Eating street food in South-East Asia

 

Incredible balancing act. A street vendor balances steaming hot Satay on her head in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Photo by Puguh Indrasetiawan

Incredible balancing act. A street vendor balances steaming hot Satay on her head in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Photo by Puguh Indrasetiawan

You are travelling in South East-Asia, walking down busy streets everywhere around you is food. Someone is frying chicken over a make shift grill, besides him a push trolley cart serves giblets from different animals. A steaming pot of noodles fires up the senses and you could swear you have just found heaven.

One of the great things about travelling in this part of the world is the abundance of delicious street food. It’s everywhere and it’s all for sale.

The streets have endless food options which can give you a culinary insight into the culture of the place you’re visiting. Street food can be found everywhere and most of it is served for locals and it’s cheap.  So if you’re travelling on a shoestring, then street food is the way to go. Here are some of the best street food destinations we have found.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Lunch break for street food sellers in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Hanoi Street Foods

Lunch break for street food sellers in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Hanoi Street Foods

There is a thriving historically rich culture in Hanoi and it is sizzling with great food. Mouth-watering dishes are found on the sidewalks of Hanoi, and are a representation of the abundance of food in Vietnam.  You can expect a range of Vietnamese dishes such as:

  • Bun cha: Grilled pork served with a special sauce, eaten with rice vermicelli noodles and fresh herbs along with spring rolls.
  • Pho: Pho is a Vietnamese delicacy. A noodle soup served with either chicken or beef will certainly get your taste buds going.
  • Banh cuon: Is similar to a rice paper roll. Filled with minced pork, mushrooms and served with a dipping sauce.

MORE: GUIDE TO EATING STREET FOOD IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA

Singapore, Singapore

Various fresh vegetables commonly used in many dishes in South East Asia. Photo by Ken Quinones Street

Various fresh vegetables commonly used in many dishes in South East Asia. Photo by Ken Quinones Street

Various places in Singapore all burst out with different street food options. It is best to go out and explore the area yourself; you will find many delicacies including sweets wherever you go. So go crazy, and just like Hansel and Gretel leave breadcrumbs so you know your way back. In Singapore some street dishes you can expect include:

Hainanese chicken rice: If you order this dish you will have the most tender chicken you will ever taste. Served on top of rice and with a chicken broth this will be forever  a favourite.

Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sharing at its finest. Street food vendors sample each others' goods in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Photo by Thao Nho

Sharing at its finest. Street food vendors sample each others’ goods in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Photo by Thao Nho

Being of one the famous countries for its street food, Chinatown has a lot to offer in terms of delicious flavours.  Kuala Lumpur is definitely one country you need to get lost in. You will find great food stalls hidden everywhere in the city. Some of their offerings are:

  • Hokkein Mee: Is a great sticky and thick noodle dish served with a lot of fried pork.
  • Roast duck: As simple as it sounds the roast duck in Chinatown will blow you away with the crispy skins and succulent taste of the flesh.
  • Portuguese grilled fish: Warmly wrapped in aluminum foil the fish is covered in chili paste and is grilled.

There are plenty of dishes to try when you’re cruising along the streets of  Kuala Lumpur so now is the time to be adventurous and give something new a try.