Prepare to salivate! Yes, this piece of article is going to give you all the reasons to fall in love with street food all over again and experience food porn like never before.
Food and travel, one of life’s greatest intersection of experiences. For me they indeed go hand in hand. When I recently traveled to South East Asia I made sure I wasn’t fine dining or having elaborate meals at fancy restaurants. Instead I chose to handpick the sumptuous street food from every by-lane I crossed by and every hawker’s corner I could get my hands on to.
With 20 odd days in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand; countries that house some of the most delectable street foods in the region, made me go overboard with my eating capacity that anyway is a little over the top.
I was travelling to the three South East Asian countries on behalf of Cox and Kings in a Gadventures guided trip called the Colors of Asia co-sponsored by Ezeego1.com . I owe all my love, quadrupled appetite and super amazing thai culinary skills to these amazing guys. The trip has indeed changed my life in all the aromatic, lip-smacking and drooling ways possible. Talking about Grabbing my dream? They are the ones to thank.
Come join me on this journey to the street food havens as I list down the must have street foods from the region.
Chilly Cheese Crab at China town Singapore
Ever wondered what the hard crust of crab covered with loads of cheese a dash of Chilly and sugar do to the inner soft juicy core? Hit the streets of Singapore to marvel this delight. I had this beauty at Chinatown the smaller suburban eating Street that boasts of all things Asian and good. I was in South East Asia for a little over 3 weeks and had crabs and other sea food delights and I would rate this as one of the good ones. The best ones, well keep scrolling down.
Kaya Balls in all of Malaysia
Kaya Balls made out of kaya or coconut jam, mixed with cake mix is like the perfect breakfast, lunch and dinner dessert all at the same time. With a filling of coconut or choco – choco (yes, that is two times) these balls are like baby cupcakes steamed and not baked with a soft gooey core. And to tell you how addictive they are I have just one phrase to quote- no one can eat just once. Kaya is staple to Malaysia and you will find them in plenty on the streets of the country.
Quail eggs in Jonker’s street, Melaka
On the streets of Melaka, particularly on the famous Jonker’s street, you will be amazed to see a never ending variety of street food delights. From a variety of coconut based dishes and drinks to a range of durian(a fruit) infused delicacies. (I hate durian, but if you like it please go ahead and try the Durian balls and the frozen durian popsicles) But what caught my eye and left me drooling were the quail eggs skewered in a set of six and served with mayo sauce, tomato sauce and cheese sauce. They are super high on calories, but who bothers about calories on a holiday? I don’t.
The famous Laksas of Melaka
Nyonya asam laksa, a specialty of Long House stall housed in QQ Ice 86 Cafe, is one of the most amazing Laksas I have ever had. The moment you get the smell of the soup you are sure only good things are going to happen next. The soup of the Laksa will indeed tickle your taste buds with a rush of spices and leave your senses craving for more. The broth is slightly sour and spicy and sweet all at the same time.
Laksas are soupy noodles and might just remind you of Thukpas of North east India but they are different. (I love Thukpas, they are my soul food)
Curry Crab(Goan Style) in Kuala Selagaon fire fly tour
The best crab I have ever had! This place beats all the other crab offerings in the world hands down. Prepared in the Goan curry style with a thick gravy topped with curry leaves and spices that create magic in every bite. Indians are going to love this preparation. The German who would usually stay away from the spices loved it so much that he indeed licked the plate clean. The chilled coconut water spurred its magic too as we set sail for the most amazing fire fly tour ever in our lives.
Water-chestnut roasted over open fire in coffee beans in Kuala Lumpur
I started my journey from Singapore and traveled upwards to Thailand and saw these water-chestnuts at a lot of places. But finally tried I them on the streets of Chinatown in Kuala Lampur, This place has given me enough memories to recite stories about but I will leave that for another day, another blog. I generally love water-chestnuts but the ones here with an infused aroma of coffee was the perfect kind of street food you want to munch upon as you maneuver through the streets imbibing the culture, music and all good vibes of a new place.
A variety of pancakes at the Thai fishing village, Ao Nang
Imagine a pancake that is as thin as a paper, loaded with butter, fried crisp to perfection and topped with condensed milk and molten chocolate. Add some extra ounces of taste to your imagination and here are the ever sumptuous pancakes found only in the Thai fishing village. They have mastered the art and they beat all the other so called pancakes hands down. You will get a variety of versions at super low cost like mango, honey, pure chocolate and a combination that you might want to pick up from the above.
Sticky rice with egg custard and mangoes in Ao Nang
Sticky rice is like a national dessert in Thailand and rightly so. The brown sticky rice is like a bundle of joy wrapped in banana leaves served on to your plate. It is just too delicious to resist multiple servings. I stuffed only sticky rice for the breakfast meal on the last day at Ao Nang. Sticky rice is a special form of rice native to Thailand which is cooked in coconut milk and is supposed to be really healthy as well. The egg custard or mango serving along with this dessert just add brownie points to this simple yet delicious recipe. (Recipe coming soon on the blog)
You can also have a look at what the locals suggest when it comes to food in Thailand. Visit the blog by my friend Alexis from Thailand to see more.
Spicy tangy papaya or fruit salad in all of Thailand
This one is a delight for all the spice lovers. Just like us Indians Thai’s love their chillies. And they like it more raw. The papaya salad or any other fruit salad will have a few constants- chillies, lemon juice, Palm sugar, fish sauce as a substitute of salt and some Thai ginger. (will be posting all the Thai recipes here soon). The combination of these ingredients create layers of flavors that will spur cravings for days to come.
There are many more delicacies that deserve an honorable mention from the streets of South East Asia. Coconut shakes will definitely top this list followed by chicken, fish and mutton Shasliks of Malaysia and the Tom Yum soups in Thailand.
Also, the only time I thought of going through a detox was after this South East Asia trip where I had just way too much caffeine in the form of cold coffee made in condensed milk. The Vietnamese style coffee is served at every nook and corner of these two countries. It is so easy to make. I have genuinely decided to skip milk from coffee entirely after tasting the one with the condensed milk. It’s just delicious.
One can hog their way through these three countries if you know just right things to pick up at every place.
Yes, you are welcome! Always.
Will talk about the amazing people I met and the travel adventures that I took on the trip to the three countries soon.
In the meantime, grab some street food, it’s the food for your soul.