All tourists travel for different purposes — to get acquainted with a foreign culture, relax on the beach, dance all night in the best clubs in the world, or quietly explore the sights. However, they all have one thing in common — everyone likes to eat delicious food. And no trip can pass without getting acquainted with the national cuisine of the country. After all, no one will argue that cuisine is as important a part of the culture as architecture or art.
Asian cuisine has long gone beyond Asia and spread all over the world. Now it is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. Of course, you can find restaurants with Asian food in your home country, but if you are a true connoisseur, then you want to try these dishes in their homeland.
Asian cuisine combines the gastronomic traditions of China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, and other Asian countries. They have a lot in common. For example, in most countries, the main product is rice, soy sauce, and other seasonings based on soybeans are actively used. Fish and seafood are present in large quantities on the tables of Asian countries. It’s hard to imagine Asian cuisine recipes without traditional noodles. It is usually made from eggs with the addition of wheat flour. Asians serve egg noodles together with soups and salads, and season, as a rule, with soy sauce. In addition to soy sauce, fish sauce is common in Asian cuisine. In its properties, it resembles soy in many ways and very often replaces salt in dishes.
Among the additives and related products, it is impossible not to mention ginger, wasabi, coconut milk, chili seasoning, curry paste, tofu cheese, as well as seaweed. The peculiarity of cooking a number of dishes is the minimal heat treatment of products, thanks to which Asians preserve their useful properties. All Asian dishes have a bright and spicy taste. So, we have named the common features, and now let’s talk about the varieties of Asian cuisine that you should know about during your trip.
1. Varieties of Asian cuisine: Thai cuisine
The main product of Thai cuisine is rice, and even the word “eat” translates as “eat rice”. In addition to exotic snacks like fried cockroaches or locusts, the menu contains quite traditional chicken, a lot of seafood, fruits, and vegetables. Thai cuisine is light and easy. When cooking, the beneficial properties of the products are preserved as much as possible. Dishes are abundantly seasoned with chili pepper, garlic, ginger. To the taste of a European, they turn out to be quite spicy.
The most famous dish: tom-yam soup with shrimp and straw mushrooms on chicken or fish broth with coconut milk, seasoned with garlic and lime sprigs.
2. Varieties of Asian cuisine: Korean cuisine
Korean cuisine has a lot in common with Chinese and Japanese. Like the Japanese, Koreans actively consume fish (including raw), and just like the Chinese, they love pork. And Koreans actively add hot pepper to food.
The basis of the kitchen, like other Asian neighbors, is rice. Koreans use soy sauce as seasonings, as well as soy-based pastes. Koreans serve rice in a separate bowl, and the rest of the snacks are on shared plates. As for sushi, unlike Japanese, Koreans do not use raw fish. No table is complete without dishes of pickled vegetables – kimchi. The most famous variation of kimchi is from Peking cabbage. But Koreans make it from any vegetables: radishes, cucumbers, eggplants, green onions. Koreans consider kimchi one of the symbols of the country.
3. Japanese cuisine
This cuisine is the least spicy of the Asian, and therefore the most familiar to the taste of a European. The main ingredients are rice, fish, and seafood. The Japanese consider a delicious dish where they managed to preserve the natural taste of the product. However, this principle does not apply to soy-based dishes — sauce, miso paste, tofu cheese, etc., for the preparation of which soybeans are processed for a long time and thoroughly. The traditional meal includes rice, soup, and at least three types of snacks.
Traditional Japanese dishes: tempura, sukiyaki, yakitoria, miso soup.
4. Varieties of Asian cuisine: Chinese cuisine
In this cuisine, unlike most Asian countries, there is much more meat than seafood. In addition to rice, in the northern part of the country, the Chinese actively cultivate cereals and eat flour dishes. A distinctive feature of Chinese cuisine is the balance of products (vegetables, spices, seasonings). Therefore, the dishes have a unique aroma, taste, and color. Therefore, the dishes have a unique aroma, taste, and color. The harmonious unity of vegetables, spices, and seasonings is the basis of the culinary art of China.
5. Vietnamese cuisine
Rice in Vietnamese cuisine is popular not only as a dish: rice noodles, flour, and tortillas are made from it. As in other Asian countries, in Vietnam, it is customary to season dishes with hot pepper, serve with soy and fish sauces. The traditional serving of Vietnamese dishes necessarily includes fresh vegetables and herbs: lemon sorghum, mint, basil leaves, and coriander. In addition to seafood, meat is common — pork, chicken, beef (not very often).
The hallmark of the kitchen is soup fo. Vietnamese cook it in beef, chicken, or fish broth. Fried onions and spices are added to the broth. Vietnamese serve the soup with rice noodles and thin slices of meat, fish, or fish meatballs, with the addition of herbs — basil, mint, and sprouted beans.
6. Indian cuisine
The cuisine of the southern and central regions of India is predominantly vegetarian. The basis of the diet consists of rice, varieties of vegetable stews, chowder from peas, lentils and other legumes, tortillas, honey, dairy products, and fruits. In the northern states, Indians cook meat — in most cases lamb or poultry. Indians do not eat beef in most of the country: in Hinduism, a cow is a sacred animal. India is also the birthplace of curry seasoning. Curry for poultry, meat, fish, vegetables contains a different composition and ratio of spices.
The most popular dish: dal. It is made from lentils or chickpeas with vegetables and spices. Cold and hot, spicy and sweet, with tomatoes and garlic, lemon juice, coconut milk — there are many varieties of it.