Crunch, munch for a snack or lunch

Vietnam tortillas: Bánh xèo are crispy, fried-then-barbecued streetfood snacks that I relish. This Vung Tau foreshore version has an ageing shrimp/fish sauce aroma that I’m not overly keen on, but the best I’ve tried had pork-and-veg filling, at a little cafe in a side street across from the Pullman Hanoi hotel. I added a dash of light soy sauce to those … superb. USD50c each.

Shrimp paste not to my taste

Imagine: footy socks – Collingwood footy socks – worn by a teenager, unwashed for an entire, wet season, placed in a blender with week-old “fish kill” from Australia’s Murray-Darling rivers … nah, that doesn’t go close to describing the smell of this stuff. And I tasted it. I swear, when I opened the bottle, the bread jumped out of my hand and leapt over the 6th-floor balcony…

Rice to the Rescue (aka Fresh is Best)

Rice to the Rescue: Russian tourists in Asia tend to buy up in supermarket and prepare/eat in their room. OK, let’s see: This canned Danish pork luncheon (US$6.70) is a tube of salty sorrow but add freshly steamed rice (US40c-80c), chilli sauce,  leftover ginger sauce – and a squirt of Japanese mayo – and the result is alright. Verdict: No. It’s cheaper, tastier and healthier to buy fresh at a local eatery. But hey, if you don’t give it a go, you’ll never know …

 

Spicy but pricy

These guys have come a long way just to sit in a mini-mart fridge in Cambodia. So I try the “Chicken Spicy” number and it’s OK. $US3 a bit pricy tho – and the parlous US-AUD exchange rate’s hard to swallow. Wholegrain bread is a treat here. Now, for a big $US1.50 noodle soup …

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