The Intriguing Mauritius Street Food

The Best Street Food in the Island

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Mauritius is an island nation that is part of the African continent and home of the now extinct dodo bird. On a global scale, this 788 square mile volcanic island is barely getting any attention – and in this day and time, that’s actually a very good sign of stability.

The street food of Mauritius is a fantastic blend of European, Asian, and African flavors and has been dubbed “culinary heaven” by those who have visited and sampled the food. In fact, if there is any country that must be visited for its extraordinary yet simple food – it’s Mauritius.
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Street Cooking With The Wok

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In the streets of Asia, if the food isn’t served grilled or raw, it’s cooked with a wok. The wok is a rounded cooking vessel that originally came from Guangdong Province in China. It can be used almost all kinds of cooking from pan fried to smoking and from steaming to stewing. The main benefit in using the wok for street food is that it consumes less fuel and chances are very low that you get to burn the food because the hottest area is tiny and found at the bottom of the wok. Also, the wok minimizes spills and one can cook 2 things at the same time: stir fry and steam. Finally, with the rounded bottom, you use less oil and therefore can preserve the flavors of the food better.

The Best Street Food Cooked In a Wok

In Bangkok, the best street foods cooked in a wok is debatable depending on your personal taste but a few of the top favorites are:

  • Sukhothai noodles with roasted peanuts – Thin rice noodles with pork, sugar, green beans, and tamarind.
  • Pad Thai – Favorite noodle dish with garlic, bean curd, chives, sugar, fish sauce, and tamarind. It can be served spicy.
  • Phad kee mao – Also known as drunken noodles and served with prawns and smoky gravy

In Vietnam, the amazing street foods cooked using the wok:

  • Pho – This is a traditional Vietnam noodle dish
  • Banh xeo – small crispy pancakes with onions, pork, and shrimp cooked with turmeric and wrapped in lettuce or rice paper
  • Lemongrass beef stir fry

For a safe street food experience in Asia, here are some tips you should be aware of and follow:

  1. In Thailand, there is a 10 point standard all street food vendors must follow. Make sure you eat from these vendors by asking them about it.
  2. Some cooks partially cook the food and then toss it back into the wok for the finishing touches. This is normal in Asia because meat is not as tender.
  3. Observe the cooking style and habits of the vendor before you buy. Look at the surroundings, plates, bowls and utensils if they are clean with sufficient clean water supply.
  4. Follow the crowd.
  5. Check the oil if it is light-colored or dark-colored.
  6. Look for city permits and sanitation licenses.
  7. Pork and chicken have to be fully cooked or you could get sick. Any fresh salads should be thoroughly washed. If possible, avoid eating fresh vegetables. Instead, settle for vegetables cooked in a wok.

Finally, eat with gusto but try not to overdo it. You may not be accustomed to certain flavors and styles in cooking so it is best to stay on the conservative side first until you get used to the cuisine.

The Latest In Street Food: A Food Hall In the Big Apple

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Who hasn’t heard of Anthony Bourdain? He is a chef although he is more popularly known as a TV host for cooking travel shows. He has close ties with New York City because he worked as executive chef in Brasserie Les Halles.

This year Bourdain and Stephen Werthen, a business partner, are opening a food hall, something they call a “street food hall” in the Big Apple, more specifically, Lower Manhattan. This food market will have up to 50 different street foods from all over the world with minimal double-ups which means you get no duplication in food offerings.

Each vendor will be selling a specialty from a specific city or country promising an amazing diversity under one roof. The vendors will be chosen to form an eclectic array of chefs, street vendors, food truck owners, and even hawkers with one common characteristic – they should sell food that is interesting, delicious and from anywhere around the globe.

Bourdain plans to bring the concept to other cities if the New York food market succeeds and he has full confidence in the concept because people love to eat and try new dishes and cuisines, especially New Yorkers.

The design of the food hall is expected to look like a typical Asian market since Bourdain loves Hakka centers. Hakka-styled restaurants which are very popular in Asia are no-frills foodie centers where the flavors are incredible and the prices are cheap.

It will also be heavily influenced by the Singapore style of street food and South American classics intermingled with American cuisine in a modern, sanitized environment.

According to Bourdain, the idea of bringing this type of food market to New York excites him. He says, “I hope to have some great Singaporean and Southeast Asian and South American vendors and craftsmen bring in the kind of delicious food that many other people around the world see as a birthright and for one reason or another, we really haven’t had.” And further says that if someone else came up with the idea, he would definitely be a customer.

His food market will be divided into 3 areas: Asian street food, chef’s corner serving generation- old family recipes, and gourmet street food from local and international vendors.