US$10 project: Street food challenge in Thailand, Vietnam and Mongolia

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

How much food can you get for US$10 a day in Thailand, Vietnam or Mongolia? Quite a lot really!

For this Asia News Network (ANN) video project, the challenge is to eat as much as possible in cities and towns across China, Mongolia, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, but not spend more than the equivalent of USD10 (S$14) in one day.

Starting with breakfast and ending with supper, the quest is to find the cheapest and tastiest local or street food each place has to serve - all on a budget of ten dollars. Here are the food tours from a few ANN partners.

GoGo Mongolia News Agency

What can you get for 25,000 tugriks in Ulaanbaatar, the coldest capital city in the world? Plenty of meat!

That includes a piroshki, a kind of fried dough food that's a student favourite at the university; banshtai tsai or hot rice tea with meat dumplings at Narantuul, the biggest open air market in Mongolia; and khuushuur, a pasty made with ground beef or mutton mixed with onion, salt and spices. And of course, a hot beverage with every meal.

Việt Nam News

In Hanoi, 225,000 dong can buy you breakfast, coffee, lunch, a snack, dinner and a drink.

That includes bánh mì pate trứng, a baguette with pâte and fried egg; egg coffee, essentially black coffee with condensed milk, topped with whipped egg; bún chả or grilled fatty pork over white rice noodle in a sweet and sour broth; and bánh xèo, a savory fried pancake made with rice batter, stuffed with shrimp, pork and vegetables.

The Nation TV

You'd think stricter street food control in Bangkok means you won't eat much for 350 baht. Wrong.

Get over that river to Wang Lang for the best moo tod or fried pork with garlic and honey, served with sticky rice; tom luad moo or boiled pork blood soup with offal, served with rice; kuay teow reua, a kind of 'boat noodle' made with pork broth; and gra pao gai kai dao or Thai basil chicken served with rice and fried egg.

And in case you missed our video, we managed to eat 12 things in Kuala Lumpur! Yes, we know that RM45 is a lot to spend on food for one person in a day. But all things considered, it's nice to know that mouthwatering street food at bargain prices still exists in Malaysia.

Our Star Media Group team set out to find the best value-for-money meals in the city and discovered that delicious, cheap eating in still on the menu.

Our search took us through the old neighbourhoods, a few historical sites, and into the heart of downtown KL as we sampled the ethnic flavours, cultural tastes and generations-old family recipes that Malaysians love to eat every day.