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Asia Food

"Introduction to Southeast Asian,
East Asian and Indian Cuisine"

"Asia food" was last updated on Oct 27, 2012
All information below is subject to change

You know what?

Asian food is frigging delicious!

I give you an introduction to Asian food, specifically Southeast and East Asian, and also Indian cuisine.

There's so much excellent food in Asia. The dishes vary from country to country, from region to region, and sometimes from state to state. This makes Asian food much more exciting.

I have to admit that Thai, Vietnamese and Filipino food are my ultimate favorites. Pad Thai, Panaeng Curry, Vietnamese Pho soup, sinigang and adobo make my mouth water.


Southeast Asian Cuisine

food stall in singapore in southeast asia
Asia food: Food stall in Singapore
So, when I say Southeast Asia cuisine, I mean Thai, Laotian, Filipino, Malaysian, Indonesian, Khmer, Vietnamese, Burmese and Singaporean food.

Each of these countries have different food cultures, but they still have some common characteristics, like color and fragrance. No Asian dish is color- or odorless. Each food culture adds its own flavors with spices and plants. Lemongrass, shrimp paste, fish sauce and galangal (type of ginger) are all typical and essential ingredients in Southeast Asian kitchens.

And of course; all Southeast Asians eat rice with their meals.

No rice, no real meal.

Because of colonization and settlements from neighboring countries, Southeast Asian food cultures have been influenced by their colonizers and foreign settlements. Filipino food has elements from Chinese, Malay and even American food. The Vietnamese baguettes are inspired by French cuisine.

Thai is known to be spicy due to the use of Thai pepper/chilli, while Filipino and Indonesian are rarely not that spicy.

What about noodles? Scroll down to East Asian Cuisine and read more about the noodles.

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Indian Cuisine

Each state in India has their own way of cooking food. Rajasthani food is different from the food in Maharasthra, and the food in Goa is different from the food in Punjab.

indian food dishes
Asia food: Indian food dishes

There are some characteristics of course, to north and south Indian food. What food you''ll find depends highly on what is grown in the area; what vegetables and spices they can access and what crops they grow.

The main crop grown in north India is wheat, hence the big production of chapati, roti and nan bread. North Indian cuisine is influenced by the Mughals, meaning that ingredients like onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and spice curry are widely used in their dishes.

eating south indian food at Azad restaurant in Trivandrum in Kerala state
Asia food: Eating South Indian food in Trivandrum
North India is infamous for Tandoori cooking, like tandoori chicken, tandoori lamb, tandoori kebabs and much more. Samosa is a typical north Indian snack, but can also be found in other parts of India. Samosas are really good and many Indians eat these for lunch. Normally they contain mashed potatoes, but other ingredients are mixed in as well.

If you haven't noticed already, restaurants in Europe and North America serving Indian food normally make and serve food originating from north India.

South India has more of a tropical climate and coconuts are widely available. Therefore coconut milk is frequently used by South Indians and it's part of their daily cooking, particularly for chutney and curry dishes. The states in south India have access to sea food, rice and vegetables. South Indian food is more rice-based than the food in the north.

Typical south Indian food are uttapam, dosas and idlis. I've tried them all, and I must say that dosas are the best ;-) South Indian food tend to be spicier than north Indian.

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East Asian Cuisine

food market in hong kong
Asia food: Market in Hong Kong

China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea have all a strong rice culture.

Noodles are essential in Chinese cuisine and come with great variety, in all kinds of width, length, shape and production methods. Noodles are important in China, Singapore, Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries where there's a strong presence of Chinese, like Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines (pansit).

Chinese-style noodles have been adopted by neighboring countries like Japan. In Japan, their noodle dish is called 'ramen' (PS: You should see the movie The Ramen Girl with Brittany Murphy).

Another thing that's special for East Asia food culture is the use of tea where they have Tea Ceremonies which involve the preparation and presentation of tea. The Chinese also use tea for medicinal purposes.

tea ceremony in asia
Asia food: Tea ceremony

East Asian food articles:

About South Korean food

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Asian Cuisine Articles

asian fruit

Asian Fruit

There's so much more than just bananas, oranges and apples.

So, what are the typical fruits of Asia?

Here's my post:
Get a taste of Asian fruit!

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spring rolls asia

Spring Roll Recipe

Do you like spring rolls? :-)

Good news for you: I have an easy recipe for spring rolls available for you.

Try my Spring Roll Recipe!

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Got any Food Stories or Tips?

What's your favorite food in Asia? Why do you love it so much? What about drinks? Your favorite beer and why?

Can't wait to hear about it! :-)

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