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  • - We're back for part two of our Worth It Taiwan series.

  • Today, we're doing soup.

  • - Taiwan style.

  • It's amazing 'cause it's so hot in Taiwan,

  • and yet, they love their soup here.

  • - It's eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner,

  • so many great dishes to try.

  • But before we get there,

  • Steven where are we?

  • - We are here at the Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields.

  • Is that right Inga?

  • - Jingzaijiao.

  • - Historically one of the earliest

  • salt-producing areas of Taiwan.

  • Ocean water comes in, the sun evaporates it,

  • and you're left with salt.

  • Speaking of salty liquids.

  • - Sweat?

  • - No. - Oh.

  • - We're doing soup.

  • - Today on Worth It,

  • we're going to be trying three Taiwanese soups

  • at three drastically different price points

  • to find out which one is the most worth it at its price.

  • - It's so windy.

  • - The typhoon just passed.

  • - We're heading a little bit north of the city of Tainan

  • to where, Inga?

  • - We're going to Chiayi to have some fish soup

  • at Lin Cong Ming Yu Tang.

  • - Lin is my last name, and cong ming is smart,

  • so we're just going to, like, the smart version of me

  • fish place. - Oh wow.

  • That'll be a extra special treat.

  • (jazzy music)

  • - Taiwan is very hot.

  • - Yes.

  • - [Steven] Soup is a very hot food.

  • Why do Taiwanese people love soup so much?

  • Taiwan was a poor place.

  • It's easier to feel full adding soup to the meal.

  • We've been serving this soup for the past 60 years, since my grandfather's time.

  • What's special about this is we cook 100 servings in one go.

  • The taste can only be acquired by using such big amounts of ingredients.

  • The essence of the abundant ingredients is condensed in one bowl of soup.

  • - What kind of fish is in the soup?

  • We mainly use silver carp and salmon in our soup.

  • Silver carp is a native Taiwanese river fish.

  • Our salmon is imported and it's quite popular among gourmets.

  • Our broth base is made with pork bone and water, cooking from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.

  • Meanwhile, preparing the rest of the ingredients.

  • Napa cabbage

  • Garlic

  • Onion

  • Scallion

  • Non-GMO tofu

  • Next step is chopping up the fish and deep-frying them.

  • Why is the fish fried and then added afterwards?

  • There was no refrigerating to preserve the fish back then in Taiwan.

  • My grandpa opted for deep- frying to dehydrate the fish.

  • It also helps to absorb the broth when submerged in the soup.

  • I noticed that customers can come back with their bowls

  • and get more broth.

  • It's a tradition of the restaurant.

  • We strive to treat our customers like family. You should eat to your heart's content at home.

  • It's also thanks to the continuous support of our customers that we can cook in such great quantity.

  • That allows a continuous flow of soup for everyone to share.

  • (cash register dings)

  • - Ooh!

  • - Oh...

  • Yay...

  • (Steven speaks in foreign language)

  • - What's the plate for?

  • - For the fish bone.

  • - Oh, fish bones. - Oh...

  • - Is this your beer?

  • - Yes, it's my fish beer.

  • - Cheers, Steven.

  • (bottles clink)

  • (trumpet music)

  • Look at that logo.

  • Fish soup beer, I am blown away.

  • - Cheers in Mandarin is...

  • (Steven speaks in foreign language)

  • Is that right?

  • (Andrew speaks in foreign language)

  • - Okay, that was very unexpected.

  • Wow, again.

  • - Wow, a thousand times.

  • - This is very refreshing.

  • - It is.

  • - Give me one word.

  • - Wow.

  • - [Steven] So this is the marquis piece right here.

  • I'm just gonna bite into this.

  • (Andrew groans in satisfaction)

  • - This is like a dish that dares you

  • to want something else.

  • You want vegetables?

  • Boom, we got it.

  • You want tofu?

  • Forget about it.

  • You want pork?

  • We got it right here.

  • You want fish? Boom.

  • Fry it? We can do it.

  • - Yeah, when she was listing the ingredients,

  • it was just like the NBA All-Star Game.

  • And here we have the tofu!

  • Next up, cabbage!

  • - Y'all ready for this?

  • (Steven laughs)

  • Chiayi is also very famous for turkey meat sauce over rice.

  • Customers always get the combo of turkey rice and fish head soup in here.

  • Turkey rice.

  • I love how this soup, with all of this stuff,

  • they were like,

  • "Nah, you still need some turkey rice."

  • - That's right.

  • If there's one thing we learned here in Taiwan,

  • you cannot leave a restaurant hungry.

  • They will assault you with food.

  • In the most lovingly way possible.

  • - Yeah.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Mm, it's just turkey meat and fat on a bowl of rice.

  • It's great.

  • If you weren't an adventurous eater,

  • this would seem like a scary bowl of food,

  • but it all just kind of blends into this big soft hug.

  • I don't know.

  • It tastes nice.

  • It's a kind taste.

  • - That's exactly how you say it in Mandarin though.

  • - Really? - Good eat, right?

  • Good taste.

  • (Inga speaks in foreign language)

  • - Means good eat, good taste, yeah.

  • - Let's spread the kindness.

  • (Andrew slaps hand on table)

  • - Once I finish this meal,

  • it will be so long until I get to eat this again.

  • And that makes me sad.

  • - I know, this whole trip is actually just--

  • - It's sad. - The worst.

  • (Inga speaks in foreign language)

  • - That soup was incredible.

  • In the rainbow of soup to stew,

  • this was somewhere in the middle in like the--

  • - Stoup? - Stoup

  • section, yeah. - There it is!

  • - So before we get to our next soup,

  • we decided to get some treats

  • at the Garden Night Market in Tainan.

  • - [Steven] This is my favorite treat at Night Market.

  • It is a peanut roll with ice cream and cilantro.

  • - [Andrew] What?

  • Cilantro in a dessert?

  • I guess it makes sense,

  • we put mint in desserts,

  • and that's just

  • another green leaf. - Oh, I didn't even

  • think of that.

  • Cheers? - Cheers.

  • - [Steven] Huh?

  • Huh? - Oh.

  • Huh? - Oh.

  • I like dessert cilantro.

  • So our next soup is actually going to be hot pot.

  • - Hot pot fact!

  • - Archeologists have found pots from two thousand years ago

  • that may have been used to make an early iteration

  • of hot pot.

  • These were found in the Anhui province of China.

  • - Wow, old hot pot.

  • Dude, hot pot for me,

  • every Thanksgiving in the Lin family,

  • we always, always, always eat hot pot.

  • - It would make sense that soup was one

  • of the oldest things humans ate.

  • - Yeah just water, throw some stuff in there and eat it.

  • - Tomorrow, hot pot.

  • Inga where are we going?

  • - We are going to A Yu Niu Rou Sha Sha Guo

  • to eat some beef soup.

  • - That's what I'm talking about.

  • Beef soup.

  • Get that hot pot, throw some beef in there,

  • throw some soup in there, throw some veggies in there.

  • Whatever you want, we're gonna eat it.

  • (Steven coughs)

  • Excuse me.

  • I choked on a peanut.

  • Why do you love hot pot so much?

  • Life is perfect while you enjoy this pot of delicious broth and beef.

  • Room temperature beef shabu-shabu is known for its freshness.

  • The cattle are raised in the mountains all over Taiwan.

  • Then butchered in the government-run slaughterhouse in the Shanhua District of Tainan.

  • The beef comes straight from there after being butchered and inspected.

  • - How often do you get the deliveries?

  • Every meal.

  • Every meal?

  • For example, the beef served now during lunch was butchered this morning.

  • Therefore the beef has this natural sweetness and QQ (chewy) texture.

  • We saw that it arrived by taxi.

  • Is it always come by taxi?

  • We paid the cab to pick it up because we're too busy in the store.

  • That's so cool, the meat takes a cab to every meal.

  • (everybody laughing)

  • It takes about 6-8 hours to make the broth.

  • The first layer of ingredients is beef bones.

  • Second layer is stacks of beef brisket.

  • We use about 264 pounds of brisket for the broth.

  • Topping the pot with one bag of vegetables and fruits each.

  • There's also vegetables in the dish already?

  • The vegetables in the small pot is to bring out the taste of the broth.

  • Cabbage is the star of the pot.

  • The vegetables really complement the broth and make the hot pot perfect.

  • For someone who's never had hot pot before,

  • how do you eat it?

  • Dip the beef in the boiling soup around 3 times/5 seconds and it's ready to eat.

  • I always recommend eating without condiments first.

  • For the second bite, try the beef with a bit of our special sauce.

  • My husband is in charge of extracting the prime cut out of the beef.

  • The freshly butchered beef is quite soft and requires great skills with the knife.

  • He is so good with the knife! Every piece comes out with the same thickness!

  • You also have this pork rice.

  • It's free for all the customers?

  • My husband is a generous guy.

  • He wants the customers to have the rice to go with the delicious beef shabu-shabu.

  • Perfect combination!

  • (everybody laughing)

  • (cash register dings)

  • (jazzy music)

  • (Andrew and Steven speak in foreign language)

  • We've eaten a lot of beef on this show,

  • but this is some of the prettiest beef I've ever seen.

  • The color is ridiculous.

  • Cold-brewed oolong.

  • This is one of the coolest things.

  • It's like, tea snow globe.

  • And it's got the net in the--

  • - [Steven] No way!

  • - [Andrew and Steven] Cheers.

  • - Mm.

  • - [Andrew] You wanna start with this one?

  • - [Steven] Let's do it, the shoulder cap.

  • - Cheers, Steven.

  • - Whoa.

  • - [Andrew] One, two,

  • three. - Wow.

  • Going in.

  • One.

  • Two, oh no!

  • (Andrew laughs)

  • - This smells incredible.

  • - Cheers.

  • - Oh, that's nice beef.

  • - We're just getting to eat really nice steak.

  • - Yeah. - With soup.

  • - And you get to eat it the second it's done cooking.