30 Southeast Asian Recipes
Filipino Grilled Chicken
Filipino food is having a moment, thanks to flavors like adobo, a salty-tangy soy-vinegar blend that’s excellent with chicken.
Fried Forbidden Rice
For a robust take on the Indonesian fried rice dish nasi goreng, chef Sang Yoon stir-fries black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice, with bacon and roasted garlic. "You can make it with short-grain brown rice, but you'd miss a lot of the fun," Yoon says.
Cambodian Chicken-and-Rice Soup with Shrimp
For this spicy, soothing and restorative chicken-and-rice soup, Ratha Chau prepares his own delectable chicken stock and roasts a chicken, which is then cut into large pieces and added to it. Using prepared stock and preroasted chicken significantly cuts back on prep time.
Southeast Asian Rib Eye Steaks
The anchovies and dry mustard in the marinade for these steaks add a salty, almost umami-like flavor to the meat.
Vermicelli with Chicken Skewers and Nuoc Cham
Penang Beef Curry
Hanger steak gets braised in an aromatic broth until melt-in-your-mouth tender, then simmered in spicy coconut curry sauce.
Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches
The Vietnamese accents here come from Sriracha (Southeast Asian chile sauce) and sweet-salty pickled onions.
Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup with Noodles
With its seductive flavors of coconut, lime, ginger, and cilantro, this Thai soup is quickly becoming a favorite across the country. Our version includes enough chicken and noodles to make it a main course. If you like, turn up the heat with more cayenne.
Lao Mixed Salad with Peanuts and Fried Shallots
A specialty of Luang Prabang, chef Sebastien Rubis's refreshing salad is made with an array of delicious ingredients—greens, shallot, hard-cooked egg, salted peanuts, tomatoes and cucumber.
Silky Burmese-Style Eggplant
Naomi Duguid came across this dish at a guest house in Mrauk U, a beautiful ancient capital in far western Burma. The custardy eggplant was served as part of a meal alongside rice, salads and curries.
Stir-Fried Red Rice with Sliced Sirloin Steak and Peas
"Red rice is slightly sweet and packed with nutrients that both nurture the body and calm the mind," Su-Mei Yu says. Rice is also considered perfectly balanced among all the elements. Here, Yu stir-fries it with thin slices of lean steak, dark leafy greens and zingy cilantro. The dish is also good with salmon or shrimp in place of the steak.
This fast (and almost vegetarian) Thai rice noodle dish is dressed with a deliciously savory, spicy sauce and tossed with crispy tofu.
Coconut-Rice Crêpes Filled with Pork
Ratha Chau serves his classic Cambodian crêpes with a variation on tuk trey (fish sauce)—in this instance, fish sauce doctored overnight with sugar, carrots, ginger and other ingredients. We've streamlined the list of ingredients for the vibrant sauce, and opted not to let it sit overnight so it can be mixed and eaten right away.
Joyce's Vietnamese Chicken Meatballs in Lettuce Wraps
Small Bites by Jennifer Joyce takes the popular restaurant trend of small plates and turns it into a fresh style of entertaining. Joyce's party recipes are clever but extremely doable: She gives chicken meatballs a heavenly sticky glaze, for instance, by rolling them in sugar before baking.
Ground pork, rice, bell peppers, and shiitake mushrooms are cooked in a single pan and flavored with soy sauce, lime juice, and cayenne. Quick, delicious, and easy to clean up after—what more could you want in a dish?
Thai Chicken with Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Sauce
"Thailand is condiment heaven, with a gazillion sauces. This northern Thai-style one is extra-sour, because it uses both tamarind and lime," says Naomi Duguid.
Butter-Braised Corn with Dried Shrimp
This Asian take on buttered summer corn gets marvelous flavor from dried shrimp, Thai chile, scallions and fish sauce.
Thai Crab-and-Green-Mango Salad
To create completely satisfying dishes, Thai cooks aim for a mix of sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavors. In his salad, chef Laurent Tourondel achieves that alluring combination by tossing tart green mango with cucumbers, a myriad of fresh herbs, a vibrant Thai dressing and plenty of delicate, sweet crabmeat.
Eric and Sophie Banh marinate the chicken in a mixture of curry and fish sauce for up to 2 hours before stir-frying. A five-minute marinade allows the curry flavor to develop quickly.
Pad See Yew
Mai Pham gives a twist to this Thai street-food staple by adding bok choy and replacing the usual pork, chicken or beef with shrimp.
Spiced Beef Pho with Sesame-Chile Oil
The rice vermicelli soup pho is a staple all over Vietnam and this spicy beef version is the specialty of Hanoi. At home in Connecticut, Marcia Kiesel often eats it for breakfast, as the Vietnamese do. "It's a perfect meal and an invigorating way to start the day," she says. She's tried innumerable phos but considers the recipe from Binh Duong, her co-author on Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking, to be the best. Inspired by the pho served at Ana Mandara and the Hideaway, she tweaks Duong's recipe by adding an escarole garnish.
Sweet Sticky Rice with Mangoes and Sesame Seeds
Most Thai dishes are best served at room temperature, including this creamy dessert: "If you chill it, it becomes rock-hard, but if you heat it up, it turns to mush," Andy Ricker explains. Many traditional recipes for sticky rice require steaming the grains for up to an hour, but for the supereasy adaptation here, Ricker cleverly suggests microwaving the rice for only about 15 minutes instead.
Balinese Grilled Chicken
On a surfing trip to Indonesia, Pete Evans tried a version of this chicken roasted over an open fire. The turmeric, chiles and ginger in the marinade are popular flavors in Indonesian cooking.
Grilled Beef Rolls with Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
For these Vietnamese-style grilled-beef rolls (bo la lot), Andrew Zimmern wraps flavorful ground sirloin in briny grape leaves and serves them with a sweet, spicy, tangy dipping sauce. Traditionally, they are made with the betel leaf, which is also delicious and can be found at some Asian markets.
Singaporean Sautéed Asparagus with Ginger
Chef Bryant Ng uses a salted duck egg yolk in his sauce for grilled asparagus. Home cooks can get the same delicious effect with a creamy sauce made with hard-cooked egg yolk, cream, ginger, garlic and chiles.
Asian Noodles with Roast Pork
This traditional Singaporean dish is a savory mix of tasty noodles, Chinese broccoli and pork.
Steamed Snapper with Tangy Peanut Sauce
To make this deeply nut-flavored sauce, Andrew Carmellini cooks peanut butter with garlic, ginger and lemongrass, then punches it up with Sriracha hot sauce. It's not the only accompaniment to the snapper, though: He also serves the fillets with the cooking juices, flavored with lime juice, peanut oil and a little pungent fish sauce.
Crispy Pork, Shrimp and Cabbage Imperial Rolls
To make the perfect roll, Valerie Luu and Katie Kwan cook the filling ahead of time and wet the rice paper with their palms. The results: “Crispy, chewy and snowy white rolls!”
Thai Catfish Salad (Laap Pla Duk)
This vibrant catfish salad with mint, dill, cilantro and a spicy lime dressing is served with a bowl of raw vegetables to balance the searing heat. “You want a really deep char on the catfish skin,” says Johnny Monis, who recommends wild salmon as an alternative. “It’s one of my favorite dishes year-round, but it’s best once the weather lets you get the charcoal grill going.”