street food

Burma Superstar cover

If you are lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, perhaps you regularly stop at the Burma Superstar restaurants to enjoy their take on Southeast Asian cuisine.  If not, I recently spoke with Kate Leahy, co-author along with Burma Superstar founder, Desmond Tan, of a fascinating book filled with authentic recipes, great photos, and stories about the country now known as Myanmar.  

A major part of Myanmar's cuisine is a fusion of Thai, Chinese, Indian, and Laotian influences. Many of the spices and main components will seem familiar, but how they are utilized to fashion finished dishes definitely captivated me.  Pay special attention when Kate talks about tofu, and eating tea or "Myanmar's most mysterious food."

Coconut Rice

Street in TaiwanWe're going somewhere we've never dared venture before on this week's show-Taiwan.  I don't know how you feel, but my normal thinking about Asian restaurants is "I must be missing something."  So many of them serve the same food found on menus that look almost exactly the same, and read like they all came from the same copy machine.  Rumors always abound, from those in the know, that the best Asian food is only a language barrier away in many spots.  I know that to be true, sort of.  Many years ago, my wife and I walked into a spot in San Francisco I had carefully researched prior to beginning our trip.  The place was huge and completely filled.  We were the only Caucasians, the menu was not in any language I could read, and no one admitted that they spoke English.  I said "vegetarian" to our waiter and we had an amazingly satisfying, delicious and unknown meal.  In January I was in the Philly suburbs and spotted a place while cruising online that purported to serve "real" regional Chinese specialties if you ordered off the non-Eng