Must-Taste Street Foods in Southeast Asia

One of the most enjoyable parts of travelling is being able to taste local food. Yes, attractions are the primary reasons why people travel. But, it is undeniably true that food also captures the interest of most travellers. Tourist spots satisfy the eyes, while native foodstuffs fill the hungry stomach and curious mind.

Do you know where you can find some of the most authentic foods in Southeast Asia? Look no further. Every country in this region has its own distinct food that travellers must taste. In fact, these foodstuffs have become trademark of respective nation.

Som Tam – Thailand

Som Tam

A trip to Thailand is not complete without tasting som tam. Bangkok is widely known for its heavyweight street food scene. It is part of their culture to have foodstuff on sidewalk so people can immediately fill their hungry stomach. One can satisfy his/her taste buds while roaming around the city without stepping inside a restaurant.

Som tam is just a simple food – a spicy salad; but its taste is very distinct from the rest. It is made of shredded green papaya mixed with sour lime, hot chili, fish sauce and palm sugar. There are other versions of this food in other countries; however, Thai som tam is unique as it combined four main tastes including sweet, sour, salty and spicy. Oftentimes, it is topped with secondary ingredients like pounded peanut or shrimp.

Wonton Mee – Malaysia

Wonton Mee

Sure, wonton mee looks very ordinary considering that different versions are scattered all over Asia. However, wonton mee from Malaysia is something to look forward to when visiting the country. What makes it distinct from the others? Actually, it cannot be explained. So, it’s better to taste it yourself.

Wonton mee dish consists of springy egg noodles, which are not overcooked – meaning it is served al dente. Its sauce is made from lard oil and soy sauce, which give this dish a mouth-watering look. It is usually topped with green leafy vegetable, like Chinese kale, onions and chillies.

Taho – Philippines


With so many street foods in this country, taho is one of the most notable ones. It is a popular food every morning specifically to the little ones. Kids love this food because of its sweet taste. Taho becomes a signature sweet sold to both young and old.

Taho is made of fresh silken tofu mixed with a syrup called “arnibal” – caramelized brown sugar and vanilla. The arnibal serves as the sweetener. Tiny sago pearls are also added to make the taste/look more appealing. No need to look for taho peddlers as these vendors roam almost in every street yelling “tahoooo”.

Banh Khot – Vietnam

Banh Khot

Also known as coconut rice pancake, banh khot comes with eye-catching color and unique shape. A specialized banh khot pan is used to form the crispy pancake. Banh khot can be topped with shrimp or pork. Or, it can be served with herbs and lettuce leaf. Place the rice cake on the leaf, add herbs and fish sauce then wrap it with the leaf. Take a bite!

So, there you have it. These are just some of the most popular street foods found in these countries. If you are looking for more authentic foodstuffs, check out other nations in Southeast Asia. Surely, these foods can make your mouth shut up and just savor whatever you put in your mouth. With good foods and nice attractions, you vacation to any country in this region is sure to become a memorable experience. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your suitcase and look for best flight deals. Don’t worry there are lots of fine hotels in these areas.


This guest article was written by Ashley O’connor. She writes just about anything, but specializes in travel and family related topics. When she has spare time, she loves to travel to local and international destinations. She loves to check out wonderful sceneries and local food. Follow her on Twitter at @AshleyOconnor82, Google+ or add her on Facebook.

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