There is no denying the fact that Asia is the hub for a lot of extremely yummylicious food and that is because there’s such a wide variety with each and every dish as rich and fragrant as the next. From the streets of Thailand to the bustle of Japan, here are some of the best stuff you have to try during your Asian food journey.
Kathi rolls in India
Kolkata (previously Calcutta) is a city that goes relatively untouched by tourists. It’s a shame in one way, considering just how vibrant and culturally rich it is. It’s in Kolkata you’ll find an abundance of art, whether it be through books (the annual Book Fair is a popular event for both locals and visitors), film, or the dances that you can witness almost every night.
But the Bengali food is perhaps the most exciting part of it all. Consider trying the coveted kathi roll, as recommended by Audley Travel. The dish is as simple as roasted and skewered meat wrapped in a baked paratha – an Indian flatbread. It’s the extras you can have with it that truly make it special – the paneer, the chilli, the egg and/or the potatoes. It’s street food at its finest, and Kolkata does it best.
Try sushi at its birthplace
Sure, sushi isn’t exactly hard to find across the world. More and more restaurants have popped up internationally, offering their versions of the raw fish dishes – but nowhere does it better than its birthplace. Tokyo is unbeaten in serving up the best of the lot, and each and every restaurant here in the Japan capital has their own unique way of dishing it up.
The Culture Trip highlights Tsugu Sushimasa, a restaurant in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward. It’s here you’ll be able to taste sushi with rice that is marinated in vinegar that dates back to the Edo period, as well as some grilled fish dishes. And then there’s the famed Uobei restaurant in the Shibuya district, a sterile-looking, white establishment that shoots orders through a spaceship-like chute to where you’re sitting (watch how it works here). It’s a combination of Tokyo’s wondrous technology and rich food that cannot be missed.
Bangkok’s street food
Folks who read my blog know that Thai street food is my favorite. A majority of your time spent exploring Bangkok will likely consist of sampling the sheer abundance of street food on offer. There’s no narrowing it down, either – from Chinatown through to the Old Town, you’ll find dishes of every sort here in the city, all of which are rich in taste but not in price.
In the aforementioned Chinatown is where you’ll find a fusion of Thai and Chinese cuisine, with sukiyaki being one of Thailand’s most popular street foods. It’s essentially a big hotpot full of meats and vegetables, but there’s a huge choice regarding what you want in it – beef and pork are common, but you could also have seafood if you wish. There’s noodles, egg, chilli and garlic in the broth, too, but the choice is really all yours. Either way, it’ll be delicious.
Tour the stalls of Hanoi
Bangkok isn’t the only place with an abundance of street food. In fact, Vietnam’s Hanoi has so much on offer that it’s commonplace to take a tour just to experience it all. So, it’s safe to say there’s something on offer here for everyone. Pho is perhaps the most popular and diverse dish on offer and you’ll find it everywhere – the noodle-based dish is usually served either with chicken or beef, and you’ll likely eat it for breakfast.
But don’t hesitate to try some of the stranger and more eccentric dishes; Banh Mi is like a Vietnamese submarine sandwich, a baguette full to the brim with meat, onions, herbs and chilli; Banh Tom is a concoction of deep-fried sweet potato and shrimp, served with lettuce and dipping sauce. You can wash it all down with a glass of Bia Hoi, the homemade beer that is usually drunk the day it is made.
What do you recommend I try next while I am in Asia?