South East Asia is well known for its street food, which as well as being incredibly cheap, is some of the most delicious and traditional food to be found! From salads to springs rolls we've left no stone unturned in our quest to bring you our top 10 cheap but yummy street food eats in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
1. Northern Thai food is among the best in the country and khao soi, egg noodles with pickled cabbage, shallots, chilies and meat (usually chicken or pork), is my favourite Thai dish. What makes it so special is the combination of boiled and deep fried noodles, meaning every mouthful has a delicious crunch!
2. When in Cambodia, you can’t leave without trying fish amok, a delicious coconut curry cooked in banana leaves. If you’re not a fan of spice then you’ll love it – the lemongrass and kaffir lime gives the curry a zesty flavour, rather than a crazy heat!
3. Cao lau is a regional Vietnamese dish, only found in Hoi An, in central Vietnam. With much thicker and short noodles than many South East Asian dishes, the highlight of this dish is the crispy pork that tops it off, as well as the leaves that give it fresh twist – a nice change from fried food.
4. Tom Ka Gai is coconut chicken and galangal soup – one of the tastiest soups in Thailand. For some reason, I always eat this dish with garlic rice, which definitely sounds like a weird combination but I assure you its great!
5. I think it would be pretty impossible to travel to Vietnam and not eat pho, the most popular dish on offer. Pho is noodle soup made with meat (my favourite is beef) herbs and bean sprouts. So many places in Vietnam claim to have the best pho around, so enjoy hopping from stall to stall, testing them all!
6. Lok lak is one of Cambodia’s simplest dishes – just cubed, stir fried beef with red onions on a salad bed. However, it is the sauce that the beef is dipped in that is the key to this delicious snack! Lime juice, salt and Cambodian Kampot pepper is all you need for an amazing and thrifty meal.
7. Bánh mì is the Vietnamese for bread. Baguettes are a remnant from the French Colonial period and are still eaten widely throughout the area. With a lighter crust than their European counterparts, the rolls are usually filled with cold meat (usually pork) and salad, including classic Vietnamese pickled carrots.
8. Pad thai to Thailand is like bangers and mash to the UK. This stir fried noodle dish is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand, thanks to 1940s campaign to get the Thai population onto eating noodles so that more rice would be available to export. The mix of noodles, tofu, dried shrimp, chilies and palm sugar are available on almost every street corner, with many vendors having their own twist to the classic recipe.
9. The reason I love goi cuon so much is because these fresh spring rolls are one of the few dishes in South East Asia that aren’t deep fried. After lots of (albeit delicious) fried food, some raw veg gives such a dose of freshness into your diet that these little spring rolls won’t last long on your plate - yum!
10. Last but not least is som tam, the famous Thai papaya salad. Combining the main flavours of Asia, the sour lime, spicy chili, salty fish sauce and sweet palm sugar are a perfect combination. Side with sticky rice and chicken with cashew nuts and you’ve got yourself a fantastic meal!
If this has piqued your appetite and your interest, we can help you plan a trip to Thailand, whether that means including Thailand in your round the world ticket or planning a fully tailor-made holiday! Simply call us on +44 1273320580 or request a quote by email to start planning!