Just as the preserved culture and traditions in Asia, the variety of foods offered in this continent is a part of their history. Sometimes, the most delicious and flavorful foods can’t be found in upscale restaurants. A number of them can be found in informal settings like in the city streets or in a small boat. For those foodies out there, here are the destinations where you smell, see and taste the best of Asia.
Famous for having many hawker centers throughout the country, Singapore offers dishes and cuisines inspired by its neighboring countries. There is a significant number of ex-pats from India, that’s the reason for seeing many stalls and restaurants serving Indian food. Malay and Chinese food are also widely available. Singapore is famous for its Hainanese Chicken, Singaporean Laksa, Chilli Crab, and Satay. The best thing about this country? Many establishments sell food that meets specific dietary requirements such as vegans and halal.
Many culinary experts say that the Philippines is underrated when it comes to food. Recently, one of the food magazines has honored the country’s Sinigang as the world’s best soup. Other famous foods from the Philippines are Adobo, Lumpiang Shanghai (meat spring rolls), and Lechon (Roasted Whole Pork). Someone craving Chinese food can also visit Manila, as the streets of Binondo are the world’s oldest Chinatown. Many stalls and casual restaurants offer classic Chinese dishes and delicacies.
The best street food can be seen on Taiwan’s many night markets. They are famous for serving huge pork and chicken cutlets, dumplings, cheap pork sandwiches, and braised beef noodles. Being a foodie haven in Asia, you can also find plenty of snacks with uncommon flavors in supermarkets and convenience stores. They also have unique restaurant concepts like the one in Modern Toilet Restaurant, where foods are served in a toilet bowl-shaped dinnerware.
The popularity of Kpop and Kdramas included the curiosity of what Korean food tastes like. If you are an observant shopper, there are a growing number of Korean supermarkets in different cities or they are occupying more spaces in the supermarket racks. Aside from the famous Korean Barbeque (Samgyupsal), some of the famous foods in Korea are kimbap (sushi rice rolled in seaweed), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), Odeng (fish cake on a stick served with soup), and Honey Butter Chicken. Visit one of their traditional market (like the Gwangjang Market) to have a taste of authentic Korean food.
It is not surprising to see locals and tourists lining up outside a ramen bar, it is one of the most flavorful noodle soups in the world. It is also amazing to see some Japanese restaurants that have conveyor belts, where you can just take any food that goes past your table and be billed automatically. There are also a number of street foods available in Japan, such as Takoyaki (ball-shaped snack filled with vegetable and octopus), Yakitori (chicken skewers), and Imagawayaki (also known as taiko-Manju, pancakes filled with chocolate, red bean, or custard filling. Apart from the Japanese foods, there are a growing number of novelty cafes and restaurants offering western foods like pancakes and burgers.
Most especially in the city of Bangkok, there are plenty of markets offering tropical fruits and best-selling street foods. Some of them are Pad Thai (a stir-fry dish using rice noodles), Massaman Curry, and Sticky Mango Rice. There are also a number of influences in the country when it comes to food, as they have their own version of India’s Roti and Malaysia’s Satay. Visiting restaurants or floating markets can order a sip of the spicy and sour shrimp soup called Tom Yum Goong and the Thai Fried Rice called Khao Pad.
Mentioning these foods can make someone be hungry in an instant! Asian flavors are very exciting to explore as it includes the use of tropical and oriental spices and ingredients that are not locally available in other continents. Even if there are inspirations from Western and European cuisines, these foods distinguish one Asian country from the other. The best foods are not limited to those listed above, but to other Asian countries as well!