8 Asian Dishes You Have to Try

8 Asian Dishes You Have to Try

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Hungry? Or doing an internship in Asia and not sure which dishes you simply can’t leave the country without having tried first? No worries - we’ve got you covered. Here you’ll find a list of some of the most delicious and popular dishes from all over Asia. So, wherever you’re doing your internship, there’s sure to be a dish on the list from that country. Trust us! You do not want to leave Asia without having tried at least one (or more) of these mouthwatering dishes.

1. Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a very popular dish across all of Thailand, and it’s features on almost every menu in almost all Thai restaurants and street food stalls - especially in areas that cater to foreigners. Recognised as Thailand’s national dish, Pad Thai is made from rice noodles, which are stir fried with eggs, tofu, tamarind paste, fish sauce, dried shrimps, garlic, palm sugar and red chili pepper. The dish is frequently served with lime wedges, bamboo shoots, spring onions, raw banana flowers, and topped with sprinkling peanuts. If you know anyone who has been to Thailand, they’ve probably tried this super delicious dish.

2. Nasi Goreng

the literal meaning of Nasi Goreng is “fried rice” in Indonesian and Malay. The meal includes stir fried rice cooked in a small amount of oil or margarine, and flavoured with kecap manis, shallot, garlic, ground shrimp paste, tamarind and chili. The dish also contains egg, chicken and prawns. There is also another popular kind of Nasi Goreng which is made with ikan asin, which is salted dried fish. This is popular in both Indonesia and Malaysia. Nasi Goreng will often be described as Indonesian stir-fried rice, although it is also popular in both Malaysia and Singapore. The taste of Nasi Goreng is stronger and spicier compared to Chinese fried rice.

3. Pho

Pho is often considered a national dish for the Vietnamese. It’s a Vietnamese noodle soup that is traditionally made with chicken or beef broth and spiced with various flavors and topped with different herbs. Because of its complex flavors and deceptive simplicity, pho captured the attention of many people in the West when it was brought over by Vietnamese immigrants.

4. Laksa

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It’s a good mix of Chinese noodles and Southeast Asian curries. Many would agree that this is simply a match made in heaven. There are two basic types of laksa noodles; curry laksa and asam laksa. The curry laksa is a coconut curry soup with noodles, while asam laksa is a sour fish noodle soup.

5. Chili Crab

A popular seafood dish among locals and foreigners in Singapore, chili crab consists of deep-fried crabs that are served in a chili- and tomato-based gravy. Mud crabs are normally used, which come from Sri Lanka, Burma or the Philippines. It’s often referred to as Singapore’s national seafood dish or Singapore’s national dish. Rumors say that the dish was invented by Cher Yam Tian in the mid-1950s. Chili crab is readily available in Singapore, with numerous seafood restaurants across the island offering the dish.

6. Fish Amok

With Cambodia’s fertile coastline and one of the richest inland fishing grounds in the world it comes as no surprise that fish is a staple food in Cambodia. Fish and rice feature heavily on the menus of many local restaurants as well as in kitchens across the country. This dish is so popular that it is very often considered Cambodia’s national dish. Fish amok is a type of curried fish that is steamed to infuse it with flavor and leave the fish so tender that it falls apart on the fork. It’s commonly served with a healthy portion of rice and is eaten with a fork and spoon.

7. Banh Mi

The bánh mì sandwich was born in Saigon in the late 1950s. When Vietnam split into two countries in 1954, approximately one million northerners fled south. Among them were Mr. and Mrs. Le, credited as the first to create what we now call the bánh mì sandwich. They were the first people to put seasoned pork and salad inside the bread, making it easier for their customers to carry with them. This was long before plastic and styrofoam made everything portable. The bánh mì sandwich revolutionized dining in Saigon. Perfect for the hustle of life in the modern world, it was, and still is a cheap meal, rich in both flavor and calories.

8. Spring Rolls

The spring roll began as a traditional food consumed in (unsurprisingly) the spring season. The roll as we know it is believed to have originated from eastern China. When spring arrived and fresh vegetables could be harvested, families would celebrate by making a pancake and wrapping it full of the season’s freshest vegetables, earning it the nickname ‘spring roll’. Spring rolls are typically rolled in a flour shell and stuffed with carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, cabbage, chilis, and garlic. The ingredients inside these delicious rolls vary depending on the region and local culture. The Chinese Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, is one of the most important cultural celebrations in the country. The spring roll continues to appear on Chinese dinner tables during this time to celebrate a new year and the upcoming spring season.

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