The Tastes of Taiwan

Appetizer of potato skins with shrimp and cheese topping. Presentation is everything in Taiwanese restaurants.

 By: Anna Peters

Over the winter break, I went on a trip to Taiwan alone. Since I have family in Taiwan, I go pretty often. It is one of my favorite places to travel to. Seeing friends, family, and scenery always make my trip enjoyable, but my favorite part of Taiwan is

Anna Peters (center) with friends Michelle (left) and Bridgette (right) near the Danshui River in Taiwan

the food. What makes the food in Taiwan different from other places is the vast variety you can find just from being in one place.

One of the foods Taiwan is known for are their street foods and night markets. Last winter, I went to 淡水老街 (Danshui Old Street) with my friends. Danshui Old Street is specifically known for not only having a variety of traditional and exotic foods, but also for  having games and a boat ride to the other side of the

Fermented “stinky” tofu

river. One of the foods Taiwan is known for is 臭豆付 (stinky tofu), which is fermented tofu notorious for its smell. Personally, I like the smell, which is a reason why it is one of my favorite foods. When you first bite into it, the smell fills your mouth and then comes the flavor of the sauce and garlic. There were also stands where they sell fried foods. It serves a variety of fried foods, such as squid, shrimp, chicken, and vegetables. These foods are cheap, yet delicious. I got fried squid, which I really liked because squid is one of my favorite seafoods. Biting into it, you will first experience the crunch from being fried and then the chewiness of the squid. These two textures are paired perfectly along with tasty flavors. Night markets are also something that Taiwan is known for. Night markets are pretty much the same thing as street

Boba tea from Go Cha Bar

food streets, except you go to night markets take place at night. This last winter I went to 士林夜市 (Shilin Night Market). I had octopus legs, which looked really appetizing, but it didn’t taste as good as it looked. In addition, I also had candied strawberries and jello popsicles. Something unique about street foods and night markets is that you are able to walk and eat your food, so you can constantly keep trying new foods. Furthermore, Taiwan is also known for their aesthetic drinks and bubble tea. My favorite drink shops on last winter’s trip was “Go Cha Bar” and “Bobii Frutii.” Go Cha Bar offered a variety of fruit blended drinks incorporating real fruit into their presentation, and Bobii Frutii specialized in colorful drinks with a whole assortment of boba.

Taiwanese hot pot

Taiwan is also known for their hot pots. Hot pot is when you have a personal pot of soup and you cook your own meat and vegetables in that broth. It is usually then served with a choice of rice, noodles, or udon. I ordered the seafood hot pot, which included vegetables, such as spinach and cabbage, and seafood, such as shrimp and imitation crab. If you enjoy cooking your own food, this is definitely something for you. However, if you’re like me and enjoy eating more than cooking, then it does get to be a bit of a hassle. Other than that, the food is delicious and this offers a new experience of eating. Along with the traditional Taiwanese hot pot, Korean hot pot is also popular in Taiwan. Korean hot pot is a little bit different. It is served in a small personal pot; however, everything is already cooked for you. It is typically eaten with a pot of purple rice along with the vast amount of Korean side dishes.

From traditional Taiwanese food to Italian food, Taiwan has it all. Last winter, I went to a dinner where traditional Taiwanese food

Shrimp Tempura – Taipei style

was served. It was served in many courses. At first, they served cold meats as a way to “warm up” our palettes. After that, we were served a Taiwanese take on shrimp tempura. This was one of my favorite dishes. Then, they served another appetizer, which was a baked potato topped with shrimp and then coated with something that resembled the texture of melted cheese, but tasted like shrimp. It was an odd pairing, but it tasted delicious. After that, the main courses started to be served. The first main course was fish. The fish was cooked to perfection resulting the meat to stay soft and tender, accompanied by a sauce that really brought out the fish’s flavors. This was by far my favorite dish of the entire night. There was another main course that came, which was unagi topped on top of sticky rice. This wasn’t my favorite, but it also wasn’t

French duck breast

bad. I also got the chance to go to a French restaurant. Although it was a bit on the expensive side, I got the opportunity to eat duck breast. Its presentation and taste were exquisite. In addition, pasta is also pretty popular in Taiwan. I ate pasta numerous times on my last trip, but my favorite one was from this place called “Rosemary,” where I got seafood pasta in tomato sauce. It came in a

Taiwanese “chicken katsu”

reasonably sized portion and wasn’t overly salted or seasoned, which made it light and refreshing. Furthermore, I got to eat a variety of Japanese food. My two favorite dishes were chicken katsu and sushi. I go to this restaurant named “Saboten” every time I go back to Taiwan. Their chicken katsu isn’t chewy and fatty like some other places; it is tender with a crunch to it. 

My food experience on my trip to Taiwan last winter was definitely one to remember. I am elated that I was able to try so many yummy foods within a short span of two weeks. I am excited to for what adventures my next trip has in store for me.

Just Siiick!


Waialua sophomore Wyatt McHale gets big air at a surf contest in Portugal.

img_1088By Kayla Miguel

Waialua High and Intermediate School sophomore Wyatt McHale is a Vans sponsored surfer who maintains a 4.0 GPA.  No matter how many surf contests he participates in all around the world while missing weeks of school at a time, his straight A’s still remain. But how?

“Staying focused,” Wyatt says. “I have to make sure I get all of my school work done before anything, especially while traveling, I

No matter where he is in the world, Wyatt always reps Hawaii.
No matter where he is in the world, Wyatt always reps Hawaii.

work with my teachers to make sure I can keep my grades up when I’m gone.” His core teachers are those he communicates with most since those classes are honors courses. But despite the challenging classes, the only one he seems to struggle with is an elective – Building and Construction.  He says that the only reason why it’s hard for him to make up work with the limited supplies he has available while traveling.

Wyatt attends to his creative side as he works on his ceramics project.

Although he takes his regular courses at Waialua, the extra classes he takes online is like a walk in the park for Wyatt. “I’ve already completed some Spanish, Health, Psychology and Economics courses online and I’m on track to take English IV during the spring. Some of those courses I took during my freshman year when I decided I wanted to graduate early.” Wyatt says. “Graduating early was an opportunity I decided to take. This way I can surf more instead of worrying about keeping up with the school work during my senior year.  It just made more sense since I’ll be doing a lot of surfing then too.”

Despite all this, surfing still takes up a lot of his time since his schedule is an endless cycle of wake up, go to school, eat, and surf until the sun goes down.  It’s pretty rare for Wyatt to go a day without surfing since he feels like surfing is a part of him. It’s something that influences things like his speech, appearance, and his lifestyle. Wyatt McHale’s journey is spent surfing, learning, and being the siiickest guy on the North Shore.

Wyatt works hard in Ms. Abenes' Honors Social Studies class.
Wyatt works hard in Ms. Abenes’ Honors Social Studies class.


How do you balance straight A’s and surfing?

Making sure I get all my homework done and working with my teachers to make sure when I’m gone or traveling I have all my assignments so I don’t fall behind.  By doing this, I’ve been able to keep my grades up.”

What classes do you take? What classes do you struggle in?

“All honors core classes (Alg. II, English, Chemistry, US History) Ceramics, PE, and Building and Construction. I struggle in Building and Construction because it’s hard for me to make up work when I’m not there and the supplies are limited.”

And what would Wyatt do without friends?
And what would Wyatt do without friends?

Are you planning on graduating early? How and Why?

“Yes. I’m on track to graduate with the Class of 2018.  I’m doing this by taking online classes which I’ve been taking since ninth grade to gain extra credits that will eventually take out all the credits I’m supposed to earn my senior year.  I want to graduate early so I can surf more and since I was given the option to it just made sense since I’m planning on surfing a lot during what could have been my senior year.”

What extra online classes do you have to take? ✔

“Spanish, Health, Psychology, Economics and I’m taking English 4 online in the spring.”

How much time does surfing take up?

Getting your schoolwork done gives Wyatt time to do what he loves.

“All of my afternoons on weekdays and all day on weekends. It’s pretty rare to go a day without surfing.”

What is your Monday through Friday schedule?✔

“Wake up, go to school, eat, surf until the sun sets.”

How does your surf culture influence you?

“It changes the way I speak. I’ll use words people don’t understand like some surf jargon.  It influences the way I dress, and my all-around lifestyle.”

Enter – if you dare

7th grader Carlie Cabana gets into her character at the band room haunted house.

img_9566by Jericho Posadas

On October 18, the band geeks of Waialua High and Intermediate School transformed their tranquil band room into a house of horrors. During the first quarter, Band Director Mr. Ian Cablay and his seniors discussed the creation of a haunted house with the band room as the building at their disposal. The haunted house layout is a maze, going in through the L1 classrooms and utilizing every square inch possible of the building – including the mango grove. After a month of planning the students and supporters of the Waialua Band were able to turn those plans into a reality.

Cablay calls the band boosters the “backbone of the program”. Gloria Razon, one of the members of the booster club says, “The money from all our fundraisers go to things the school or the DOE cannot pay for such as instrument parts, music, food for practices, and the biggest event: the town tour.”  All the funds raised are necessary for the program to continue and improve the quality of experience for the students.

Sophomore Jericho Posadas oversees his coffin.

Construction started quite awkwardly, with only a few band members showing up early and no one knowing where to start. Mr. Cablay arrived shortly after the band room was opened, where only a few fake bodies were created using one sided scissors. However, once he arrived, things started to run like chainsaws in a horror movie. The first day was mostly just planning, seeing where things would fit. Some students (mostly juniors and seniors), provided the supplies to the creation of the haunted house. And on the second day of construction, the haunted house was near to the end of finishing. The haunted house has many of its own highlights, each one contributing to the whole experience.

The first part of the haunted house will have its own highlights, along with the creepy noises that may instill the fear in you. The walls of the maze have carved in windows, and when you look inside you will not see a thing. But if you’re brave enough, you’ll skip the exit door and keep moving forward.

Senior Noah Hull

Noah Hull, a clarinet and piano player in the band, will be one of the highlights of the haunted house as people go midway through the maze. He will be dressed up as a Phantom, and will be playing music like “Phantom of The Opera” or the “X-Files” theme. Once you hear it, lets just say it’ll be an interesting experience. 

You’re finally out and relieved to be finished with the scariest maze you’ll ever encounter. But you’re not done yet, as you choose two ways to go and finally reach the end. No spoilers here, but be certain to go through again to see the other option – if you dare…

“The Ring?”