19 Sensational Southeast Asian Recipes

Pancit Miki Bihon
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Kay E. Clarke

Southeast Asia is a tropical region of the continent encompassing 11 countries. That diversity fosters rich, varying culture and cuisine. With recipes from the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and beyond, here’s some of our favorite Southeast Asian food, from a tofu pad Thai recipe to a beef pho recipe with a kick.

01 of 19

Pancit Miki Bihon

Pancit Miki Bihon
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Kay E. Clarke

"Pancit is a catch-all term for noodle dishes in the Philippines — and there are so many variations of pancit" says Carlo Lamagna, the chef and owner of Magna Kusina in Portland, Oregon. This particular pancit by Lamagna combines two types of noodles: bihon (long, thin noodles usually made from rice flour or cornstarch) and miki (egg noodles). 

02 of 19

Vegan Mushroom and Fried Tofu Sisig

Vegan Mushroom and Fried Tofu Sisig
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Classic Filipino sisig is made with pork belly and chicken liver cooked with onions, chiles, and calamansi. Chef Kristine Subido offers a vegan option to this traditionally meat-heavy dish, with fried tofu and king trumpet mushrooms at the center.

03 of 19

Cambodian Black Pepper Beef (Lok Lak)

Cambodian Black Pepper Beef Lok Lak
Greg Dupree

Wok cooking happens quickly, so prepare each ingredient beforehand. A 2019 F&W Best New Chef, Nite Yun not only tenderizes the flank steak with an intensely flavorful marinade but also adds punchy flavor in just a few minutes of cooking.

04 of 19

Gang Gai Khao Mun (Thai Chicken Curry)

Gang Gai Khao Mun (Thai Chicken Curry)
Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Sweet, sticky coconut rice colored and flavored with green herbs pairs with this creamy Thai chicken curry from chef Nok Suntaranon. The foundation of the curry is a vibrant from-scratch curry paste. Making your own curry paste requires a little sourcing, but the resulting flavor is well worth the effort. The curry paste freezes well for future batches.

05 of 19

Tofu Pad Thai

Mushroom and Tofu Pad Thai
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Pad Thai, also called kway teow pad Thai (meaning "Thai-style stir-fried rice noodles"), is customized in endless ways by street food vendors, restaurateurs, and home cooks all over the world. But at the heart of this beloved Thai noodle dish is a delectably sweet, salty, and sour sauce that's seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, and lime juice.

06 of 19

Khao Soi

Khao Soi
Khao Soi.

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

An aromatic mixture made of shallot, garlic, and radish is the base of this riff on the Northern Thai classic from chef Donny Sirisavath. He amps up the flavor with soybean paste, cherry tomatoes, and ground pork to create a deeply savory pork sauce. 

07 of 19

Burmese Samusa Soup

Burmese Samusa Soup
Greg DuPree

This vegan soup from Desmond Tan’s Burma Superstar in San Francisco features a broth that’s seasoned with black mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric. Fresh cabbage, herbs, and chiles top each ample bowl, contrasting tender lentils and potatoes with a pleasing crunch. It’s substantial enough to be a meal by itself, but try it topped with wedges of leftover samosas (or samusas, as they’re called in Burma) and falafel, as they do at the restaurant.

08 of 19

Thit Kho (Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly)

Kho (Braised Vietnamese Minced Pork) with Cabbage
Anna Stockwell

This savory pork braise is beloved across Vietnam. The blanched cabbage is a good accompaniment for the fall and winter months; during spring, blanched snap peas and green beans are great options; in the summer, pair this kho with fresh slices of Persian cucumbers.

09 of 19


© Evi Abeler

Yusheng is a traditional raw fish salad served in Malaysia and Singapore. It is a communal ceremonial New Years dish but delicious all year round. The ingredients are placed individually on a serving platter, the salad is dressed and then all the guests toss the salad up in the air with chopsticks. The higher the toss, the more prosperity in the New Year. 

10 of 19

Whole Fried Snapper with Cashew Nuoc Cham

Whole Fried Snapper with Cashew Nuoc Cham

Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox

This whole fried snapper is a dramatic main course. Crispy and delicious, this dish is paired with a roasted cashew nuoc cham dipping sauce and served with rice paper wrappers, cucumbers, and herbs in this centerpiece-worthy dish.

11 of 19

Kuy Teav (Cambodian Rice Noodle Soup)

Cambodian Rice Noodle Soup
Deana Saukam

Kuy teav, a rice noodle soup traditionally served for breakfast in Cambodia, takes on layers of flavor from shrimp, pork, and vegetables. In Deana Saukam's version, you ladle the rich stock over crisp lettuce leaves and rice noodles then top to your liking with herbs, sliced chiles, soy sauce, and lime. 

12 of 19

Perkedel Jagung (Indonesian Corn Fritters)

Perkedel Jagung
Louise Hagger

Chef Lara Lee's Perkedel Jagung are all about the sweet, tender corn. Packed with fresh or frozen kernels and layers of flavor from fresh ginger and shallots, fragrant makrut lime leaves, and floral ground coriander and cumin, these fried treats are delicious served with a balancing spicy tomato sambal.

13 of 19

Lemongrass Skirt Steak Skewers

Lemongrass Skirt Steak Skewers Recipe
Cedric Angeles

Using flat skewers helps the meat char and cook evenly by curbing any rolling around the grill. Be sure to preheat the grill; high, even heat will help guarantee strong grill marks and will caramelize the sugars in the marinade.

14 of 19

Spiced Beef Pho with Sesame-Chile Oil

Spiced Beef Pho with Sesame-Chile Oil
© Earl Carter

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.

15 of 19

Sweet Sticky Rice with Mangoes and Sesame Seeds

Sweet Sticky Rice with Mangoes and Sesame Seeds
© Cedric Angeles

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.

16 of 19

Balinese Grilled Chicken

Balinese Grilled Chicken with Raw Sambal Matah
Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns / Prop Styling by Natasha Kolenko

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.

17 of 19

Vermicelli with Chicken Skewers and Nuoc Cham

Vermicelli with Chicken Skewers and Nuoc Cham
© Dana Gallagher

In this version of a Vietnamese dish, individual piles of cucumber, fresh herbs, and grilled chicken are arranged on a platter of vermicelli and bean sprouts. Tangy nuoc cham sauce is poured over all. As each diner takes a portion, the components intermingle.

18 of 19

Sambal Terung (Malaysian Roasted Eggplant with Chile Sauce)

Sambal Terung (Malaysian Roasted Eggplant with Chile Sauce)
Photo © Russ Crandall

Sambal is a chilli sauce that is generally made from a mixture of chilli peppers, shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, and lime juice. Roasted eggplant dish is covered in sambal for this spicy, savory dish.

19 of 19

Cambodian Chicken-and-Rice Soup with Shrimp

Cambodian Chicken-and-Rice Soup with Shrimp
© Kana Okada

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.

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