November 12, 2007

Tuna Waffles: A Taiwanese Delicacy?

waffles
Taken by tychenyt

I'm going to post this as the Photo of the Day on Serious Eats this afternoon, but this photo triggered a memory so clear, so significant, so full of tuna that I had to blog my thoughts here (as opposed to filling up Serious Eats with my nostalgic nonsense).

So. Tuna waffle. Is this something you only find in Taiwan? Other parts of Asia? I used to eat it every now and then from a restaurant next to my apartment on Dun Hua South Road, Section 2, called The Dollhouse or something along those lines. (It was a restaurant that also sold shitloads of dolls; don't ask me. It was kind of charming and odd at the same time to have all those beady eyes staring at you while you were digesting.) The waffle was freakin' delicious. Didn't exactly resemble the one pictured here—my version was unsliced and topped with a large even plop of smooth tuna salad without the extra salad or mayonnaise on the side—but it's the same possibly strange concept of waffle + tuna salad.

Am I alone in my tuna salad waffle reverie? I still remember cleaning off my plate (and this was when I was 12; my appetite doesn't seem to have changed in the past 10 years) and waddling out of the restaurant afterwards.

Also, if anyone has an opinion about New England Clam Chowder and has an SE account, comment on my Talk topic. So far the NECC proponents are winning. Woohoo!

I'm sorry about the lack of entries lately, but hope to have a new NYC-centric entry soon! Unfortunately I slacked off this weekend and did more TV show watching, music downloading and photo optimization than blogging. Soon, it will come.

Posted by roboppy at 4:46 PM

Tags: Serious Eats, Taipei, Taiwan, waffles

Comments

That's just-- wierd.

Then again, I grew up eating fried chicken on top of waffles, covered in syrup. Mmmm. Chicken and waffles....

Which of course is completely different than the fishywaffles I get at No Fish! Go Fish! Fishywaffles with cheese and ham are yummy yummy... and not covered in powdered sugar like that picture, I promise.

Posted by: Mary Sue at November 12, 2007 5:06 PM [#]

No way dude, this one is completely new for me!
Shit, now I have a waffle craving. Never did satisfy the OKI food craving, or the pie one that came along today...
...add it to the list (of cravings to kill)!

Posted by: Kathy at November 12, 2007 5:16 PM [#]

i've never had the tuna waffle. but it doesn't surprise me bc asians love anything mayo-based. they always had tuna salad as an option for crepe toppings at the night markets.

i used to live by the dollhouse. i walked by it this summer and i'm pretty sure that they shut down (as well as the stationary store next to it).

Posted by: irene at November 12, 2007 7:50 PM [#]

don't know about tuna *waffles*, but i do remember eating an inordinate amount of tuna mayo stuff stuffed in croissants - sacrilege, i know. it's all about the sweet+savoury combo.

Posted by: serena at November 12, 2007 8:02 PM [#]

I think we should have stuffed waffles like that. Kinda like how they have stuffed French toast.

Wow, tuna waffle? I'd eat that. I'd so eat that...

Posted by: Loretta at November 12, 2007 9:09 PM [#]

Oooh, tuna crepes.....

A large sweet crepe, wrapped around tuna salad, I used to love those when I was 12! They were huge, even I couldn't finish one alone.

Only found them in Hong Kong though.

Posted by: Sui Mai at November 12, 2007 10:44 PM [#]

I guess it's no stranger than fried chicken and waffles. But I'm curious: How *does* tuna salad taste with maple syrup?

Ugh. I just grossed myself out!

Posted by: Brenda at November 12, 2007 10:46 PM [#]

i've had those at a taiwanese teahouse type thing here in vancouver. actually, i was just craving for one last night. hmmm.

Posted by: jodie at November 13, 2007 1:01 AM [#]

I want to hate it with all my soul, but I can't - It looks so good.

Although, I knwo you described it as such, but I never like to imagine my tuna as "creamy". *Shudder*

Posted by: Graeme at November 13, 2007 7:40 AM [#]

Mary Sue: I have yet to try the chicken and waffles combo, but yeah, I'd say the tuna thing is not a whole lot stranger? ;D

Kathy: Maybe we can make it sometime. BWAHAHA!

Irene: I DO LOVES ME SOME MAYO!

Well, depending on what the dish is. That Chinese dish with the mountain of mayo and lobster/shrimp/something always confused me.

Aw, closed!...damn. I used to go to that stationery store ALLLLL the time for my school supplies and anything else really (I lived in the building next door). I haven't been back in 8-9 years though so I'm not surprised. :(

Serena: Hm, haven't had tuna salad in a croissant! I like to eat croissants on their own, but I know they're made into sammiches and stuff. I'm sure it tastes good!

Loretta: Oo what about...tuna-stuffed French toast?

...okay maybe not. Hm.

Sui Mai: Ahh, I'm not a big fan of crepes. They're ...thin! They're okay sometimes with a slathering of nutella, but tuna salad? Hm. I'd try it at least once.

Brenda: Oh, I don't think you're supposed to put maple syrup on top. At least, I wouldn't do it. -__-

Jodie: I'll have to keep my eyes open for tea houses here.

Graeme: As Irene said, WE LOVE MAYO BASED THINGS!! Mmmm.

Posted by: roboppy at November 13, 2007 8:17 AM [#]

Not sure about other parts of Asia but we definitely did not have this in the mainland.

Posted by: mik at November 13, 2007 9:18 AM [#]

wha? i have never seen *anything* like that before. kinda curious though... isn't it just like tuna sandwich with crunchy bread?

Posted by: danny at November 13, 2007 10:15 AM [#]

GROSS!!

I don't even want to see you posting this sort of stuff from now on. YA HEARD???

Tuna salad is henceforth banned from roboppy.net/food

Personally, I don't allow people to eat the stuff within 100 meters of me.

Posted by: Doug at November 13, 2007 10:46 AM [#]

Not weird at all and certainly not limited to Taiwan. When I was living in Norwich, England there was a restaurant called The Waffle House (not to be confused with the American chain of the same name). http://www.wafflehouse.co.uk/ They have all kinds of savory waffles - my favorite was the garlic mushrooms that were cooked with lots of butter and herbs. Absolutely amazing. If you look at the menu they have everything from ham and cheese to hummus and avocado to tuna salad and even Bolognese sauce.

Posted by: The Home Cook at November 13, 2007 12:21 PM [#]

Oh, I had this bread from a department store bakery in Shinjuku station...it's the small one, I guess...Odakyu, I believe. It was a tuna and potato bread that was really yummy. I had to get it more than once coz it was really yummy...ahhh...I miss Japan....

Posted by: yuizaki at November 13, 2007 12:47 PM [#]

Wow, thanks for bringing back all these childhood memories. I remember seeing the tuna salad waffles as a kid in Hong Kong, especially at Japanese cafes, though I don't think I've eaten them since I'm not a big fan of tuna salad and things w/ mayo. They sometimes have tuna salad as a filling in Japanese crepes as well. Oh, and is that macaroni salad that I see sneaking behind the cucumbers? Mmm, maybe I should check if these still exist! :D

Posted by: dreamsicle at November 13, 2007 3:15 PM [#]

Hi there, first time posting here, just wanted to say that the sweet/salty combo reminds me of tuna sandwiches that are often made with "baguette viennoise" in France (brioche-like type of bread, therefore on the sweet side; but not crunchy). They spread mayonnaise on the bread, then add tuna, tomatoes, salad and corn. So you get the mayonnaise without the creamy tuna feel. Don't know if this was of any interest to anyone. I like reading your blog, it always puts a smile on my face!

Posted by: Frenchie at November 13, 2007 4:27 PM [#]

Haven't seen that one before but after my year+ in Taiwan it doesn't surprise me. Actually doesn't sound bad - crisp warm bread with creamy tuna topping. Hmmm...doesn't even sound hard to make. Wonder what my husband would say...(!)

Dun Hua South road, huh? You know there's an IKEA around there now? We were on FuXing South, near Da-An Park. Good place. :-)

Posted by: Emily at November 13, 2007 4:28 PM [#]

Mik: So far it seems to be a Japan/HK/Taiwan thing..hm..

Danny: I guess it's like an open faced tuna sandwich with a waffle. Kind of different!

Doug: FINE DOUG, HAVE IT YOUR WAY

BOOO

The Home Cook: Sweet, it's in the UK too! Bolognese sauce though? ...Okay.

I could order this at my local waffle/pancake house, but would have to order a plain waffle and a side of tuna salad. Or I could ask them to combine them, but that might be weird.

Yuizaki: Is that like those tuna bun things you can get at Japanese bakeries here? Or bread with tuna..embedded in it? once I had a tuna wasabi bun from Cafe Zaiya and it was like, whoa, so much tuna. It was good. But. Overloaded with tuna.

Dreamsicle: Oh god, I couldn't tell if that was macaroni or A PILE OF MAYO. It could be either. But maybe it's just really creamy macaroni salad...that would be less freaky.

Frenchie: HELLO FRENCH PERSON!! Thank you for de-lurking!

I've seen those sammiches...hell, maybe I ate one! But I prefer baguettes, not viennoise. The first/only time I had it was cos I was hungry and didn't know what else to get. ;) It wasn't bad though.

Emily: If I had a waffle iron I'd like to make this! But I don't need a waffle iron. (sniff)

IKEA? What the...there was space for an IKEA? I missed out a lot in the past 8 years. Taipei 101 didn't exist back then and that whole area around Warner Village was mostly empty! Argh, I really want to go back and see how things have changed.

Posted by: roboppy at November 13, 2007 5:53 PM [#]

Hi Robyn!

I can't remember if I've ever actually commented before, but I know I've been reading you for a while, sooo .. hi!

I dunno, I think this looks kind of delicious .. as long as there's no syrup, why not?? It's like tuna salad on toast -- which I love.

Also, I can completely sympathize with you on the creepy-doll-heads-while-eating: while I've never been to the place you're referring to (having never been to Taiwan), there's a restaurant a couple of blocks from my school that looks like someone from Playskool decided to decorate a restaurant while on some serious 'shrooms. It's totally creepy and disconcerting the first time you go .. but they also have amazing, comfy, diner-style food. It's also a great place to freak out out-of-towners with! =)

Posted by: Kathryn at November 13, 2007 7:30 PM [#]

Maybe tuna-stuffed French toast would work if we made the custard more savory than sweet?

Posted by: Loretta at November 13, 2007 10:49 PM [#]

I remember eating eggos with mayo in Hong Kong as a kid. That was in the late 70's, early 80's. I think canned tuna was available in HK in those days.

Posted by: Amy at November 13, 2007 11:20 PM [#]

This is why I WISH I could have taken pictures of it before I devoured it. :D

I'm pretty sure it looked like a real bread loaf and inside was just the right amount of tuna and potato filling. Not too overstuffed, but not understuffed where the bread overwhelmed it. It was just right!

It was my favorite thing there besides the squash thing...which just had slices of it on top of a tasty carb-filled ...thing. See, this one looked more like a tart with slices of squash on top.

I know!! But it's hard for me to describe in words... I can picture it in my mind but not type it out correctly.

Both of them were so good. Just so...good... I need to go back lol. This time with enough self control to take pictures before I eat them...

Also in Kyoto, there was a bakery called Kyoya. and they had baguettes - one with light butter and an azuka bean spread and the other with light butter and some dark yellowish spread. Both were extremely tasty and good...

Honestly...I have to go back...

Posted by: Yuizaki at November 14, 2007 10:57 AM [#]

Must be an Asian thing from all these posts. We have tuna waffles in my country (Philippines), though the kind I'm most familiar with is a sort of waffle dog on a stick with tuna salad stuffed in it. :)

It's quite good.

Posted by: Daisy at November 14, 2007 11:36 AM [#]

Kathryn: When you can't remember, that usually means that you haven't. ;D HI!!

The restaurant near your school sounds way creepier than the one I was talking about. I kinda wanna see a photo of it now...SO CURIOUS!!!

Loretta: Yeah, just...egg-ed toast.

INVENT IT!!

Amy: Eggos like eggo waffles? With mayo?!

...Interesting...

Yuizaki: That loaf of bread sounds like an enclosed sandwich. Or something. Sounds good!

And that red bean baguette sounds awesome too.

OH GOD I WANT TO GO JAPAN! With a bakery guide by my side!

Daisy: Wait what? Tuna-stuffed waffle dog on a stick? I need a photo of that!

Posted by: roboppy at November 14, 2007 4:53 PM [#]

Robyn you MUST have Chicken and Waffles. If you ever go to LA and I am there I will take you to Roscoe's and you will have a taste sensation the likes of which you would not believe. I mean conceptually its not that hard to appreciate (fried chicken=DELICIOUS , waffles= DELICIOUS, both together=DELICIOUS) but its more wonderful than you can imagine.

Posted by: chasgoose at November 14, 2007 9:10 PM [#]

Hey! oh my goodness I love tuna waffles and tuna-stuffed crepes! I remember growing up with them. When I went back to Taipei this summer I easily found them at almost all the cafes. But I usually make them at home for breakfast or even quick snacks; they are like a variation of tuna sandwiches :P

And I think it's got to be either a Taiwanese thing if not an Asian thing as none of my Caucasian friends even heard of them. Then again I'm not surprised because when it comes to food literally ANY combination is possible in Taiwan it is amazing!

Posted by: tintin at December 2, 2007 7:21 PM [#]

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