After the last two weeks I think I have earned my “Intestinal Warrior” badge. Nothing was off limits… pig throat, cow stomach, frog, baby chickens, chicken feet, grasshoppers, beetles, and the spiciest Thai food we could find. It was delicious! Now, there are definitely some foods that I won’t be actively seeking out in the future (the cow stomach isn’t something I would regularly add to our family’s menu). I pushed the limits and didn’t get sick. Even the water didn’t bring me down.
June 2, 2012: Vegetables that actually taste good
One thing I learned quickly in China is that all vegetables there are delicious. In fact, if people in the U.S. learned how to cook vegetables like the Chinese do we would actually eat vegetables at every meal. I don’t even know what this vegetable is, something green that looks like grass and doesn’t have a literal English translation. My translation… Chinese Grass = Delicious!
June 2, 2012: Spicy Fish
Once again I’m not sure what kind of fish this is, but this spicy dish was amazing. I think presentation is half the battle, and this restaurant definitely won. This style is from the Hunan province in southern China. They like it HOT there.
June 3, 2012: Beijing Duck
One thing I learned on this trip is that Peking duck is actually a mispronunciation of the dish Beijing duck. We had Beijing duck two ways. First they bring the full duck to the table and cut off the skin and some meat. You take this skin/meat and make these delicious little duck fajitas while the restaurant takes the remaining duck into the back and does some stir fry magic to it and brings it back all spiced up to eat separately.
June 4, 2012: Hot Pot!
Chinese hot pot is probably our favorite dish. The pot in the center of the table is this extremely spicy broth that boils your food. We ate some of our most adventurous items when we ate hot pot. This is where the cow stomach, pig throat, and fish heads were enjoyed. Lamb, beef, rice noodles, potato, and a variety of grass-like vegetables were also devoured. If you like very spicy food, give us a call. We brought back a lot of hot pot and would love to have a hot pot luck with you!
June 6, 2012: Can’t get enough Lamb!
Another thing I discovered on this trip is that I love lamb. The first time I had it was our first night in China at a Chinese street barbecue restaurant. Chinese barbecue was also a favorite. Once again the Chinese have discovered how to make vegetables so delicious you can’t stop eating them.
June 7, 2012: High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel
We took a break this day from the hot, spicy, meat loving, vegetable eating fun of China. We headed to Hong Kong, skipped lunch, and enjoyed high tea at the Peninsula Hotel. That tower of treats next to me is my equivalent of an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet. The caramel tea wasn’t bad either.
June 8, 2012: I love dumplings!
Dumplings, any shape, any size, I love them all!
June 9, 2012: Dim Sum and Chicken Feet
Before and after every meal in China it seemed like I was asking my brother, “Is this dim sum?” We officially ate dim sum on this day, including the chicken feet and baby chickens.
June 12, 2012: Mango Sticky Rice
Here I am at a restaurant called “Cabbages and Condoms” in Bangkok, Thailand. The restaurant is part of a non-profit that distributes contraception throughout Thailand. They even deliver condoms to the table for every person with your check. I love Thai food, the spicier the better. Dave and I were even complimented by a restaurant owner at a Thai restaurant when we were eating “food from the region with the hottest spice” on how well we could handle it. However, the highlight of this meal was the mango sticky rice. If anyone out there knows how to make sticky rice, call me asap. I’m in withdrawal.
June 12, 2012: Eating Bugs
After a night out on Soi Cowboy I enjoyed a 2 a.m. bug snack. Bugs really aren’t bad. They are like popcorn that has been cooked in oil and dusted with spice. The grasshoppers and crickets were good. I ate this beetle and it was literally hard to swallow. The bigger the bug, the harder the shell and it scrapes a little on the way down. You also need to be with a close friend who you trust to tell you if you have any antennae or legs stuck in your teeth.
June 13, 2012: Coconut Juice Box
You can buy a coconut almost anywhere on the streets of Bangkok. The street food stand will cut the top off, hand you a straw and you have a traveling coconut juice box to enjoy!
June 14, 2012: Magic Conveyer Belt of Sushi
Our last night of vacation we went to a sushi restaurant in Hong Kong and luck must have been on our side. First, we showed up and the line to the restaurant was creeping around the block. Little did we know but we had arrived for their late-night sushi special, everything was half price! We also got the last spot at the sushi bar. This isn’t your average sushi bar either. There is a conveyer belt that goes around the bar that is filled with plates of sushi. You select the plates that you want and when you are done the waitress tallies up your final bill based on the color of the plates that you selected. We spent a total of $20 (U.S.) and got 12 sushi rolls and tea. $20 and 12 rolls!!!
After this trip I’ll be sportin’ my elastic waistband pants for the next few weeks until I can work off all the deliciousness that Asia had to offer.