unusual foods Southeast Asia

7 Unusual Foods To Try In South East Asia

Street food is one of the best things about this region. There’s so many delicious street vendors dotted around the cities, with local snacks for cheap. If you’re looking for some unusual foods in Southeast Asia, you’ll find it!

From snails to smokey meats, you’re sure to find something tempting on every corner of Manila, Ho Chi Minh and places in between.

Unusual Foods To Try In Southeast Asia

1. Isaw – Philippines

Either pig or chicken intestines are grilled over charcoal on skewers for a tasty snack. Most locals like to soak their isaw in chilli onion vinegar and let it absorb as much vinegar as possible, for a delicious contrast against the smokey meat. You might be wary of trying it, but you’ll soon come to love it.

2. Mont Lin Ma Yar – Myanmar

The name of this tasty Myanmar street food dish translates to “husband and wife snacks”. Dollops of rice batter sizzle in a sort of muffin pan, and toppings such as quail eggs, scallions, or chickpeas are then added to one side, with the other joining it – like a couple! Pick up a couple of these to nibble on as you explore.

Myanmar street food
Image: @zackbowen/Instagram

3. Grilled Crickets, Worms, Scorpions & Spiders – Multiple

Okay, this is for the adventurous eaters only! While scorpions and spiders are usually eaten only by tourists, crickets and worms are popular snacks for locals. The worms have a nice crunch and slightly nutty flavour, while the crickets are super crispy. It basically just tastes like BBQ!

Siem Reap street food

4. Balut – Philippines

This is probably one of the most famous street foods in the Philippines: balut is a partially developed duck egg embryo. You crack a hole in the top of the shell, firstly drinking out the chicken soup the egg has been boiled in. Then you peel the egg, sprinkle on some salt and vinegar and dig in.

5. Durian

You’ll find this fruit all over Asia where it is treated as a serious delicacy. It is one of the biggest fruits in the world and also has an odour so strong that it is banned from airplanes and many public places.

It is an acquired taste that you are going to either LOVE, or run a million miles from.

Should you eat Durian in Thailand

6. Egg Coffee – Vietnam

We know, we know, it sounds a little weird. But egg coffee is a unique coffee treat from Hanoi that’s sweet and super delicious.  “Cà phê trúng” is a rich Vietnamese coffee base with frothy egg yolk and condensed milk on top. There’s plenty of places in Hanoi to try it, but the most famous is the original Cafe Giang.

Egg Coffee unusual foods Southeast Asia

7. Chicken Feet

This crunchy snack might seem to unusual to Westerners, but it’s popular for a reason – people swear by the smokey grilled flavour. It’s easy to eat on the go, so grab some for wandering around the streets with if you dare.

unusual foods Southeast Asia

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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