What to Eat and How Much Heat

I love being in South East Asia. For someone who likes to experiment with food, this is truly a culinary paradise. When I talk about experimenting with food, I don’t mean that you have to go to extremes, although I have managed to dine on various types of snake meat, some brain, the most foul smelling fruit on the planet, and some of the spiciest food I have ever ingested to date. By experimentation, I mean the shear variety of food that is available to you here in SE Asia.  You can choose from an endless menu of Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Middle-Eastern and European food. All of these options are dwarfed by the numerous varieties of Thai, Indonesian and Malay dishes that are served up by the food hawkers that line many of the side street and back alley markets in cities such as Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

for you. If you really want to get lit up, try some Thai style Tom Yum soup. If you like spicy food, this is not a problem as restaurants and vendors alike will heat things up. Even McDonald’s serves up hot chili sauce with it’s fries. If you prefer to keep it healthy, a plethora of freshly squeezed juices are served pretty much everywhere and the wet markets (fruit market) abound with exotic and delicious varieties such as star fruit, dragon fruit, lychees, mangoes and the often discriminated against durian fruit… it smells so bad that it is usually forbidden to eat in public places and buildings.

The prices make the food even more enticing. A healthy serving of Curry Laksa will cost you about 3 Ringit ($1), a kilo of lechees about 2 Ringit and a hot bowl of Bakso soup from a vendor in Indonesia can be yours for about 500 Rupiah ($0.05) Whatever your taste bud’s may fancy, they are sure to find something to become addicted to in SE Asia. For me, I would have to say it has become the Curry Laksa… a tasty Malaysian dish with thick noodles, chicken and seafood served in a spicy coconut curry sauce… it hits the spot every time.