Taiwanese Night Market offers food and culture to Northwestern students

A line of students flowed out of Norris University Center’s Louis Room on Sunday night as community members gathered to enjoy food, games and decorations at the Taiwanese American Students Association’s annual Taiwanese Night Market.

The event celebrates Taiwanese culture by simulating the country’s popular night markets that offer street food to bustling crowds. TASA aims to provide a space for NU students to gather and experience the country’s culture.

Most of the food at the night market, which included red bean tang yuan soup, scallion pancakes, tea eggs and braised pork rice, was made by students. TASA also offered drinks like winter melon boba.

Medill sophomore Douglas Lee was excited to attend the event to eat traditional Taiwanese food he typically enjoys with his family. One of his friends was involved in making the food, he added.

“I know she’s a really excellent cook, so I was like, ‘I have to come, I can’t miss out on this opportunity,’” Lee said. “It’s comparable to back home — this is the best you’re going to get in Evanston.”

In addition to the food, TASA hosted student performance organizations like Refresh Dance Crew and the Treblemakers, NU’s East Asian-interest a capella group.

The club also provided a bingo board to attendees, which included action items like eating different foods, meeting volunteers, decorating lanterns and taking photos with the Taiwanese flag. Students who completed the bingo were entered into a raffle to win prizes like a month of free drinks from Happy Lemon in Evanston.

Weinberg freshman Amber Lueth made scallion pancakes in the communal Shepard Hall kitchen. The recipe is simple and easy to make, Lueth said.

“It’s a pretty traditional Taiwanese dish, offered at a lot of night markets all over Taiwan,” Lueth said. “(It has) a layered texture of the pancake instead of just being a flat, one-dimensional texture.”

Former TASA Social Chair and Weinberg senior Derek Wen said the club has been helpful for him in finding community at NU. The club hosts bonding events throughout the year like game nights and trips to Argyle, the Chicago neighborhood which has its own night market.

Wen said the club split up responsibilities for the event into cooking, transporting food and decorations and event logistics. He added that he was happy with the turnout of the night market.

“(The event) was kind of meant to be a way to introduce the general Northwestern community to different parts of Taiwanese culture,” Wen said.

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Twitter: @nicolejmarkus

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