Sunday, April 01, 2012

A culinary tour

I've spent the last three weeks traveling around the country. 39 health facilities in 14 working days! Plus a lot of time sitting in the car, and a lot of time eating. The best way to experience a country's cuisine? Go with a local:

Mekong river algae, done two different ways, and the ubiquitous sticky rice. After dark in Pongxay.

The best Pho I've ever eaten, with the usual pile of lettuce, mint, basil, chives, lemon & beans. On the road back from Botene.

Self explanatory. Xayabuli ferry crossing.

Sour chicken soup & wild ginger flowers. Cooked by health centre staff, Phosaykhun.

Do you eat river pork?
Oh. You mean liver. And lung and uterus.

At 8 am.

The liver & lung are fine. The uterus... perhaps at a meal other than breakfast?

Chose not to partake this time.

Mini coconut-like fruit - be careful to catch the milk inside while biting into it. Xayphoutong.

Other memborable moments include:
Smoked buffalo meat
The live catfish given to us by another health centre, that jumped and dripped, trying to eat through its plastic bag gaol all the way home in the car.
Green papaya salad
The densest dark chocolate mousse I've ever eaten
Baguette sandwiches, done Lao style with sweet chilli sauce & coriander
Early-season specialty rice
Car food (apart from the corn): coconut wafers, oranges and sticky fresh tamarind pods
Korean sukiyaki-style BBQ
Black sticky rice and bean cakes, wrapped in banana leaves
Fried chicken & kebab-style grasshoppers - accidentally ended up chewing on the flattened chicken head
Fresh Lao coffee with condensed milk
Green snake bean salads
Hard boiled duck eggs, complete with embryos - the only other thing I've declined.

And of course:
Ant egg soup.


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