Asia is the largest and most populous continent in the world and as such is rich with a diverse mix of cultures. Each of these cultures has its own unique cuisine making Asian foods some of the best and tastiest anywhere. These are some of the most popular foods in Asia.
10. Qaboli Palao from Afghanistan. The national dish of Afghanistan, this is a wonderfully tasty dish made from meat, fried raisins, pistachios, and carrots. A grain like cracked wheat or rice is browned in oil and then cooked in a seasoned broth. This grain is then topped with the meat mixture.
9. Peking Duck from China. This is one of the most well-known dishes from China. Also known as Peking Roast Duck, it is prized for the very thin, crispy skin and is often eaten with spring onions, pancakes, and hoisin sauce or sweet noodle sauce.
8. Rendang from Indonesia. This is a popular and delicious dish made from beef cooked slowly in spices and coconut oil for several hours until all liquid is gone. This allows the meat to absorb the spices and the oils.
7. Larb from Laos. This is a meat salad dish made with beef, duck, chicken, pork, turkey, and fish, then flavored with lime and fish sauce. The meat in the salad can either be cooked or raw and is minced and mixed with mint, chili, and assorted vegetables.
6. Biryani from Bangladesh. A wonderfully aromatic and spicy dish made from spices, meat, chicken, and vegetables, and rice. The name of the dish comes from the Persian word “berya” meaning fried or roasted.
5. Mohinga from Myanmar. Mohinga is typically eaten as a breakfast dish and is rice vermicelli in fish soup. Many consider Mohinga to be the national dish of Myanmar and it is readily available in most parts of the country.
4. Sizzling Sisig from the Philippines. This dish is made from boiled, deep-fried, or grilled part of pig’s head and liver chopped in pieces and seasoned with chili pepper, onion, mayonnaise, and calamari. It is sometimes topped with fresh egg.
3. Ema Datsi from Bhutan. Bhutan, called the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” is home to this wonderful dish made from homemade cheese and hot peppers. The cheese is made by several ethnic minority groups using either cow’s milk or goat’s milk.
2. Kibbeh from Lebanon. This dish is made from chopped meat and burghul and the best-known of the varieties is a fried torpedo-shaped croquette filled with minced lamb or beef. The other types of kibbeh are often shaped into patties or balls and cooked or baked in broth.
1. Kimchi Jjigae from South Korea. Kimchi is very popular in Korea and it has many variations and one of its most popular is Kimchi Jjigae. This dish is a stew-like dish made with kimchi and scallions, pork, diced tofu, seafood, and scallions.
There are also very dishes that are popular all over Asia and that do not have a specific country that they claim as home. Here are some of these most popular foods in Asia.
• Nihari. This dish is eaten as breakfast is very popular. It is a stew made from spices and beef shank and is known for its taste and spiciness.
• Mansaf. This dish is made from lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yoghurt. It is served with rice.
• Menemen. Menemen is typically eaten for breakfast and consists of egg, tomato, onion, green peppers, and spices including ground red pepper, ground black pepper, oregano, salt, and mint. Other ingredients may include Turkish sausages such as Pastirma or Sucuk and black or green olives.
• Canh Chua.
The name “Canh Chua” means sour soup and is similar to the Filipino dish Sinigang. This is a sour soup dish made from fish, tomatoes, and pineapple. Bean sprouts and okra may also be added and it is flavored with tamarind broth and garnished with ngo om, a lemony-scented herb, chopped scallions, and carmelized garlic.
• Kabsa. Kabsa, which is very popular in Saudi Arabia is a family of rice dishes. This delicious dish is served in many Arab states throughout the Persian Gulf. It consists of rice, vegetables, meat, and spices. There are a variety of Kabsa and they are all different and unique.
• Fish Balls. Many people describe fish balls as the hot dogs of Asia. These tasty morsels are pressed or pulverized fish meat which is eaten as soup or on a stick. They are sold primarily by street vendors or by Asian hawker stalls just about everywhere. They are served fried or steamed and are usually eaten as a snack in-between meals.
• Laksa. This is a spicy noodle soup which some say was invented by the Singaporeans, although it seems more likely that it came from China or Malaysia. It is very popular because it is very good mixing sour influences (citrus or lemon grass) with sweet tastes (coconut) with more standard fare (thick noodles, tofu, and egg.)
These are some of the most popular foods in Asia and each and every one is delicious and represents its unique culture beautifully.