Insects in the Salad

Eretes sticticus larvae, sometimes served with laphet thote Let’s return for a moment to laphet thote. Long before I researched this article, I’d eaten a lot of Burmese pickled tea leaves. The salad has all the salty-spicy-bitter-yumminess I love on a tropical plate. But I didn’t know about the beetles. That is, not until I…Continue readingInsects in the Salad

Burmese Tea Leaf Salad

The latest edition of AFAR is on sale, and inside you will find our feature on the Burmese pickled tea leaf salad known as laphet thote. This is such an exuberant dish with hot, tangy, bitter, salty flavors that tingle every little nook of the mouth. If you’ve never had the opportunity to try laphet…Continue readingBurmese Tea Leaf Salad

The Rosi Recipes

We’re home! And we have a new member of the extended family. Meet Rosi, our darling niece. She loves to eat and burp and lots of other things—she’ll fit right into this crowd. Now, anyone out there with a 2-month-old knows the difficulty of the dinner hour. So I’ve decided to cook dinner once a…Continue readingThe Rosi Recipes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Arrested and Deported

We’ve been fielding calls and emails from around the world. Below is our official press release regarding our arrest and deportation: Monday, May 11, 2009 BANGKOK—The two of us were detained in Mandalay on the evening of Wednesday, May 6, and deported to Bangkok the following night. The arrest came within hours after we had…Continue readingFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Arrested and Deported

Cute Potsie

Red pot, blue table. Mandalay tea house.Continue readingCute Potsie

Onions & Colors

Just a picture I like, taken near Mandalay’s Eindawya Pagoda, in a row of potato and onion shopsContinue readingOnions & Colors

This Day of Change

A teenager stirs a pot of curry in the kitchen of a teashop in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Jan. 20, 2009. There are about 40 boys working in this teashop, all from the same rural village in Shan State. They make from $15 – $25 USD per month, working seven days a week to send the…Continue readingThis Day of Change

Burmese Guacamole

Avocado vendor, Mandalay “Karen, in your country, how do you eat avocados?” my newfound friend, Soe, asked me one day in Mandalay. I told him about guacamole with plenty of lime, chile, cilantro and salt. He laughed. “Here, we eat with sugar and condensed milk.” His comment brought back memories—fresh avocado slices sprinkled with sugar,…Continue readingBurmese Guacamole

Meet the Mini Mango

It is almost the season, but not quite. Not quite that time of year when the best and freshest sweet mangoes appear on streets and tables everywhere. I still remember my first early months in Cambodia a decade ago. I used to work the night shift and walked from our house, up Street 63 to…Continue readingMeet the Mini Mango

Return

Spicy dog eyes Yangon curry We are back. It’s a short flight from Yangon to Bangkok, barely an hour, but it feels like a journey between worlds. Time jumps forward at touchdown: 9:30 a.m. in Burma is 10 a.m. in Bangkok. The former sets a pace 30 minutes askew to the rest of the region.…Continue readingReturn