Just a little something they whipped up for dinner…
If you’re a fake vegetarian like me, there’s no better place to eat than Southeast Asia.
Because the people of Cambodia & Vietnam are primarily Buddhist, they’ve developed a rich cuisine around the freshest of vegetables and rice.
And because they are poor, they eat what’s readily abundant in the fields and waters that surround them.
Pumpkin blossoms, meant for a hot pot extravaganza….
….Meaning fish is nearly always on the menu.
Red tilapia and rice noodles, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes.
Now that’s fresh fish…like about 20 minutes from the water.
Plus lotus root, morning glory stems — and all kinds of gorgeous greens.
Shrimp & delicious lotus root.
Pumpkin and cassava leaves … so SO good!
I’m sure I’ll insult both countries by conflating their cuisines (this is my graceful segue between writing about Cambodia and Vietnam, if you haven’t guessed) but they DO have a lot of the same dishes. It’s just that the Vietnamese have an overlay of Frenchified luxe —
The sticky rice ball was just … amazing!
Simple & simply delicious pork (perfect for a fake vegetarian)!
… and their fish sauces, dipping sauces and accoutrements are really… oooh, la la.
Even something as elemental as lime and seasoned salt is beyond delicious.
Needless to say, I was delighted in BOTH countries with every single meal — from soup….
Fresh cooked cassava (tastes just like potatoes!) and peanuts.
and everything in between.
A typical breakfast….
A fancy Cambodian lunch…
And beautiful dinner!
And guess what?
What’s life without a little fruit dessert of longon & the crazy sexy rambutan?
They even said I was awesome with my chopsticks!
When you can eat banana flower salad with chopsticks, you’re IN.