This is it! In two days we’re finishing our Asian part of the trip… And beside people, landscapes and amazing atmosphere we will miss… FOOD! The ones who know us a little bit might suspect that the food was one of the main reasons to hit the road 🙂 Indeed, it was one of them.
We love Asian food, we love chili, we love the aromas that make our nose happy, colours that make our eyes smile and flavours that sometime go as far as to kill our taste buds.
Asian cuisine is like an outdoor activity, that can be mild and pleasant like a Sunday morning stroll in the park, but also can be like a bungee jumping: exciting challenge that scares you, chili heat is like adrenaline. You hate it and you want it at the same time:-)
So we’re sad to leave this part of the world where even the breakfast can be chili spiced, mhhhmmmm….
There were plenty of dishes we loved, but we decided to choose 1 or in an exceptional case (and conflict between the jury 🙂 2 dishes per country. The top discovery, an “AHA” moment, the moment when we were surprised, fell in love and our palate as well. Here they are:
Eating is Malaysia’s number 1 national sport. Food stalls, hawkers are literally everywhere. This is our dreamland:-) And a wonderful thing about Malaysia is the mix of cultures: Malay, Chinese, Indian… & a mix of religions that also determine the eating habits. In Malaysia you’ll never get bored with the food, it’s so diverse!
Our pick : Laksa
There are different types, but the one that we think we loved the most is asam laksa: a sour, fish-based noodle soup with sliced vegetables (cucumber, onions, red chillies, pineapple, lettuce, mint…). A gift of Peranakan cuisine which is a mix of Malay and Chinese cuisine.
(Special thanks to baba, Chinese rich men from long time ago who were getting married to Malay women (nyonya) letting such miracles like laksa see the daylight)
If you’re a vegetarian or want to become one, this is the place for you. We are meat eaters and meat lovers, it sounds horrible and it looks even more horrible written black on white like this. But it’s true and must be admitted…
In Nepal we realized that we could be vegetarians, the veggie food here is amazing, full of tastes and makes you feel light. So far, the best veggie food we’ve ever tried. And what will be your big disappointment when, after this introduction, you will see that our choice of the top food in Nepal is dried and smoked buffalo meat… Sorry…:-(((( But you need to understand that getting a piece of beef in this country feels like getting a hard drug…. You must know “the person”, places, go to a dark, secret and smoky place in a village 3000m up in Himalaya and stay discreet:-)
Our pick : Sekwa – the dried/smoked buffalo meat. (and there are some tomatoes so let’s say it’s a bit veggie…)
Burmese cuisine is simple and generous. You will be surprised when your order your first meal for which you’ll pay 2 dollars and you’ll get… 10 different plates filled with food. Burma is the new Spain? Well, at least as far as the “tapas” culture is concerned, not the price…
One might say that burmese cuisine is nothing amazing… Yet this is where we ate the best meals ever during our stay in a tribal village at home of the boss of the village (yeah, we met the BIG GUYS). And again it was vegetarian food… It was very hard to agree which one was the best. So we decided to choose our biggest “AHA” moments 🙂 when you say “oh, I didn’t know that you can actually eat and it can be sooo delicious”.
Our pick : Tea leaves salad& Gourd fritter ex aequo!
- Tea leaves salad (Lahpet)
Made of fermented tea leaves, fresh tomatoes, garlic and green chilli, sometimes shredded cabbage, and is dressed with fish sauce, sesame or peanut oil, and lime..
- Gourd fritter (A kyaw)
Gourd (close to pumpkin) fried in a mix of rice and chickpea flower. Amazingly crunchy, light (for a fritter!) and simply beautiful thanks to the pearly surface of the gourd.
Cambodian cuisine is a bit milder, a bit more Frenchy as baguettes or frogs are widely available:-)
Cambodia is also the champion of delicious breakfasts with rice noodles, chili and lots of green stuff:-)
There’s lots of fish and seafood in the traditional cuisine. The most known dish of the country, Amok, didn’t convince us (sorry Devy), but probably we didn’t eat the right one…
Our pick : Crab in Pepper sauce
However a dish that we could die for again and again is the Crab in Kampot pepper. The pepper grown in Kampot region, Cambodia, is one of the best peppers in the world. And honestly now I know that a good pepper cannot be replaced by “any pepper”. And crabs that are available around Kampot are said to be the best ones in Cambodia. So a dish which is a mix of the two delicious things can be only awesome in its awesomeness…
We ate it every day during our stay at the seaside of Cambodia and were not fed up a second. These were the most silent of our dinners, the only sound being the munching and getting each and every bit of the crab and every drop of the sauce…