It is no secret that South-East Asia is a gastronomical tourism hotspot. With the massive popularity of Asian cuisine on the global scale, it is safe to say that South-East Asian food culture has a lot to offer when it comes to pleasing your heart and your stomach. South-East Asian dishes are with rich and complex flavors, textures and aromas, the food here is often soul food that will live with you even after you are back home. With a wide array of dishes to offer beyond the traditional, more well-known sushi and pad Thai, here are some of the dishes that you absolutely must try when you visit the South-East Asia.
South-East Asian Rice Dishes: Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng is a type of fried rice that is generally topped with a fried egg and is served paired with some shrimp crackers and is an absolute punch of flavor that will make your taste-buds salivate and leave you craving more even when you’re full to the brim.
South-East Asian Vegetarian Dishes: Lahpet Thok
If you are a vegetarian, this is a dish you can’t afford to miss. This dish from Myanmar offers a symphony of flavors with the earthiness of fermented tea leaves, mixed with fresh cabbage and tomato as well as lots of crunch from dried peas and peanuts and topped off with bold flavors of chili, garlic and lime to make for an incredible symphony of flavors.
South-East Asian Quick Dishes: Pho
This Vietnamese comfort food is essentially a soup with rice noodles and served with chicken or beef, basil or mint leaves, sprouts, onion, chili and lime, and will definitely stay with you long after you leave. The delightful burst of flavor of the broth that is incredibly clear and light will surely leave you satiated.
South-East Asian Delicate Dishes: Amok
This is the must have dish from Cambodia that you absolutely have to try. Cooked inside banana leaves, the meat stays absolutely juicy and tender and is served in a coconut-milk based curry with indigenous and Indian spices to create a delicate, creamy and flavorful curry that will make your taste buds dance.
Malaysian Dishes: Nasi Lemak
The national dish of the country of Malaysia, this is a beautifully aromatic rice that is cooked with coconut and locally sourced pandan leaves, and is served with roasted peanuts, fried egg and a spicy sauce and optionally small fried fish or fried chicken.
This is a street food that you can find almost everywhere in the South East and is essentially chicken pieces marinated and grilled on skewers over a wood/charcoal fire and eaten with peanut sauce. It can be made from beef, mutton, fish, pork or tofu as well.
South-East Asian dishes: Tom Yum:
This clear, sour and spicy soup is made from fragrant herbs and is served with meats like prawns/shrimp, pork, beef or chicken to create a complex symphony of flavors.
You simply can’t miss Laksa when you are in Malaysia or Singapore. This thick noodle soup uses either sweet coconut milk or tamarind paste as the base and is rich and delicious. The lime juice and seasonings cut through the fishy taste to create a beautiful harmonious plate of food.
Khao Niaow Ma Muang
This is one of the best desserts in Thailand and is sticky rice served with mango slices and a coconut-milk sauce or coconut ice cream.
This is a complex dessert with cold coconut milk and syrupy palm sugar with jellies made from rice flour and served with some velvety red beans and shaved ice and is perfect to beat the tropical heat.