10 Asian Foods You Need to Know About

asian food

It’s been said that food is culture. That might be an understatement. We can learn a lot about a people by looking at their cuisine, and the same goes for Asia. In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 of the most interesting dishes from across Asia, as well as some cultural tidbits you may not have known before.

1. Dim Sum

Sushi on a table

There are few foods more loved in the world than dim sum. The word “dim sum” is Cantonese for “to touch your heart,” and it’s easy to see why these small plates of food have captured so many hearts. From dumplings to noodles to steamed buns, there are any number of delicious dishes that can be found at a dim sum restaurant—and they all come served with tea!

Chinese people have been eating this type of food for centuries because their culture emphasizes hospitality and sharing. Dim sum restaurants bring friends and family together over a meal that has no set courses or main dish; instead, everyone shares whatever comes out from the kitchen while enjoying conversation.

Because dim sum is so delicious and unique, it’s no surprise that the tradition has spread throughout Asia and worldwide. If you can’t find a dim sum restaurant near you, order some dishes online! This way you can share the love with friends who might not have ever sampled this wonderful food before.

2. Sushi

A piece of food

Sushi is a popular food often served as a type of cuisine in the form of rolls with rice and other ingredients. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and it may come apart into bite-size pieces. Sushi is made from vinegared rice that has been pressed into small blocks called nigiri. The nigiri are then topped by seafood, vegetables, or both to make sushi rolls which are sliced up before being served. In addition to sushi, there are many different types of Japanese food that you should know about if you’re interested in trying something new!

3. Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a traditional dish from Thailand. It consists of stir-fried rice noodles, tofu, and various vegetables with either tamarind or fish sauce based broth. The dish may also contain dried shrimp, lime juice, bean sprouts, chilies or hot peppers to give it an extra kick. Pad Thai usually has a light brown color because of the caramelization process that occurs when food ingredients are cooked over high heat for an extended period of time in oil. It’s traditionally served with wedges of lime on the side as well as crushed peanuts which can be added according to taste before eating.

Pad Thai is one of the most popular dishes not only in Thailand but also throughout Southeast Asia and among other Asian communities around the world due to its unique taste and rich nutritional value. It’s often seen as a quick fix for the busy office worker who needs something that is easy to prepare but just as tasty. However, it can be equally enjoyed by anyone looking for an entrée or side dish at their favorite Asian restaurant.

4. Tom Yum Goong

In Thailand, Tom Yum is a hot and sour soup. The traditional ingredients are shrimp, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal root, fish sauce and chili peppers in a clear broth. It’s served at room temperature or warmed.

It’s often made with chicken instead of shrimp as well as other vegetables such as bok choy or tomatoes. The soup can be eaten by itself but it is most commonly served with rice noodles called “sen lek”. These noodles are also known as “rice vermicelli”, which means “little worms” in Malay because they look like little white threads that curl around each other when cooked.

Tom Yum Goong was created by Thai fishermen who had to endure the extreme sun on the ocean. They took parts of their catch that were either close to spoiling or had already begun, cooked them in water with some herbs over fire, and then cooled it down with coconut milk. It is now one of Thailand’s most popular dishes.

5. Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu is a dish that originates from Sichuan Province, China. The name “mapo” comes from the Mandarin words for “bean” and “pockmarked”, which describes the pockmarked look of ground meat as it cooks in hot oil.

Mapo tofu has become popular throughout Asia, but it’s most often eaten as a late-night snack or breakfast fare rather than being served at restaurants during lunch or dinner hours. It can be found on many Chinese takeout menus in America because people enjoy its spicy flavor and hearty texture.

The dish may also contain vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, celery, mushrooms or onions; tofu; bean sprouts; peanuts; chili peppers (usually chopped or whole); and Sichuan peppers.

It is also sometimes served with white rice to temper the spiciness of the dish, but it can be eaten alone as well.

Szechuan peppercorns are often used in the preparation of this dish because they contain an intense flavor that pairs well with chili peppers; however, they can be irritating to the skin, mouth and stomach lining if not properly prepared.

6. Khao Soi

Khao Soi is a dish of spicy noodles with broth and meat, usually served with pickled vegetables. It originates from northern Thailand and can be found in most Thai restaurants across the world. The name literally means “Thai rice noodles” (khao ข้าว — meaning “rice”; soi ไส้ — meaning “fried noodles”). There are many variations on this dish, including vegetarian versions using soy sauce instead of meat, or more elaborate ones such as Khao Soi Kai which includes coconut milk and chicken. The soup’s spiciness may come from the use of chili pastes such as prik ka noo (chili-peanut paste) or nam phrik num (chili-garlic paste).

The dish has Thai origins and is believed to have been introduced to Chiang Mai by a woman from Burma who was forced out of the city after a fire. She then sold noodle soup from a makeshift tent-restaurant, which grew so popular it turned into a proper restaurant and changed its name to Khao Soi.

7. Japchae

Japchae is a traditional Korean dish made with sweet potato noodles, vegetables, and meat or seafood. The dish can be served hot or cold. It’s often served as an accompaniment to barbecue dishes. Japchae is typically eaten on special occasions such as birthdays or holidays.

Japchae originated in China where it was called chao zha, meaning “stir-fried Chinese”. The name of the dish changed to japchae when it became popularized in Korea through the influence of Japanese culture during the late 1800s/early 1900s.

The noodles are traditionally made by thinly slicing sweet potatoes into long strips which are then boiled until cooked before being stir fried with other ingredients usually including vegetables such as carrots and broccolli, meat such as beef or pork, and spices such as soy sauce. A sweet, tangy sauce is made using a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar or wine, sesame oil and sugar to taste.

The dish has evolved over the years with many variations on ingredients being introduced by restaurant owners catering to the tastes of their customers. Some examples include green peas, spring onions, or even kimchi, while some restaurants add pineapple to the dish for a sweet kick.

8. Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a traditional Korean dish. It’s served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with sautéed and seasoned vegetables, sliced beef or tofu, chili paste and gochujang. There are many variations on the ingredients that can be used in bibimbap and it’s often eaten at home for breakfast or dinner. Bibim means to mix while bap means rice so the name literally translates to “mixed rice” which is essentially what you do when you make this dish: mix all the ingredients together until they form one cohesive dish!

Bibimbap has become increasingly popular in America because it’s such an easy meal to prepare; but don’t let its simplicity fool you. Bibimbap can be as varied as you want it to be, so you could have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s convenient, delicious and also very nutritious!

9. Roti Canai

Roti canai is a dish from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It is served as an accompaniment to curry dishes or eaten on its own with a sweet dipping sauce such as condensed milk, sugar and ginger.

Roti Canai is made of flour which has been mixed with water then kneaded into dough that’s thin enough to be torn in half without breaking apart. The dough is then wrapped around a metal cone shaped like a drumstick called a “kettle,” which spins in the hot oil until golden brown. Rotis are traditionally eaten piping hot straight out of the kettle when they’re still crispy on the outside but soft inside—a mouthful of deliciousness!

In addition to being a popular breakfast dish in Malaysia and Singapore, roti canai is a fast food staple in Indonesia.

10. Miso Soup

Miso soup is a Japanese dish with origins in China. It’s traditionally made from fermented soy beans, rice or barley and salt. The salty, savory liquid used for the broth is called “dashi,” and it can be made by boiling kombu (a type of seaweed) and dried kelp together in water. Miso paste, which is made from soybeans that have been soaked, boiled and mashed into a paste, then cultured with salt and other ingredients like rice koji (which helps break down proteins), sometimes added to the pot as well. Other vegetables such as onions or carrots are often added too along with tofu cubes; some recipes also call for miso eggs – eggs cooked right in the broth before serving so they’re infused with that salty, umami flavor.

The paste is traditionally served in small amounts because it’s very high in sodium – one teaspoon starts out at about 100 mg of sodium – which means you should avoid over-consumption to reduce your risk of high blood pressure or other health problems.

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