Southeast Asia is paradise for the lactose intolerant
In Southeast Asian desserts, one thing is for certain: you won’t find much milk. Unlike North America and many European countries, in this region, milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products aren’t considered major sources of nutrition. Instead, most sweets tend to be soups and puddings made with tapioca, coconut, mung bean, and red bean. Because they’re often both salty and sweet, it’s rare you’ll save dessert for the end of a meal in Southeast Asia. Instead, you might eat these dishes as afternoon snacks with coffee or tea or save them for rare and special occasions, like a wedding, New Year’s celebrations… or to celebrate your lactose intolerance diagnosis.
Coconut milk can be found in countless recipes -- like Cendol, which is popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and other neighboring countries. The sweet drink is made by mixing coconut milk, palm sugar, and shaved ice, with green jelly noodles made from rice flour.