Oyster Mee Sua (蚵仔麵線) - Taiwanese Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Oyster and Braised Pig Intestines - Food-Spotter
Such a simple Chinese name which translates into quite a complicated and long mouthful of words in English, ladies and gentleman, may I present to you…. 蚵仔麵線
“Oyster mee sua”
Having lived in Taipei (Taiwan) for a bit, this was one of my standout local dishes. In the last month or two of the year, Taipei gets a little cold and the continuous daily drizzle kicks in. Local’s tend to wear warmer clothes for their source of heating. These are very effective techniques to stay warm, but This dish is the ultimate winter warmer.
The place I had it only serves this dish, the options you have are eat-in/takeaway and small or large. Normal rule of thumb is if a place only does one or 2 dishes, it’s likely to be good. Outside stands an elderly man with a chef’s hat and apron, with a big metal pan full of the soup.
“He must be a master chef”
Agreed very much. He scoops out the soup into a bowl, puts on a spoon full of garlic paste on top, garnishes with coriander and asks if you want any chilli oil on top.
The soup is not super watery, but has a slight viscosity about it. Inside is a lot of very thin noodles, followed by oyster and small snips of pigs intestines.
“Ummmmm…. sounds like it will taste odd”
Totally the opposite! What is interesting is that the base flavour of the soup is full of flavour, and I can taste a fish based stock in it. This flavour carries the dish with the oyster and intestines really just carrying through a difference in texture. Usually animal organs carry a strong flavour but in this case it is masked by the soup flavour.
“Gimme gimme gimme”
It’s a very common Taiwanese dish and showcases exactly how different Taiwanese cuisine is compared to the Chinese flavours that most know (although this dish has roots from the Fujian province of China).
A bowl of this should only cost around the 50 NTD mark (1.50 GBP / 1.60 USD).