Mark Lowerson is an Australian teacher/administrator who writes Stickyrice, one of the The Times online’s top 50 food blogs in the world. He has extensive experience in hospitality from a previous life, comes from a family who spends most of their time together talking about food and hanging out in kitchens. Having come to Vietnam in 2002, Mark started Stickyrice as a creative outlet in 2005, focusing his posts on street food in Hanoi and the culture around food in his adopted home.
Mark let us pick his brain for our Best Food Bloggers on Health series; check out his answers to our Q&A, below:
I don’t have too many rules about. That would get in the way of living life, though I am fairly sensible in terms of making sure there is good vegetable or salad content with every meal, particularly those I prepare at home. I like to have wine with an evening meal. That’s an important rule. When I’m out trawling the streets for the blog, my rule is to try everything once. I have put certain things off, though, like the duck fetus, which I’m psyching myself up for.
You obviously love food, but how important is health to you when it comes to your daily diet?
I’m not reckless but I don’t let my diet rule my life. If I went out for dinner and my host was serving deep fried everything, I’d eat it. I wouldn’t eat deep fried food every night though. I’m aware of what’s good for me and what’s bad for me but I don’t worry about every new report on connections between foods/ingredients and disease. I’d starve if I did that. I think that Vietnamese cuisine is relatively healthy so I’m in good hands most of the time when I eat out.
Do you have any specific tips for foodies who want to stay healthy?
Eat a lot of fresh Asian greens and herbs. Drink wine with your evening meal.
What is your favorite healthy treat, and your favorite indulgence?
At the moment, it’s mangosteens which are all over the streets in Hanoi in summer. As far as indulging is concerned, chicken basted and barbequed (skin on!) on the street is a once a month (or so) treat.
What’s one thing you can’t wait to eat this summer?
I will be eating fresh lychees by the kilo in a few weeks time. I like to put them in the fridge for a couple of hours beforehand.