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Asian Food: 10 Delicious Dishes That You Must Try When Visiting Countries

Asia has many interesting things to explore from diverse natural landscapes, ancient architecture, ornate temples, large shopping malls, and white sandy beaches… Besides that, the cuisine is an attraction that cannot be ignored. In many countries, the smell of good food lingers, not only inside restaurants but also on the streets, wafting from street stalls. Here are the top 10 delicacies of Asian food that you shouldn’t miss tasting.

Amok, Cambodia

Amok is a traditional Cambodian dish made from fish or poultry that has been cooked in a thick coconut milk-based gravy. It is usually served with steamed rice, and sometimes with a side of vegetables. The traditional way of cooking Amok is to wrap the ingredients in banana leaves before steaming them.

Cambodian fish amok curry with white rice
Cambodian fish amok curry with white rice.

Amok is a popular dish in Cambodia and can be found in many restaurants throughout the country. Additionally, you can easily find this dish on special occasions and festivals.

Stinky Tofu, China

Stinky Tofu is a popular Chinese dish made from fermented soybeans, which gives it a unique smell and taste. Usually, it’s served in a variety of ways, such as deep-fried, steamed, or boiled. It is often sold by street vendors as an appetizer or snack. People traditionally eat Stinky Tofu with a spicy sauce and pickled vegetables.

Stinky tofu in Beijing’s Wangfujing Snack Street. Image source: Josephine Lim on Flickr.

It is a popular dish in many parts of China and is enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike. Stinky Tofu is especially popular in areas like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong. Some of the best places to try Stinky Tofu are the Night Markets in Beijing and Guangzhou.

Read more: You Dare Trying The Most 16 Smelly Foods in the World?

Nasi Campur, Indonesia

If you are new to Indonesian cuisine, Nasi Campur is an interesting dish to start your culinary journey in the “Land of Thousand Islands”.

Nasi Campur is one of the dishes of Asian food that you should try.

The name “Nasi Campur” simply means “mixed rice”. A rice dish with many different ingredients. Indeed, a typical plate of Nasi Campur will have a bowl of white rice in the middle and surrounded by different foods, such as tuna, tofu, eggs, meat skewers, deep-fried tempeh, sliced cucumbers…

Indonesia is a large and culturally diverse country. Thus, Nasi Campur dishes across the country also have different types.

Jalebi, India

There are so many tempting dishes to come to India, a vast land and cuisine that varies greatly from region to region. If you are looking for a sweet treat that is easy to enjoy, then Jalebi is surely worth a try.

Jalebi is a popular snack in India. Image credit to Shreyans Bhansali on Flickr.

You can consider Jalebi a “national” dish, with the familiar image of stacked spiral cakes, bright yellow, and red-orange colors, and the sweetness of sugar and syrup.

The way to make Jalebi is quite simple. You will need all-purpose flour, baking powder, water, and food coloring. The flour mixture is put into the hot oil pan in a circular fashion like a spiral. When cooked, the cake is dipped in sweet syrup, sometimes with added flavorings.

Many people think Jalebi and Funnel cake are the same. What do you think?

Okonomiyaki, Japan

Not as famous in the world as sushi or ramen, however, Okonomiyaki is also very popular in Japan. Truly, this is a Japanese favorite when gathering with family and friends, especially in Osaka and Hiroshima.

Many people call Okonomiyaki the Japanese pancake.

Okonomiyaki is a fried dish with the main ingredients being flour and cabbage. In addition, you then add ingredients such as meat, seafood, wasabi, and cheese… on top. People usually make their own Okonomiyaki right at the table and top it off with a special sauce (barbecue sauce flavor), mayonnaise, katsuobushi (smoked tuna ham), and aonori (dried seaweed).

Gopchang, Korea

Gopchang is one of the most famous Korean dishes and of course, an Asian food that you should try. A typical dish includes grilled small intestines of various animals such as pigs, cattle, and sheep. Usually, the dish is served with lettuce, garlic, and sauces.

Pork Gopchang in Seoul’s Gangnam Station area. Source of image: gorekun on Flickr.

The best place to have Gopchang in Korea is Seoul. There are many restaurants in the city that serve this delicacy. Particularly, if you would like to go to a place for great Gopchang in Korea, you should consider visiting Seoul’s Gangnam district.

Momo, Nepal

Momo is a traditional Nepalese and Tibetan dish made of steamed dumplings filled with a variety of fillings. It is a popular street food in Nepal that is gaining traction in other parts of the world.

Different momo types in Nepal.

The filling can include anything from vegetables to meats. For vegetarians, Momo has potatoes, onions, garlic, and spices filled inside. For non-vegetarians, the filling is usually minced chicken, lamb, or pork mixed with spices. The dough for the Momo is typically made from plain flour, oil, and salt.

Typically, the locals eat Momo with a dipping sauce made from tomato, garlic, ginger, and chili. Some people also like to add a few drops of lemon juice to the dipping sauce for extra flavor. Indeed, it is a great way to get a taste of Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine.

Hot Chili Crab, Singapore

Singapore is renowned for its delicious chili crab dish, which is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The classic Singapore dish is a combination of succulent crab meat, chili sauce, and fresh tomatoes and onions. A unique blend of spices, chili, and garlic are the main ingredients of the chili sauce. It gives the dish a unique flavor that is both spicy and savory.

A plate of chili crab at a seafood restaurant in Singapore. Image credit to Studio Sarah Lou on Flickr.

The crab is first steamed to ensure maximum freshness, before being stir-fried in the chili sauce. The result is a dish that is rich in flavor, with a blend of sweet, salty, and spicy notes. The crab meat is juicy and succulent, and the chili sauce provides a spicy kick.

People usually eat the chili crab with steamed mantou buns, which are perfect for soaking up the savory sauce. Alongside, you should eat with a side of salad or vegetables to provide a refreshing contrast.

Som Tum, Thailand

Thai food is quite popular all over the world. If you are in Thailand, especially the northeast, make sure the signature Som Tum is on your Asian food list and try it here.

A typical dish of Som Tum papaya salad in Thailand.

Som Tum, also known as green papaya salad, brings together all the flavors from the ingredients: sweet jaggery, sour lemon and hot chili, salty peanuts, green papaya, crispy fresh green beans, and cherry tomatoes. All components are crushed in a traditional mortar, helping to bring out the natural flavors. Papaya salad is especially the perfect dish in the hot weather in Thailand, suitable for serving with hot sticky rice.

Bánh Xèo or Vietnamese Pancake, Vietnam

The list of Vietnamese cuisine is so long that visitors can enjoy a variety of delicious dishes. For example, the fresh summer rolls, the bread filled with thick fillings, or the hot, slurping noodle soup to warm the stomach… In particular, visitors should not miss trying Bánh xèo.

The kind of Bánh xèo in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

A crispy thin pancake typical of Vietnamese cuisine is made from rice flour, coconut milk, and turmeric powder. There are choices of fillings with thinly sliced pork, shrimp, squid, mushroom, and bean sprouts. You will eat Bánh xèo with fresh raw vegetables and dipping sauce, which is a mix of fish sauce, filtered water, sugar, minced garlic, lemon juice, and chili sauce.

You will feel the harmonious combination of flavors of Bánh xèo right from the first bite. Additionally, you can order an extra cold beer or iced tea to drink with your meal.

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