Curry takes a new flavor with a truly localized food culture fusion

A restaurant in Yunlin County has introduced a new dish by fusing a distinctive local street food – whole, unskinned, deep fried frog – with Japanese-style curry rice.

Curry is believed to have made its way from India to Japan via British naval officers as early as the 1860s, and had become a staple part of the Japanese diet by the 1870s. Like many food imports since Japan opened its doors to the outside world, the Japanese not merely adopted, but adapted the dish and made it truly their own.

The 50 years that Japan ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945 also left a distinctive mark on Taiwanese culture, including Taiwanese cuisine. Today, Japanese restaurants of various styles are just as ubiquitous as those from various regions of China introduced after 1945. Every neighborhood has a variety of ramen, shabu-shabu, sushi, tonkatsu, teppanyaki, and Japanese curry restaurants. Convenience stores serve oden and other popular Japanese snacks, while no Taiwanese night market would be complete without a takoyaki stand.

Kanazawa Curry is a traditional Japanese dish made of a thick, dark-colored curry sauce served over rice, served with shredded cabbage, a boiled egg, and usually accompanied a meat such as pork, beef, fried chicken, or fish.

However, a restaurant in Beigang Township, Yunlin County as introduced an eye-catching new variation with whole deep fried frog as the meat.

After posting pictures of the dish to social media, it immediately drew attention, and in the most part, praise, for creating a distinctively local version of the traditional Japanese adaptation, of an original Indian invention. “It’s very ‘Beigang,’ you can only get this in Beigang,” read one comment.

Of course, if one is not game enough to eat the “paddy chicken” as it frog is known in Taiwan, the store also serves the more traditional pork, chicken, and fish dishes.

Restaurant: 博愛壱壱円. 110 Bo’ai Road Beigang Township, Yunlin County.

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