Goong Ten: the Dancing Shrimp of Thailand

In the Northeast Thailand region of Isaan along the Mekong River, local cooks often serve meat raw, doused in a spicy, salty, sour marinade of chili, fish sauce, and lime. People in this region have an affair with things that are prepared raw: beef, pork, shrimp, fish, and other meats that are cooked elsewhere in the world, here can be found in their naturally squirming or bloody form. However, street vendors sometimes take the uncooked element one step further, selling a dish known as Goong Ten ( กุ้งเต้น ), which…

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Sad Jelly Noodles: the spicy street food that has a reputation for making people cry.

Anyone brave enough to enjoy a mound of shangxin liangfen, which literally means “Sad Jelly Noodle”, or “heartbreak jelly” should expect to cry. Yes. Cry. Street vendors popularized these translucent noodles, made from green bean starch and hot water, or sweet potato starch, throughout the Sichuan province of China. Despite It was rumoured that this dish was made by a person who missed home, isn’t jelly that makes these delicacy “sad”, but the heap of hot chili peppers and oil that covers them. Either way, everyone eaters seems to agree…

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Cheese Tea: bitter, sweet, and salty collide in this cool Asian treat.

Cheese tea is iced tea, often black, matcha, or oolong, that gets topped with a foamy mixture of cream cheese, whipping cream, milk, and salt. It’s true, the concept sounds horrible, but in this case, the cheese topping is more like a thick layer of creamy, salted foam that tops each drink, that found a fanbase among the late-night crowd. The trend then spread to Asian countries and apparently it had its roots from China. A few years ago, HEYTEA (喜茶) (previously known as Royaltea (皇茶) ) claimed to have…

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Kuli-Kuli: crunchy peanuts snacks from Nigeria

We are in Nigeria. Kuli-kuli is a popular local snack made from crushed peanuts, a popular crop in several West African countries. High in protein and fat, groundnut-based foods such as kuli-kuli provide an inexpensive option for a quick and satiating snack. Kuli-kuli originated in Northern Nigeria, but is now widely enjoyed throughout the country and across Benin, Northern Cameroon, and Ghana. Often referred to as groundnut cakes or groundnut chips, the snacks come in an array of shapes and sizes, from round balls, square flat shapes, cylindrical shapes or…

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Perro Caliente: you might not even see the hot dog beneath this pile of potato chips, sauce, and quail eggs!

In Colombia, fast-food restaurants and street-food vendors invent all kinds of sauces and dressings to keep their customers coming back for more. And, curious fact, their creativity to come up with all those unusual sauces is really amazing, and it’s what people, tourists or not, love the most. For those accustomed to seeing their regular hot dogs adorned with a simple strip of ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise, perro caliente might destabilize also most expert eaters. First, you notice the layer of crumbled potato chips. Then there’s the criss-crossing drizzles of…

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Ice Cream Loti (Singapore Ice Cream Sandwich): take the name of this street food literally!

Rainbow Bread? Yes. Rainbow Bread. With ice cream? With ice cream. Admit it, you want this. It’s been pretty well established by now that ice cream is a tricky food to eat, especially in hot (very hot) summer days. And, in most of world, options are pretty limited: cup or cone. But travel around the world and you’ll discover that other cultures have mastered the art of ice-cream-eating. In Singapore, for istance. Outside schools and on street corners with high foot traffic, it is common to see vendors that sell…

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Ice Cream Burrito: the deceptive, sweet-and-savory snack of Taipei’s night markets.

We are in Taipei. Tucked deep into local night markets, vendors disguise scoops of ice cream as a savory snack. Customarily, Taiwanese cooks fill their flour crepes with pork, cabbage, and ground peanuts to make a traditional roll called run bing. However, street hawkers use the same wrap to swathe a sweet-and-savory treat. To assemble, the vendor lays out a flour crepe and shaves fine pieces of peanut brittle over it from a wooden tool which is used to shave the peanut candy block. On top, he adds three scoops…

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Ken’s roasted sweet potato stand in Sapporo, Japan

In warm weather, the beautiful rolling hills of Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido burst with flowers while, in cold weather, they literally glisten with snow. In any case, a loyal and friendly sentinel stands guard in the island’s major city, Sapporo. This is Ken-kun, the proprietor of the Inu no Yakiimoyasan sweet potato stand, a steadfast salesman that greets visitors and welcomes them to sample his signature roasted sweet potatoes, even though a sign outside the stand reminds visitors that he can’t give you change…because he’s a dog. The stand…

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Tuslob Buwa – minced pork liver and brain gravy in the Philippines

We are in the Pasil neighborhood of Cebu City, Philippines. The Philippines is known for having some of the tastiest exotic dishes in the world, and each province having its own “specialty.” In Cebu, one of these dishes is tuslob buwa, a popular street food whose chief ingredients are minced pork liver, innards and brain, which get sautéed with garlic, onions, shrimp paste, and chilis in a wok filled with boiling oil or lard and sometimes soy sauce for extra flavor. The mixture starts out as a watery stock, but…

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Bheja Fry, the spicy brain dish speciality of Hyderabad – India.

We are in India. “Bheja (brain) Fry” is a common slang used in parts of Mumbai and Andhra Pradesh, often to describe a situation (or a person) who is so irritating that it almost fries your brains. In Hyderabad, brain fry isn’t just the resulting sensation from surrounding confusion and summer heat. The phrase is derived from a popular street food and in fact there hole-in-the-wall eateries and street vendors fry goat, sheep, or cow brain, and then smother it in spicy sauce and onions. Thus, eaters scoop up the…

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Stuffed Camel Spleen~

Here we are: If I say Camels, you think about the animal of the great caravans that transversed the great trade routes of the deserts and they are still bred and traded at livestock markets from the Atlas Mountains to souks of the Saharan towns. However most Camels in Morocco, which you encounter in any great number, are destined for the dinner table and always have been! For example, in the old Moroccan city of Fes, giant logs of offal become tasty street sandwiches: here, among the chaos of the…

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