Considering a gap year in Asia? Check out these five amazing Asian foods you have to try...
5 Amazing Asian Foods
21 May 2013
Food plays an important role in any journey abroad and tasting interesting cuisines is all part of the travel experience. So, with this in mind, here are five wonderful foods that you must try when venturing into amazing Asia:
1. Mangosteen (South-East Asia)
Still extremely difficult to source in the UK due to restrictions on imports, what mangosteen lacks in size it makes up for in flavour. Known informally as the ‘Queen of Fruit’ legend has it that Queen Victoria herself offered great sums of money to anyone who could deliver her fresh mangosteen.
A common fruit on Asian street stalls, this tasty treat is a must-try for those on a trip or gap year in Asia.
Despite the name, mangosteen has no relation whatsoever to mango and is very different to citrus fruits. Sweet, succulent and quite unlike anything else, this little taste of heaven comes with the added benefit of being high in nutritional value and antioxidants.
2. Panang curry (Thailand / Malaysia)
Usually made with chicken, this creamy, peanut based curry comes with a spicy kick and is served on a bed of fluffy jasmine rice. Thickened with coconut milk and seasoned with nutmeg, Panang curry can also be made using beef, shrimp or tofu and is a popular dish in both Thailand and Malaysia.
Here's a traveller tip: If you're a fan of spicy food then ensure you declare this in the eatery - Asian restaurants are notorious for dumbing down hot food in the assumption that this suits tourist preferences.
3. Baozi 包子 (China)
Often eaten as a breakfast snack, these gooey bread-like buns come with various fillings lurking within. Sometimes made with pork or vegetables and served with a vinegar based dipping sauce, the buns vary widely across China.
Popular mid-morning snacks, Baozi is a popular amongst children and have a firm place in the school cafeteria – as those who teach English in China soon discover.
4. Pho (Vietnam)
The ultimate in Asian comfort food, Pho is a hearty broth filled with cuts of meat, noodles, and plenty of herbs and spices. A feature in almost every Vietnamese eatery, this cheap and refreshing meal is popular with both tourists and locals. Eaten throughout the day at any given time, nothing quite beats a bit bowl of Pho after a day spent exploring Vietnam's beautiful scenery.
5. Bai Cha (Cambodia)
Bai Cha is a Khmer version of fried rice. Made with plenty of pork sausage and flavoured with soy sauce, fresh herbs and garlic, this dish is heartier than traditional Chinese fried rice. A rich and tasty snack or side dish, Bai Cha is common on city street stalls and makes a pleasant alternative to typical rice dishes.
Despite being relatively quick and easy to make, the Cambodian rice dish is a favourite amongst travellers looking for a quick fill.
Is your mouth watering yet? Are you planning to try a variety of authentic cuisine on your next travel adventure? Remember, a trip abroad should be a journey for the taste buds too…
By Hannah Walton