Have you ever seen a fat Hmong person? Ok, wait let me rephrase that. Have you ever seen a fat old Hmong person? Most likely not, right? Instead, they’re usually pretty small and frail, with loose thin skin that hangs like a poorly constructed pinata. But nevertheless, they’re fit as a fiddle and rocking low bodyfat percentages. What’s their secret? It’s all in their diet.
The traditional OG Hmong diet consists of white rice along with a side dish. Normally that side would include some sort of boiled vegetable with little meat, or no meat at all. The key to their almost-anorexic diet is in the foods they eat. Green vegetables, like mustard green, bak choy, or even green beans. All harvested and boiled into a bland clear soup of non-nutrients and non-existing taste, with a pinch of salt. But that’s how they like it, that’s what they grew up on. Eating meat was a privilege most times, if any at all. So how is it that Uncle Dang can still hustle around his women at the ripe age of 74 and still make them blush with his song and dance? It’s in the food, and also a quick trip to the pharmacy for some Viagra. But mostly the food.
We’ll list a few main dishes that might not be that appealing, but they’ve kept our uncles and aunts, grandmas and grandpas alive with vigor!
Boiled Green Beans
Served cooled, boiled green beans is as simple as you can get. Snap and peel off the ends, throw in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, add a pinch of salt to taste, then set aside to cool to room temperature and serve. On a hot summer day, this dish will have you scooping up spoonfuls of broth to quench your thirst. Calories: barely any.
Of course you knew I was going to put this super awesome mouth watering deliciousness on the list! If there’s one food that will help you shed some pounds fast, and also make you sweat, it’s papaya salad. Add as many chilli peppers as you can withstand and watch as your tastebuds explode with flavor and then fire! It’s no wonder all the hot Hmong women love their papaya salads ultra molten lava spicy! You literally expend more calories eating this than you take in. Calories: -100, depending on the number of peppers you add
Boiled Mustard Greens & Pork
A staple in most Hmong households, boiled greens and pork is the epitome of dinner. (and lunch and sometimes even breakfast) Meat used to be a rare delight when my grandpa told me his stories, but these days you can go out and buy a side of pork for less than it costs to feed it. I love bacon, but I also love my boiled greens and pork. Notice the pork fat and skin still retained for maximum deliciousness! You can substitute the mustard greens for any other green leafy vegetable, each providing their own unique flavor to the dish. Some are more bitter (mustard greens), some more tender (bak choy), others are prickly even (pumpkin leaf/vines). Served with a small pepper dipping sauce and you’ll be smacking your lips with satisfaction. Calories: Who cares? The pork fat is sooooo soft and melts in your mouth! Yum Yum Yum!
I’m not entirely sure how this dish came about, but I’m pretty sure it was accidentally discovered by a Hmong guy who put his greens in a jar of rice water and totally forgot it for like a month. When he opened it, he sniffed an awful but tangy smell emanating from the inside. And of course, like any guy, he tasted it. It was probably pretty bad at first, but as he kept eating it the taste grew on him. I mean, why waste a perfectly good jar of vegetables right? My grandpa would whoop my butt if I even dropped a grain of rice on the floor. Throw in some peppers for a tangy but spicy taste, or eat it straight out of the jar. I’m pretty sure there’s some fermentation going on in there too, but I don’t think there’s any appeal in making a green vegetable liquor any time soon. This dish will fill you up with piss and vinegar, make you grow some hair on your palms and induce a subtle deepening of your voice (only temporary, don’t worry). Or maybe it’ll finally motivate you to create a website that caters to weird and wacky stuff about Hmong people?! Sorry, I already beat you to it. But boiledgreenbeans.com is still available! ■
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