Taiwan meat is "leftover parts"

Is it just me, or over time, many Taiwanese food places just seem like lazy cuts of mostly fat, ligaments and bone? As if they just… Tossed out the rest that the rest of the world considers the main parts?

It’s almost like a conspiracies of Taiwan LaoBan to save money by serving low quality leftover pieces shipped over from an American restaurant :joy:

Then what’s up with the prawns having the head and everything? What’s even the point of putting it in a soup if we have to get smoldered brains and third degree burns to access a single bite?

Then the chicken is always cutting through these super sharp bones, where even chicken “jiding” that shouldn’t have bones always end up having some jawbreaker in there. What the heck??

In a dish of Kong Rou, I’ll get like 4 good bites then the rest is just fat leftovers.


Eat at better places, pay more money, hopefully get better food.



However, it is true that Chinese cooking prefers more fatty and tendon-y cuts of meat than in the west6


I mean, you say that, but… My wife’s dad is watching some restaurant featured as I speak that’s expensive and considered high class. Same thing, with those camera zooms to the jiggly fatty parts and gross lazy cuts of meat.

Where do the prime parts go?!

Its cultural isn’t it?

You get about 2x the amount of meat for breast than you do if you buy leg in the supermarket here. Why? cus people don’t really like those dry fatless bits of meat.

I’m half converted anyway. Before i wouldn’t eat any fat. Now i got no problem with it, and organ meat like heart, stomach, liver, Its all good.

The only thing i have no interest in is poultry thats still stuck on the bone. Can’t be arsed with it. Chicken, goose, whatever just give it to me bone less or i’d rather not even bother… unless its ji pai. Pretty easy to avoid the bone on that.

About the sharp bone shards…

Ive asked this many times to Taiwanese family and friends. The answers they give are all the same:

  1. Meat on the bone has more flavor.
  2. Its just how they are used to butchering a chicken.
  3. It doesnt bother them because they learn the skill of deboning the meat in their mouth.

Just avoid eating the bones.

It doesn’t seem that tricky to me. But, I could be wrong.

1 Like

It has actually improved quite a lot! Believe it or not. The FDA and just regular customer demand has upgraded our foods leaps and bounds! Still some bad actors, but it was quite normal even just last decade to get expired, waste products in one’s meal. Even international big players like McDonald’s have been caught on oils and such in recent history. The FDA now is really over reacting, which sucks but is absolutely expected given the greed here.

1 Like

For those that keep calling chicken breast dry, this is a Taiwanese copy+paste answer that their grandparents tell them and seem to pass on.

You need to tenderize it (smash it a bit with a hammer), then don’t overcook it, and never cook it in water. Tenderize, bake, don’t overcook, then behood the glory.

Edit: also don’t cut too thick, I often see grandma’s cube it and toss it in water (ugh; then it is dry and gross because it’s prepared+cooked dry and gross).

Try an an example at GBA and be stunned.

I remember back in America, they’d call “gray” meat poor man’s chicken. It’s really interesting how it’s swapped here.


It takes a modicum of culinary adroitness to cook chicken breast. For a cook who can barely fry an egg, this is orders of magnitude beyond. If you want to eat well and cheap in Taiwan, totally possible at home.


I prefer when they cut it because chopsticks are not good.

Da fuq? This is completely normal throughout Asia and in fact many chefs believe all the taste is in the head. Just how long have you lived or traveled in this area of the world?


Their chickens here are also a lot skinnier as they don’t pump them with as many hormones or force feed them as much. But yeah, the shards are annoying and potentially dangerous. I had goose tonight and it was an interesting challenge, I’ll just put it that way.

1 Like

It’s pretty much just you and a few other (mainly North American) foreigners. This one is up there with moaning about how Taiwanese insist on using Sinitic characters to read and write or that funeral processions are noisy.

If you don’t like the fat in kongrou (which is the whole point), try ordering tipang ( 踢膀).

I can’t help you with chicken. Taiwanese like meat lovers in most countries around the world want meat on the bone.

You could try to order goose more often. That usually served with many slices that do not have bones. Your fellow diners will be happy because you will leave the good parts for them.

Prawns have the heads on because the juice in the head is delicious.

Soup is hot because that is the way most people like it.

Cook at home if you have different tastes. Taiwan has more than enough Costcos with and endless supply of tasteless chicken breasts for ‘baking’ and whatever else you want to do with them.

This is like being a Chinese person in Europe complaining about the ubiquity of dairy products and bread.


Shaoxing chicken (although not cheap) is for me a delicacy, again typically with no bones.


Or proper Hainan chicken, no bones. But still skin on it, many don’t like that.


There are plenty of pork chop dishes in Taiwan that has no bones. Also, since traditionally people don’t eat with knifes, a lot of the times the best part of the pork is sliced or julienned to make it easier to be consumed with chopsticks. Pork in Taiwan tastes better than the US also seems a pretty common view.

1 Like

Well, not that difficult given all the chemicals they deed the swines with there.

1 Like

Oh really, and what chemicals do the pigs get fed here that’s banned in the US?

I’m much more worried about the weeks old leftover food waste that some farmers feed their pigs.

Do the pigs care? They eat anything, even the pig farmer if they get the chance! They are smart enough to know they’re destined to be turned into bacon so if a pig farmer fell in they will eat him.