So, I think it’s probably evident by now that food is really important to me, and it goes without saying that before I go on a trip, I do a little research about the local foods of the place where i’m going. I had read about ban kuan and decided it was something I wanted to try. I had also read about where I could get it in Vientiane and Vang Vieng, but I decided to go ahead and eat this in Vientiane in case I got a little, ummm, preoccupied in Vang Vieng (I did end up getting preoccupied in Vang Vieng, but if you know much about what goes on in Vang Vieng, prolly not how you’re think– minds more in the gutters, people! 😉
Anyway, I had read roughly where to go in Vientiane to find ban kuan from street vendors, and I just kind of assumed that if that was the spot in Vientiane to find ban kuan, then it must be swarming with vendors all selling the same dish. Ummmm, no. Finding ban kuan proved to be a mini adventure. I ended up walking up and down the street, stopping at every vendor, pointing at their food, and asking hopefully, “Ban kuan?” and they’d just smile me and usher me further along the street until I finally stopped at a vendor who said, “Yes, ban kuan.”
This ban kuan was all pre-made and just waiting for people to come along and buy it. When you buy your ban kuan, you get several little baggies: some deep fried garlic, some sweet hot chili sauce, some vinegar, and a wedge of lime, and you are meant to dump all of this on your ban kuan before you dive into it. It was certainly delicious, and uhhh, deep fried garlic– why don’t we do more of this in the West??