Best-of Guides Taiwan

Restaurants For Rice-based Dishes In Taipei And Taichung

15 Restaurants
Rice is a staple on the Taiwanese table, and the delicious gamut of rice-based dishes are must-tries when visiting Taiwan. From fried rice, rice cakes and rice noodles, to glutinous rice balls and ba wan meatballs, here are the establishments recommended by the MICHELIN Guide to try them all.
Updated on 18 September 2023

Rice is an integral part of Taiwanese food culture. In addition to the more than 30 varieties of rice that are eaten, rice is also processed into all sorts of food products such as wa kuih (steamed rice bowl cake), rice pudding, rice noodles, glutinous rice cakes, and glutinous rice dumplings. The variations are endless, and they are a heartwarming taste of tradition that the Taiwanese cannot do without. Here, take a journey with our MICHELIN Guide inspectors as they experience the flavor of Taiwan’s rich rice culture and the dishes offered by the establishments listed in the MICHELIN Guide Taipei & Taichung.

Fried Rice


This humble dish may be ubiquitous, but its execution is an indication of any chef’s culinary skills. A good Taiwanese fried rice is judged on several aspects, each as important as the other: the selection of rice, the chef’s quick wok-frying skills, and the attention to char and caramelization.


Fujin Tree Taiwanese Cuisine & Champagne (Songshan)
17, Lane 199, Dunhua North Road, Songshan District, Taipei
$$ · Taiwanese

Mullet Roe Fried Rice

This one-MICHELIN-starred restaurant spares no effort in its dish of bottarga fried rice featuring orange mullet roe with fragrant smoky aromas, paired with pearlescent rice evenly coated with egg, seasoned and fried to perfection.

Mountain and Sea House
94, Section 2, Ren'ai Road, Zhongzheng District, 100 Taipei
$$$ · Taiwanese

Mullet Roe Fried Rice

Unlike what’s available at the market, the mullet roe at Mountain and Sea House is first soaked in Shaoxing wine, sliced ​​and ground into powder, and then fried to release its aromas. It is fried with long-grained indica rice and garnished with another generous sprinkle of mullet roe powder to serve for extra fragrance.

Golden Formosa
101 Tianmu East Road, Shilin District, 111 Taipei
$$ · Taiwanese

Abalone Hokkien Fried Rice

Golden Formosa’s luxurious take on mullet roe fried rice features rice topped with abalone, scallops, sea cucumber and shrimp, served in a simmering hot broth rich in seafood flavors.

Ming Fu
18-1, Lane 137, Section 2, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, 104 Taipei
$$$ · Taiwanese

Mullet Roe Fried Rice

Ming Fu's mullet roe fried rice is a paragon. The rice is perfectly browned with soy sauce and carries an eggy fragrance. Nicely separated, each grain of rice is distinct and mixed with minced green onion, onion and diced mullet roe, full of umami and smoky wok’s breath.

Sinchao Rice Shoppe
2F, Breeze Xin Yi, 68, Section 5, Zhongxiao East Road, Xinyi District, 110 Taipei
$$ · Taiwanese

The menu here is built around Taiwanese fried rice, with a contemporary twist that makes it more attractive to a younger generation. “New fried rice” is the specialty here. Try the fried rice with grilled dried scallops and mullet roe — the bright pink rice is dyed naturally with dragon fruit juice.

Rice Cakes


Styles of savory rice cakes differ from region to region in Taiwan. In the North, rice cakes are fried with dried shrimps, shredded pork, mushrooms, and shallots for an aromatic dish similar to Chinese sticky rice. In Central Taiwan, tube rice pudding is made by steaming raw rice with various ingredients in a cylinder then serving it with sweet and spicy sauce or Haishan sweet chili bean sauce. Down South, steamed glutinous rice is loosely served in a bowl with pickles, meat floss, and braised mince. Finally, steamed crab on glutinous rice, or hong xun mi gao, is a dish you will commonly see in high-end restaurants and on wedding banquet tables; the rich roe of the mud crab signifying fertility and the abundance of offspring.

Fujin Tree Taiwanese Cuisine & Champagne (Songshan)
17, Lane 199, Dunhua North Road, Songshan District, Taipei
$$ · Taiwanese

Steamed Crab Glutinous Rice

The hong xun mi gao here features long-grain glutinous rice cooked with dried shrimp and shiitake mushrooms. The round rice cakes are carefully plated on the side for ease of service during banquets. This dish is available all year round, but orders must be made three days in advance.

Moon Pavilion
2F, Miyahara, 20 Zhongshan Road, Central District, Taichung
$$ · Taiwanese

Steamed Crab Glutinous Rice

Steamed crab glutinous rice is a seasonal specialty here in autumn and winter. Rounds of glutinous rice cake and seasonal crab are placed in bamboo steamers and cooked so that the rice cakes carry a faint bamboo fragrance.

Da-Qiao-Tou Tube Rice Pudding
41, Section 3, Yanping North Road, Datong District, Taipei
$ · Small eats

The traditional steamed sticky rice here is made according to a 50-year-old time-honored recipe. The small, soft and delicious rice cakes are made from carefully selected short-grain glutinous rice aged for a year. The rice is soaked, steamed, and then mixed with other ingredients such as fried shallots and garlic. The rice pudding is best enjoyed with a spicy radish sauce made with bird’s eye chili.

Rice Noodles


Taiwanese rice noodles are made from local rice and can be categorized into two types: thin and thick rice noodles. Thin rice noodles can be cooked in soup dishes or stir-fried in a dry style, while coarse rice noodles are more often served in soup. Noodle soup dishes are usually made from fish stock boiled with mackerel, mullet, or pomfret, the last a popular choice for banquets as the Chinese name for white pomfret is an auspicious homonym signifying wealth and prosperity.

Fujin Tree Taiwanese Cuisine & Champagne (Songshan)
17, Lane 199, Dunhua North Road, Songshan District, Taipei
$$ · Taiwanese

Pomfret Rice Noodles

The preparation of this classic Taiwanese dish is a complicated process: the pomfret is first slowly fried on gentle heat, then sautéed shallots, garlic sprouts, fried taro, clams, and southern Taiwanese rice noodles are added to the pot and simmered together. Seasoned with pepper and shallots, the broth is rich with the flavor of seafood and smooth taro.

Golden Formosa
101 Tianmu East Road, Shilin District, 111 Taipei
$$ · Taiwanese

Claypot Mackerel Rice Noodles

This dish features a pot chock full of squid, taro, garlic sprouts, thin rice noodles, and mounds of fluffy fried egg floss simmered with fried mackerel slices. After simmering, the rice noodles absorb the rich umami of the stock, as well as the eggy goodness and fragrant taro aroma — a generous portion perfect for sharing.


Mipon
3F, Grand Mayfull Hotel, 55 Lequn 2nd Road, Zhongshan District, 10462 Taipei
$$$ · Taiwanese

Stir-fried Pumpkin Rice Noodles

Shredded cabbage and pumpkin are added to rice noodles and chicken stock and then simmered. Veering away from the dry traditional style of fried vermicelli, Mipon’s rendition is presented slightly moist, which shines the spotlight on the natural texture and sweetness of the rice noodles and pumpkin, highlighted by its appetizing golden hue.

Shan Shin
21 Cunzhong Street, West District, 403 Taichung
$$ · Taiwanese

Taro Seafood Rice Noodles

The rice noodles here are boiled in chicken bone broth with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimps, and fried local taro from the Dajia district, resulting in silky rice noodles that have fully absorbed the savory flavors of the soup stock.

Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine
34-1 Shuangcheng Street, Zhongshan District, 104 Taipei
$$ · Taiwanese

Taiwanese Fried Rice Noodles

Thin rice noodles from Hsinchu City are fried with shredded pork, eggs, sliced green onions, and shredded carrots for a moreish dry noodle dish.

Tangyuan (Glutinous Rice Balls)


Tangyuan, or glutinous rice balls, are traditionally eaten during the winter solstice to symbolize reunion, wholeness, and longevity. There are many kinds of glutinous rice balls, ranging from the traditional red and white sweet glutinous rice balls, to those stuffed with sweet or savoury fillings such as Hakka-style salty tangyuan and meat-filled glutinous rice balls in soup.

Shih Chia Big Rice Ball
58, Section 3, Yanping North Road, Datong District, Taipei
$ · Small eats

Now run by its second generation owners, the Hakka-style rice balls are made with glutinous rice harvested in winter and filled with juicy minced pork. Served in a traditional Hakka bone broth with winter vegetables, the dish evokes a taste of warmth and comfort.

Ba Wan (Taiwanese Meatballs)


Originating in Changhua in West Central Taiwan, these meat-filled dumplings have a translucent, chewy skin made of sweet potato powder mixed with rice milk and potato starch or tapioca flour. The recipe for the meat filling varies from place to place, and cooking methods range from frying to steaming, with several ways of enjoying the meatballs.

Taichung Meatball
529, Section 3, Fuxing Road, South District, 402 Taichung
$ · Small eats

The ba wan at this 80-year-old stalwart are prepared with rice flour and sweet potato flour and filled with a mixture of pork trotters, five spice, and shallots. The dumplings are deep-fried at a low temperature and served with sweet sauce and dark soya sauce.


This article was written by MICHELIN Guide Taipei & Taichung and translated by Rachel Tan. The original article can be viewed here.