One of the famous cuisines in the world is from Southeast Asia. The recipes originating from this region usually incorporate the complex flavors from Indian spices and herbs, as well as the principles of Chinese cuisine.
When you find a good restaurant or food establishment that serves Southeast Asian dishes, you’ll likely be blown away by the diverse selection. The meals you order can be spicy, sour, sweet, and salty. They’ll surely give your palate a unique experience.
If you can’t travel to Southeast Asia and try out the cuisine in this region, don’t fret. You could create a food bucket list in the meantime and add Southeast Asian dishes you want to try in the future.
Not sure what dishes to add on your list? Consider these seven mouth-watering choices:
This traditional stew from the Philippines consists of vegetables, a savory peanut sauce, and a main protein, such as oxtail, tripe, and pork leg. You’ll usually find a serving of delicious bagoong (fermented fish or shrimp paste) to elevate the flavor of the overall dish.
Filipino chefs and home cooks will typically cook Kare-Kare in a palayok, a clay cooking pot. Once the dish has finished cooking, the same pot will act as the serving bowl for the diner.
This is the famous and national noodle dish of Vietnam. It’s a meal that you can eat any day or night.
Cooks prepare the Pho broth in advance using meat and bones. Then, they add rice noodles, onion, and another protein. They then add season with ginger, cilantro, and cinnamon to create a light but complex flavor to the soup.
Pho comes served with a plate of green onions, chili peppers, and basil leaves. Diners, however, have the option to season the broth the way they want.
If you want to start your day right, eat a delicious bowl of this dish from Myanmar. This hearty and filling meal provides Burmese the energy they need to prepare for the working day.
Mohinga consists of a broth made with Catfish, rice noodles, and a combination of spices, such as lemongrass, coriander, and lime. Cooks finish this piping-hot breakfast dish with a topping of hard-boiled eggs and crispy fritters.
This tasty version of a mixed salad originated from the native people of Indonesia. It typically consists of tofu, eggs, a variety of vegetables, and tempeh (a plant-based protein made using fermented soybeans). It also comes with a cashew or peanut sauce.
You can Gado-Gado by itself or pair it with other foods, such as chicken and rice. You’ll find this classic street food sold at Hawker centers and vendors along the street. You can eat this delectable dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
5. Nasi Lemak
If you’re coming to Malaysia, don’t forget to try their famous Nasi Lemak. This dish consists of rice cooked in coconut milk. It also comes with boiled eggs, anchovies, peanuts, and cucumbers. Rounding up this meal is the addition of sambal, a chili paste or sauce made from a combination of chilies.
Although Nasi Lemak is originally a breakfast dish, you’re free to eat it any time you like. You could eat it alone or in combination with other foods like fried fish, chicken, and curry.
This creamy or sour dish has created a following in both Singapore and Malaysia (specifically in Penang). This meal has two variations: curry laksa and asam laksa.
Asam laksa uses sour tamarind paste as the base of the dish. Curry laksa, on the other hand, uses sweet coconut milk. Both have a gritty texture, as well as a rich and filling taste. Lime juice prevents the fishy taste from becoming too overpowering. Also, spices like lemongrass enhance the flavor of the soup.
You can find laksa in the top food spots of Malaysia and Singapore. Just check out the hawker centers and you’ll likely find that dish as a menu item.
This dish is a staple to the northern parts of Thailand and Laos. The tasty and simple meal consists of roughly chopped meat together served along with fish sauce and sticky rice.
Laap has a few different variations that you could sample. Cooks can use chicken, duck, pork, beef, or fish as the main protein for their dish. You can add some zest into this dish by adding mint, chili, and lime.
People usually eat Laap with their bare hands. So, make sure you wash and clean your hands thoroughly before digging in.
If you’re going to check out Southeast Asia in the future, don’t just settle with fried rice and the familiar fast-food joints. Live a little by trying out these seven delectable dishes.