About the food of Palau

Jellyfish Lake. Photo by Anaxibia.

Let’s sink into the sea. Let’s swim with the jelly fish. Snorkel with me to Palau. From deep below her waters (where divers will find barrier reefs and wrecks from World War II), to the top of her lush forests, this island nation is a dream.

Aerial view of uplifted limestone islands, so called "Rock Islands" in Palau. Photo by Dr. James P. McVey, NOAA Sea Grant Program.

From overhead she looks less like an island, and more like mossy bumps of land popping up from the ocean. A closer look reveals bridges snaking across these bumps and puffs of island, as well as stones carved out by the sea that, ironically, look like bridges themselves. Trees also overhang the turquoise waters – shading places with names like “Jellyfish lake.”

One of the many Rock Islands, Palau Islands, Micronesia. Photo by Clark Anderson/Aquaimages.

The food is typical of the Pacific islands- you’ll find taro, pandan, and pumpkin. But there’s also an incredible love for Japanese food (especially sushi and sashimi).

American food is everywhere. Barbecue sauce [Recipe] makes it’s way on everything from grilled chicken to mussels [Recipe].

To get a better picture, read these words from Emma Krasov of Art and Entertain Me, who traveled there:

Palau absorbed culinary influences of Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the USA, creating a fusion cuisine of rice and sea food, barbequed chicken and pork, root vegetables, fresh fruit, and spices.
Out of 21 species of spiny, seedy, and sweet-fleshy tropical fruit growing here, I can now easily identify jackfruit, breadfruit, starfruit, dragon fruit, passion fruit, mangosteen, rambutan, and soursop.
I can also brag about having a full serving of stinky tofu (thankfully, the serving was rather small) that smelled like garbage during garbage collectors’ strike, and looked and tasted like fresh asphalt – not that I ever tasted the latter.

Crabs can be purchased right off the boat and prepared to order one door over. Perhaps in a crab salad? Or maybe in a hot pot?

You can also find wonderful Indian food, where even tandoori fish gets an island spin (on the grill)  [Recipe].

For a small place of 21,000 people, there’s more than enough food to sample (if you have time between diving, relaxing on the beach, and sitting in wonder at the beauty of it all).

Maps and flag courtesy of CIA World Factbook.


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