11 Dishes From Southeast Asia That Americans NEED To Try

Your taste buds will thank you.

You know what's a lot less expensive than airfare to Southeast Asia? Cooking some of the region's incredible food in your home.

The foods of Southeast Asia are some of the most distinctive and flavorful dishes in the world, and you can make them right in your kitchen. Add some new faces to your spice rack, stock up on coconut milk, learn to make sticky rice and you're halfway there.

Without further ado, here are 11 foods from Southeast Asia that we should all eat more often.

Nasi Goreng
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We'll start off simple -- Nasi Goreng is Indonesia's mouthwatering version of fried rice. It's pretty tough to mess up fried rice, but if you're new to the dish, start with rice, eggs, fresh veggies, and a variety of sauces and seasonings like sweet soy sauce, shallots and garlic.
Seafood Sinigang

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Sinigang is a Filipino soup made with any number of proteins and vegetables, which are typically stewed with tamarinds, tomatoes, garlic and onions. The tangy flavor from the tamarind base makes this a Filipino favorite.
Chilli Crab
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This rich dish consists of crab cooked in a tomato and chili-based sauce. It is one of Singapore's national dishes and can be found in virtually any seafood restaurant on the island and in other parts of Southeast Asia. If you're a seafood lover, this dish is for you.
Vietnamese Coffee
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Vietnamese coffee is the perfect beverage for a simultaneous caffeine and sugar rush. Made with strong coffee and a generous helping of sweetened condensed milk, this powerful drink puts your latte to shame.
Tea Leaf Salad

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In Burma, tea is a food as well as a beverage. The centerpiece of the popular Burmese tea leaf salad is lahpet, pickled tea. Add cabbage, peanuts, seeds, tomatoes, and fried garlic for a delicious and flavorful salad. Buy your own lahpet here.
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The many ingredients for this beloved Filipino dessert might be difficult to find, but the resulting pile of sugary goodness is so worth it. Start with a base of shaved ice, served in a bowl or glass. Then pile on fruits, syrups, sweet beans, ice cream, jellies, tapioca pearls and, if you want to get really authentic, a dollop of halayang ube (purple yam jam).
Nasi Lemak

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This popular dish is typically eaten for breakfast in Malaysia. The rice is cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves, which are very fragrant. Top with sambal, a flavorful chili sauce, and serve with anchovies and fresh cucumber.
Green Papaya Salad
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This refreshing salad made with shredded unripe papaya can be found throughout Southeast Asia. It is most often seasoned with dried shrimp, chili peppers and lime, which, when combined, give the salad a uniquely tangy, slightly spicy flavor.
Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango
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Sticky rice is a staple in Southeast Asia, even when it's time for dessert. This sweet dish combines coconut milk-infused sticky rice with fresh mango. Simple, but so very delicious.
Amok Trey

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This is a traditional Cambodian method of preparing fish by steaming it in banana leaves. The fish is cooked in a coconut milk-based curry, seasoned with Khmer curry paste, and steamed in a tightly wrapped basket of banana leaves.
Tom Kha Kai
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This coconut chicken soup is a timeless classic in Thailand. The use of galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves will throw your tastebuds for a loop.

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