South-east Asian Specialties!

Southeast Asian countries have a variety of different specialties. The following list shows the top 10 most famous dishes from each Southeast Asian country.

1) Thailand: Tom Yum Kung, Pad Thai, Som Tam, Mango Sticky Rice

Your tongue will be on sensory overdrive as you enjoy this dish. The pungent flavor of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, the tanginess of tomatoes (and/or tamarind), the spiciness from fresh Thai chili peppers, the sweetness from sugar or palm syrup, the saltiness from fish sauce, and a touch of sourness from lime juice all combine to make your taste buds do an exotic dance.

2) Malaysia: Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Roti Canai

Issues of authenticity aside, this dish is one of the great classics of Malay cuisine. It takes a bit of effort to prepare, but it’s well worth it. First off, you start with fragrant jasmine rice that has been soaked overnight and then steamed until fluffy and tender. The rice may be served plain or topped with a delicious coconut-based curry sauce (Santan) made from scratch or purchased premade from a Malaysian market. Accompanying many Southeast Asian dishes, freshly sliced cucumbers in vinegar make for a refreshing side salad. However, nasi lemak is best known for being wrapped up in banana leaves before cooking so as to impartTom Yum Kung – Tasting Thailand.

3) Vietnam:Pho Bo/Ga, Bun Cha Hanoi, Bánh Xèo Chay (vegetarian food)

The best vegetarian pho in Hanoi is at Quan An Ngon, but I prefer my own recipe. Must try Vietnamese dish here. Bun Cha is delicious marinated pork with cold noodle salad. Bánh Xèo is a savory crepe stuffed with bean sprouts, green onion, and mushrooms. The sauce for this meal usually includes hoisin sauce or fish sauce mixed with soy sauce, lime juice, garlic chili paste, sriracha hot pepper sauce, and sugar.

4) Indonesia : Rendang Daging , Babi Guling Jakarta , Mi Goreng

Indonesian cuisine is one of the most vibrant and colorful cuisines in the world, full of intense flavor. Indonesia’s 2500 years old history and geography have influenced its national cuisine which varies from place to place throughout the archipelago and it has developed over time with overseas influences and adopted new techniques and ingredients due to foreign trade. The country’s 17,508 islands (8,977 inhabited) also contribute to this diversity as do its many ethnic groups who have their own cultural traditions, native foods, cooking styles, and favorite dishes.

5) Philippines: Kare-kare , Longganisa , Lechon/Suckling Pig

Kare-Kare is a dish that originated in the Philippines, where it is considered one of the country’s national dishes. Kare-Kare is also popular in Hawaii and in some eateries in the United States.

6) Singapore: Chilli Crab, Fish Head Curry, Laksa

The national dish of Singapore is chili crab, typically served with garlic and pepper sauce. Other local favorites include:1) Fish head curry: steamed fish topped with rich and spicy curried gravy and accompanied by assorted vegetables and hard-boiled eggs;2) Laksa: noodles in a rich coconut curry broth, topped with prawns, cockles, egg, bean sprouts, and laksa leaves (similar to coriander);3) Hainanese chicken rice poached or baked chicken cooked in seasoned broth served with rice cooked in chicken stock, blanched vegetables and light soy sauce;4) Kaya toast: slices of French toast made from thick white bread.

7) Laos: Laab , Khao Poon, Luuk Chin Pla

In the Lao language, laab means to pound or a method of pounding. In cuisine, it is a meat salad made from minced meat, fish, or chicken that is mixed with herbs and spices and pounded in a mortar until well blended. The words Khao poon and luuk chin pla refer to two types of seasoned soup served as main dishes in Laos; they are very similar but distinct.

Pork-based Luuk Chin Pla (referred to as simply “pla” on some restaurant menus), also known as nam pa, is part of the staple diet of most Laotian families. It’s prepared by first boiling pork bones for several hours to make broth which is then simmered with garlic, ginger, turmeric root (known in Laos as khaa ), cilantro roots or powder, and fish sauce to taste. Fresh fish slices are added at the end of cooking. This sour aromatic soup is usually presented with lots of fresh vegetables, including cabbage leaves, sliced star fruit (referred to in Laotian language by its Indian name Manggis ), cucumber slices, whole chili peppers, spring onion stems, and flowers. A sprinkle of chopped mint can be added just before serving.

Some Luuk Chin Pla restaurants also serve Khao Poon, which is very similar to Nam Tok Moo, a Thai dish prepared with minced pork or beef cooked in spicy lime juice and seasoned with red chili pepper, sugar, and fish sauce.


  8) Myanmar: Mohinga, Guay Teow Poe, Shan Noodles (Kyet Thawt)

Myanmar [formerly Burma] is an incredibly beautiful and unique country in Southeast Asia. It has one of the world’s most distinct cuisines, which varies depending on which part of the country you’re in. One thing that all Burmese cuisine seems to have in common though is rice noodles, served under a variety of different names and dishes including Kyet Thawt (Shan noodles), Mohinga, Guay Teow Poe, Laphet Thote (Egg Flower Salad), and many more.

Shan Noodles are a famous dish from the Shan State of Myanmar consisting of egg noodles served with tomatoes, beans, Shan dressing (oil, garlic, chili powder), and various other toppings. It is traditionally served on special occasions but it has become a common street food throughout the country.

9) Cambodia: Amok, Nom Banh Chok, Kampot Pepper Crab

In Cambodia, amok is a well-known dish consisting of fish or meat that is cooked in a banana leaf and eaten with either rice or vegetables. In this version, the bananas are ingeniously replaced by thin slices of eggplant it’s soaked overnight in salted water to make them more elastic and to draw out their excessive liquid – you’ll find they won’t crack during cooking like regular bananas would –and then stuffed not only with ground beef but also fresh crab and Kampot pepper (see Note). It’s important that these ingredients be chopped as finely as possible; if the ground beef is’ very lean, add some bread crumbs or cook it before adding it to the stuffing. Amok can be eaten hot or at room temperature.

10) Brunei: Ambuyat, Kueh Bandung

The most famous Bruneian dish is Ambuyat (pronounced Om-boo-yet). The main ingredient of this dish is sago starch which looks like shredded coconut meat or white cotton balls underwater with little black dots in it. This food has no smell but tastes sour when eaten after it is soaked in water for about five minutes.

When cooked with spices it tastes like gingerbread without sugar. One can find Ambuyat in any restaurant for between $1 to $3 Brunei dollars per plate or kuih Bandung ($1 BND = $0.73 USD)

Kueh Bandung is a type of food that you can find almost anywhere in Brunei. It contains eggs, fish, rice, chicken, beef, and vegetables. It looks like a noodle soup but it tastes slightly sweet with pandan flavor and it costs $1-2 BND per bowl (roughly $0.70 – 1.50).

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