Archives for category: Travel

This seriously was one of the best pork we’ve ever had.  We followed an enthusiastic native to a no name side street for the best babi guling, or roasted suckling pig in the Kuta area.  A clean, simple, unpretentious food stall set in a shallow store front.  We liked it that there were no busload of tourists.

The chunks of pulled pork and chopped pork belly were incredibly delicious and moist, served with toffee colored crispy pork skin and vegetables bursting with rich flavors — fragrant coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, lime, palm sugar, tumeric, garlic, shallots and chilies.

The no name food stall offered a modest menu, babi guling, pork bone soup simmered with tasty kale green and a few vegetable sides.  So delicious I had 4 plates.  Absolute pork heaven!

The vibrant colors, scents and flavors of street hawker fare in Bangkok, Thailand.

While Jesse surfed the famous Bali beach breaks in a late afternoon. I strolled around the beach where I crossed paths of sun worshippers’ and female hawkers selling exotic snacks out of straw baskets. The women were friendly and welcomed snap shots of their food. Fish rubbed with spicy sambal, along with a small fried fish and roti bread.

A mix veggies salad of sliced bitter melon, green beans, fried shallots and mashed avocados.

Sun worshippers on Seminyak beach.

We have been gone a while, trekking and eating through South East Asia. Over our stop in Singapore, we have found some really great Hainan chicken rice, Indian curries and Katong laksa. The components of a good Hainan chicken rice are the tender meat that is expertly cooked, fragrant chicken broth infused rice and perfectly concocted ginger & chili sauces.

Heng Heng Hainanese Chicken Rice at the Maxwell hawker food center.

Little India, where colorful temples and mosques, shophouses stocked with spices, gold and incense lined the streets. We found a small, unpretentious corner food stall mobbed by locals.  Despite the heat, loud street noise and wobbly plastic stools, the food had our undivided attention. It was simple, spicy and straightforwardly good.

Last but not least, Katong laksa–made with slightly sweet coconut curry and strong aromatics. The noodles are cut up in small pieces so the soup can be eaten with the only utensil provided, the spoon. The version we had eaten had shrimp, strips of fish cake, bean sprouts and garnished with laksa leaves and sambal chili paste that was available on each dining table.

Jesse, Matt, Brendan and Henry cooked at the Bubba’s 6th annual chili cook-off in Shanghai this year. It was an all day event from 7:00am to 7:00pm. One of our friends flew in the night before from Texas and brought us genuine Texas dried chilies. In this homemade chili mix, there were chipotles, Mexican chili, ancho chili, smoked poblanos, cayenne pepper, Mexican oregano and roasted cumin.

Jesse & Matt’s Chili Ingredients:

New York strip, cubed
Homemade chili powders
Roasted tomatoes
Maple Syrup
Homemade beef stock
Homemade chicken stock

The amount of each ingredient can be adjusted to your own liking. Great winning chilies always have 2 to 3 dumps (dumps being chili powder mixture going in at different times within the cooking cycle). The longer it cooks, the better it tastes. That’s why you have to use a dense piece of beef like a sirloin or tri tip. Jesse & Matt smoked part of the strip to add a great smoky flavor to the chili. For the homemade beef stock, Jesse browned beef bones, beef short ribs and aromatics then slowly simmered for hours.

Matt, Jesse and Henry behind their Joe Dirt themed chili booth.

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