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Explore Asia

Asia – Food and Drink  

Like many other global cuisines, Asian cuisine is as varied as the countries on the continent. Asian cuisine is very much a part of the culture and history of the Asian countries but there are some food commonalities between the various cultures. In Asian cooking, the emphasis is on smaller portions, smaller amounts of meats and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Unlike the Asian-hybrid cooking that can be found elsewhere, traditional Asian food preparation involves very little fat, and very rarely is anything deep fried.

While there are few commonalities binding Asian cuisine, there are many more differences that are based primarily on location. East Asian cuisine encompasses Chinese and Japanese cuisines as well as cuisines from Taiwan and Korea. Chinese cuisine is perhaps most famous for its Peking Duck as well as the myriad dumplings, steamed buns and stir-frys that are staples of Chinese cooking.  Be sure to try different styles of Chinese cuisine such as Cantonese or Shandong.  Chinese usually eat congee porridge for breakfast. China is also renowned for its many varieties of tea; this ancient beverage has been enjoyed for thousands of years in China. Japanese cuisine focuses on the freshness of ingredients and foods that are prepared more simply but with great finesse. Theirs is a very healthy cuisine, and they are known for eating myriad varieties of fresh fish. A must see market for foodies and culinary travelers in Japan, is the Tsukiji Market which is the world’s largest fish market. Have some sushi for breakfast, while watching all the hustle of the market.

South Asian cuisine is also known as Desi cuisine and includes the exotic flavors of India. India has plenty of restaurants but the street food culture remains ever popular. This no frills kind of eating is particularly popular in Delhi. Also popular on a more global scale is Thai food. Pad Thai is universally recognized as the national dish of Thailand, and makong is a kind of Thai whiskey that has become much more affordable since the government started taxing beer and thus much more popular. Makong is the primary ingredient in Thailand’s welcome drink, the Sabai Sabai. The island nation of Laos has laap as its national dish but also popular is a salad called tam mak houng, made from green papayas. In the capital city of Vientiane, Laos you can drink a Beerlau at Sala Sunset Khounta boat on the banks of the Mekong while watching the sunset. The Philippines is well known for the adobo cooking style which is a preparation of chicken or pork that is braised slowly in vinegar, garlic, oil and soy sauce until very tender and nearly dry. In Vietnam, pho is of course the national specialty. Bali Indonesia’s national dish is nasi goreng and in Cambodia one can find amok, a dish of curried and steamed fish, as the national dish.  On the islands of Java, or Sumatra, see if you can drink the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world, called Kopi Luwak, it’s made from coffee berries that have passed through the digestive system of Indonesian monkeys (also known as a Palm Toddy Cat).

Southwestern Asian cuisine begins to borrow flavors and ingredients typically indigenous to countries in the Middle East, though they retain the focus on freshly prepared and simple dishes that are nutritious and packed with flavor.

Asian cuisine is exotic and flavorful. The clever use of cooking techniques and spices has transformed what were originally humble peasant food dishes into specialties that are now known the world over. Conversely, with many Asian countries having a separate cuisine for the historical ruling King or Royal Family, the dichotomy between humble and royal food has lessened and dishes that were once only served to royalty can now be found in any common Thai restaurant.

Nonetheless, traveling through Asia takes you on a tour not only of wildly exotic countries but of foods that are distinctly different from country to country.

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Articles From Asia

navratan-korma

We people manage to keep the world populated thanks to food and water. Many live simply to try new foods because this world, and the people here, make food interesting and unique every now and then. And to all those judgmental people out there, you cannot blame anyone. This variety never, never ends. Grateful about […]

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Mango_Lassi_made_out_of_Mango_pulp_and_Milk

India, popular for its cuisines and road side indulgences, has a lot to offer to the people to ‘Beat the Heat’ in the summers.

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Chilli Paneer Photo by Ramesh NG, CC BY-SA 2.0

Your taste buds are given the best of both worlds while you are in India. Though some foods are common in some parts of the country, you will find that almost all types of foods are now available in most places in India. The northern part of India houses high quality hotels that sell south […]

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Amok - the national dish of Cambodia

                                Sat crossed legged at a local home, I am presented with a small banana leaf basket, inside which is a soft creamy food, fresh in smell and soft in texture. It’s Amoke Trei, or fish amok, and if anything […]

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WOW!  Look at that warm cinnamon roll oozing sweet cinnamon paste!!  I would trek up to Everest Base Camp just to get a few of those.

There are myriad delicious things to eat in Nepal… but after a long several weeks of hiking sometimes all it takes is a simple slice of cake or bread oozing cinnamon paste to perfectly satisfy a craving!

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Boso Laghman - a mouth-watering dish from Tajikistan, made with mutton, fresh noodles, onion and lots of spices.  A perfect meal after a long hike in the mountains of Tajik Pamirs.

After spending a week hiking in the Tajik Pamirs, located on the border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan getting back to Khorog is like returning to some sort of paradise. Not only are there comfortable beds and hot showers, but the FOOD is delicious and hearty! This is a plate of ‘Boso Laghman’ or fried noodles […]

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Kueh Dadar - Coconut pancakes with a sweet coconut filling.  If you love coconut you'll LOVE these!!  Photo credit: flikr- Krista goodiesfirst

Hawker food courts are extremely popular in Singapore among the locals and the tourists. They are essentially food courts, but on a much bigger scale. Some of the Hawker centers have over 100 vendors that offer all types of different foods, all at a competitive price. No matter what kind of food you like, you […]

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Rice cooked in lotus leaf with duck sauce photo by Runaway Juno

Hong Kong is a city that lives to eat, offering diners the very best of China and beyond. Hong Kong provides culinary excitement whether you’re spending HK$20 on a bowl of noodles or a whole wallet on fine cuisine. Hong Kong is an expensive place to dine by Chinese standards, but cheaper than most major […]

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Korean BBQ Suwon

Juno Kim, travel blogger, travel photographer and former mechanical engineer. She left her cubic farm to follow her true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to find the place where she can call ‘home’ while eating, drinking tea, and […]

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Lechon being hand turned over hot coals

The Philippines is comprised of over 7,000 islands,but there are only a few specialties that are commonly thought of as  “national dishes”, these specialties have an important role in the culture and traditions of the Philippines. The “national dishes” include lechon, adobo, bistek, and sinigang.  One of the most famous national dishes of the Philippine’s is a whole spit-roasted pig called Lechon […]

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cooking Indian food street side

By Harleena Singh There is a saying that you experience a drastic change, every hundred miles you travel in India. This not only includes the diversity in cultures, traditions, rituals, dresses, languages, dialects, but also the food that people eat. The country that is huge in size, with a rich cultural heritage that is thousands […]

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Malaysian food

Monica Tindall is an international educator and traveler.   Her passion for food and travel has led her to create The Yum List, http://theyumlist.blogspot.com.  She is constantly hunting for great places to eat in Malaysia and around the world.  She plans her vacations by where each meal will be taken and sees the other sites on […]

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Farmers Open Food Court

by Harleena Singh The Marketing Process of Food in Indian Markets It has been a fascination to watch the Indian markets as depicted in many Hollywood movies, making them look medieval and spicing them up with mysticism. However, the real Indian food markets might not resemble perfectly with that cinematic angle, but it is a […]

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holi-festival-of-colors1

Holi – The Festival of Color, Foods, and Drinks by Harleena Singh Colors magically connect with the emotions and moods of all human beings, and effectually make us jovial and happy. During Holi, all the people irrespective of their color, sex, caste, creed, or religion also get together for this enchanting festival in India. They […]

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vietnam

Vietnam – Food and Drink, Exotic and Intoxicating Anthony Rizzi has just about traveled the entire length of Vietnam. He’s not afraid to leave the comfort of the cities, and discover amazing food in Vietnam’s beautiful, and fascinating countryside. He shares our philosophy at TravelFoodandDrink.com – The best part of traveling, and the best way […]

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