Southeast Asian food is famous throughout the world thanks to its distinctive colours and unparalleled flavours. Southeast Asian food is traditionally rich and abundant in flavour and spices, making it a culinary work of art for local and foreign foodies.
Tasting a country’s staple dish is a key part of any trip. It typically embodies the great value of the country’s history and culture. The dishes listed below represent some of the must-try Southeast Asian food.
PHO – A SIGNATURE OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN FOOD
When thinking of tasty noodle dishes in both Southeast Asia and across the globe, Vietnamese Pho always tops the leader board. An iconic dish that exudes not only tradition but also the elegance of Vietnamese cuisine, Pho can tantalise the tastebuds of the fussiest of eaters. At the skillful and deftly hands of local food masters, ordinary ingredients turn into a culinary work of art. A steaming hot bowl of delicious Pho is created by using fragrant cow broth, thin slices of beef or chicken and is served with spring onions, peppers, lemons, garlic and vinegar.
NASI LEMAK – A GREAT MALAYSIAN DISH
Malaysian cuisine fascinates both locals and travellers with the perfect blend of unique flavours. If you are passionate about Malaysian food, you may certainly have heard of Nasi Lemak. The dish consists of rice steamed in fragrant coconut milk and a mix of other ingredients (boiled eggs, dried anchovies, peanuts and sliced cucumbers) all served up with a fiery sambal (chilli paste). All of these ingredients are wrapped into a pyramid shape in a double layer of banana leaves. Stroll through the local food markets or head to any street vendor at any time of day and you will be able to grab a plate of Nasi Lemak.
PAD THAI – THE MOST POPULAR THAI DISH
When Thai cuisine pops up in conversation, Pad Thai – a very famous Southeast Asian food – is always the first dish to spring to mind. This fabulously spicy dish has a worldwide reputation for its flavouful zest, making it a great pride of Thai cuisine. Flat rice noodles are stir-fried with eggs, bean sprouts, spices and shrimps to create a dish full of flavour. Strolling by the street vendors in Thailand, then you will not be able to resist this well-known food from Southeast Asia.
HALO-HALO – A FAVOURITE FILIPINO DESSERT
Another staple Southeast Asian food is the frozen Filipino dessert – Halo-Halo. Popular in the Philippines, Halo-Halo means “mix-mix” in English. This cool shaved iced concoction is the perfect snack for a sweltering day in the Philippines. The shaved ice dessert is typically mixed with condensed milk and red beans, some variations of the dessert are blended with local fruits, for instance, coconut, jackfruit, bananas, pounded rice, caramel custard and dollops of purple yam. Halo-Halo is an absolute must-try when visiting this fascinating country.
LAP – THE TRADITIONAL DISH OF LAOS
Laotian cuisine bears a similar identity to other Southeast Asian countries. However, many Laotian dishes have their own unique local twist. Simple but delicious, Lapp – the national dish in Laos – is traditionally made of roughly chopped meat (chicken, fish, beef, pork, or even duck) blended with toasted sticky rice and then seasoned with fish sauce, herbs, lime and chillies. More than just a delicious dish, Lapp is thought to bring the Laotians peace and good fortune.
SINGAPORE CHILLI CRAB – A GREAT IMPRESSION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN FOOD
No Singapore food tour would be complete without devouring a plate of chilli crab. It is said that Singapore cuisine is quite similar to some neighbouring countries such as China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia, however, it still brings its very own distinctive style. Chilli crab is usually marinated in an excellent concoction of nearly 20 spices and vegetables to create a nutty taste. The base of the sauce is tomatoes and spicy chillies, making it the best culinary experience for every traveller.
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