Monday Meal Review: Laos

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THE SCENE: Getting it right "Sometimes when I eat Asian food I get sad," Keith says. He's leaning on the counter. This is new. Keith is not one for drama.  I look at him, searching his face, wondering what past trauma has chosen to bubble up. I am bewildered. "Why?" "Because it reminds me of how long I waited to try it." He stares at the cabinets, seeming to look through them. "Most of my life," he quietly adds. I pause, staring at him, contemplating his handsome 41 year-old … [Read more...]

Recipe: Golden Coconut Dream

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I have a problem. Mangoes. I ate an entire crate of mangoes when I was pregnant with Ava. Ten mangoes in less than a week. Or was it twenty? Mangoes are so outrageously good right now. I can barely stop eating them long enough to let them soften up on the counter.  I have trouble sharing. Thankfully Laos has a dessert that showcases this crazy fruit in a fun and simple way. Remember that sticky, sticky rice? The staple of Laos? That's your ticket. Let's whip up a heaping bowl of warm coconut … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sticky, sticky rice (Khao Neow)

Planting Rice in Laos. Photo by Ondřej Žváček.

I used to think rice was a boring, safe choice, back before this Adventure. Then there was Persian Sour Cherry Rice. I died. Rice cooked in banana leaf tubes, called Longton. Lovely. Rainbow Rice. I smile on the inside and outside. Kushary - mixed with noodles, spaghetti and lentils. What? Coca Cola Rice. Who? Bottom line - rice is epic the world around. We've done a half ton of cool rice dishes on this Adventure. It goes on and on, and on, and on - no need to ever be bored with rice … [Read more...]

Beetlejuice? Oh, Jeow! Let’s go to Laos (w/ poll)

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It took me a few tries to figure out what Jeow means. Turns out Jeow is a lot of things, but mainly any sort of dipping sauce, typically made with char-grilled veggies. Sometimes spicy. Sometimes not. Always delicious. It could be vegetarian or it could be made with crushed beetles.  Or anything in between. I'll skip to the chase: my version is beetle free. Phew. And it's also really easy. Recipe for a Simple Jeow 3 tomatoes 3 Thai bird chilies 1 head … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lao Rice Noodle Soup (Foe)

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It's time we take back the expression "Have it your way" from that mega corporate burger joint and put it back where it belongs - into our homes, onto our own homemade-with-love meals. Take this soup from Laos, for example. Traditionally served for breakfast, but great any time of day, Foe is a celebration of individuality, creativity and having it exactly how you want it - without chemicals, junk and gunk. Foe is a rice noodle soup from Laos, typically made with beef, pork or chicken. In … [Read more...]

Menu: Laos

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Considering I knew nothing about Laos prior to this Adventure, there was quite a bit of excitement this week. The more I read about the food the more butterflies I got. Delicious. Warming. Fresh. But when I shut the books the butterflies kept coming. I thought perhaps it was because we've had two earthquakes in 2 days. Or because during the second earthquake we had a tornado warning. And then I realized it is because Keith is going to be a grandfather any.minute.now. And by extension, me too - … [Read more...]

About the food of Laos: Finding the Holy Grail

Child with water buffalo. Photo by Paulrudd.

Sometimes I feel like a knight in shining armor, valiantly seeking to uncover the holy grail of food from each country we visit on this Adventure. A Knight of the Global Table, if you will. Well. Not two minutes into my quest to learn all about Laos I randomly ran across this popular breakfast item: baguette drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. What? How? Why? Well, the fact is it's true and I love it! Here's why: while not necessarily the holy grail of Laos, this unusual treat tells us two … [Read more...]