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Food around the World: Asian Cuisines

Food around the World: Asian Cuisines 

A number of travelers and foodies would agree that Asia has some of the best cuisines around the world. The bold flavors, colors, and the generous use of various condiments, herbs, and spices, all add to the irresistibility of Asian foods. Here’s a look at some of the top cuisines from the entire Asian continent.

1) Challah (Israel)

Challahs are loaves of braided and leavened egg breads, and have been traditionally consumed in the Jewish communities during Shabbat. However, this is also a popular item for festive occasions like brit milahs or weddings. Some versions of Challah, instead of being braided, are shaped into flowers, keys, books, and spirals.

2) Tahdig (Iran)

The term tahdig literally translates to ‘bottom of the pot’, which refers to the layers of crusty and crispy rice present at the base of cooking pots used to make this dish. A conventional rice dish from Persia, Tahdig is made using basmati ghee, salt, and oil or ghee. Sometimes, a pinch of saffron or turmeric is added to throw in some extra flavor and color.

3) Tocino (Philippines)

Even though the term tocino has a Spanish root, the Philippine people associate this word only with a kind of sweet-cured meat that is usually prepared using pork (although, sometimes, chicken or beef is also used). Meat slices are lined with various combinations of seasonings and spices such as salt, sugar, anise wine, soy sauce, and orange or pineapple juice.

4) Paratha (India)

The paratha is a layered and flaky Indian bread, usually gold-brown in color. This dish is usually consumed for breakfast, although it can occasionally be used for other meals of the day as well. The word ‘paratha’ stems from ‘parat’ and atta (which means ‘flour’) – a reference to the layered, cooked dough. The paratha is made using wheat flour and is baked using ghee (a kind of clarified butter) and can have a round, square, triangular, or even heptagonal shape.

5) Char Siu (China)

This is a cuisine made up of barbequed and roasted pork that has been marinated using eponymous sauce, along with ingredients like soy sauce, star anise, red wine, and hoisin sauce. Usually, sliced Char Siu serves as an appetizer, while its chopped or shredded versions can be used as the main course.

6) Tataki

Tataki is basically the Japanese way to prepare fish or meat – the dish is seared for a short while, but the middle portion is left raw. Normally, the tataki technique makes use of beef tenderloin or tuna steaks, since they can be cut perfectly and ensure equal searing from every side.

7) Phanaeng Curry (Thailand):

This is a Thai Curry type that is known for its sweet-and-salty peanut flavor and thick texture. Phanaeng Curry contains meat that has been stewed using coconut milk, lime kaffir leaves, dried chilly, peanuts, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, cumin, and cilantro.

8) Gui (South Korea)

Gui is an umbrella term that covers every grilled dish that is part of the Korean cuisine. Korea is known for its grilling styles, primarily because it is different to the conventional western approach and follows a strict set of customs and rules – much like all of Korea’s cooking methods.

Traditionally, all tables in a Korean restaurant would have a hole in the center, used to place a grill over gas or charcoal.

9) Sinigang (Philippines)

This sour soup is made up of salt, oil, water, green beans, ginger, sliced onions, diced tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, green pepper, water spinach, and sampalok (fruits that belong to a special kind of tree named ‘tamarind’). The basic form of Sinigang usually comprises washing the rice and adding a souring agent.

10) Etli Emek (Turkey)

Etli Emek is a dish that hails from the Turk city of Konya, and is quite similar to a pizza. The term ‘Etli Emek’ translates to ‘meat with bread’. The dish is made up of a crispy, thin flatbread prepared using oil, yeast, salt, sugar, and flour. Once the flatbread is ready, it is topped with ground beef along with finely chopped peppers, tomatoes, and onions.

11) Shish Kebab (Turkey)

This kebab is the most famous one throughout the Turkish country, and is made up of tiny meat pieces that have been grilled using a fire and a skewer. The dish was invented by the nomads who marinated meat in order to make it more tender and free of any gamey flavors.

The marinades contain some combination of allspice, cinnamon, yoghurt, milk, olive oil, and lemon juice.

12) Tandoori

In India, the most popular dishes are those which have been cooked over blazing fires in an open-top cylindrical oven known as a ‘tandoor’. This cooking technique originated from the Middle East, where the ‘tandoor’ was used to bake bread. Soon, this style spread to many other parts of Asia, including north-west India. The Indians soon started using ‘tandoor’ to cook meats as well as various other types of dishes. They even added spice rubs and special marinades – today, both of these are essential elements of the tandoori technique practiced all over India.

Final Word

To summarize, these are some of the top dishes found across Asia. We hope that this list (which, of course, is not exhaustive by any means) will help you pick out the best cuisines on your trip to the continent.

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