For those of us foreigners who live in Taiwan, getting accustomed to local diets is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of life here. One gentleman, who was Muslim and couldn’t eat meat, really had a tough time when he first came here because Taiwanese food is largely prepared with pork, bacon or pig lard and is certainly not considered ritually clean.

Other challenges include not eating enough fiber (most sources of fiber in the UK/US such as breads, pastas, and brown rices usually include a lot of fiber) but in Taiwan it’s difficult to find brown bread, never mind wholemeal. And rice is almost universally white.

So, after a while, foreign residents do tend to consider the benefits of colon cleansing because of dietary discomfort. However, vegetables and fruits are plentiful, affordable, and increasingly varied. So it’s always possible to find ways to cook the vegetables yourself, or at least source a wider variety of vegetables than you might otherwise do.

Trips to the supermarkets here do tend to be exercises in frustration if you are looking for decent vegetables: most supermarket vegetables are lower quality as the locals don’t buy veggies there; canned vegetables are a serious faux-pas; and frozen vegetables are well (to put it bluntly) tasteless.

So, head to the local traditional market for your vegetables; and you will find lots of things; but nothing is in ready to serve packs. You will need to do more preparation work.