“This we call funny fish,” my Taiwanese-American college buddy Rick’s father said as he plopped down a bowl of small fried dish interspersed with peanuts and dried hot peppers. “It’s good with beer.” At the time I was not nearly as adventurous an eater as I am now, but the Taiwanese fish fry was way better than any chips or pretzels. Salty, crunchy, spicy, and nutty, and very, very good with an ice cold Budweiser.
Years later I found myself snacking on it at Mingle Beer House an ill-fated Flushing beer bar. Mingle is no more but I’m glad that I can still find what I like to think of Taiwanese beer nuts at most any Chinese supermarket. Best of all there are variations some with a bit of sweetness in addition to the spice. For those who’d like to try to making this crave-inducing snack at home there’s a pretty easy-looking recipe over at Eating China.