Local Food Recommendations When Traveling In Asia

Local Food Recommendations When Traveling In Asia

If you’re like me, you’ve definitely laid in bed watching shows of food tours around the world, whether on Netflix or YouTube, all while mentally making a list of places to hit up when you *eventually* travel to these countries. Lately, I’ve been watching a bunch that are based in Asia.

Naturally, I was then super curious when u/nirzhor_cyclonite asked, “What food should someone try if they visit your country?”

Many locals from Asian countries responded with their favorite dishes, so here are their recommendations (that I’m obviously bookmarking for future travels):


Korea: Haejangguk, a hangover soup consisting of dried napa cabbage, vegetables, and meat with a hearty beef broth made from boiled ox bones.


Iran: Gheimeh, a beef and split-pea stew made with saffron potatoes and served over white or aromatic rice that’s sprinkled with a Persian rice spice blend.


Vietnam: Pho, a noodle soup in beef bone broth with thinly sliced beef, bean sprouts, onions, and herbs.


India: Pani puri, round and hollow puri (which are like a crisp, deep-fried flatbread) typically stuffed with flavored water (imli pani), tamarind chutney, chaat masala, potato mash, onion, chickpeas, and chili powder.


Syria: Shawarma, a thinly sliced marinated meat (usually chicken, turkey, or beef) shaved off of a slow-roasted rotisserie.


Myanmar: Mohinga, rice noodles in fish broth with cilantro, crispy fritters, and (optional) chili powder.


Japan: Udon, thick noodles made of wheat flour served in a lightly flavored broth, typically with vegetables and a protein (like beef, tempura, or tofu).


Lebanon: Tabbouleh, a fresh herb-and-bulgur salad with finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, onion, and mint.


Taiwan: Beef noodle soup, which consists mainly of tender beef, noodles, bok choy, suancai (Chinese sauerkraut), scallions, cilantro and red chilies.


Singapore: Chicken rice, poached chicken and rice that’s been cooked in chicken fat and chicken stock, along with garlic, ginger, and pandan leaves, and served with red chili and soy sauce.


Pakistan: Mutton karahi, fresh and crisp lamb curry made with tomato, ginger, and garlic.


Philippines: Crispy pata, crispy and deep-fried pork leg served with a spicy soy-vinegar dip.


China (Northern): Xinjiang lamb skewers, four to five smaller pieces of lamb grilled on five-inch skewers separated by small chunks of fat and marinated in salt, cumin, white pepper, chili powder, and Sichuan peppercorns.


Indonesia: Nasi goreng, a fried rice dish made primarily with meat, vegetables, and a fried egg, and flavored with kecap manis (a sweet soy sauce), and terasi (an Indonesian shrimp paste).


Malaysia: Nasi lemak, rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, topped with crispy, fried anchovies and served on a banana leaf.


Bangladesh: Khichuri, a one-pot dish of rice, lentils, and mixed vegetables.


Hong Kong: Dim sum, small plates usually consisting of steamed and fried buns, dumplings and rolls.


Laos: Kua mee, a stir-fried, dry rice noodle dish made with eggs, herbs, vegetables, and (sometimes) pork, topped with bean sprouts.


Saudi Arabia: Kabsa, a primarily chicken and long-grain rice (like basmati) dish made with spices such as black lime powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, saffron, cardamom, and cloves.


China: Hot pot, a communal meal made by cooking meats and vegetables in a large pot filled with simmering broth that is then dipped in sauce for extra flavor.


Thailand: Khao soi, a soup-like dish consisting of a curry-like sauce (with coconut milk) and made with a blend of crispy, deep-fried egg noodles and boiled egg noodles, along with pickled mustard greens, lime, shallots, and fried ground chillies.

Is your mouth also watering? What other dishes would you recommend? Let me know your recs in the comments below!