Southeast Asian Cuisine

Traditional Southeast Asian Food

Southeast Asia is often seen as the cradle of the Asiatic region.

Consisting of eleven countries, this geographical region is shaped by its diverse mountain ranges & warm coastal seas. Southeast Asia sits within the tropical climate zone, often seeing temperatures above 80°F (27°C) year-round.

Its physical territory is reflected in two main subregions: The Mainland which covers Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, & the landlocked country of Laos; and the Insular which is formed by Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, & Singapore.

“Southeast Asia has a real grip on me. From the very first time I went there, it was a fulfillment of my childhood fantasies of the way travel should be. Tasting the spectrum of [Southeast Asian] flavors – that certainly changed my whole palate […] a lot of the dishes I used to love became boring to me.” — Anthony Bourdain

The region’s deep history is scattered with tales of forgotten cities & lost empires, whose remains live on in modern-day traditions & culture. The perfect example of this is in Southeast Asian cuisine.

Historical events like the French Indochinese Union can be experienced through the European influences in modern Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laos cuisine.

Influences from the Spanish, American, & Japanese regimes can be seen through the ingredients used in Filipino recipes & dishes. As a result, ingredients & spices vary from country to country, but bold flavors & balanced palettes flow through the region’s borders.

Southeast Asian cuisine is known to be a powerful balance — harmonizing deep salinity with floral sweetness, and intense spice with lip-smacking acidity. The collective use of bold aromatics & fresh herbs unites the various regions.

Southeast Asian cuisine reminds us that good food & ingredients can transcend borders and influence the world.

Top Southeast Asian Dishes

  • Nasi Katok (Brunei Chicken)
  • Ambuyat (Sago Dip)
  • Amok Trei (Coconut Fish Curry)
  • Twa Ko (Cambodian Sausage)
  • Satay (Indonesian Skewers)
  • Mie Goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles)
  • Beef Rendang (Braised Beef Curry)
  • Nam Khao (Laotian Crispy Rice Salad)
  • Kaipen (Laotian Fried Seaweed)
  • Mohinga (Burmese Fish Soup)
  • Lahpet (Burmese Tea Leaf Salad)
  • Nasi Lemak (Malaysian Coconut Rice)
  • Asam Laksa (Fish Broth Noodles)
  • Curry Laksa (Curry Broth Noodles)
  • Sinigang (Filipino Tamarind Soup)
  • Adobo (Filipino Marinated Stew)
  • Hainanese Chicken Rice
  • Singaporean Chili Crab
  • Pad Thai (Thai Rice Noodles)
  • Pad Kra Pao (Thai Basil Stir-Fry)
  • Ai Manas (Timorese Chili Paste)
  • Katupa (Timorese Coconut Rice)
  • Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodles)
  • Banh Mi (Vietnamese Baguette)
  • Sambal (Southeast Asian Chili Sauce)

Find Local Southeast Asian Shefs & Meals

When searching for “southeast asian cuisine near me”, you’ll find Shef delivers Southeast Asian food in the following locations:

  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Miami
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco

Find your local home-cooked food today!