We’ve been looking forward to eating our way through Southeast Asia since the we first began planning our trip. The food is fresh, cheap, delicious and everywhere. If you are hungry… well you don’t really have much chance to actually get hungry because you are tripping over sidewalk cafes and street vendors at every turn.
We’re not even sure how to organize all this. Most of it’s street food, there’s noodles everywhere and it’s all incredible. Let’s start with noodles, then.
STIR FRIED NOODLES, RICE and CURRIES
Various noodle soups. Point to the type of meat and the type of noodles you want and they throw it in a small basket and dip it briefly into a large vat of boiling broth. Then they pull it out, ladle on the broth, top it with cilantro, green onion and fresh herbs, and it’s up to you to doctor it up with lime and chilis.
STUFF YOU DRINK WITH STRAWS
Khao soi gets its own category because Tony attempted to eat it for every meal. It’s egg noodles and meat (usually pork or chicken) in yellow curry sauce, topped with crispy noodles, pickled greens, green onions, shallots, herbs, lime juice, and as much chili paste as you can handle.
Even yummier Burmese food (tea leaf salad, Hinlay curry, vegetable soup, steamed cabbage) cooked for us by Kevin’s friend Hong Sar. As we ate, Hong Sar described the events he saw and experienced in Burma as a child before his family escaped to Thailand.
There’s probably a lot more Chinese influence in the food in Thailand than we realize (we’re looking at you, steam buns), but we had an official Chinese food night at Kevin’s house when another Couchsurfer, Carrie, cooked us her favorite dishes. We had stir fried morning glory greens, spicy tofu, and a potato and pork soup.
In Thailand, salads aren’t some leafy green thing. It’s a salad in the folksy casserole sense of the word. A big jumble of lots of delicious ingredients, and can be served hot or cold. The lady above is making some som tam.
FOOD CARTS and ROADSIDE STANDS
Miangkam. As soon as your teeth break through the slightly bitter chaploo leaf wrap, the sticky mixture of sugar, coconut, peanut, ginger, shallots, dried shrimp, chilis and lime inside explodes in your mouth. Whoever invented these is a genius.