Photo Of The Day: Mango With Sticky Rice In Thailand

Mango with sticky rice is a classic dessert on Thai restaurant menus in the United States, but it certainly doesn’t beat buying it off of a food cart in Thailand. Today’s Photo of the Day comes to us from Flickr user LadyExpat who snapped this mouthwatering photo of mangos ready to be served up in the iconic dish.

Don’t have a Thailand trip in the near future? Sticky rice is an excellent dish to try at home. Try your hand at this recipe from The Kitchn.

Have a great street food photo? Add it to the Gadling Flickr pool for a chance to be featured on Photo of the Day.

[Photo Credit: LadyExpat]

Budget Hong Kong: The Best Cheap Eats For Under US$5 A Bite

Tourists come to Hong Kong for a number of reasons: business, shopping, sightseeing.

Me? I came to eat.

I have long heard about Hong Kong’s famed cuisine, with its unique blend of Chinese, Western, Japanese, Southeast Asian and international influences. The city is home to dozens of celebrity chefs and boasts 62 Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s regularly called the culinary capital of Asia, if not the world.

I wasn’t interested in Hong Kong’s chichi gourmet restaurant scene, nor did I have the budget for it. Rather, I was intent on sampling the city’s dizzying array of cheap eats. Dim sum. Wonton. Noodles. Tea with medicinal properties. Bakery tarts that melt in your mouth. My mouth waters just thinking of it.

Here are some of the highlights of my Hong Kong eating extravaganza, each costing less than US$5 a serving.

%Gallery-173830%Pork Siu Mai with Quail Egg at DimDimSum Dim Sum Specialty Store
Four steaming pork dumplings, each topped with a small, perfectly boiled quail egg. It’s no wonder The Daily Beast named this small dim sum chain one of the 101 Best Places to Eat – in the world.
Cost: HK$18 (US$2.32 at US$0.13 to HK$1)
7 Tin Lok Lane, Causeway Bay

King Prawn Wonton Noodle at Tsim Chai Kee Noodle
The wontons at this Central District noodle shop contain succulent pieces of juicy king prawn. Select the yellow noodle option and spice to your heart’s content.
Cost: HK$22 (US$2.84)
98 Wellington Street, Central

Vermicelli Roll Stuffed with BBQ Pork at Tim Ho Wan
The wait at the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant is worth it: simple, home-style dim sum classics like the BBQ pork-filled vermicelli roll, prepared to perfection and drizzled in soy sauce. Though I didn’t try them, the pork buns are also said to be excellent.
Cost: HK$18 (US$2.32)
2-20 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok

Aloo Paratha at Waka Sweets in the Chungking Mansions
Hankering for curry? Look no further than the ground floor of the Chungking Mansions, which is filled with South Asian specialties like curries and sweets. The aloo paratha at Waka Sweets is greasy, but it hit the spot.
Cost: HK$8 (US$1.03)
Ground floor, past the first staircase on the right, Chungking Mansions, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Coconut Sago at Ying Heong Yuen
This coconut milk drink with tiny tapioca beads is the perfect way to beat the Hong Kong heat. It’s available for a pittance at most street stalls, but the version at Ying Heong Yuen in Causeway Bay is particularly good.
Cost: HK$8 (US$1.03)
3-7 Cannon Street, Causeway Bay

Chrysanthemum Tea at Good Spring Company Limited
The herbal teas doled out at century-old Good Spring Company Limited are said to provide energy, eliminate bodily toxins and promote general health. The chrysanthemum tea is mildly sweet and refreshing.
Cost: HK$7 (US$0.90)
8 Cochrane Street, Central

Milk Tea at Tsui Wah Restaurant
A legacy of British colonialism, milk tea is a must-drink in Hong Kong. Tsui Wah’s is smoother than most versions and pairs well with the home-style diner’s sweet toasted bun.
Cost: HK$16 (US$2.06)
15-19 Wellington Street, Central

Egg Tart at Tai Cheong Bakery
Bakeries around the city vie for the title of best egg tart. By many accounts, including that of former British governor Chris Patten, Tai Cheong takes the cake. The secret is in the buttery cookie crust, honed over more than six decades of operation.
Cost: HK$6 (US$0.80)
35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central

Steamed Milk with Ginger Juice at Yee Shun Milk Company
This dessert, ordered hot with ginger juice, has a consistency somewhere between warm milk and pudding. The ginger adds a spicy kick to the sweetness. It is, quite simply, one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten, with a taste that stays with you long after you leave. Though there were tons of cheap eats to try, I ended up returning for seconds.
Cost: HK$26 (US$3.35)
506 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay

[Photo Credit: Jessica Marati]

Budget Hong Kong” chronicles one writer’s efforts to authentically experience one of the world’s most expensive cities, while traveling on a shoestring. Read the whole series here.

The local flavor of Oahu: Hawaiian shave ice

The recipe for Hawaii’s signature dessert is simple: fill a cup with a mound of finely shaved ice and then top it off with a sugary syrup of your choice. If you want to get creative, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or azuki bean paste at the bottom of the cup, or top it off with a “snow cap”-some sweetened, condensed milk drizzled over the top.

Although the recipe seems like a piece of cake, there’s actually much more to the Hawaiian shave ice. The treat was actually introduced by Japanese immigrants working on sugar plantations, who would shave fine pieces from large blocks of ice using Japanese swords that were family heirlooms. The tradition actually goes back even further to the turn of the first millennium in Japan, when ice would be brought down from the mountains in the winter and stored in caves. Eating the flavored ice was a luxury reserved for royalty only, but in Hawaii it became commonplace.

When first introduced to Hawaii, shave ice was sold solely on Sundays-the only day of the week immigrants rested. Now, its available pretty much anytime and anywhere in touristy areas-but don’t be fooled. Not all shave ice is created equal.

With some tips from locals (and after much debate), we’ve culled together a list of five of the best places to get shaved ice on the island of Oahu.

Matsumoto Shave Ice
: This classic shave ice stand in the North Shore of Oahu has been dishing out colorful treats since 1951. On sunny days, the shop sells around 1,000 cones of shave ice to surfers, locals, and happy tourists.
66-87 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa; 808-637-4827

Aoki’s Shave Ice: In a little red shack down the road from Matsumoto is Aoki’s, a family-run business that has been serving shave ice for over 25 years. Although the line is typically long (especially on hot days), the wait is well worth it-and there’s plenty of mom-and-pop kitsch to look at to kill time.
66-117 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa; 808-637-7017

Waiola Shave Ice: If you can’t make it to the North Shore, Waiola is a little piece of shave ice heaven in Honolulu. The store can be a little difficult to find, but once you get there the shave ice is cheap, they have a wide variety of flavors, and the ice is deliciously fine-like powdery snow. With a delectable melt-in-your-mouth texture, this place comes with my personal “severe brain freeze warning.”
2135 Waiola St., Honolulu; 808-949-2269

Ailana Shave Ice: Also in Honolulu, Ailana Shave Ice has a mission to serve “fresh and tasty homemade syrups” to the masses. Try some of the local flavors-lychee, melona, or haupia-or stick to classics like blue Hawaii, pineapple, strawberry, or the ever-popular rainbow. This place also serves plate lunch on weekdays.
1430 Kona St., Honolulu; 808-955-8881

Shimazu Store: Tucked away in Honolulu’s Chinatown is this neighborhood convenience store that whips up some mouthwatering shave ice. Lots of flavors-including red velvet, root beer, and crème brulee-are on the menu, and the portions are larger than most other shave ice places. If you’re feeling up for the challenge, there’s an oversized option called “The Larry” that is extra, extra large.
330 N School St., Honolulu; 808-371-8899

(All photos by Libby Zay)

Photo of the day – Lunch in Serbia

Photo of the day
One of the best parts of traveling is indulging in a few vices. The “hey, I’m on vacation!” attitude enables you to order dessert, have a glass of wine with lunch, and not worry about the calories you’re taking in, especially as you figure you’ll burn them off walking around museums or hiking the countryside. This photo by Flickr user eolone in Serbia shows some of the best travel food groups: the sausage group, the fried group, even the “hey, I’m in Europe!” tobacco group. Just switch out the water for a beer and you’d have the perfect guilt-free (for now) vacation meal.

Enjoy any food vices on your last trip? Take a photo for our Gadling Flickr group and it could be our next Photo of the Day!

SkyMall Monday: Ice Cream Ball

skymall monday ice cream ballThere are plenty of things that should be included on any packing list. Items such as underwear, toothbrushes and your passport should not be left at home. However, certain sundries are oft-overlooked but are just as important as those commonly accepted essentials listed above. How many times have you been on the road only to be frighteningly without ice cream? Lack of ice cream kills thousands of travelers every year*. Here at the SkyMall Monday headquarters, we always keep ice cream pre-packed into travel-sized containers just in case we’re called away at a moment’s notice. You’ll be surprised to learn, however, that ice cream does not travel well. That’s why it’s always best to pick some up when you’re traveling. That said, it’s not always easy to find ice cream. In those situations, you need to make your own. Traditional ice cream makers are bulky, noisy and boring. They just sit there and churn while you’re left to entertain yourself. Thankfully, SkyMall understands that the presence – or promise – of ice cream means that fun is about to ensue. They’ve combined all the joys of ice cream with the simple pleasure of playing with balls to make the moments leading up to the ice cream more fun than you ever could have imagined. They’ve provided us with the Ice Cream Ball.

Why should making ice cream be a passive activity? Rather than letting an electric ice cream maker do all the work while sapping the Earth of precious resources, you can make ice cream using the power of play. Roll, toss and caress that ball until your ice cream is ready to melt in your mouth. It’s the natural evolution of off-the-grid dessert manufacturing.

Think that you shouldn’t play with your food? Believe that ice cream is best left to the professionals? Well, while you wait in line for an overpriced banana split, we’ll be making a ball of ice cream while reading the product description:

Make ice cream anywhere! Don’t settle for 31 flavors. The only limit is your imagination! You don’t need electricity, just add ice and rock salt in one end and ice cream mix in the other end-then have a ball as you shake it, pass it or roll it!

Finally, we no longer have to “settle” for 31 flavors. Free at last, free at last, thank Ben & Jerry almighty, we are free at last. And since we all travel with ice (which keeps much better than ice cream) and rock salt, we’re always just a few ball jiggles away from a sweet, fresh dessert.

The next time you are preparing for a trip, make sure that you pack all of the necessities. Grab your toothbrush, bring your glasses and don’t you dare leave your house without the Ice Cream Ball.

* Ludicrously imagined statistic with little to no merit.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.