Southeast Asia is a region with a rich culinary history and diverse flavors that can tantalize your taste buds. From the fragrant spices of Indonesia to the aromatic herbs of Vietnam, Southeast Asian cuisine is a melting pot of flavors that will leave you wanting more. In this post, we'll take a look at the top 10 must-try dishes in Southeast Asia that will excite your palate and have you booking your next foodie adventure.
Pad Thai, Thailand
Pad Thai is a classic Thai street food that has become a staple around the world. It's a stir-fried noodle dish made with rice noodles, shrimp or chicken, bean sprouts, eggs, and peanuts. The dish is flavored with a blend of tamarind paste, fish sauce, and palm sugar, giving it a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and sour. You can find Pad Thai at street food stalls all over Thailand, but it's particularly famous in Bangkok's Chinatown.
Banh Mi, Vietnam
Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that is made with a French baguette filled with a variety of meats, vegetables, and condiments. The traditional fillings include pork belly, liver pate, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and chili peppers. This sandwich is a perfect blend of Vietnamese and French cuisine, which makes it unique and utterly delicious.
Nasi Goreng, Indonesia
Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian-style fried rice dish that is flavored with a blend of sweet soy sauce, shrimp paste, and chili. It's typically served with a fried egg, crispy shallots, and prawn crackers. This dish is a staple of Indonesian cuisine and is a popular street food in Jakarta.
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup that's popular in Malaysia and Singapore. It's made with rice noodles, fish or chicken, coconut milk, and a spicy broth flavored with lemongrass, galangal, and chili. The dish is typically topped with bean sprouts, coriander, and fried shallots. Laksa is a dish that's sure to warm you up on a cold day.
Tom Yum Goong, Thailand
Tom Yum Goong is a hot and sour shrimp soup that's popular in Thailand. It's made with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chili peppers, and shrimp. The dish has a complex flavor that's both spicy and sour, and it's typically served with rice.
Bun Cha, Vietnam
Bun Cha is a Vietnamese dish that consists of grilled pork meatballs, noodles, and herbs. The meatballs are marinated in fish sauce and grilled over charcoal, giving them a smoky flavor. The dish is typically served with a dipping sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice.
Rendang is a slow-cooked beef curry that's flavored with a blend of coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, and spices. The dish is typically served with rice and is a staple of Indonesian cuisine. Rendang is a dish that's sure to please those who love bold and spicy flavors.
Pho is a Vietnamese soup that's made with beef or chicken, rice noodles, and a flavorful broth. The broth is made by simmering beef or chicken bones with onions, ginger, and spices. The dish is typically served with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, and lime wedges.
Laksa (Malaysia and Singapore)
Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup that originated in Malaysia but is also commonly found in Singapore. It's made with rice noodles and a flavorful, spicy coconut-based broth that's filled with various ingredients such as shrimp, fish cakes, tofu puffs, and bean sprouts. There are different variations of laksa depending on the region, but they all share the same delicious and aromatic qualities that make this dish a must-try when visiting Southeast Asia.
Mee Goreng, Malaysia
Mee Goreng, Malaysia: Another popular noodle dish in Southeast Asia is Mee Goreng, which hails from Malaysia. This spicy and flavorful dish features yellow noodles stir-fried with a mix of vegetables, seafood, tofu, and egg, all tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce made with chili paste, tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Mee Goreng is often served with a side of crispy crackers and a squeeze of lime for added freshness. It's a dish that perfectly balances sweet, sour, and spicy flavors, and is a must-try for any foodie traveling to Malaysia.