Top 27 Must-Try Foods in Asia

Asian food is also considered as a tourist attraction since foreigners actually come to Asia to try some of them. However, in spite of the fact that many of the countries in Asia are still in the third-world status, their cuisine is definitely one of their advantages to gain tourists and one of the reasons these countries will flourish.

Here are some Asian foods you ought to try when you come to visit!


1. Momo

Momo is a type of Asian steamed dumpling, originated in Nepal but now popular among the Indian and Himalayan regions. Momos can be eaten with hot chili sauce with garlic and tomato, dark soy, and a side of soup, whichever you prefer.


2. Chili Crab

Chili Crab is a Southeast Asian stir-fried crab in a thick, savory, tomato-based hot chili sauce, that originated in Singapore. Although its name is Chili Crab, it is not very spicy. Still, it is a popular choice and a must-eat when you visit Singapore.


3. Kimchi

Kimchi, a primary complement of any meal in Korea, is a spicy, fermented vegetable dish. Traditionally made with pickled napa cabbage and Korean radish, it is like the ketchup of Korea. It can also be made with various vegetables and seasonings and is also used in a variety of soups. To make a meal with it, try the Kimchi fried rice which is quite popular nowadays.


4. Sushi

Sushi is a Japanese dish that is composed of vinegared rice, sometimes with a little salt and sugar, topped with a  variety of ingredients that includes thin cuts of fresh seafood (usually raw), vegetables, caviar, and fish eggs. It can be served with soy sauce and/or wasabi to perk it up.


5. Egg Tart

The signature egg tart from Macau is a kind of tart that comes with a crispy pastry, a caramelized topping, and a smooth and creamy egg custard in the center. In Chinese, it can be referred to as “po tat” while in Cantonese, “daahn tāat”. Although Macau is basically influenced by China particularly when it comes to food, egg tart actually originated in the Portuguese Colonial Era. It is best eaten warm.


6. Bibimbap

Bibimbap, sometimes transcribed as bi bim bap or bi bim bop, is a Korean dish served as a bowl of warm rice with toppings of namul (fried and flavored vegetables) or kimchi (Korean fermented vegetables) and gochujang (Korean chili paste), or doenjang (fermented soybean paste). It is usually topped with raw egg and a slice of meat.


7. Pho

Phở or pho is a Vietnamese aromatic soup that consists of broth, meat, rice noodles, and healthy herbs and spices. It is so popular that it is served even in households, streets, and restaurants throughout the whole country. It is the national dish of Vietnam.


8. Beijing Duck

Beijing Duck, known worldwide as ‘Peking Duck’, has become commonly prepared since the Imperial era. It is a roast duck that comes with moist tender meat and crispy, thin skin. The authentic version of this dish is served mostly with only a little meat and mostly skin, usually sliced by the cook in front of the customers. It is eaten wrapped in a pancake sided with fresh crunches of cucumber, scallion slices, and a very rich hoisin sauce.


9. Ramen

Ramen is a very popular noodle soup in Japan. Most noodle bowl Ramen comes in three parts; wheat noodles, broth, and meat. The most popular Ramen bowl would be served with a tonkotsu (pork bone soup) and toppings of chashumen (braised pork belly).

Ramen is not originally from Japan, not from the Japanese at least. It was introduced by Chinese immigrants at Yokohama Chinatown (which is located in Yokohama, Japan) in the late 19th century or perhaps early 20th century.


10. Takoyaki

Takoyaki is a savory octopus dough formed into balls made of wheat flour-based batter and filled with scraps of Tempura, spring onion, and pickled ginger. It is served with toppings of mayonnaise and soy-like sauce but thicker and more complex in taste.

Takoyaki is very popular since it is both served as a side dish in restaurants and on ‘boats’ always served hot and gooey in the streets. It is one of the most common street food in Japan.


11. Amok

Amok is the local favorite dish in Cambodia. The fresh fish infused with thick coconut cream and galangal or sometimes with Khmer curry paste is steamed in fresh banana leaves. It is best described as “steamed fish curry”.


12. Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice, or simply Chicken Rice, is one of the most common dishes in Singapore. It is cooked by boiling a whole chicken and it is sliced and served over seasoned rice that is cooked in chicken stock. The perfect serving is for the chicken to have oily skin, tender meat, and gelatin layer between. It can also be served with drizzles of dark soy and chili.


13. Japanese Curry

Japanese curry is a thickened stew that is commonly served in three main forms: curry rice, curry udon, and curry bread. There is also a wide variety of vegetables and meats that can be used to make Japanese curry. It is one of the most popular dishes in Japan and it comes in many levels of spiciness.


14. Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken is a dish prepared by marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices and left overnight for the flavor to soak. The next day, it is skewered and roasted in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay pot oven. Being smoked in perfection, the chicken becomes tender on the inside and crispy and flavorsome on the outside. It originated in the Indian subcontinent and is now popular in many other countries in the world.


15. Khao Soi

Khao Si, the King of the North of Thailand, is made with a coconut-based curry, many great spices, soft egg noodles, and topped with crispy egg noodles. It is also served with lime, onion, chili, and cabbage. However mild in spiciness, it is inarguably very flavorful.


16. Adobo

Adobo, being the unofficial National Dish of the Philippines because many Filipinos consider it, is a marinated meat dish that comes with flavorings of soy sauce, local vinegar, garlic, black pepper, and bay leaf. The perfect adobo comes best slow-cooked, with chicken or pork, or could be both and is usually called in the Philippines as CPA or Chicken and Pork Adobo.

It originated in the Spanish colonial era and the word ‘Adobo’ actually means to ‘Marinade’ in Spanish.


17. Shabu-shabu

Shabu-shabu is a Japanese hotpot dish consists of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water and served with many kinds of dipping sauces. Although beef is the most common choice for meat, shabu-shabu can also be prepared with chicken, pork, lamb, duck, crab, or lobster.

The term “shabu-shabu’ translates to “swish swish”, referring to the sound it makes when the ingredients are stirred in the pot. The dish is cooked piece by piece at the center of the table.


18. Tom Yum

Tom Yum or Tom Yam, one of the most well-known Thai dishes, is an aromatic, hot, and sour soup that is traditionally served with rice and at often times cooked with shrimp. Usually served as an appetizer,  it consists of shallots, lemongrass, fish sauce, galangal or slices of fresh ginger, mushrooms, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, and Thai chili peppers and most commonly garnished with coriander leaves as toppings.

Because of its popularity, there started to appear many different versions of it over the years, such as Tom Yum Guy with chicken, and Tom Yum Talay with seafood. It also has a version that is prepared with pork.


19. Pad Thai

Pad Thai, the national dish of Thailand, is a flavorful stir-fried dish typically consisting of rice noodles, tofu, dried shrimp, bean sprouts, and scrambled egg. Popular choices are Pad Thai made with meat, such as chicken, or pork. The flavor has a complex combination of sweet, sour, and savory and has a well-balanced contrast of textures.


20. Bulgogi

Bulgogi, which actually means ‘fire meat’, is made of marinated, thin slices of pork or beef grilled on a barbecue. Sirloin, rib eye, or brisket are the most frequently used portions of beef for the dish. It is eaten with ssamjang (hot chili sauce), and shared with Kimchi and other popular Korean side dishes.


21. Burma Kadayif

Burma Kadayif is a type of baklava that is made with shredded kadayif dough rolled around. It is baked and doused in a lemon-flavored syrup, sliced into bite-sized pieces, and sprinkled with whole or ground pistachio nuts.


22. Kimbap

Kimbap, sometimes referred to as Korean Sushi, is a dish that consists of cooked, seasoned rice and other ingredients that are rolled with dried sheets of seaweed, sliced in bite-sized pieces, and then served. Anything can be added to it, but the most common ones are meat, fishcakes, spinach, cucumber, and eggs.


23. Samosa

Samosa is a triangular fried or baked pastry with fillings a variety of ingredients such as spiced potatoes, onion, peas, cheese, meat, or lentils. These Samosas are usually served hot and can be prepared with yogurt or fresh homemade Indian chutneys made with ingredients like mint, coriander, or tamarind.

However, not all Samosas are savory – there are versions of these that can contain a number of sweet ingredients namely pomegranate, mango, and raisins. Sweet or savory, Samosa can be found throughout India because it is served at a great number of street stalls and roadside eateries, freshly made and normally paired with masala chai tea.


24. Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki, or stir-fried rice cake, is a popular Korean dish. It usually consists of cylinder-shaped rice cakes, sweet red chili sauce, and fish cakes. It is considered as one of the top street foods in Korea.

Originally, tteokbokki was called tteok jjim, a braised dish of sliced rice cakes, meat, eggs, and seasonings. It is red nowadays but it was brown initially when it was first introduced.


25. Karaage

Karaage, also known as dry-frying, is a Japanese cooking technique in which many kinds of food are coated in arrowroot starch (other coating ingredients such as flour, tapioca, or potato starch can also be used) and then deep-fried.

Karaage is most often associated with chicken but can also be used for frying various meats. Slices of chicken are first marinated in a mixture of sake, soy sauce, and sugar which are then lightly covered with arrowroot starch and then deep-fried. This method makes the meat tender and juicy on the inside and particularly crispy on the outside.

Karaage is usually served with soy sauce on the side.


26. Shawarma

Shawarma, a delicious Middle Eastern dish, consists of meat cut into thin slices from a cone-like shape stack of meat skewered in a vertically rotating metal on which the meat is roasted. Shawarma may be prepared with chicken, turkey, beef, or veal but it is originally made with lamb or mutton.


27. Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken is a spicy stir-fried Chinese dish made with cubes of chicken, vegetables, peanuts, and chili peppers. One of the most important features of this dish is its starchy and creamy sauce. The sauce, same with the marinade, usually contains soy sauce, chicken broth, vinegar, cornstarch, and chili paste.

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