If Pan-Asian is your favourite cuisine and you are out looking for some inspiration to cook up a storm at home, then you’ve come to the right place. Explore the diverse cuisines of Asia, all synonymous with remarkable flavours and vibrant colours. Ingredients common to many cultures of the regions include rice, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, chillies and soy; while stir frying, steaming and deep frying are the most common cooking methods employed to make delectable dishes. And the rich curries that make pan-Asian cuisine such a rage across the globe are cooked with coconut milk that works brilliantly to accentuate the flavours.
When it comes to Japanese cuisine, there’s much more on offer than sushi. Right from crispy tempuras to silken tofu, there are many contrasting textures at play that help you enjoy the light, simple flavours and make the experience more exciting.
Did you know: rice plays an important role in Pan-Asian cuisine? In Japan, apart from sushi, it is also used to make a popular alcoholic beverage called sake. In Korean and Thai cuisines, rice is the backbone of almost every meal.
Does Korean cuisine start and end at kimchi for you? While it forms an integral part of their meals, Korean food is also about artful presentation combined with bold and fiery flavours. It is about spices, seafood and side dishes (banchan). The most common spices used by the Koreans are sesame oil, chilli pepper paste, soy sauce and scallions.
Coming to Chinese food, which is probably the most loved in the Pan Asian food category, the cuisine offers an intelligent blend of flavours in their numerous preparations. From sizzling sea bass to simple stir-fries, make your own version at home. If you’re looking for low-calorie cooking, then the process of steaming is just the ticket for you. Chinese food actually varies tremendously region by region- Sichuan cuisine is spicy, Shangdong is generally tangy and crispy, and Cantonese cuisine is sweet. Whether you’re craving kung pao chicken or delicious dumplings, try your hand at rustling them up at home.
Thai cuisine is all about balancing bold flavours: think creamy curries and exotic notes brought about by blending fragrant lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, fish sauce and shallots. From simple Som Tum papaya salad to Pad Thai, every dish is a gastronomic delight. Malay and Indonesian cuisines too have their culinary foundations based on the art of balancing flavours. How can you forget Nasi Goreng, soul nourishing Laksa, Rendang and the like? And it isn’t difficult to replicate these recipes in your own kitchen these days, thanks to the many specialty stores that have made these ingredients readily available.
Of the lesser known cuisines, there is Vietnamese which screams simplicity, where local seasonal produce are cooked in flavourful stocks. Pho, a noodle soup, is the most popular pick across the globe, followed by the rice paper rolls. Cambodian cuisine on the other hand is very similar to Thai cuisine, highlighting bold flavours and rich curries made with coconut milk. Amok is one of their most loved dishes, which is a delicious curry made either with fish or chicken. Cambodians are also known for their whole fish preparations such as sizzling red snapper curry made with pineapples.
So go on, and cook up a storm in your kitchen and get the best of Asian cuisine with our 10 best recipes.