Thursday, August 13, 2009

One reason I live abroad: Food

In Xifeng, China there are tiny one room restaurants or outdoor pushcarts; however, in Hanoi, food is on the streets. It is shoved around light posts, nestled between parked motos, found in dark alleyways, and pushed up against outdoor walls. Women sit with their kitchens at their feet, a hot pot of boiling water over a short gas stove beside them, a table full of sauces, spices, and ingredients in front of them. Boys run from other alleyways bringing ice cold clear yellow drinks served in tall glasses. People sit on tiny stools barely a foot off the ground or they sit lined up on stoops sitting on the ledge of an outdoor wall. Sometimes there are tables and sometimes there aren't.

I have eaten rice with green veggies and patties of seafood or a slice of a caramelized fish with big bones. I have had green papaya salad and bowls of noodles in a light soup. I have had fishy dumplings and soups packed with green leaves. I have bitten into baguettes full of omlettes, beets, radishes, and cucumber. The food is sometimes deep fried or lightly boiled and stir-fried, tasty with light clear colored sweet spicy sauces that are like fragrant dressings topped with fresh cilantro, mint, and other strong flavored greens, making a meal refreshing and cool compared to heavy and hot. The meat though is GROSS! It is all types of preserved meat in the forms of salted meat, sausage and jerky. There is no freshly cooked meat pulled out of cold refrigerators. I would likely turn vegetarian in Hanoi's streets.

Pictures taken by Kyan.

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