Aside from the fact that the countries that make up Southeast Asia are famous for their beautiful tourist spots, their food happens to some of the most flavourful and distinctive dishes around the world.
That’s why we thought of culling a list of the best Southeast Asian dishes foreigners from other parts of the world should try and hopefully, include in their own list of favorites:
#1. Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng is Indonesia’s version of fried rice. Theirs is quite yummy just by looking at it. Lots of shallots, garlic, sweet soy sauce, a variety of spices and seasonings, various veggies, fried egg and rice, of course.
#2. Seafood Sinigang
Sinigang is a Filipino favorite alongside Adobo. It is a tamarind based clear soup, that is so flavorful, you would surely be having seconds. Vegetables, shrimps and a load of other seafood are stewed with lots of tamarind, tomatoes, onion and garlic. It’s the tangy flavor of this dish that makes it a big favorite among the Filipinos.
#3. Chilli Crab
One of Singapore’s national dishes, the chilli crab is a favorite in any restaurant no matter the country in Southeast Asia. This tasteful dish is made of juicy crab cooked in fresh tomato and chilli-based sauce. It is best eaten with bare hands. If you love seafood, and crab in particular, this dish is perfect for you.
#4. Vietnamese Coffee
Made of strong coffee and sweetened condensed milk, the Vietnamese Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the region. The simultaneous effects of caffeine and sugar from the sweet condensed milk, make it the perfect drink any time of day.
#5. Tea Leaf Salad
Tea is not just a drink but a popular food staple in Burma. The lahpet, or pickled tea, is the most important ingredient in Tea Leaf Salad. With a considerable serving of cabbage, peanuts, tomatoes, fried garlic, and seeds, and voila! You now have a delicious and healthy Burmese Tea Leaf Salad!
This mouthwatering Filipino dessert has quite the ensemble of ingredients that may be difficult to find in other countries. Nevertheless, the sugar rush from this cold treat is worth every bite. Start with shaved ice served in a tall glass or a bowl. Then start piling on fruits, sweet beans, syrups, jellies, tapioca pearls and a scoop or two of ice cream. Oh, and if you’re feeling a bit more indulgent, you might want to include a dollop of purple yam jam.
#7. Nasi Lemak
Malaysia’s breakfast dish, the fragrant rice is cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves, making the rice smell sweet. Top the rice with sambal, a staple andflavorful chili sauce in Malaysia, and serve with anchovies and fresh cucumber on the side.
#8. Green Papaya Salad
Found throughout the region, this salad is simple to make. Shredded unripe papaya seasoned with chili peppers and lime, and dried shrimp. The result? A salad that is slightly tangy and spicy at the same time.
#9. Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango
Another staple in the region, sticky rice is a favorite even as a dessert. Served with mangoes, this sweet dish is sticky rice that is infused with coconut milk. Very simple to prepare but can induce oohs and aahs with every bite.
#10. Amok Trey
The traditional Cambodian way of preparing fish by cooking it in banana leaves. Steamed in a coconut milk-curry base, with a dollop or two of Khmer seasoning curry paste, and tightly wrapped in banana leaves.
#11. Tom Kha Kai
A classic staple in Thailand, this coconut based chicken soup is made up of lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Oozing with so much flavor, your tastebuds are sure to thank you for it.
Do let us know if you’ve had the chance to taste all the dishes in the list and which ones will become your favorites.