Southeast Asia is known to be the home for ancient temples and unspoiled sun-kissed beaches. Yet, you are not fully enjoying your trip unless you step out of your comfort zone and fill up your belly with SE Asian spices. Here are the best and most popular choices you might wanna try during your next visit.
1. Thai Green Papaya Salad
The proverb “When in Rome, do as Romans do” cannot go under the same definition when it comes to Thai food. Thai food is hot and spicy, relatively hard for people with a sweet tooth to deal with it. Nevertheless, this dish is something that you must try when visiting Thailand.
Thai Green Papaya salad is a perfect combination of shredded green papaya, fish sauce, dried shrimps and roasted peanuts. The balance between the spiciness, sweetness and saltiness is something hard to forget. The dish is sometimes served with beef and salted crab too. Fancily sliced carrots and tomatoes, fresh green chilies are garnished. The dish is called Som Tum in Thai and the price range is 10-70 Baht depending on the restaurant of your choice.
2. Bak Kut Teh
Bak Kut Teh is boiled pork ribs with a lot of Chinese herbal spices (well, I don’t know all their names frankly), mushrooms, garlics, ginger and cinnamon. The dish is originated in China albeit it is a symbolic dish in both Singapore and Malaysia. This one is my favorite and I kinda miss that.
A bowl of rice and Chinese green tea is the best accompany to wash down the fat content of Bak Kut Teh. With the generous slices of tender pork and garlicky soya bean sauce, I can imagine the Singaporeans’ addiction to this. A nice bowl of Bak Kut Teh can sweep off the really bad jet lag!
The most popular and significant dish in Vietnam would be Pho (Vietnamese pronounce somewhat like Feh). It is easily available and incredibly affordable. This is a renowned noodle soup with chicken, pork or beef and Vietnamese serve it any time of the day, especially breakfast.
This mouthwatering bowlful of Pho is something that should definitely be included in your Hanoi activities’ checklist.
Indonesia being the largest country in SE Asia possess diverse array of cultural and natural heritage. Its tropical season and numerous small islands create abundant fresh fruits and seafood making me hard to pick up one signature dish when I am in love with all of them.
Still, lying on the beach at Bali sipping fruitful cocktail and feeling the breeze across the palm tree is splendid but yet not complete with a taste of Satay. Satay is grilled diced chicken stick with thick cream dip-in sauce and it is readily available throughout the country from street vendor to high-end resort. Do try Satay while in Bali!
5. Fish Amok
A nice B&B in Cambodia would definitely serve you with classic Khmer dish, Fish Amok.
It’s steamed fish with banana leaf with coconut milk on top.
But what actually unusual about Cambodia is not really fish amok I believe. It is fried insects food stalls! If you dare enough to try fried human palm sized fried spiders, fried crickets and big ants, this could be a big challenge!
Well, honestly, I’ve never been to Philippines though I have one good Filipino friend who
is very generous and always invites me over their traditional feast. Big thanks to her; I’ve tried some Filipino dishes.
This article is quite spiced up enough so this time I’m going for something sweet. Halo-Halo is by far the most delicious Filipino dessert I’ve ever tried. The name itself is pretty cute to pronounce besides “Halo-Halo” means “Mix- Mix” in Tagalog. The way it is served is fancier, shaved ice, evaporated milk, abundant juicy fruits and beans are put in a colored tall glass. Being someone with a sweet tooth, I give two thumbs up for this one!
7. La Phat Thoke
It literally means pickled tea leaves salad in Burmese. There are a lot of controversialists who advocate Mont Hin Gar or La Phat Thoke should be the symbolic dish of Myanmar.
Whatever it is, I am about to introduce you with my favorite Burmese dish La Phat Thoke. This is categorized more of a snack which people tend to have it in afternoon with hot plain tea.
Since the bygone era of Myanmar Monarch, Myanmar people enjoyed tea and used tea leaves in various ways as food, medicine and beauty products. Other traditional foods of Myanmar vary according to region where you are consuming whereas La-Phat-Thoke can be enjoyed all over the country from dry zone to cold highlands.
And thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more SE Asia travel reads on Above Zest!