After talking about the wind and sea of Kinmen, let’s talk yum now. The food in Kinmen is heavily influenced by Fujianese way of cooking. So some food we tasted here is somewhat similar to the ones back in Singapore, given that many of our forefathers came from Fujian anyway. The 5 must-try specialities for me would surely be Guangdong Congee (广东粥), Oyster Mee Sua (金門蚵仔麵線), Beef Jerky (金門牛肉乾), Kaoliang Jiu (金門高粱酒) and Peanut Candy (金門貢糖).
And where’s the best place to start? At the local market of course!
Kinmen Guangdong Congee
The local’s breakfast of choice would be Guangdong Congee (广东粥) and Youtiao (油條). The congee is cooked until it is almost soup like before adding in egg, pork, prawn or fish.
The variation will depend on which stall you visit. It’s really more like drinking a bowl of thickened soup than the usual congee we have in Singapore.
Kinmen Oyster Mee Sua
Blessed with abundant resources around its coasts, Kinmen boost some of the best and freshest seafood. Oyster is Kinmen speciality, they are all from the wild, a little smaller than usual but taste freshly sweet.
Adding on the locally made Mee Sua and we have one heavenly match – the highly acclaimed Kinmen Oyster Mee Sua (金門蚵仔麵線). I have no problem finishing 2 bowls of Oyster Mee Sua at one go lol. A must eat food in Kinmen for me!
Kinmen Beef Jerky
Most locals raise their own cattle and we spotted quite a number of cows when we were travelling in the car. We were told that the cattle here are fed with fermented yeasts deriving from the making of Kaoliang Liquor.
Perhaps that’s the reason why the beef is tender and chewy. Same goes for the famous Kinmen Beef Jerky (金門牛肉乾) which I bought quite a few packets home.
Our relatives also brought us to a popular beef restaurant – Gao Keng beef 高坑牛肉店 for their all beef feast. The beef noodles here are the best I have tasted in Kinmen and my, they serve almost every part of the cow!
The restaurant is also one of the producers of beef jerky.
Kinmen Peanut Candy
The peanut candy (金門貢糖) is a snack blending both peanut and sugar together which is both sweet and crispy. Due to Kinmen’s favourable climate, the peanuts here are oily, smooth, crispy and fragrant.
Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor
Ok, not exactly food but the Kaoliang liquor (金門高粱酒) produced by Kinmen’s winery is well known for its smooth flavour and intoxicating aroma. Do note that the potent alcohol serves in a shot glass can deliver a lethal punch if you can’t hold your liquor well.
I experienced it first hand during the get-together dinner with our relatives, two glasses and I am almost wasted. Kaoliang gives a burning sensation down the throat and stomach which make me avoid the third glass. But our relatives were drinking it as if like plain water. Their shot glasses were quickly filled, emptied, then quickly filled again. Salute!
End thoughts of Kinmen trip…
This post marks the end of my Kinmen trip which I totally enjoyed. Granted, there are not many interesting sites to keep non-history buffs entertained. But for me, the cold war feel and its tranquillity here provide a worthwhile experience. Walking along the streets of Kinmen is like stepping back in time to Taiwan in the 50’s…very surreal.
I also hope the two nations will continue to work together so that these military sites remain only for tourism.