Grilled bananas

Who doesn't love grilled bananas? In Vientiane, they are a popular snack. Step out of the office mid-morning or swing by on your way home from lunch to pick up a bag to share with your office colleagues. You hardly even need to hop off your motorbike.

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This is Kham and she has had her stall on the footpath outside a wat (temple) with its distinctive yellow walls. She says that she lives nearby and has had this stall for about three years. She gets the daily temple goers but most of her customers come from passing traffic. She buys bananas from a market in the morning, arrives here about 7am and is cooking by 7.30. She stays all day.

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There's probably a few hundred bananas here. They'll all be gone by tomorrow, Kham says.

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Kham cooks over coals burning in large, shallow, round metal pans, covered with grills; everything balanced on low, wooden benches.

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Kham has two friends hanging out with her to keep her company. They man a small cold drinks stand. She also cooks grilled sweet potato but the sweet bananas are by far the most popular.

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Another popular Lao snack is deep fried bananas, much more fattening of course but very tasty. We'll stick with the original recipe. This bag of ten or so bananas costs 7,000 kip (about $A1.20). We sling them on the motorbike handle and off we go. Yum.

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