Whether you’re a foodie, an adventurous eater, or just looking to try something new, there are countless unique culinary traditions and signature dishes that are not to be missed
From savory street food to decadent desserts, we’ll explore the most iconic and beloved dishes from each cuisine in Asia one dish at a time.
Sushi: The iconic dish of Japan that needs no introduction. Delight in the fresh and delicate flavors of hand-rolled sushi, made with vinegared rice and the freshest seafood. From classic tuna and salmon to more exotic flavors like uni and eel, sushi is a culinary adventure that every foodie must experience. Each bite is a perfect balance of texture and taste, making sushi a must-try for any food lover.
Ramen: Warm, hearty, and satisfying, ramen is a beloved staple of Japanese cuisine. This comforting noodle soup features a rich and savory broth made with pork, chicken, or beef, topped with tender slices of pork, green onions, and soft-boiled eggs. Whether you prefer the traditional shoyu or miso broth, or something more adventurous like tonkotsu or spicy tantanmen, ramen is the ultimate comfort food that warms both body and soul.
Tempura: Crispy, golden, and oh-so-delicious, tempura is a mouth-watering Japanese dish that is beloved around the world. Featuring deep-fried seafood, vegetables, or other ingredients, tempura is served with a dipping sauce that perfectly complements the crispy and savory flavors of the dish. From succulent shrimp and delicate squid to crispy vegetables like sweet potato and asparagus, tempura is a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds.
Mochi: Satisfy your sweet tooth with mochi, a chewy Japanese rice cake. Filled with sweetened bean paste or ice cream, mochi offers a delightful combination of textures and flavors. Soft and sticky on the outside, with a sweet and creamy center, mochi is a delicious treat that is sure to please.
Dango: These bite-sized, sticky rice dumplings are a favorite treat in Japan. Served on a skewer and drizzled with a sweet soy sauce glaze, dango is a unique and fun snack that comes in a variety of flavors and colors. From the classic mitarashi dango with its sweet soy glaze to the colorful hanami dango that celebrates the arrival of spring, there is a dango for every occasion.
Wagashi: Indulge in the delicate flavors of wagashi, traditional Japanese confections. Made with mochi, sweet bean paste, and seasonal ingredients like cherry blossoms or chestnuts, wagashi are a feast for the senses. Beautifully crafted and exquisitely flavored, these sweet treats are the perfect way to experience the artistry of Japanese cuisine.
Pho: Pho: Vietnam’s national dish and a culinary sensation around the world, pho is a savory and satisfying noodle soup that is bursting with flavor. Featuring a delicate and aromatic broth, tender rice noodles, and a variety of toppings like thinly sliced beef, fresh herbs, and lime wedges, pho is a true masterpiece of Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you prefer the classic pho bo with beef or the more exotic pho ga with chicken, Pho is the ultimate comfort food and a must-try for any food lover.
Banh Mi: A delicious and satisfying sandwich that is as beautiful as it is delicious, banh mi is a true culinary masterpiece of Vietnam. Featuring a crispy French baguette filled with savory and spicy ingredients like grilled pork, pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, and chili peppers, banh mi is a flavor explosion that is perfect for any time of day. Whether you prefer the classic banh mi thit with its tender pork filling or the more exotic banh mi op la with its sunny-side-up egg and pate, there is a banh mi for every taste and occasion.
Spring Rolls: Spring Rolls: A fresh and flavorful appetizer that is as healthy as it is delicious, spring rolls are a true culinary gem of Vietnam. Featuring a delicate rice paper wrapper filled with crisp vegetables like carrots, lettuce, and cucumbers, along with shrimp or pork, and vermicelli noodles, spring rolls are a perfect balance of texture and flavor. Whether you prefer the classic cha gio with its crispy fried wrapper or the more exotic goi cuon with its fresh herbs and peanut dipping sauce, there is a spring roll for every taste any time of the day.
Che: A sweet, refreshing dessert soup made with coconut milk, beans, fruit, and other ingredients like jelly or tapioca pearls. This traditional dessert can be enjoyed as a sweet soup, beverage, pudding, or custard-like treat. Made with a base of either water or coconut cream and served hot or cold, chè is filled with delicious ingredients like jellies, fruits, beans, rice, and more. With countless variations available throughout Vietnam, there’s a chè for everyone!
Banh Pia: Take your taste buds on a journey to Vietnam with the delectable banh pia! This pastry is a true delight, with its flaky, buttery crust and sweet mung bean filling. It’s a perfect snack to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. Don’t miss out on this delicious pastry, it’s a must-try for any food lover!
Kem: Get ready to cool down in the most delicious way possible with Vietnam’s creamy and refreshing kem! This delightful ice cream is made with condensed milk, coconut milk, and a variety of flavors like pandan, durian, and black sesame. With its smooth and creamy texture and unique flavor combinations, kem is the perfect treat to beat the heat. Don’t miss out on this must-try dessert!
Chili Crab: Spice up your life with the mouthwatering Singapore chili crab! This iconic dish is a must-try for any seafood lover, with its juicy and succulent crab coated in a sweet and savory chili sauce. Whether you prefer it spicy or mild, this dish is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving for more.
Hainanese Chicken Rice: Indulge in the aromatic and flavorful Hainanese Chicken Rice, Singapore’s national dish! This dish is the perfect comfort food, with its tender poached chicken served on a bed of fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth, accompanied by a delicious chili sauce and ginger paste. Indulge in the aromatic and flavorful Hainanese Chicken Rice, Singapore’s national dish! This dish is the perfect comfort food, with its tender poached chicken served on a bed of fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth, accompanied by a delicious chili sauce and ginger paste.
Kaya Toast: Start your day off right with a traditional Singaporean breakfast of kaya toast! This beloved dish consists of crispy, toasted bread spread with creamy kaya (coconut jam) and a generous slab of butter. Paired with a steaming cup of local coffee or tea, this simple yet delicious breakfast is surely a favorite!
Chendol: Beat the heat with a refreshing bowl of chendol, a popular dessert in Singapore! This sweet treat is made with shaved ice, coconut milk, and gula melaka (palm sugar syrup), and topped with pandan-flavored jelly, red beans, and sometimes even durian. Perfect for a hot and humid day, chendol is a must-try dessert in Singapore.
Bubur Cha Cha: Indulge in the sweet and creamy flavors of bubur cha cha, a popular dessert in Singapore! Made with coconut milk, sweet potato, taro, and pandan-flavored jelly, this colorful dessert is a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. Whether you’re craving something sweet after a meal or looking for a delicious snack, bubur cha cha is a must-try dessert.
Tom Yum: Spice up your day with a bowl of hot and sour tom yum soup, a staple dish in Thailand! This flavorful soup is made with a variety of fresh ingredients, including lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chilies, and often shrimp or chicken. The combination of sour, spicy, and savory flavors make tom yum a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Pad Thai: Are you craving a taste of Thailand? Look no further than pad thai, the iconic stir-fried noodle dish that’s beloved around the world. Made with rice noodles, eggs, bean sprouts, tofu, and a savory sauce, this flavorful dish is typically topped with crushed peanuts and served with lime wedges. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time fan of Thai cuisine, you won’t want to miss trying pad thai in the country where it originated.
Green Curry: Take your taste buds on a journey to Thailand with a bowl of aromatic green curry. Made with a blend of fresh herbs and spices, including lemongrass, galangal, and green chilies, this vibrant and creamy curry is typically cooked with chicken or vegetables and served with fragrant jasmine rice. One bite and you’ll be transported to the bustling streets of Bangkok, where the smell of spices fills the air.
Mango Sticky Rice: Indulge in a taste of Thailand with the irresistible sweetness of mango sticky rice. This traditional Thai dessert is made with glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk and sugar, then topped with ripe mango slices and a drizzle of sweet coconut cream. The sticky and creamy texture of the rice paired with the juicy freshness of mango creates a deliciously addictive combination that you won’t be able to resist.
Kanom Krok: Looking for a unique and delicious Thai snack? Try Kanom Krok, a traditional coconut milk-based dessert that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. These small, round pancakes are made with rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar, and are often topped with sweet corn or scallions. Kanom Krok is a must-try for anyone looking to explore the diverse and mouth-watering world of Thai street food.