lunch box/bian dang

Ah, lunch box. THE most common lunch in Taiwan. Basically, it’s a huge buffet, often out in the open – it costs a lot to AC a restaurant for just a couple of hours, so most of these places don’t. They put out big plates of food from 11 to 2 or so and let people go at it, weighing their plates at the end. Depending on how much you take, it can range from $1US to $3US (the big end is a pretty full plate). Throw in the fact that most places have free iced tea and a bowl of rice is only twenty cents more and you can see why so many head to a lunch box every day.

We often visit a Buddhist, vegetarian lunch box around the corner from our school that does terrific things with tofu and has wonderful vegetables. Can’t get healthier than that – I think I get my fill of the fruits and veggies group for the day in one meal that way. The picture, however, is one of my favourite meals (from the purple, going clockwise): fried eggplant, sweet and sour tofu, tomato eggs, kung pao chicken, and broccoli. Comfort food.

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