Food of Asia - Asian Cuisine

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Asian Cuisine


                    Asian Cuisine

The food in Asia varies depending on the different regions. Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia have different types of Asia food that they eat. Asian recipes are full of flavor, fragrance, and spice. All of the Asian national cuisines are interconnected since each country's cuisine influenced another country's cuisine. For example, the wok, star anise, vegetable oil, and stir fry was introduced to Southeast Asian cuisine by the Chinese. The staple food in Asia is rice, but there are other very important foods such as bread and noodles. Northeast Asian traditional cuisine includes the cuisines of China, Japan, and Korea. Cooking comprises of sauces, fats, and oils. There are many oily foods and garlic and vinegar are often used during cooking. Sauteing, frying, and deep-frying are the most commonly used cooking techniques in Asia. Vegetable oil, hot pepper, and spices are necessities in Northeast Asian cuisine. Southeast Asian traditional cuisine includes the cuisines of Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, and Singapore. Southeast Asian cuisine is based on rice and curries as well as yogurt. Stir frying is the most popular cooking technique. Ginger, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander are important spices in Southeast Asian spicy dishes. Southwest Asian traditional cuisine includes the cuisines of Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka. Wheat, rice, barley, unleavened bread, and beans are the main staples in Southwest Asian cuisine. The major Southwest Asian spices are cloves, hot peppers, and black pepper. Goat, lamb, and chicken are usually the only meats that Southwest Asians eat since Hinduism forbids the consumption of beef.


The food of Japan carries an influence from other cultures but has worked to create its own eating habits and cooking styles. In about 300 BC, China was Japan's first foreign influence. This was when Japan learned about rice. In the 700's AD, Buddhism caused a ban on consuming meat, so the popular dish of sushi, which is raw fish with rice, was developed. During the 1800's, cooking styles simplified and many different vegetarian dishes became common.

Sushi - popular dish in Japan

Zha jiang mian - popular dish in China


Two of the main foods in China are rice and flour. For those who are rice farmers in the southern parts of China, rice is the main food source. It is used to made wine, beer and vinegar. For the wheat farmers of northern China, people eat many foods that are flour based including dumplings, steamed buns, breads and noodles. A traditional meal involves everyone dishing food onto a plate from one "main" dish. The Chinese eat with chopsticks, which is a pair of sticks made of wood held in one hand. The food is always cut into small, bite-sized pieces during preparation. Typical family dinners often include noodles, rice, three or four hot dishes and soup. Formal dinners will also include many cold appetizers.


The food in Korea is based on noodles, tofu, rice, meats and vegetables. Koreans do not eat as much meat as those in the Western part of the world, largely because red meat is costly so it is often only enjoyed at special occasions. Seafood and chicken is commonly enjoyed and the foods of Korea are often very spicy. Some common seasonings include green onion, soy sauce, red pepper paste, garlic, ginger and bean paste.

Galbi - popular dish in Korea


                    Thukpa - popular dish in India

When the people from areas such as Arabia, the Mughal empire, Persia and central Asia invaded India, there came a major impact on the cooking of India. Influences came from traders, such as those who were Portuguese, and Arabs who helped add variety to the tastes of the people in India. Indians have embraced vegetables such as chili peppers, potatoes and tomatoes as essentials. From the British and Portuguese came New World vegetables such as squash, potatoes and tomatoes. These people also introduced a new way of cooking - baking.


The climate in Nepal has allowed the country to grow many different crops including potatoes, corn, wheat, rice, and lentils. The food of Nepal is flavored with spices and seeds that include black pepper, onions, scallions, cilantro, mustard oil, cumin, ginger, garlic, coriander and turmeric.

Sekuwa - popular dish in Nepal


Hong Kong

Much of the food of Hong Kong comes from the Cantonese culture. In addition to the native cuisine, many people enjoy French, Japanese, Italian, Thai, Korean, Indian, Vietnamese, Singaporean and Malaysian foods as well. In general, the people of Hong Kong eat about five times each day. They might have breakfast of Hong Kong style milk tea or coffee that is served with fried eggs, ham and bread. For lunch, there is a main course that is often served with noodles or rice.


The food of Taiwan is often associated with the food of Mainland China, and from the province of Hokkein, or Fujian. But there are many influences that come from all over China. There is also a strong Japanese influence from the time that Taiwan was ruled by Japan. There is much traditional Chinese food that exists in Taiwanese food, including Hadda and Fujian style foods, as well as dishes that are native to Taiwan. These include dishes that come from Chaoshan, Shanghai, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Beijing, Hunan, and Sichuan.

Jiaozi - popular dish in Taiwan

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