This is one of Thailand’s national dishes – stir-fried prawns and chicken, with tamarind, eggs and fish sauce, with coriander and chilli added for colour and heat.
Garlic, ginger, spring onions and fresh Thai basil come together in this simple salad to create an aromatic, fragrant Asian-style flavour.
Thinly sliced marinated beef makes a great addition to this spicy and fragrant tomato and herb salad.
This light, zesty salad is a simplified version of the classic spicy papaya eaten in Thailand. It’s particularly good served with coconut rice.
The stir-fry has to be the best student meal ever – it’s made in minutes and is both filling and healthy. Tossing in some egg or rice noodles gives you a full and balanced meal, from shopping bag to mouth in ten minutes. The recipe calls for a pak choi, which is just the right size for one. However, you could use half a packet of stir-fry vegetables instead. Prepared vegetables tend to be more expensive but for a stir-fry they provide a great variety of ready-sliced ingredients.
This simple warm salad is great served as part of a selection of Asian-style dishes such as stir-fries or noodle dishes.
If you like Asian flavours, you’ll especially enjoy this light, crisp salad with its sweet–sharp ginger and sesame dressing.
This hot, spicy coconut broth ladled over fine wheat noodles makes a delicious, sustaining meal. Try it as a spicy alternative to traditional chicken noodle soup.
Known as tom yum goong, this popular soup gets its sour flavour from both the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Both ingredients – plus fresh galangal and tamarind paste – are available at better grocery stores or Asian markets and can be frozen for future use.
This fragrant vegan version of the classic Thai soup is very light but highly nutritious. The key to success lies in the balance between sweetness, spiciness and sourness, so do taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
In the rural areas of the Philippines, this traditional peasant dish is still cooked daily. One of the most popular versions is this one, with green papaya in the broth, which is generally served with steamed rice or sipped throughout the meal to cleanse and stimulate the palate.
This is an impressive soup that is cooked in under ten minutes. Thai curry paste varies hugely by brand, so be sure to add a little to start with and build up the flavour to taste.
This may not be an authentic recipe, but it closely resembles its Thai cousin without all the hard-to-find ingredients.
Like most Thai curries, this recipe is prepared with coconut milk and one of the national curry pastes, which include red, green and yellow versions. Commercial Thai curry pastes are available in Asian shops and some supermarkets.
This creamy vegetarian dish can be gently spicy or quite fierce, depending on your taste or mood. If it is your first time using a particular brand of Thai curry paste, add a little initially, then add more to taste, as they vary widely in strength! This dish goes well with a portion of sticky jasmine rice but is delicious with any type of rice or noodle.
Aubergine curries are popular throughout Asia, the Thai version being the most famous. Generally enriched with coconut milk and warming spices, the Thai version is bittersweet from the kaffir lime leaves with a hint of liquorice from the basil.
Coloured and flavoured with the ubiquitous red curry paste, this curry is enhanced with the additional flavourings of coriander, cumin, turmeric and mace, displaying the Indian influence in the northern region of Thailand.
When you are seeding and chopping red chilies, wear rubber gloves and protective glasses. It is very painful to get the juice on your face or in your eyes. This curry dish is delicious over rice.
This fragrant and creamy Thai-style curry is stunning served with sticky jasmine rice. When cooked, mould the rice into a pasta bowl using a small cup as a scoop and serve surrounded by the curry.
With a cold beer and marinated cucumbers, this flatbread is delicious hot from the oven or at room temperature.
Colourful, delicious, and easy to make, these see-through wraps show off the ingredients. Serve with a dipping sauce for appetisers or a light lunch.
This is the classic stirfried noodle dish sold everywhere in Thailand by street hawkers and in cafes and restaurants. Dried shrimp are available in Asian markets.
Served as a side dish or salad, this is a favourite throughout Southeast Asia. Served with sticky rice or chunks of crusty bread, the dish could suffice as a light vegetarian meal.
Sticky rice (also called glutinous rice) requires a long soaking in water before being cooked in a bamboo steamer. It is eaten on its own with dipping sauces, or it is served to accompany light dishes and vegetarian meals. Sticky rice grains are available in Asian markets and some supermarkets.
With its taste of the tropics, this rice dish is wonderful with barbecued, steamed, fried, baked or roasted seafood. You can find the coconut and the curry leaves at Asian markets or health food stores.
This delicate-tasting juice contains lots of electrolytes and minerals. Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste, fewer calories than coconut milk, and less sugar than soda and fruit juice. It is naturally fat-free and cholesterol-free, it has lots of potassium and is super hydrating. Depending on the size and age of the coconut, you should get 125–225 ml (4–8 fl oz) coconut water from each one.
Tea infused with ginger is a speciality of the high-altitude regions of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It is also the preferred breakfast beverage in the Philippines. It is believed to stimulate the digestion and to be beneficial to health.
Adding chilli to fruit juice might sound bizarre – but in small quantities it provides a flavour hit without excessive heat.
Cardamom is most familiar in Western kitchens as a spice used in curries and Asian-style dishes. Yet in south Asia and the Middle East, it is commonly used in sweet preparations too – and it works wonderfully as a warm aromatic in Asian-flavoured juices like this one.
Fragrant mint combined with exotic lemongrass and sparkling apple juice makes a delicious, long and cooling beverage.
Early in the morning or late at night in Asia, the sight of the soya milk vendor is a welcome one. Served hot or cold, this sweetened drink is very popular throughout the continent.
Throughout Asia, this is the type of pudding that everybody’s mother or grandmother makes. Sweet and nourishing, it is made with tapioca pearls cooked in coconut milk and sweetened with fruit and sugar.
This flexible fruit salad is exotic and tropical in flavor – a delicious treat at the end of a Southeast Asian meal. The fruits will vary from region to region and according to the seasons.
One thing you can be sure to come across in your journeys throughout Southeast Asia is deep-fried bananas. Versatile and delicious, they are often munched on their own, sprinkled with sugar, or they can be served with sweet sticky rice, ice creams or steamed cakes and buns.
Rich but light, this coconut cream is a wonderful accompaniment to most fruit-based desserts.
Honey, chilli and cider vinegar make an irresistibly tangy dressing for this light and refreshing salad. Serve as an accompaniment to an Asian-style meal or with grilled fish or chicken on a hot summer night.
These lacy rice noodle pancakes make a stunning pre-dinner snack – perfect for whetting the appetite before an Asian-style meal. Serve them solo or with sweet chilli sauce for dipping.
This simple salad is enlivened by a sweet, tangy dressing that completely transforms it into something magical. Look out for reduced-price rotisserie chicken pieces in the supermarket – they are displayed for a limited time, so are frequently sold off and are great for this recipe. If you want to go more Asian, use shredded pak choi instead of mixed salad greens.
Deep-fried tofu puffs are popular in Southeast Asia and are good with any Asian-style stew.
Fine vermicelli noodles make a fabulous base for salads. They are wonderful here, dressed in a ginger and sesame dressing scented with fresh herbs.
Variations of this fiery, flavoursome vegetarian curry spring up all over Cambodia and southern Vietnam. A favourite with the Buddhist monks and countryside stalls, it can be served with rice, noodles or crusty bread.
Slow-cooked with lots of pungent spices, this tender lamb curry is customarily served with sticky or coconut rice and a pickled relish, chilli relish or fresh chillies.
There are many variations of this delicious coconut milk-based curry all over Southeast Asia. Because there is a strong Indian influence in the culinary culture of southern Vietnam, this variation uses Indian curry powder.
This is a delicious main course salad full of intense flavours and textures – a salad that is guaranteed to become a family favourite.
This Thai soup marries the aromatic flavours of lemongrass, ginger and lime and floods them through your kitchen.
Here's an ideal supper dish suitable for friends or family. Don’t feel restricted by the selection of vegetables. Use what is readily available or try using vegetables such as baby aubergines, okra, bok choy or sprouting broccoli. Serve with a chapati or with rice.
Spit-roasted in the streets or oven-roasted in the home kitchen for celebratory feasts, variations of aromatic roast chicken can be found all over the Philippines.