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Must-try street food in three of Asia’s best-known cities

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Singaporeans know you don’t need to pay 5-star prices to get the best food. The world’s first Michelin stars awarded for hawker food were given to two chefs on the little Red Dot  – one went to Chan Hon Meng for the fantastic chicken he serves up, the other to chef Tang Chay Seng who turns out delicious bowls of minced-meat and noodles.

To tempt you with other great street food around Asia, Budget Direct Insurance recommends three cities renowned for their delicious cuisine!


The city has put its own twist on dishes that have their roots in China. This means a generous helping of star anise, Taiwanese basil, chili, pickled vegetables, white pepper and cilantro.

Like our very own durian you may smell chou doufu or stinky tofu before you see it. Still made in the traditional way it apparently smells terrible but tastes delicious. In Taipei, where it is massively popular, deep-fried stinky tofu is the favourite variety and this method of preparation takes away some of the shock of the very strong odour. Aficionados say once you have tried it you’ll be coming back for more! 


This melting pot of influences from all over Asia, as well as very distinctive Thai flavours, makes Bangkok a great place to snack on the sidewalk.

Unique to Thailand is the particular flavour of som tam – a fusion of sweet, sour, salty and spicy. This flavor combination is key to a refreshing salad of unripe julienned papaya, sugar, lime, chili, fish sauce, garlic, dried shrimp and tomato. Mashed together in a mortar the dish is not sweet like you might expect but sour, spicy and savoury all in one hit! Local variations add in everything from peanuts to crab, but in Bangkok you’ll find the spiciest versions.


You can’t mention street food without mentioning Hanoi. Food has been served on its streets for more than one thousand years! A popular lunch dish is bun cha – grilled pork patties and slices of pork belly served with fish sauce, tangy vinegar, sugar and lime. These ingredients create a sort of barbecue soup that is eaten with rice vermicelli and fresh herbs. Try it with deep-fried spring rolls served with garlic and chili on the side.

If tasty chicken is your thing then head for locally known Chicken Street or Ly Van Phuc. Vendors line the entire street, more or less selling the same dishes of grilled chicken wings and feet, sweet potatoes and bread brushed with honey and served with chili sauce and pickled cucumbers.

Street Food Quiz

Did you know that street food is not just the prerogative of Asia? It’s also very popular in Europe. Can you name popular, delicious street foods in –

1. Germany
2. Spain
3. Czech Republic?

No? Then read our next blog…


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