Dear tourist of Southeast Asia,
Do yourself a favor and put down the colossal DSLR camera (unless, of course, you are taking photos for your #foodporn blog…in which case, please click away, my friend) and enjoy being immersed in a different culture. And don’t think about watching the scale because, (1) I have not seen a single weighing scale during my stay here–even if I had, it would show results in kilos, which, due to the lack of metric system in the U.S., would make less than zero sense to me, and (2) kilocalories ain’t no thang with the ten best foods of all time:
1. The laksa
This Penang coconut curry noodle soup is slightly spicy/slightly tangy.
2. The mutton murtabak
Starve yourself before this one; the deliciously stuffed prata is going to feel like a five-course meal.
3. The popiah
Can be eaten as an Indonesian snack and is often veggie-friendly.
4. The rojak
Tossed in various different sauces, it is made of crushed peanuts, fried dough, and either fruits or vegetables.
5. The char kway teow
Deep-fried flat egg noodles aren’t healthy, but who cares?
6. The kaya French toast
A classic Singaporean breakfast food of coconut and pandan jam spread on fluffy toast.
7. The clay-pot chicken rice
Cooked over charcoal, this chicken is not too soft, not too crispy.
8. The BBQ stingray
Goes well with Tiger beer. And don’t worry; it won’t actually sting you – contrary to my parents’ vehement belief.
9. The carrot cake
Aha, gotcha. This isn’t the American dessert of carrot, but an Asian entrée made of fried turnip and soy sauce.
10. The mango sago/ais kachang
Shredded ice with tapioca, fruit, red bean, and flavored syrup is a good finish to any spicy meal.
So when you get back home, do not feel bad for your 15-pound heavier body. Instead, fondle your plump new adipose rolls as you pity those who have not been able to embark on these delectable culinary adventures with you.
But soon, begin to feel yourself wheeze like never before from any semblance of physical activity. Walking down a flight of stairs, sprinting 10 meters, bench-pressing 5 pounds – no can do. Then, let the realization dawn upon you that a treadmill regime is in order ASAP. Either that, or come to terms with the fact that Cheerios’ worst enemy, high cholesterol, is coming for your precious soul very soon. (Yeah, whom are we kidding? Maybe I’ll default to the latter.)
A happy, 15-pound heavier backpacking tourist in Southeast Asia.