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The Rice Bowl Blog Day 13

Dinner at the local Asian restaurant in Eupen

Mimie:Vegetarian fried rice

Angela: Shrimp and ham curry fried rice

Tomomi: Chicken curry and white rice

Edwin: Stir fried pork and mushroom with white rice

Mimie : ซอสพริกศรีราชา made in USA ทำไมอร่อยกว่าที่เมืองไทย

Sriracha sauce is so nice. It can make any food taste like Thai food. Just wondered why chilli sauce that was made in USA was more delicious than the one made in Thailand.

Edwin: Even though the cook was Asian, and it was cooked in Asian style, the ingredients tasted very different. The salt they used, the texture of the pork, the type of mushrooms, and of course the fluffiness of the rice, all contributed to a very different yet fondly familiar gastronomical experience. But still, what makes it Asian? Or should I call it fusion?

And eating together with the Belgian dancers, the dinner provided again another natural opportunity for more relaxed and further exchange among different cultures.

Tomomi : チキンカレーを頼む。 思っていたものとは違ったけれど、悪くはなかった。色といい具材といい日本のカレーと似通っていた。ベルギーの田舎街で、しっかりとしたアジアンフードが食べられることにちょっと驚き。

My chicken curry was not what I expected, but it was nice.

Vegetables in curry were same as Japanese curry. And I found it rather surprising that we could find Asian food(which is not weird) in Eupen!

Angela: It was the typical Asian eatery in foreign lands. Basic furnishing with a glass counter that separated the kitchen and the dine-in areas. Everything in the menu spells dinner-for-one: I.e. individual rice dishes mainly for takeout. The menu provides a basic recipe with different meat choices. The cooking method is the same and extremely salty: curry fired rice with shrimp and ham, with pork or chicken, or no meat but just vegetables. Then there are the steam rice with various choices of meats or cooked the sweet-and-sour way. It is a one-woman show: she's the cook and the cashier.

I'm familiar with this setting and the smells having lived through this in the States. Men and women laboring over the hot steamy stoves, moving rapidly between fiery woks and ducking between vegetable crates and working countertops. This dance is made complete with the soundscape of running water from the sink piled high with dirty dishes and clamoring utensils thrown like darts onto metal trays. THIS IS THE FOOD OF SURVIVAL.

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