Thursday, June 05, 2008

just noodles, hold the bread & cheese

Whipping up a quick Thai green curry (packaged curry paste, fresh veg with tofu and crab) for dinner, I realized that Thai cuisine is somewhat more accessible than Japanese in that the elements are usually predictable or at least identifiable: rice or noodles, veggies, chicken or fish, egg.

Sure, Thai folk do sometimes eat other meat or throw in some tofu. Yes, they often load in the chili peppers and other exotic seasonings like lemongrass. However, there's no nattou (fermented soy beans), or myriad other things that farang (Thai for gaijin/foreigner) are not accustomed to eating, like raw fish, unfamiliar mountain vegetables, or mystery pickles of various vibrant and dull colours.

This is not to say that I think Thai food is better. I personally love both. Thai food is so tasty and colorful. And Japanese cuisine encompasses so many types of unique and delectable things. My sister's visit here just made me realize that you have to be a little brave (yay to her for that sashimi she ate) and you may learn to love the unfamiliar.

One thing for certain, those looking to loose weight would do well on either a diet of Thai or Japanese foods only. I hate to admit, to anyone who struggles with such things, that I shed a few pounds in Thailand without needing nor intending to loose weight.

When I realized my pants were looser (we don't have a scale), I originally thought it was because: a) I had been pretty sick, and coughing like I did must burn some calories; and b) my appetite tends to wane in extreme heat. However, on further reflection (whilst eating a bagel this morning), I realized that I didn't have one slice of bread or bit of cheese for the whole 10 days. Nor did I eat dessert or chocolate more than once or twice. All the while lugging suitcases down docks, onto trains, walking killer stairs and hills, swimming like all the other fish.

Anyway, foodie that I am, and living in the quality eats capital of the world (even the French restaurants here got more Michelin Guide stars than Paris, not to mention the bakeries), I'm sure to recapture my lost few inches soon. But word to the wise: noodles and rice suffice, she said, just prior to indulging in a piece of the tarte au sirop d'érable concocted by a Québécoise pal.



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