Asian cuisine is quite a broad term and it can be quite confusing, especially when you’re looking to find a specific restaurant or order food online. Of course, cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, usually associated with a specific culture. As Asia is one of the largest and most populated continents, it is home to numerous cultures, many of which have their own cuisine.
To help people trying to get their head around Asian cuisine and for anyone that is looking to make sure they order from the correct local takeaway delivery, ChefOnline have put together a guide answering all of the most frequently asked questions about this cuisine.
Where does ‘Asian cuisine’ cover?
In short, Asian cuisine covers all of the major regional cuisines including, Central Asian, East Asian, North Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and West Asian. Many of these areas will have some food groups that overlap but in general, they are all known for specific flavours and types of food.
Is there an obvious difference between regions?
It can be quite easy to define which food is found in which areas in Asia and bellow we will break this down for you:
Central Asian Cuisine
Most Central Asian nations have similar cuisines to each other as well as their neighbours, they take many features from Western and Eastern Asia. Many of these countries will use horse meat and mutton as their go-to meat.
East Asian Cuisine
This cuisine includes Chinese, Japanese and Korean food. Some of the staples you can expect to find in this part of Asia include foods such as rice, noodles, mung beans, soybeans, seafood and mutton.
North Asian Cuisine
North Asian cuisine can be closely related to Russia cuisine, however, you will also find some unique and profound dishes from other areas of Siberia. The common staple ingredients shared across most of the countries in North Asia are, generally, reindeer, fish, and berries.
South Asian Cuisine
This includes the cuisines from the Indian subcontinent and also that of Afghanistan. Foods in this area are flavoured with various types of chilli along with other strong herbs and spices. Common meats include lamb, goat, fish, and chicken.
South East Asian Cuisine
South East Asian cuisine has a strong emphasis on dishes with a strong aromatic component featuring flavours of citrus and herbs such as lime, coriander and basil. Their frequently used cooking methods are a balance of stir-frying, boiling and steaming.
West Asian Cuisine
West Asian cuisine is a combination of the various countries of West Asia. Lamb and mutton are the favoured meats as pork is prohibited in both Islam and Judaism so it is rarely eaten in the region. Ingredients typically include olives, nuts, spices and cheese.
What are the most well-known Asian Cuisines?
Many people are surprised by how many of their favourite cuisines fall under the category of ‘Asian’. Some of the most popular being Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Indian. When ordering from an Asian restaurant or takeaway site you will be able to mix and match some of the most popular dishes from all of these regions. However, it is much more common to find these cuisines individually at restaurants that specialise in just one of them.
Are there any common features across different Asian Cuisines?
As different as the cuisines of Asia are, they have two things in common, rice and dumplings. While rice is common to most Asian cuisines, different varieties are popular in the various regions and, each region has its own distinct shapes, fillings and doughs when it comes to dumplings. From South Asia’s samosa and basmati rice to East Asia’s xiao long bao and long-grain rice, each region has their own take on these two common types of food.
Understanding Asian Cuisine
Ultimately, Asian cuisine is a combination of all of the different cuisines you will find in this continent. Hopefully, by answering the most frequently asked questions in regards to Asian cuisine will help you understand exactly what it is and learn more about the foods you know and love.