Best 10 street food dishes you have to try in Southeast Asia

Food, glorious, food! Food memories just stay with you just as much as the trip itself, from eating fresh seafood on the Mediterranean coast to discovering delicacies like guinea pig in Peru, food is built into our adventures no matter what. Southeast Asia is one of the best places for an unforgettable food experience, with an abundance of night markets and street food stalls offering local eats for cheaper than you can imagine. Here are some of the tastiest dishes you have to try when travelling in Southeast Asia. 

Bánh mì, Vietnam

When baguettes were introduced to Vietnam, when they were part of the French Indochina, the banh mi quickly became a street food staple that is now found on nearly every corner. The Banh Mi is a sensationally Asian take on the baguette – with roast pork belly, sausage or grilled pork spread across a light fluffy bread smeared with pate. Toppings typically include fresh cucumber slices, coriander, pickled carrots, sliced chillies and a sriracha/mayo drizzle. 

 

Roti Canai, Malaysia 
This Indian-inspired dish is popular in Southeast Asia in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and enjoyed at breakfast or as a snack. The roti is made from a flour-based dough that’s been stretched and layered up to create a round bread perfect for lapping up curries or if you have a sweeter tooth, enjoy the roti with condensed milk and chocolate cream.
Laab, Laos 
This spicy meat salad is unexpectedly delicious and perfect for hot and humid days in Laos, as it’s usually served room temperature – a perfect alternative to a curry. It’s typically made from minced meat like chicken, beef, duck or pork, flavoured with fish sauce, lime juice, chilli and mint. 

 

Amok, Cambodia 
Amok is a staple in Cambodian or Khmer cooking and named after the process of steam cooking the curry in banana leaves. With not many ingredients in this dish, coconut cream, lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce, palm sugar, turmeric paste, galangal and of course, chillies are classic base ingredients with white fish serving as the main protein. A decadent treat for the tastebuds.
Pho, Vietnam 
This typical street food from Vietnam (pronounced ‘fuh’) is a fragrant spiced broth with rice noodles and thin slices of beef or chicken and served with a plate of accompaniments of spring and white onion, Thai basil, chilli, lemon/lime wedges, bean sprouts, mint and coriander. Customise your bowl of pho with the amount of garnishes you add in.

 

 

Som Tum, Thailand 
This dish might be a refreshing and lighter option to all the rich curries Thailand has to offer. Som Tam aka green papaya salad takes an unripe papaya, shredded into fine slices and tossed together with asparagus beans, chilli, dried shrimp, fish sauce, garlic, lime, palm sugar, shrimp paste, tomatoes and either cashews or peanuts. 
Bánh Xèo, Vietnam 
Quite literally translating to ‘sizzling pancake’, for the sizzle it makes as it cooks, the Bánh Xèo sits somewhere on the scale of an Asian savoury crepe. The pancake, made from rice flour, water and turmeric, is filled with ingredients like bean sprouts, carrots, taro, shrimp and thin slices of pork. And in typical Vietnamese style, a side plate of garnishes such as mustard leaf, basil, coriander and mint accompany the dish to add wonderful depth of flavour and texture.

 

 

Khao Soi, Thailand
A creamy yet spicy chicken noodle soup from the Northern region of Thailand is a perfect winter warmer. The soup base is a perfect combination of coconut milk and curry paste with fresh noodles chucked in and topped with an array of garnishes from coriander, crispy noodles and onion.
Mi or Nasi Goreng, Indonesia
These are ultimate staple dishes when travelling through Indonesia – you can rely on it for a quick meal that’ll cost next to nothing (I’ve come across nasi goreng as cheap as 50p!) and you can even enjoy this dish at breakfast without anyone doubting you for having fried rice before midday. Nasi goreng is made with rice and mi goreng is the same dish in noodle form. Both are stir fried with kecap manis (a sweet soy sauce), shallots, garlic, ground shrimp paste, tamarind and chillies then topped with an egg.  

 

 

Laksa, Malaysia 
This indulgent curry soup is another must-try. There are many varieties of the Laksa, deriving from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Commonly served as a noodle soup, Laksa contains rice noodles or vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish served in a spicy, rich, coconut milk curry.

 

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