Our collection of 31 summer recipes to make in August, the last month of summer, includes everything from no-cook dishes to slow-cooked recipes, from chilled summer soups to crunchy summer salads, fresh Southeast Asian spring rolls and dipping sauces to easy homemade dips to have with crackers, grilled meats and vegan chillies and lots of recipes with summer corn and tomatoes.
I’ve long loved August, the last month of summer in the northern hemisphere. While often stifling, August has always had a festive spirit about it, no matter where you spend it. Everyone is intent on soaking up the last rays of summer, whether it’s lazing on a sandy beach or enjoying barbecues in a shady park.
For me, eating in August has always meant homemade dips with crunchy crackers, cheese and charcuterie plates, crispy summer salads, cold summer soups, refreshing Southeast Asian spring rolls with dipping sauces, smoky barbecued meats, and spicy chillies, both with and without meats, and loads of recipes featuring sweet ripe tomatoes and summer corn.
I’ve also shared our top 31 winter recipes to make in August – a recipe for every day of the month – for our readers living in the southern hemisphere, which includes warming soups, stews, chillies, and curries.
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31 Summer Recipes to Make in August – Tomato Salads, Grilled Corn, Spicy Chillies and Barbecue Pork
Refreshing Vietnamese Fresh Prawn and Pork Spring Rolls Recipe
Fresh spring rolls – or summer rolls as our American friends call them – make a fantastic light lunch or dinner in the stifling August heat. This Vietnamese fresh prawn and pork spring rolls recipe makes a classic gỏi cuốn, refreshing, fragrant spring rolls that can be served as a light appetiser, part of a shared family-style meal or as finger food for a Vietnamese feast or barbecue. We have more Vietnamese spring roll recipes, along with a recipe for phở cuốn Hà Nội, which we learnt to make in Vietnam, which requires you to work a little to learn how to make the pho noodle sheets, if you can’t find them. But it’s worth it!
Mexican Street Corn in a Cup Recipe
Our Mexican street corn in a cup recipe for Mexico’s esquites or elote en vaso, which means ‘corn in a cup’, makes a Mexican street food snack or antojitos, meaning ‘little cravings’, that we became addicted to on our first trip to Mexico many years ago. It’s also super easy to make, especially if you have leftover corn on the cob, and is easily another fantastic choice for summer picnics or barbecues and is another one of our best summer recipes to make in August.
Middle Eastern Homemade Hummus Recipe
When it’s so hot that you not only don’t want to cook anything, you also don’t want to eat anything, I love to make this easy authentic Middle Eastern hummus recipe for a homemade traditional creamy hummus that’s deliciously filling. A Lebanese friend taught Terence to make this when we lived in United Arab Emirates and it’s one of my favourite no-cook summer recipes to make in August. Like our recipes for tapenade and smoked salmon dip, this recipe makes a hummus that beats a store-bought hummus any day. If you have a can of chick peas in the cupboard, hummus is one of the best dip recipes for pairing with crackers and crudités.
Cambodian Grilled Corn Recipe for Poat Dot
This deliciously-charred and smoky Cambodian grilled corn recipe makes poat dot, a Cambodian street food snack that’s hugely popular during corn season and with good reason! It’s one of my most favourite dishes of our 31 summer recipes to make in August. Barbecued corn on the cob is brushed with a delightfully sweet and salty sauce made from coconut milk, fish sauce and spring onions, as it’s being barbecued. While I love eating this on the street I prefer making it at home, as it’s often too sweet for me when done on the street, and at home you can serve extra sauce on the side.
Panzanella Salad Recipe for a Tomato Bread Salad that Tastes of Summer in Italy
This easy panzanella salad recipe makes the delicious Tuscan style bread and tomato salad that tastes of summer in Italy. A bread salad with onions and cucumbers before tomatoes arrived in Italy, it makes use of stale bread, the hallmark of povera cucina, the no-waste cooking of the countryside. Panzanella is perhaps the most quintessentially ‘less is more’ Italian dish, consisting of little else but sweet ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, zingy onions, aromatic basil, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, and days-old bread. A traditional recipe, it’s nevertheless versatile – just use your imagination, but don’t tell any Italians I said that!
Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe
This spicy chicken lettuce wraps recipe makes our Southeast Asian take on the Chinese lettuce cups from Southern China and Hong Kong that were popularised in Chinese-Australian restaurants when Terence and I were kids. Our minced chicken lettuce cups recipe take inspiration from northern Southeast Asia, from both savoury larbs (minced meat salads) and the local custom of wrapping street food snacks in lettuce. Light yet filling, this is perfect finger food for a casual soiree and another one of our top 31 summer recipes to make in August.
Sizzling Cambodian Grilled Pork Ribs Recipe
August is peak summer barbecue season for many of us and this Cambodian grilled pork ribs recipe makes a dish that locals here in Cambodia’s riverside city of Siem Reap love to tuck into by the plateful. Super easy, the ribs are made with a simple marinade and are a cinch to make on a barbecue, grill or a clay brazier. This is one of our best Cambodian barbecue recipes, and one of our favourite Cambodian street food dishes, typically eaten at rustic neighbourhood restaurants or boisterous local BBQ joints, where they’re washed down with Anchor beers.
Vietnamese Pineapple Omelette and Prawn Summer Rolls Recipe
This Vietnamese pineapple omelette prawn summer rolls recipe makes the fresh spring rolls found in tropical Southern Vietnam, in the Mekong Delta and Southern Cambodia that can be served as a snack, light appetiser, part of a shared family-style meal or as finger food for a Southeast Asian feast or summer barbecue. It’s super easy and is another one of my favourite no-cook summer recipes to make in August.
Grilled Corn Salad with Lime, Chilli, and Lemongrass Mayo Recipe
If you’ve made and enjoyed our Mexican grilled corn salad, you will love my grilled corn salad with lime, chilli, lemongrass mayonnaise, and sourdough croutons, which is one of my all-time favourite salads and definitely another of our best summer recipes to make in August. Terence makes the croutons with the crunchy end of near-stale sourdough. Recipe for those coming soon.
Andalusian Style Gazpacho Recipe from Southern Spain
Chilled soups are one of my favourite summer food groups and it’s hard to beat a Spanish gazpacho when it comes to cold broths. This is the best gazpacho recipe for an authentic Andalusian style gazpacho from southern Spain of the kind that you’ll find in cities such as Seville, Cordoba and Granada. I’ve seen a dizzying array of ingredients being added to traditional gazpacho recipes that really didn’t need adjusting in the first place, particularly centuries-old gazpacho recipes that have stood the test of time. This is a classic recipe resulting in a vibrant orange gazpacho that tastes like a garden salad in the form of a cold summer soup. And this chilled soup tastes even better the next day!
Guacamole Recipe Just Like Your Mexican Abuela Would Make
This authentic Mexican guacamole recipe makes a genuine Mexican guacamole of the kind your Mexican abuela (grandma) might make – the kind that’s made table-side at good restaurants in Mexico. It’s all about the creamy luscious texture, bright green colour and full flavour of perfectly ripe avocados. I’ve been making this authentic Mexican guacamole recipe for almost 30 years, since we tasted our first genuine guacamole in Mexico City on our inaugural trip to Mexico in the mid-Nineties. If you’re making a Mexican feast for friends, fill your table with dishes of guacamole and this easy red tomato salsa, bowls of tortilla soup, plates of tacos al pastor, char-grilled corn on the cobs, a grilled corn salad, nachos, and quesadillas. Wash it all down with classic margaritas or micheladas.
Shan Tomato Salad Recipe with Shallots, Sesame and Coriander
This Shan tomato salad recipe with shallots, sesame and coriander will make you a sweet tomato salad textured with crunchy purple onions, sesame seeds and crispy fried shallots and garlic, and fragrant fresh coriander, and it’s another one of our top 31 summer recipes to make in August. Hailing from beautiful Shan State in northeastern Myanmar, it’s typically eaten as a refreshing accompaniment to rich curries and rice, but as far as I’m concerned it’s incredibly delicious eaten on its own. If you enjoy this, don’t miss our Shan vermicelli noodle salad recipe and Burmese raw cabbage salad. Not salad, but our Burmese street food-style fried chicken is also fantastic with this salad.
Aromatic Nom Banh Chok Recipe for Cambodia’s Beloved Khmer Noodles
This authentic nom banh chok recipe for Cambodia’s beloved Khmer Noodles makes nom banh chok samlor proher, a perfect summer soup as it’s served at room temperature. Nom banh chok refers to both the fresh ever-so-lightly-fermented rice noodles that are still made daily by hand by artisanal noodle makers all over Cambodia, just as they’ve always been made, as well as the delicious breakfast noodle dish, comprised of the rice noodles doused in a curry, gravy or soup, served with seasonal vegetables, and garnished with fragrant herbs, foraged leaves, and edible flowers. Nom banh chok has long been ‘Cambodia in a bowl’ for me and is perhaps my most favourite Cambodian food, one of my favourite Southeast Asian noodle dishes, and one of our top 31 summer recipes to make in August.
Yum Chee Fresh Herb Salad Recipe
This fresh herb salad recipe makes another one of the best no-cook summer recipes to make in August. This big fragrant Yum Chee from chef Chalee Kader’s 100 Mahaseth restaurant, a casual Isaan region-focused eatery in Bangkok‘s hip Charenkroeung neighbourhood. ‘Yum’ is a salad and ‘chee’ is herb’ in Thai and there are three key herbs in the dish: Puck Chee or coriander, Puck Chee Lao or dill, and Puck Chee Farang or Sawtooth coriander. One of my favourite summer salads, it’s akin to a European-style green salad, yet it’s distinctly Southeast Asian in its sweet and sour flavours and zesty-ness.
Cambodian Cucumber Salad Recipe
Our Cambodian cucumber salad recipe for nhoam trasak makes a fantastic filling salad that you can eat year-round. Traditionally shared here in Cambodia, where, like most salads, it’s eaten family-style with rice and an array of other dishes, you can easily serve this as a satisfying single-bowl meal for lunch or dinner. Cambodian salads are the best, which explains why we’ve got so many Cambodian salad recipes here – everything from a classic banana flower chicken salad to the pork and jicama salad, another of our favourites. This is easily one of our top 31 summer recipes to make in August.
Tasty Thai Larb Gai Recipe for a Spicy Minced Chicken Salad
This tasty Thai larb gai recipe makes a classic spicy minced chicken salad from Thailand that is served with loads of fresh fragrant herbs and crunchy vegetables such as cabbage, cucumbers, and snake beans, and eaten with steamed jasmine rice or sticky rice. It’s super easy to make, comes together in minutes, and is very versatile. Our recipe is adapted from Australian chef and Thai food master David Thompson’s Thai Street Food cookbook, as it was at a Thai restaurant in Sydney in the 1980s that we first tried the Thai minced salad in its many forms – chicken, pork and beef – and it’s pretty much the version we’ve been making for 35 years, long before moving to Southeast Asia. This is a gently-spiced ground chicken salad, however, you can easily heat things up with more chillies. Sweating keeps you cool in summer.
Easy Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe
This easy cherry tomato salad recipe is the best tomato salad recipe for a taste of the Mediterranean. It’s super quick and easy to make. The key to making this salad taste great is fresh, flavourful produce and top quality ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil from Valencia, capers from Pantelleria, Ortiz salted anchovies from Spain, the juiciest olives from Kalamata and so on. It makes another one of the best no-cook summer recipes to make in August.
Classic Thai Som Tam Recipe
This classic Thai som tam recipe makes the popular Thai green papaya salad that you’ll eat on the streets of Bangkok. The spicy salad hails from Thailand’s northeastern Isaan region, but now you’ll find this street food favourite all over Thailand, and right across northern Southeast Asia. Use a good quality Thai fish sauce, such as Megachef. It’s a wet salad so it travels well if you’re taking it to a friends’ home for a weekend barbecue. It makes another one of the best summer recipes to make in August.
Easy Vegetarian Chilli Recipe
This easy vegetarian chilli recipe makes a chilli con carne sin carne (without meat) and it’s vegan if you eat it without dairy accompaniments such as sour cream and cheese. While this bean chilli is a cinch to make and comes together quickly, it’s full of so much flavour thanks to the spices that even meat-lovers won’t miss the beef mince. It makes another one of the best summer recipes to make in August.
Cambodian Pork Meatballs Recipe for Wraps, Rolls, Soups, Salads
This Cambodian pork meatballs recipe makes a juicy meatball that’s flavourful and fragrant from some of the quintessential Cambodian ingredients used in a Khmer kroeung or herb and spice paste: shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and kaffir lime. Small in size, they’re perfect for wraps and rolls, soups, salads, and sandwiches, in the form of num pang, Cambodia’s baguette. It makes yet another one of our favourite summer recipes to make in August.
Best Spanish Tapas Recipes
If you’re not already a lover of Spanish tapas, a tapa is a small snack plate available at tapas bars in Spain and abroad – tapas is plural – where a tapas bar crawl (ideally in summer in Spain) is the best means by which to sample these delicious morsels. A tapas bar feast at home may not be the same as one in Spain but it’s still lots of fun and our best Spanish tapas recipes make some of the most popular Spanish tapas bar snacks: the Spanish meatballs called albondigas, chorizo and potato croquettes recipe for croquetas de patata y chorizo, the classic garlic shrimp recipe for gambas al ajillo, a Spanish chorizo in red wine recipe for chorizo al vino tinto, and a simple calamari recipe for calamari a la plancha. All so delish!
Beer Battered Fish and Chips Recipe for Perfect Fish and Chips
My beer battered fish and chips recipe makes perfect fish and chips, the classic takeaway that for we Australians and the British and New Zealanders is an iconic dish, as eating fish and chips, preferably by a beach, is so intrinsic to our culinary culture. Use this recipe along with my hand cut potato chips recipe and easy homemade tartare sauce recipe and you’ll be enjoying your best fish and chips ever. This recipe results in perfect fish and chips with the beer batter crunch we all love while keeping the fish fillets deliciously moist. The secret is that the heat of the fryer goes mostly into the batter rather than the fish itself and quickly forms a crunchy crust – every single time.
Chilli Con Carne Recipe
While this chilli con carne recipe makes a good old bowl of chilli for those who like their chilli hot and smoky, this chilli con carne is also terrific eaten cold as a dip with homemade tortilla chips or corn chips. You’ll need to put this on the stove the morning before you plan to eat it if it’s for lunch, or in the afternoon for dinner, as it takes a few hours, but not a lot of work to make, and it makes another one of our best summer recipes to make in August.
Cambodian Beef Skewers Recipe with Lemongrass Recipe
This Cambodian beef skewers recipe makes another of our best Cambodian barbecue recipes and another one of my favourite summer recipes to make in August. Called sach ko ang in Khmer, they are typically eaten with pickled vegetables and are a classic late afternoon or early evening snack in Cambodia. Some locals slide the meat off the skewer into the buttered baguette to make a meal out of them.
Chili Con Carne and Cheese Quesadillas Recipe
Like cold pizza, these chilli con carne and cheese quesadillas taste just as delicious cold or even luke warm, if you keep them warm until you’re ready to eat. This is easily another one of our best summer recipes to make in August, especially if you’re looking for a dish to use up leftover chilli. They’re super easy to make after you’ve done all the hard work preparing the chilli con carne and our tomato salsa.
Hand Cut Potato Chips Recipe
Our hand cut potato chips recipe makes perfect crispy fries for your burgers, fish and chips or moules frites or whatever else you like to serve with fries in summer. These mouthwatering potato chips are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. There are a couple of ways to achieve this, but ultimately you need to fry the chips twice. Better turn on the AC. Fortunately, our method doesn’t mean hours in the kitchen and these are better and healthier than any frozen chips you’ll ever eat.
Chicken Katsu Burger Recipe
This chicken katsu burger recipe places a crunchy tender chicken cutlet, prepared using the classic Japanese katsu method of panko-breaded and deep-fried chicken, between spicy Asian slaw, tangy Japanese-style barbecue sauce, and soft burger buns. Serve with hand-cut fries and you’re in chicken katsu burger heaven. We love these so much we eat them as often as we do Japanese pork tonkatsu.
Thai Corn Fritters Recipe
Our Thai corn fritters recipe makes tod man khao pod in Thai – crunchy, chewy corn fritters that we make with seasonal summer corn and gently spice with a little chilli paste. Eaten as a snack in Thailand and neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, you could serve these Thai corn fritters as finger food or as an appetiser. They’re fantastic dipped into our homemade Thai sweet chilli sauce and in summer we love to wrap lettuce leaves around them.
Spicy Potato Wedges Recipe
This spicy potato wedges recipe takes the classic Australian café, pub and bar snack of potato wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream and gives it a spicy Asian twist. These skin-on potato wedges can be fried or baked, but we’ve gone for the oven-baked route for a healthy fast food recipe. Don’t worry, this spicy potato wedges recipe will still make you potato wedges that are crispy on the outside and fluffy within. Served with the classic Aussie combo of sweet chilli sauce and sour cream, these spicy wedges make a filling snack or a fantastic side for burgers.
Burmese Fried Chicken Recipe
This Burmese fried chicken recipe makes the gently spiced fried chicken drumsticks, which are a popular street food snack in Myanmar. The finger-licking fried chicken pieces are sold at roadside stalls to take away or eat at plastic tables set up around the stall, we make these finger-licking fried chicken pieces at home and dip them into homemade sweet chilli sauce.
Corn Fritter Burger Recipe
Our corn fritter burger recipe with fried egg and Thai sweet chilli sauce makes an incredibly delicious vegetarian burger that’s packed with flavour and crunch, and it’s another one of our best summer recipes to make in August. With a Southeast Asian twist on the classic burger, it’s so good you won’t miss the burger patty and bacon, and the grease that comes with it. If you made our Thai corn fritters recipe and you have a batch of our homemade Thai sweet chilli sauce in the fridge, then you’re all set to go.
Please do let us know if you make any of our 31 summer recipes to make in August, as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.