Asian food is very diverse and delicious! Read on to learn more about different types of food all over Asia.
For more information on other foods around the world, read my article Global Foods Part 1.
A popular type of Chinese food is dim sum, which are small dishes eaten for breakfast or lunch. From steamed BBQ pork buns to pan-fried baby bok choy, dim sum offers something for everyone. Traditional dim sum includes steamed and fried meat and vegetable dishes. Some popular dim sum items include siu mai (steamed meat dumplings), char siu bao (steamed buns with bbq pork), har gao (steamed shrimp dumplings), cheong fun (large, flat rice noodles rolled around meat or shrimp), and pan-fried noodles.
Indian food uses a lot of spices, such as cinnamon, saffron, and chili. Indians also eat a lot of vegetables and curry, a gravy dish made with many spices. Tandoori chicken is another popular dish, and is made by soaking chicken in spices and baking it in a clay oven that reaches temperatures all the way up to 550 degrees!
For more than 2,000 years, rice has been the Japanese’s favorite food to eat. Rice is so important in Japan that the Japanese word for cooked rice, meshi, means “meal.” Popular rice dishes include rice bowls, sushi (rice and raw fish wrapped in seaweed), and fried rice mixed with vegetables, egg, and pork. The Japanese also eat fish, squid, octopus, shellfish, and noodles. Noodles are so popular in Japan that there are entire restaurants that serve only noodles! Popular noodle dishes include soba (spaghetti-sized noodles), udon (thick wheat flour noodles), and ramen (noodles in soup or served with toppings like pork, boiled egg, or seaweed).
Koreans eat a lot of spicy foods, like kimch’i and kalbi, and they eat a lot of rice to go with it. Kimch’i is made from vegetables, red peppers, and garlic. Kalbi are delicious grilled short ribs.
Cooking in Thailand means using a lot of coconut milk, lemon grass, tamarind, ginger, black pepper, and garlic. And if there’s one more important ingredient in Thai food, then it’s fish sauce. Fish sauce is made by boiling the juice taken from small salted fish. Thai food is either stir-fried or steamed, usually in a wok (a large frying pan). Like in most Asian countries, a Thai meal is based around rice. Common Thai dishes include satay and pad Thai. Satay consists of thin strips of beef, pork, chicken, prawns, or fish threaded onto skewers and grilled, and served with a sweet and spicy peanut dipping sauce called nam jim tua. Pad Thai is a combination of rice noodles, tofu, bean sprouts, egg, and dried ground red chilies.