Little Kinmen are surrounded by the sea. With its blessed natural environment and historical development, the food culture is quite unique. Other than the well-known biscuits and fritters which have different taste and aroma than Taiwan, food like peanut worms and kamenotes are also the unique specialties that gourmets would come just for them. They are waiting for you to taste!
Featured Seafood Dishes
Kamenote is one of the seafood specialties in Kinmen! It grows between rocks in the intertidal zone. Its name comes from the shape which looks like Buddha's hand and is also called goose barnacle, and pen holder; its scientific name is Capatulum mitella.
The technique of eating a kamenote is similar to eating a melon seed. After biting to make a hole from the center, the shell is pulled open, and the delicious inner snail can be sucked out. The sweet taste spreads in the mouth immediately, and the fullness of the seafood flavor makes you want to eat one after one. Kamenote also goes well with a drink!
The peanut worms look a bit creepy, but they are the seafood that gourmets must have! To eat peanut worms, you need to do three things fast: dig fast, cook fast, and eat fast. Peanut worms only live in clean mudflats. They are important environmental indicators, but they are slippery. If you don’t act fast enough, you can't catch them. Peanut worms also need to be cooked fast to preserve the sweet and chewy taste. While the delicious food is in front of you, you have to eat fast for having a blast!
Dried Oyster Rice
When talking about Kinmen seafood, we can’t miss the well-known rock oysters! Unlike oyster fritter or oyster vermicelli, dried oyster rice is seldom introduced by travel bloggers. In early years, Kinmen lacked supplies but the production of rock oysters had many. The local people then came up with an idea to dry the rock oysters to extend the preservation period, which indirectly produced dried oyster rice. The concept is similar to the glutinous oil rice. It’s just that the braised pork has been changed to dried oysters. Without the use of fancy seasoning, dried oyster rice is a simple and delicious food which exclusively belongs to Kinmen.
Local Memory of Flavors
Wonton with Added Ingredients
Winter in Kinmen is cold and windy. The soldiers garrisoned on the island would surely want to have some hot soup, and it would be better if there were more ingredients. Let’s have a bowl of wonton with added ingredients! The soup is stewed with chicken bones and cabbage. Full of wontons, handmade meat balls, fish fillets and clams, the abundant ingredients make people excited. According to the seasons, the added ingredients are not the same in summer and in winter, but are made with fresh seasonal food.
Unlike Taiwan, Kinmen’s vermicelli soup is not reddish brown but white without thickening the soup with flour, so the taste is more refreshing! Handmade in Kinmen, the vermicelli is thicker in general, but after cooking in a large pot, it almost melts instantly in the mouth and is suitable for children and elders to eat! Together with the full ingredients such as rock oysters, braised pig’s large intestines, or diced pig blood cakes, the taste is richer. It is the hometown breakfast for the Kinmen people to eat and they never get tired of it.
Peanuts have been cultivated in Kinmen for more than 500 years. The scene of sun-dried peanuts is often seen in the growing season. Kinmen’s peanuts are relatively small, but the taste is great!
Boiled with shells on and dried under the sun, the peanuts are cooked into a sweet soup. The taste is delicate and soft, and the soup is sweet but not greasy. Together with a bite of crispy and delicious fritters, it is the best!
Traditional Handmade Snacks
Made from glutinous rice milled to pulp, the palm-sized round and white small snack is one of the traditional foods in Kinmen. The taste is similar to Taiwan's turtle-shaped rice cake but softer and chewier. Common flavors are peanuts and red beans. Some stores even provide taro and sorghum flavors and they are worth a try!
The kachia cookie has a simple appearance. It was formerly named as the yoke cookie because of its yoke shape; it is now known as the love cookie and the smile cookie. In the era of the lack of supplies in Kinmen, farmers usually brought some kachia cookies to fill their stomachs when working on the farm. It was a little happiness at work. The taste of simple fragrance has been passed down, and it is still a good taste that many people miss.
Manjian Cake is also called stone cake, triangle cake, min chiang kueh, and so on. It is a traditional snack from the Fujian region. Simply mix the flour, sugar and water into a paste and put into the pot to bake. The taste is similar to wheel pies and egg cakes. Every shop has its own flavor, and ingredients such as red beans, peanuts or dried radish are all good to match. The taste is soft and moist. It maks you feel full and easy to take with you on the go.
Cooked Rice Cake
The diamond-shaped cooked rice cake is one of the tea snacks in Kinmen. In early years, the production of the cooked rice cake took a lot of manpower to smash and the production process was complicated and time-consuming, so it was also called the bone rice cake.
The red dot stamped on the cake is made by the beefwood. It is full of local style! Common flavors are mung bean, wheat and red onion. The aroma is slowly released in the mouth when chewing, and it goes well with a cup of hot tea!