Review: Street Food

A food vendor in Street Food

Street Food is a Netflix original series looking at the history and traditions of street food all over Asia. Hungry? This series will make you feel that way!

The nine episodes of the series take you to Thailand, Japan, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines. Every episode of Street Food is a lesson in history, culture, tradition, and family.

Most of the street food vendors have a long history of preparing food, often just one recipe for decades. Some of the workers have learned from great grandparents, grandparents, and parents. They are passing their cooking knowledge on to their own children.

Click on any image in the gallery to scroll through them at a larger size.

The food looked wonderful. Fresh, healthy, made with traditional ingredients and love. In every case the food had a family story about hard work and hardship. Many stories involved wars and deprivation.

Some of the stories told of recipes passed down for over 100 years. Some were about young people inventing new cuisine out of traditional foods. Some families were still using the traditional methods. Some had younger members with modern ideas that lead to online ordering, delivery services, and other such expansive ideas.

The amazing thing to me was that everyone of the people and businesses they highlighted were artists with food. Chef quality food prepared in a street stall over a wood burning stove or a propane burner is not something Americans find in US cities.

When I think of American street food I think of hot dogs. I know food trucks have changed the food scene in the US, so my view is surely too narrow. I’ll grant you that.

Street food has fed the people for generations in the Asian countries this series explores. Fed them well. Concoctions of fish heads, eels, tofu, crabs, snails and other inexpensive local ingredients are served in delicious ways, always with spicy sauces and fresh vegetables.

With much of the world left to explore in search of street food, I hope Netflix takes this series to new places in a new series.


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