After a month of mostly (expensive) pub food in Australia, I was very excited for the food in Southeastern Asia. I wasn’t the most adventurous eater at home before the trip — I always stuck to the same dishes when I went out for Chinese or Thai, so I wanted to try a lot of new things. I ended up finding many new favorite dishes and gaining a new passion for Thai & Laos food.
First of all, one of my old standbys – Chicken Fried Rice, is so much tastier there:
The first night in Laos I tried a traditional dish called Laap. Paired with sticky rice and a Beerlao, it’s a pretty excellent dinner.
During my favorite day in Laos, between cave tubing and kayaking, we had this simple and delicious lunch of fried rice and BBQ chicken skewers:
My newly discovered favorite dish is Ginger Chicken with Sticky Rice. I can’t get enough of it.
Some of the best food in southeast Asia is street food. I never met a pork dumpling I didn’t like:
When I got to Vietnam, my main food agenda item was Pho. I love eating good Pho in New York, and I wanted to try it in Vietnam. It didn’t disappoint:
I’ve saved the best for last – the undisputed best meal in Asia was this home cooked meal we had at a local home visit in Laos. After the elder women in the family blessed us, we ate family style around tables on the floor. We had fried eggplant, potato curry, chicken with fried vegetables, Laos sausage (holy crap so good), Laap, seasoned kale, and a Laos salad. It ended up being my favorite meal of the entire 4 months abroad.
Southeastern Asia is the place that I most want to visit again. I have a lot more to see there, and a lot more to eat.
(Despite being much more adventurous with food on this trip, I still have a long way to go. Here’s our guide eating some local delicacies that I wasn’t brave enough to try.)