This is my first beef related recipe since we had a cow butchered! You can read more about that experience here.
Don’t skip past this post just because you think people who care about good food and health don’t eat ramen. They do! Before moving to Laos, I thought ramen noodles were sort of a lazy junk food for college students. Actually that’s not true, my mom used to serve them without the liquid as a side dish and I always loved them.
Anyway, ramen can be more than junk food. The best ramen I’ve ever eaten was from a ramen restaurant in a Japanese neighborhood of Bangkok. The noodles were handmade and served in a beef broth with leafy greens and tempura shrimp. It isn’t fancy Japanese food, but it’s real food and a good ramen shop should be appreciated.
In Laos, noodles are very popular, but the noodle shops usually specialize in straight rice noodles rather than wavy ramen noodles made of wheat. But, you can buy dry ramen packets at almost any convenience store and people do. Many Lao people usually eat ramen in a healthier way than Americans do. They cook it the same way, but at the end they pile on green vegetables – cilantro, green onions, celery leaves, Thai basil . . . They might also include tomato and a cooked egg or some meat. Continue reading
Posted in Lao culture, main dishes, soups
Tagged Asia, beef, broth, cilantro, eggs, greens, lactose free, msg, noodles, pasta, ramen, soup, Southeast Asia, vegetable
You may have noticed that I updated my blog links in the sidebar. I’ve added a few new food blogs including “Eating Asia”. I was so excited to hear about this blog on the Splendid Table podcast because it is related to my blog, but serves a different purpose. Eating Asia is written by an American woman, Robyn , who lives in Malaysia. She and Dave, the photographer, travel throughout Asia and post about the places they eat. So our blogs are similar in that we’re both American women living in Southeast Asia and blogging about food, but different because she posts about Asian food and restaurants, but doesn’t post about her own cooking.
Robyn and Dave’s specialty is finding delicious food in unlikely looking places. They’ve even been to Luang Namtha, Laos:
- Kao Soi Lao – Lao “street rice” which is a kind of noodle soup
- Who Needs Plastic Bags? – There is actually a lot of plastic bag trash in Laos, but some people use alternative packaging methods.
We are in Vientiane now and the weather here is about the same as in Xiengkhuang, just a bit warmer. It’s cloudy and a bit rainy, but there’s no flooding, which is so great because the Mekong flooded in Vientiane last year and it was a mess.
So, I’m thankful that the places I go the most are fine, but not all of Laos was able to avoid Ketsana. It seems that the provinces in southern Laos (Savannakhet, Attepeu, Saravan (Salavan), and Xekong) have been the most affected. According to an article today in the Vientiane times, at least 3 people have died in the south. A friend of ours said 9 people, but it’s probably more than either guess because the provinces are remote and of course communication is even harder during a disaster. By the way, it’s not the Mekong, but the Xekong “See-kong” that flooded.
“The flash flooding has passed and the storm has weakened, but many communities in the provinces are cut off from roads and any form of communication,” Souksakhone Vaenkeo, Vientiane Times.
Although our organization doesn’t work in the southern provinces of Laos, they do work in the Philippines. Click to read about their response to Ketsana.