Asia has been known as the home of exotic things, beauty, fashion, innovation and industry. Now, gourmands and seasoned travellers have discovered the hidden gem of Asian food and have written extensive, gushing blog posts and posted pictures that have made our mouths water in envy.
With six regions and 60% of the world’s population, this amazing continent has so many varieties of foods to choose from, and it can be quite challenging.
We have grouped our guide into three categories for easy navigation. You can use our guide to figure out what you want to try.
Traditional Asian Food
These are meals with thousands or hundreds of years of history that has been passed down through generations. Even though it may have been modified to fit the modern palate, it still retains the history and culture of its original creators.
1. SICHUAN HOTPOT
Imagine your food being cooked right in front of your eyes. All the meat you can eat and healthy vegetables all cooked in a delicious spicy (or not) broth bursting with flavour. That is exactly the experience you get when eating hotpot. Sichuan hotpot is on the spicy side, making it a favourite of all the adventurous gourmands that enjoy Asian food.
No Asian drama or anime is complete without the main character slurping down a bowl of ramen, whether spicy or non-spicy.
Made of wheat noodles, meat and a hearty broth, this dish is a staple of every Japanese person at home and abroad. Everyone in Japan is eating this dish from schoolchildren to grandpas, and it is a dish you cannot leave off your bucket list when you visit Japan.
Suppose you ask anyone conversant with Asian culture what dish they would like to try from the Philippines. In that case, the answer will most certainly be adobo. Adobo is a marinated meat dish flavoured with local palm vinegar (suka), garlic, black pepper, soy sauce, and slow-cooked to tender perfection. You can choose to eat either chicken or pork adobo or settle down with a combination of both.
A Vietnamese dish of aromatic, broth-based noodle soup full of healthy herbs and local spices, this dish became a trend when it was introduced to the United States a couple of years ago. In Vietnam, there are Pho shops around every corner serving the populace this delicious goodness.
5. DIM SUM
Bite-sized dumplings, steam cooked and served as an appetizer or a feast. These delicious dumplings come with various flavours and fillings and are traditionally served in bamboo steaming baskets.
6. SICHUAN PORK
Again, with the spicy food for the more adventurous foodie, China’s Sichuan province brings us poached pork in a spicy, meaty broth. The pork is poached to preserve its tenderness and every bite bursts with flavour.
This is a traditional Korean version of a rice bowl. There’s rice, assorted vegetables, meat, egg, and the star of the show, gochujang (red pepper paste) mixed in a bowl. The more traditional versions are made with raw beef and raw egg yolk, but many people prefer bibimbap with cooked meat.
8. JAPANESE CURRY
This is usually served in three forms: curry rice, curry udon, and curry bread. The most popular is curry rice, which is just the curry sauce over rice. The main ingredients are vegetables (onions, potatoes, and carrots) and meat.
An Indonesian staple, satay is barbecue food with its tender meat pieces marinated, skewered and grilled over flaming hot coals. Satay comes served with a fiery, hot peanut sauce and may not be suitable for people with nut allergies.
Popular Asian Street Food
Street food is an integral part of any culture. Asia has the most diverse offerings of street food of any of the seven continents in the world.
This refers to deep-fried snacks. If it’s dipped in egg batter and deep-fried, you call it Gorengan in Indonesia. Some of the most popular varieties include Pisang Goreng (bananas), Ubi Goreng (sweet potato), aci Goreng (fried tapioca dough), Tahu Goreng (fried tofu), and singkong Goreng (fried cassava)
11. EGG TARTS (Macau)
People visit Macau for the sights, the sounds and the egg tarts. The egg tart comes with a crisp and flaky pastry, a caramelized sugar top, and a smooth, creamy egg custard centre which makes it the perfect snack. The egg tart was influenced by the Portuguese colonial era.
12. TAKOYAKI (Japan)
It is the most famous Japanese snack, and it is made of egg batter and diced octopus. The egg batter is poured into the pan and topped with the diced octopus slices. Sliced scallions, pickled ginger, crispy fried tenkasu pieces, and dried fish flakes increase flavour.
13. JIANBING (China)
This is a thin egg crepe with scallions, rich chilli sauce, lettuce leaf filling and a crunchy centre of crisp fried dough. It makes for a filling breakfast.
14. TORNADO POTATO (South Korea)
This is literally a whole potato on a stick. The potato is skewered on a stick, cut thinly into the form of a tornado and deep-fried. It is served with a multitude of sauces.
Kimbap is made from cooked rice, and other ingredients rolled into seaweed laver. Apart from the rice and seaweed laver, all other ingredients can be customized according to taste.
Most Popular Asian Food In America
This is a dish made up of thin, marinated slices of beef or pork grilled on a barbecue or on a stove-top griddle. It is mostly eaten with rice and a host of other side dishes.
17. BANH MI
This sandwich of Vietnamese origin has captured the hearts of Americans of all ages. The banh mi is a short baguette split and filled with savoury ingredients and served as a meal.
One cannot mention Americans without mentioning sushi. For the uninitiated, it is a traditional Japanese dish of cooked vinegared rice, with some sugar and salt, alongside a variety of ingredients like raw seafood and vegetables.
19. CHOW MEIN
This is not a traditional Chinese dish, but one made popular by the Chinese diaspora. It is made of stir-fried noodles and meat or tofu. So simple and yet so delicious.
20. PEKING DUCK
This list would not be complete without mentioning Peking duck. This is roast duck with thin crisp skin and moist, tender meat. It is best enjoyed wrapped in pancakes with cucumber, scallions and hoisin sauce.
Hope reading this post has made you eager to explore the rich food the continent of Asia has to offer.