Asian fast food artistry
July 5, 2011 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Fast food in South India is fast | in Thailand iced tea is really cool | in Sri Lanka tea is cooled with dramatic effect | in Delhi the bread is made fast too | in Calcutta it puffs up magically | tea serenely | singly | or two at a time | in China tea is served with a long spout, acrobatically. posted by nickyskye (39 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
ASMR triggers all up in here, at least for some of the affected.

This is very cool.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 5:24 PM on July 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

All I can say about making tea is that no matter how you are doing it, you are doing it wrong. The only right way to make tea is to make it my way.
posted by vidur at 5:32 PM on July 5, 2011

Nicky baby, I love ya. Thai ice teas on me.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:34 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love the theatrics. I had seen the first video, but not the others. Thanks, nickyskye!
posted by defenestration at 5:42 PM on July 5, 2011

Ah, Indian street food. Despite all the dire warnings of how sick you'll get, it tastes sooo good. We always called that ordering a yard of tea, btw.
posted by Runes at 5:44 PM on July 5, 2011

This is terrific. There should absolutely be a television channel devoted to unnarrated videos of street food vendors; and the first episode should feature the genius/art/magician behind my favorite kati rolls in Calcutta.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:46 PM on July 5, 2011

Thanks for the interesting post and the effort to out it together. After 700 plus posts on sexism, feminism, chauvinism, (un)civility, unspoken expectations, shifting cultural streams, sexual imposition/intimidation, subjective expectations and........... This was a most welcome relief. Perfect timing and I just had an iced tea.
posted by rmhsinc at 6:01 PM on July 5, 2011

"put" not "out"--to much iced tea I guess
posted by rmhsinc at 6:02 PM on July 5, 2011

oh, oh, and malaysian teh tarik!
posted by sawdustbear at 6:02 PM on July 5, 2011

ahhhhhhhh I would kill for some Indian street food right now.
posted by MillMan at 6:25 PM on July 5, 2011



wait.... does street food make you sick?
posted by rebent at 6:26 PM on July 5, 2011

Awesome. Another feat I remember are the "hoy tod"(mussel omelette) makers in Thailand - they'd have this big flat griddle and throw an egg onto it, and it would break with the contents spilling out right onto the griddle and the shell would keep flying and land in a trashcan on other side. Wish I could find a video.
posted by pravit at 6:41 PM on July 5, 2011

Pocorn in China. The second one sets off car alarms.
posted by -jf- at 6:43 PM on July 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

How many of those paratha things would you have to make before you had the muscle memory down that solid and could throw them without looking? If there was an NBA of street food, that guy would be a star.

does street food make you sick?

Nope. People tell lies about it being dangerous, but that's because they are greedy and want it all for themselves. Don't believe a word of it.
posted by Forktine at 6:45 PM on July 5, 2011

Yup, head tingles. And yeah, imagine the hours/days/weeks/years necessary to get that practised. The acrobatic Chinese tea pourer not spilling a drop, or the tea vendor in India, constantly dipping a cup with no handle into the hot milk and not burning himself.

Nickyskye, very cool.
posted by likeso at 7:12 PM on July 5, 2011

ug. After watching these video, I thought that I could smell delicious food cooking. My imagination, probably! dammit
posted by rebent at 7:23 PM on July 5, 2011

*spicy tea

pravit, you had me curious about Thai omelettes. Came across this vid: surprisingly bubbly. Never thought to use lime juice in an omelette. Must try that!
posted by nickyskye at 8:15 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

That Roomali roti guy's good, but nowhere near as good as the kid in my local Tamil takeout used to be. He'd flip one of these so big that he'd have to cock his head just so, so he wouldn't get beaned by flying dough.

Takeout food hasn't been as good since a whole bunch of the Tamil community decamped north and east to Steeles and Rouge Valley. Too far to travel for a $4 kotthu roti.
posted by scruss at 9:08 PM on July 5, 2011

Has bubble tea/pearl tea hit America yet? I love it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:22 PM on July 5, 2011

This is like the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon of food prep. So awesome.
posted by funkiwan at 9:24 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Bubble tea and pearl tea have been in both of my Midwestern college towns for years. You can get both, but if you order "bubble tea" you'll get pearl tea, and so you have to figure out what the actual foamy drink is called if that's what you want. (And it's not served as widely as pearl tea.)

Bubble tea is actually pretty easy to make at home, too.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:56 PM on July 5, 2011

Thanks, this is really satisfying!

Some other fun things to watch being made: takoyaki and hand-pulled noodles
posted by caaaaaam at 9:57 PM on July 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

Nice. The hand-pulled noodles video reminds me of this one, which I had completely forgotten about. It's basically the same thing, but with Alton Brown narrating. And looking up that one led me to this one, where Gordon Ramsay tries to learn how to do it.
posted by -jf- at 10:30 PM on July 5, 2011

Wow caaaaaam, that takoyaki is amazing. How the hell did they make such evenly round balls from that glutenous mush, and with chopsticks?! Serious poking to get it cooked all the way through. My heart sank when one fell into the fire. But then I looked it up and it's made of -oh no- unicorns of the sea, my dear cephalopods. And baby ones too. Aww nooo.

Beautifully made though.

Love the hand pulled noodles.
posted by nickyskye at 10:37 PM on July 5, 2011

Takoyaki is awesome to make at home - and I've also made it with prawns (you could even get away with a cube of chicken or tofu in the centre).
posted by gomichild at 11:48 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Korean Honey Candy
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:34 AM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Psscht, I can make that takoyaki only in reverse, using only my mouth.

seriously though, I'm getting me some glutenous flour and practice nudles!
posted by monocultured at 3:08 AM on July 6, 2011

I live in Indiana. These are like videos from the Delta Quadrant. Thank you!
posted by Thorzdad at 3:37 AM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Fantastic post!

And I think Turkish ice cream definitely fits here as well.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:04 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Rojak Man has cleaver skills and loves Venga Boys.
posted by underthehat at 6:19 AM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Great thread. Reminds me to be less jaded about all the silly, yummy, awesome things out there.
posted by zennie at 7:37 AM on July 6, 2011

*Googles Delta Quadrant. Ahhh. Dear Thorzdad the world is way stranger than fiction.

Oooh, love the additions to the thread! I was hoping for ones I'd never seen or heard of before. That Rojak man is awesome.

PeterMcDermott, even though I already did a post, called Dragon Whiskers, about that marvelous street magic, Korean Honey Candy, your video is one I hadn't seen and is doubly delightful!

Thanks all for making it a funner thread.
posted by nickyskye at 8:57 AM on July 6, 2011

Well, that post just made my night. Really. Thankyou. :o)
posted by paperpete at 2:03 PM on July 6, 2011

does street food make you sick?

Interestingly, I've heard that in a lot of countries (India included) street food is actually safer, because it's made out in the open, whereas restaurant food is made in the kitchen where you don't get to see what goes on and what basic hygiene methods are ignored.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:10 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Mochi-making (same vendor, different angles, all fun): one, two, three.

Now with three people!
posted by brieche at 2:54 PM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Great post. Thanks, nickyskye!
posted by homunculus at 8:27 PM on July 6, 2011

I've heard that in a lot of countries (India included) street food is actually safer,

I spent four months in India and the only street food I avoided was panipuri. I was sick twice, both times from restaurants.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 8:33 PM on July 6, 2011

Why avoid panipuri, out of curiosity?
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:49 PM on July 6, 2011

The water. Dont know if I was right to skip it, but it was really the only thing I didnt eat.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:33 PM on July 6, 2011

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