The preparation and consumption of food is important to Taiwanese. A common greeting that is often heard in Taiwan is Chi-fan le may-yo? It means, have you eaten yet? In other words, if you have eaten recently, then you must be feeling fine.

Breakfast is usually rice porridge with several side dishes like dried pork, peanuts or leftovers from the previous night. Lunch is steamed rice, vegetables and chopped meat or fish. Dinner includes rice, vegetables, meat stir-fry and whole fish with scallions, ginger and oil. Fruit is served for dessert.

Chopsticks are an integral part of any Taiwanese meal. They can be made from a variety of materials including bamboo, wood, plastic, silver and ivory.

Ching-keh means eating out and is associated with lavish generosity. The Taiwanese view it as a privilege to pay the bill for the whole table and take turns treating.

For good luck, many Taiwanese like to have an even number of guests at the table. The guest of honour sits directly opposite the host. Other guests are expected to remain seated until the guest of honour leaves. For Taiwanese the dead also must be fed properly. Most people will make lavish food offerings to the spirits of their ancestors.

Green Onion Oil Chicken


3 large boneless chicken breasts
2 green onions
115 ml oil (vegetable, corn or sunflower)
1 tsp salt


Cut up green onions julienne style using the green and white parts of the onions. Cook the chicken in water for 20 minutes. Cut each of the cooked chicken breasts into four pieces. Place them flat on a plate and sprinkle them with salt and the green onions. Heat up the oil until it is hot. Then pour it over the chicken. Serve.

Did you know?

Tea is an important part of Taiwanese life. It is made from the most tender leaves of tea plants. The differences in the Taiwanese teas available are a result of the methods used to process the leaves. The length of the time taken for roasting and fermentation changes the colour and taste of the tea.