There are so many amazing dishes across Southeast Asia that are worth traveling for (although you can try out a few examples in Dubai), from the tourist pleasers to the hidden gems that the locals love. In fact, one of the best things about Southeast Asia is the incredible food! Here are 5 delicious dishes to try if you ever find yourself in the area. (Or, five reasons to travel specifically to Southeast Asia — these dishes are that good.)
This leftover rice meal is the national dish of Indonesia and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Take leftover rice from the night before and add to it whatever you want! The common ingredients include shredded meat, eggs, shallots, and chives, as well as various spices such as garlic and chili, but the beauty of this dish is that anything can be added and it tastes fantastic. You will find nasi goreng being served in the finest restaurants, and as street food — it’s very versatile!
This popular Vietnamese dish originated in China but captures the very essence of Vietnamese cuisine — salty, sweet, sour and spicy, with contrasting textures. An incredibly tender lean shoulder of pork sits with crispy shallots and peanuts, with fresh rice noodles on top for a dish that is a treat for all your senses!
According to 1 Cover, there is nothing that comes close to authentic Pad Thai that you can buy on the streets of Bangkok for little more than spare change. There is a chance you have tried Pad Thai before, whether in somewhere like New Zealand, or as part of a chain such as Wagamamas, but until you have eaten the real deal you won’t know what Pad Thai really is! Bangkok’s offering is always the perfect mix of spicy, sweet and sour and is a filling dish for not a lot of money!
This delicious steamed dessert is sold on the streets in Laos and is as cheap as it is filling! Sticky rice, black bean, and coconut cream are steamed inside banana leaf parcels, occasionally with other ingredients added, such as peanuts to add different flavors. The perfect authentic sweet treat to grab when you are exploring, but be warned, you will probably be left wanting another!
Not the most conventional of dishes, but fried insects are surprisingly delicious and a very popular street food option in Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Topped with pepper powder and washed down with a cold beer, this crunchy snack is the equivalent of sharing a bowl of chips at the bar with friends. At the very least, it makes for a good story to tell your friends when you get home!
There is no better way to explore Southeast Asia than with your taste buds! The food is delicious and filling and unlike any other cuisine. You could eat something different every day and never get bored! What are your favorite Southeast Asian dishes? Let us know in the comments!