Delicious Food Blooming Between Mountains and Sea—Hylocereus Undatus in Northeast Corner
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We are now close to the Chinese solar term of “White Dew,” and the hot weather will be over soon. The northeast wind will gradually blow toward the south, and the autumn wind is gently blowing. When you come to the fishing village in the northeast corner of Taiwan, you can often see long-strip plants with triangular thorns growing on people’s houses, rock houses, walls, pavilions or huge rocks by the road. Every summer and autumn, the plant grows flower buds that look like night-blooming cereuses. They are known as wall-attaching lotuses. When residents take a walk, they would pluck the plant and make it into a dish!
The scientific name of the “wall-attaching lotus” is Hylocereus undatus which can grow in the coastal area with drier soil. Additionally, the plant grows rapidly and is drought resistant. It is a commonly seen coastal plant in the northeast corner. The stem of Hylocereus undatus is green and long with thorns. Its petals slowly blossom on summer and autumn nights. The color of its edible flowers is like that of a white lotus.
Su-Zhen Wu, a woman in a fishing village in Gongliao District, indicated that “wall-attaching lotuses” are the most commonly seen coastal plants in fishing villages in the northeast corner. They blossom on summer and autumn nights. Local residents pluck white flowers with long poles to avoid being pierced by their thorns. How do we eat Hylocereus undatus? First, remove stamens, pistils and pollen from fresh wall-attaching lotuses. Strip petals and calyxes, blanch them in boiling water, close the lid and wait for one minute. Rinse mucilage with water before cooking. Stir-fry dried fish and shredded pork first. Then stir-fry with Hylocereus undatus. Last but not the least, pour a little soy sauce on it and season it with chili pepper. This is a special fishing village dish with good texture. When you visit Maoao Fishing Village, you may just as well order a Hylocereus undatus dish to savor the unique taste of the local fishing village which is located between mountains and the sea.
Fisheries and Fishing Port Affairs Management Office, New Taipei City Government indicated that New Taipei City possesses rich mountain and sea resources and produces diverse high-quality aquatic products including small scale black fish, gray rudderfish, Gongliao abalone, Wanli crabs, neritic squid, white bonito and various kinds of seafood. Additionally, fishing villages in New Taipei City provide many other special dishes. You are welcome to stop by Gongliao Fishing Village and enjoy the hidden delicacy of “wall-attaching lotuses” (please call first to ask if wall-attaching lotuses are served) when you travel to the northeast corner of Taiwan. The gorgeous coastal views of the northeast corner and special seafood at fishing villages will surely become unforgettable memories of yours!
[Maoao Restaurant] Address: No.15-2, Fuxing Street, Gongliao District, New Taipei City; Tel: 02-24992321
[Maoao Ocean Station] Address: No.1-1, Fuxing Street, Gongliao District, New Taipei City; Tel: 02-24991617