Top Mexican Street Food Dishes

As a chef, I used to be a huge fan of fine dining, fusion food and the general art of the plate, in recent years however, traveling the world has brought my back to the very heart of what cooking actually means. This new approach of mine has made me fall back in love with the beauty and simplicity of food and more specifically, with the street food culture. When done in the right way, street food can give an insight into a country’s culture and very often I have found that food cooked by someone who cares, on a small gas stove or hotplate, to be the finest food which you can find. My favorite place to eat street food is in Mexico and here are some of my favorite dishes.

 

Tacos

It would be foolish not to mention tacos, here they are not the hard-shell variety which you may have tried in the past but a soft tortilla filled with any number of ingredients. Different vendors will specialize in varying types of fillings and serve it with me chopped onions, some cilantro, a splash of salsa and finally some fresh cut limes. Here are some of the fillings that you can expect to find.

  • Pastor- Lamb which has been cooked on a spit
  • Carnitas – Braised or roasted pork
  • Longaniza – Chorizo-like sausage
  • Lengua – Ox tongue
  • Tripita – Grilled tripe

Tlacoyos

These little delights are made using a dough which comes from blue corn and gives a green color to the dough, they are formed into thick pads about the size of your hand and then fried with ingredients both inside and out. Often these will be stuffed with black beans and served with salsa, cheese and napoles (cactus) on top.

Tamales

Each morning in Mexico City you can here the men and women shouting at the tops  of their voices that they have tamales, beautiful packets of joy which are usually served by the person shouting, direct from their bicycle. Tamales are made from a corn-based dough, which have been mixed with any range of meats and spices which are then formed into a packet and cooked in a corn husk. They are steamed and sold hot, still inside their husk. Traditionally you will eat these with a chunk of crispy bread and a splash of lime.

Quesadillas

If you haven’t tried a quesadilla in Mexico, then you haven’t tried a quesadilla and that blend of cheddar and monterrey jack cheese which you’ve packed into a flour wrap, is nothing close to what you will experience here. The quesadillas in Mexico are made using corn tortillas which are packed with delicious cheese from Oaxaca which melts perfectly, the quesadilla is then deep fried quickly and served with cream and white cheese sprinkled on the top. Quesadillas to vary somewhat, often you can find the tortilla made from wheat, and also how they are served in terms of the amount of fillings which you can add and even in size, some places specializing in footlong versions!

Mexican street food is my favorite in the world, let me know what your favorite kind of street food is in the comments section.

Dishes You Simply Must Try In Indonesia

Indonesia is an incredible place to discover new foods, this vast archipelago has been influenced by a wide variety of different cultures throughout the years thanks to its various years of colonization and the result is a blend of food choices which are widely considered as the best in Asia. If you are fortunate enough to make a trip to the Indonesian islands then here are some of the finest foods which I recommend that you try during your time there.

Satay

You will do well to find anywhere in Indonesia that doesn’t sell these beautiful meat skewers, you will find them in restaurants and in the streets. The meat which is used is usually lamb although you can find pork varieties. The meat is seasoned with light spices and then cooked over coals until it is ready. The satay is usually served with lashings of tasty peanut sauce and accompanied with rice cakes.

Nasi Rawon

This delicious beef stew from the East Java region is just about as hearty as it gets and it will leave you with the strange of feeling of being incredibly full, but still wanting more. The stew is made with beed which has been slow cooked using a variety of different herbs which are added during the cooking process. Thanks to the addition of the keluak nut, the stew is deep black in color and incredibly fresh and fragrant in taste and smell. Grab a bowl of this with some freshly cooked rice and you will be set up for the day.

Siomay

This dish is the Indonesian variety of a dim sum and can be found in any street food market across the country. This beautiful dish contains steamed fish dumplings which are served with steamed eggs, cabbage and potato before the final addition of a tasty peanut sauce. You will often see this dish served from local vendors who sell siomay directly from the back of their bicycle, now that is true street food!

Nasi Uduk

One of Indonesia’s many national dishes, Nasi Uduk is an aromatic serving of rice cooked in coconut milk and which is served up with crispy fried chicken, a shredded omelette, some onion and tempe, you will also find some nut crackers around the outside as well as some fresh anchovies in a meal which I would consider Indonesian tapas on a plate. If you are looking for a lunchtime meal which packs in flavor, freshness and variety then this is the one you should be going after.

Sweet Martabak

I often feel that Asian foods in general are often overlooked for their tasty deserts and this is a prime example of how well they can do them in Indonesia. Sweet martabak is a thick pancake mixture which is served up in a sweet sandwich, only sold on evenings, you can pack your martabak with any mixture of chocolate, peanuts or sweet cheese and it is a perfect compliment to any main meal.

So there you have it, my favorite Indonesian dishes which you must try, let me know if you think I’ve missed any out!