When it comes to Asian cuisine, do you know which type reigns supreme? For a dedicated foodie like me, it’s a risible task at hand to answer that question. Come to think of it, and it’s difficult because there’s no proper answer to it. How do you conclude whether which Asian country has the best cuisine? Could it be a green curry from Thailand or a chicken adobo from the Philippines? Can you compare a Vietnamese com tam to a Cambodian delicacy, beef loc lac? The answer my friends is next to impossible!
Far Eastern cuisine is a food lover’s heaven. In my opinion, there is no bad food anywhere in Asia and is popular in all corners of the world. Many people travel to the Far East countries to experience it’s authentic flavours, and cuisine and is a key component of any trip. Far eastern cuisine has a way of displaying its history and culture, and Asian cuisine is all about that!
Oriental cuisine is referred to Asian cooking from the Far East and are well known around the world. Oriental cuisine covers many techniques of cooking, and the food hinges on its region. Therefore it could be Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Philippines, Cambodian or Mongolian. Varying the type of food from each country counts as “Oriental cuisine”. There are many types of Asian cuisine and many regions has unique methods of preparing food.
Essentials of Asian Cuisines
Rice is a staple food in Asian cuisines. Besides rice, a variety of noodles and bread includes in their meals.
Curries are one of the widely consumed cuisines of the Far East. Mainly in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei and South-West Asia like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Coconut milk is used in abundance to make the gravies or the sauces.
There are lots of flavours, herbs and even sauces are used in Far Eastern cooking to bring in that authenticity of a dish. Ginger and garlic are used in all most all cuisines in the world and is the main ingredient here too, the same goes with chilli peppers, chillies are common in many dishes. Soy sauce and fish sauce is widely used to flavour their food, hence giving it that salty, savoury taste that we all love! Two unique flavours are used in Asian cuisine, is galangal and lemongrass, it’s locally sourced and very rarely used in the other parts of the world.
There is a mix of herbs that are commonly used in the Far Eastern cuisine, sweet basil, Thai basil and mint are the most common. These herbs are available throughout the region. Just like the basil, Citrus flavours also take a prominent place in Asian cuisine. They make use of the entire lime tree, the juice of the fruit, zest, pulp and even the leaves.
Cooking in Asia is somewhat a social matter, as the ladies gather to discuss how their day was and share the cooking. The recipes which are unique and guarded as family secrets and handed down for generations.
The Best of Far Eastern Cuisine
Asian cuisine is the most humble of all. The food is all about flavour and culture and Far eastern cuisine brings it in bucket loads! Here are a few destinations that offer some of the best dishes in Asia.
Thailand is a blissful paradise for those who love food. When it comes to Far eastern cuisine, the best place to fill out your appetite is, Thailand as it is one of the capitals of cuisine in the world, and is known for its spicy dishes. The more interior you go, the more diverse and spicier the food becomes.
A popular Thai dish and can be found everywhere. Guay Teow a noodle soup and made with chicken, pork, or beef in either rice noodles or egg noodles.
This is the national dish of Thailand and is a favourite among many tourists. Pad thai is fried noodles which are made with shrimp or chicken, and the vegetarian option is available too.
Tom Yum Goong
Tom yum Goong is an iconic dish of an aromatic soup with a spicy zing. It is made with authentic Thai ingredients, fresh prawns and mushrooms are added and coconut cream.
Hailing from the northeastern part of Thailand, Som Tam is a popular dish. Som tam consists of shredded green papaya, garlic, plenty of chillies, tomatoes, carrots, dried shrimp, palm sugar, tamarind pulp, fish sauce and lime, then mixed using a mortar and pestle.
There is no need for a special introduction for Chinese food, it is the king of all far eastern cuisine. Chinese cuisine has an endless number of delicious dishes. The food in China varies from region to region, which can be sweet, salty, spicy, sour or even dull.
Pai gu Nian Gao
Pai gu Nian Gao is a typical Chinese dish with marinated pork chops and fried rice cakes. A hot, sticky, and compact meal with juicy flavours of pork chops.
This is known as Chinese crepes and is a typical street food eaten for breakfast. It is readily available anywhere. The batter is made of wheat and grain flour and then fried on a griddle with egg as the base.
A favourite among locals and tourists alike, these Chinese dumplings are filled with vegetables or meat. Shaped like an ancient gold nugget, are shallow fried or deep-fried and enjoyed in a dip of soy-vinegar sauce.
Cifantuan or Ci Faan
Cifantuan or Ci Faan are rice balls filled with local ingredients bursting with flavour. There are the savoury types, which are very common, but also the sweet version is added with sesame and sugar.
Vietnamese cuisine takes on influence from China and France and gives it a standout flavour with the perfect balance. It is also a trending cuisine that eaten around the world.
Is translated as ‘broken rice’, you can find a Cơm Tấm is rice with vegetables, greens and meats. It is widely available on every street in this country.
A perfect Vietnamese dish served with rice crackers, noodles, peanuts, pork and in a turmeric broth. Mi Quang is a signature dish in Quảng Nam Province in central Vietnam.
Pho is a quintessential Vietnamese dish. A hearty bowl of Pho is the perfect meal, and it doesn’t get any more Vietnamese than this dish.
A simple dish Bún chả is a principal choice of dishes in Hanoi. It consists of rice vermicelli noodles, grilled pork, fish sauce and variety herbs.
Gà nướng sả
Gà nướng sả is a simple yet delicious dish. With grilled chicken cooked with lemongrass and fish sauce, served on a base of vermicelli noodles.
Far eastern cuisine in a party! In the Philippines, food is the centre of their celebrations, and their food blends with traditions of their influence by Chinese, Spanish and American. Filipino food is the epitome of fusion food, as it combines Asian and European ingredients.
A popular Filipino dish. It is made by stewing chicken or pork in soy sauce and vinegar, peppercorns and bay leaves are added to enhance the flavour.
A rich stew made with peanut sauce, oxtail, and other cuts of beef. It is served with Bagoong, a fermented seafood paste on the side.
Lechon is one of the best dishes in the Philippines, along with the Adobo. It is roasted pork with perfectly crisp skin and juicy meat. This dish is always served at any Filipino gathering.
A dish which is a tourist favourite, Pancit Guisado is noodles. This noodle dish is served with sliced vegetables and meat cooked in broth, soy sauce, and fish sauce.
Cambodian cuisine is known as one of the worlds oldest and is also known as Khmer cuisine. With a zeal for rice, which is consumed as a staple of the nation. Prahok, is a type of fermented fish paste is an almost integral part of the Cambodian cuisine.
Fish Amok is Cambodia’s signature dish. Diced fillets of freshwater fish, cooked in coconut milk, eggs, palm sugar and fish sauce. Then a paste made from spices, turmeric, kaffir lime, lemongrass and onions are added. This dish is cooked traditionally by steaming it in a banana leaf.
Kuy Teav is a soup made from pork or beef bones and rice vermicelli. The broth topped with deep-fried onions garlic, bean sprouts, green onion, herbs and pork or fish balls.
Beef Loc Lac
Beef Loc Lac is a famous dish, and its made from stir-fried beef strips served atop a bed of lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Then it’s topped with a fried egg. The sides include a dipping sauce of lime juice and Kampot pepper.
This is a less spicy and milder curry than the ones found in Thailand. Khmer curries consist of many herbs and have a sweeter taste. The curry features chicken, sweet potatoes, coconut cream and milk, ginger, garlic, onions, turmeric and fish sauce.
The beautiful Far Eastern Cuisine is truly remarkable, and if you are planning on going on an epicurean trip, Travel Center has some superb deals. So, call us or send us an enquiry, our team of travel experts will be more than happy to assist you and get you ready for your holiday!