The food truck has become a cornerstone of western cuisine. They’re the spot where you’re going to get a terrific taco, bangin’ burger, classic cubanos, and masterful mac and cheese. In the wake of Roy Choi’s Kogi revolution you’ll also find some fantastic fusions out there — like poke burritos and carnitas baos. And, you know what, all of that’s just fine.
However, maybe it’s time we start embracing some of the lesser known, equally delicious street foods from various corners of the world. We’ve got all the taco trucks we can handle right now, thank you very much. So, we decided to do a little brainstorming and gathered up a list of classic street foods we’d love to see some enterprising chef throw down in a food truck ASAP.
We’re sure you’ll have some ideas as well, so drop some knowledge on us in the comments.
“Bunny-f*cking-chow!” is the best describer anyone could ever give this dish from South Africa. The name lends itself so well to graphic design, puns, and foodie excitement. Bunny chow is generally a decent curry (think of it hovering around tikka masala or vindaloo territory) heaped into a hollowed out wedge of white bread. It toes the line between being super nourishing and cheap and the perfect drunk food to get sloppy with while standing on a street corner.
A traditional Irish breakfast fry up isn’t that different from England’s full breakfast — that is, salted meats, linked sausages, some bloody puddings, runny eggs, maybe a fried tomato or mushroom, or, you know, heart-stopping nourishment. The Irish Bap basically takes all of that adds cheese and puts it on a big ol’ soft milk bun called a bap. It’s the king of breakfast sandwiches (sorry, not sorry breakfast burrito).
It’s huge. It’s messy. And it’ll cure that Jameson-fueled hangover.
Russo-American relations are more important now than ever. It’s time to build bridges people! And what better way than with food. Pelmeni are little Russian dumpling delights. They’re straight forward and generally filled simply with a single meat like duck, goose, pork, or dark meat turkey — read: something a little fatty and lush. Then you can set them in a nice broth, fried, or steamed and top them with a proper dollop of thick sour cream and a little fresh dill.
Nothing warms you up on a cold winter day than a nice steamy bowl of pelmeni. The bottle of vodka on the side is optional.
This Central Asian noodle soup is addictive. It’s touted as the perfect hangover cure by locals from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan. And given the way most people lost their shit over lamb noodles in NYC this year, it makes sense that Lagman might just be the next big dish — combining fatty beef or lamb with thick egg-based noodles into a deeply earthy broth spiked with tomatoes and chili. You’ll be whisked away to Bishkek with every slurping mouth full.
If you love bowls of pho and lamb noodles, trust us: You’re going to go crazy for lagman.
Speaking of Central Asia (yes, the author of this post has a slight obsession with Central Asia) there’s another cornerstone dish that needs to become more common on these shores ASAP. Imagine a rice dish that has the nostalgia of classic Rice-a-Roni but made with a precision of fatty lamb, earthy spices (coriander, cumin, elderberry, chili, star anise), the sweetness of carrots and dried fruit, and whole roasted garlic heads. And, now, you’re starting to get to the brilliance that is a Plov.
It’s a sort of a bridge between South Asian Biryani and Middle Eastern Pilaf. If you’re in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, there’ll be street chefs manning huge pots of plov on most street corners, and it’s heavenly.
Admittedly there are probably a few food trucks already out there hawking currywurst. Well we say there should be more. A nice fried bockwurst smothered in ketchup and curry powder (and chili flakes for kick) alongside some thick cut fries doused in mayo is a perfect fast food dish. No, seriously, it’s perfect. The mayo and ketchup start to blend into a whole new sauce for all that salty meat and the nice, crisp fries…it’s just delightful. And, maybe, if currywurst catches on as massively in the USA as it has in Germany, it’ll finally put that asinine debate about ketchup on hot dogs to rest. F*ck, we hope so.
From the hard streets of Mumbai comes another messy plate of brilliance that we all will become obsessed with soon. The pav bhaji is kinda like a deconstructed bunny chow. The dish is a thick veg curry (generally chick pea and tomato based with a lot of butter) served with a buttery milk bun (kinda like a bap) and garnished with some red onion, lime, and cilantro. You basically mop up all the curry with the buns and slip into a nirvana like state of being for about ten minutes afterwards.
It’s fast. It’s delicious. And it’s a great vegetarian option for the world of meat-heavy food trucks.
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Pav Bhaji at Kumar Pav Bhaji, Krishna Nagar. Buttery Pav with super spicy Bhaj and some lasoon ka Chutney on the side. My, my! I think THIS IS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! Picture Credits @chocolaty_delights #pavbhaji #foodtalkindia #wow #sogood #indian #mumbaifoodie #foodporn #foodgasm #food #foodie #instagram #igers #igdaily #mumbai #foodlove #love #beautiful #foodpics #eat #bestoftheday #hungry #nomnom #foodblogger #instalike #instagood #like
This Thai dish is a masterpiece. Hoy Tod is eggs, oysters, chilis, green onions, and love quickly fried on a flat top and served either awlua (crispy) or awsuan (loose, or sloppy). The best bet is to start off with the crispy version of the omelet before diving into the loose version if texture is an issue when you try new foods (think runny scrambled eggs with raw oysters). Hoy Tod is probably one of the most popular dishes in Thailand that most don’t really know about (there’s so much more to Thai food than coconut curries and pad thai).
With the resurgence of oysters as a big part of our food culture, this one seems like a win win.
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Its a good day to have #nasigoreng with signature local taste of #balinese . A compatible fussion of balinese #chicken and #fish #skewers or balinese #satelilit , sunny side up fried egg on the top completed with prawn chips, pickles and #sambal or chili chops as infallible condiments. Plan your #lunch and #dinner only at #mooncheesewarungseminyak , we will ready on next #desember . . . . . . . . #onlyatseminyak #opensoon #mooncheesewarungseminyak #seminyakfood #seminyaklifestyle #balibible #maimelali #instafood #guguidebali
Walking around the streets of any Indonesian city, town, or village you’ll come across about ten food carts hawking nasi goreng at any given time, day or night. They’ll have a wok hooked up to a propane tank, and a service station built in with all fresh ingredients. About two minutes after ordering, you’ll be on your way with a nice serving of Indonesian fried rice in a piece of brown paper. Where nasi goreng stands above standard fried rice is deep spiciness of the dish. Sambal olek (a chili paste) is used to layer in the heat. After that there are a lot of options from chicken to seafood to bring the flavor. Oh, and yes, it’s topped with a runny egg.
If a hawker in Singapore can get a Michelin star making chicken rice, then we need to have more of that dish here now. A poached chicken and rice cooked in the poached chicken water is a right of passage for any foodie who fancies themselves a traveler. Singapore’s hawker stalls have an abundance of foods that would work well stateside, but chicken rice is the most iconic and easily translatable to American palates.
Who doesn’t like perfectly cooked chicken and amazing rice?
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This is the soya chicken rice dish from the famous Michelin star hawker at Chinatown Complex! We waited 2,5 hours, someone tried to bribe me for the food and my feet hurt from all the standing BUT the experience was fun! The food was good but if i'm being totally honest i still prefer Tian Tian chicken rice over this. We did bring enough home to eat some more tonight tho and had a lot of fun 😁🍗🍚