Food in Sout-East Asia is varied, distinctive and, because it is comparatively low fat and high in carbohydrate, generally healthy. Traditionally, cooking was done over a fire, so preparation is by boiling, steaming, barbequing and frying, not roasting or baking.
Pho is a rice noodle soup served with beef or chicken and is typically eaten for breakfast. While the soup may seem pretty standard it’s an art form that you can decorate the finishing with with basil or mint leaves, bean sprouts, onion, lime and chili.
This soup is so popular that local people have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a late night meal. It is made of round yellow or skinny white rice noodles. Similar to pho, it can be made with beef, prawn, chicken or pork. However, due to the hot temperature all year round in Ho Chi Minh City, local people prefer to put some sugar on their soup, so it normally tastes sweeter than pho.
Com Hen (Mussel Rice)
Hot white rice is part of every meal in Vietnam, but only Hue mussel rice is served cool. Hue people, after deciding that no food should be wasted, have designed this dish using leftover rice.
This dish includes Chinese vermicelli, bamboo shoots, lean pork meat, and an assortment of green vegetables (banana leaves, mint, star fruit, etc.).
The broth obtained after boiling the mussels is used to flavour the rice. Ginger, sesame, and chili are also added to the broth. This dish is very spicy and it is not rare to see people with watery eyes and sweaty faces while eating it; nevertheless, everyone congratulates the cook for such a delicious meal.
Com Hen almost find in Hue, if you see any restaurant with the same name in other cities, don’t believe them!
Cao Lau is a regional Vietnamese dish made with noodles, pork, and local greens, that is found only in the town of Hội An. Its unique taste and texture is achieved by using water from an undisclosed ancient Cham well, just outside the town. This story is promulgated in a popular guide book and has become something of an urban legend. Some have speculated that Cao lầu noodles could be derived from Japanese soba noodles. However, this theory is flawed, because Cao lầu doesn't contain buckwheat flour.
Amok is a thick sauce dish prepared with a freshwater fish (usually Mekong catfish), coconut milk, chili, onion, lemongrass, garlic lime, and traditional Cambodian spices. It’s served either in a banana leaf or coconut and is not as spicy as other Cambodian dishes.
Prahok aka (Cambodian Cheese)
Don’t let the name fool you, Cambodian Cheese is far from any traditional cheese you’d find in Europe. Prahok is a fermented fish paste, crushed and salted for preservation and flavor. While it’s generally used in soups, you can order it as a dish on its own. Trust me, you won’t want to unless you like chewing on sand.
In the Khmer language, kuyteav refers to the dish and the rice noodles themselves. This traditional pork broth-based rice noodle soup dish is a popular breakfast dish in Cambodia and is popular in neighbouring countries and in countries that have a large Khmer population. Originally developed by Cambodians of Chinese descent, it is always served with the garnishes of lettuce leaves, bean sprouts, chopped scallions, sawtooth coriander, black Kampot pepper, lime juice, and caramelised garlic oil. Kuyteav may be served in one of two ways, with all the ingredients in the soup, or with the soup on the side. Both versions have the same ingredients and allow the diner to control the balance of flavours, temperatures and textures
‘Zesty’ sums up this mouthwatering meat-based salad. A variety of minced meat can be used, then flavoured with mint leaves, chili, fish sauce and lime juice.
Ground toasted rice (khao khua) is usually added, while the mixture is quickly stirred in a pot. Minced turkey larb is a must-try Lao specialty.
Or Lam (Stew)
This food originates from the northern of Luang Prabang. It is a stew mainly made from vegetables, eggplants, beans, black mushrooms and gourds. Then they are seasoned with chili and coriander.
Tam Mak Hoong (Papaya Salad)
This Lao creation is similar to Thai som tam, but it has fermented fish sauce and shrimp paste as the key ingredients, along with garlic, tomatoes, chili, palm sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and brined crabs.
Although it can be extremely spicy, eating it with sticky rice will make it more enjoyable.