A must thing to do when you are visiting some Asia countries is culinary tour. Well, though perhaps for some people when it comes to Asian cuisine, the first thing that crosses their mind is Chinese food. Chinese food is so popular worldwide though you should know that it is not the only food in Asian cuisine because there are a lot of countries in Asia with their own signature dishes you should try before you die.
The Most Popular Asian Cuisine
As mentioned above, among the other countries, Chinese foods are probably the most popular ones but if you have a chance to visit some countries in Asia regions there are more options of foods that you ever imagine. If you are accustomed to eat Americans or Europeans cuisines, you will be surprised how very different Asian cuisines are and below are some recommendations of cuisines you should try.
- Vietnamese soup’s Pho
- Tom Yum from Thailand
- Rendang from Indonesia
- Malaysia is well known for its Nasi Lemak
- Indian’s famous Curry Soup
- Korean’s Bulgogi Beef
- Japanese’s Shabu-shabu
The list could be really long but those are some example of signature dishes that represent the Asian cuisine in general. From the list above you could see that Asian cuisine is the combination of beef, seafood, fish and vegetables but the most significant from all of them are those foods are rich of herbs and spices.
Nutritional Values Found in Most Asian Cuisine
Asian people tend to love spicy foods and they love their cuisines to be mixed with a very long list of herbs and spices. While Chinese prefer garlic, Indonesia and Malaysia love chili or cayenne pepper. Thailand and Vietnam is almost similar while India is very famous for its curry dishes. If you are wondering about the health benefits of Asian cuisines below is some list of them you should know.
- Asian Foods Are Rich of Vegetables
Compared to the American’s eating habit, Asian’s cuisine is rich of vegetables and the nutritional benefits of fruits, vegetables and pulses cannot be replaced just by eating meat. They are accustomed to eat several dishes at the same time and vegetables are among the menus they should have in daily basis. Examples are the Korean people always eat their foods with kimchi, fermented vegetables while the Indonesian and Malaysian always have ‘sayur’ to accompany their main course. Tempe and tofu are very popular in Asia.
- The Asians Prefer Seafood and Fish than Meat
There are some studies that stated seafood or fish is better than beef. When talking about the health benefits of fish diet the list is probably longer than the health benefits of red meat. Though there are a lot of foods are made of meat but those foods usually served in special occasion only such rendang from Indonesia which is commonly found during Lebaran. The Japanese, Korean and Chinese love eating beef or pork barbeque but they do it only with friends when celebrating something.
- Asian Cuisines are Rich of Spices
The unique thing about Asian cuisines is the long list of spices used in one recipe. Sometimes in one recipe you could find spices like garlic, red onion, big onion, cayenne pepper, white pepper, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cloves, lemongrass and tamarind mixed into one tasty and delicious dish. Just by eating one dish you could get all the list herbs health benefits.
- Most Asians Prefer to Cook Fresh Products
While most American and European are depending on canned products or frozen foods, most Asians prefer to go to the market early in the morning so they could get the fresh products. That is why while you are in some Asian countries, visiting their traditional market could be an interesting experience because there you could find local products offered in fresh package and cheap price.
- Depends on the Local Butcher
Not only for the choice of vegetables, seafood or fish, Asians people prefer to depend on the local butcher to supply them with fresh meat every day. They are not accustomed to buy frozen meat commonly sold in chain market or super market. So, the meat they consume is mostly fresh and safe because they know exactly where the meat comes from and since it is fresh the meat is less contaminated.
- Some Products are Homemade
Homemade product is always the best option because you know what you put to the food and how hygienist you are while processing the food. Koreans always have their own stock of homemade kimchi, Japanese always make their own sauce.
- Fewer Consumption of Simple Carbohydrates
One of the health benefits of carbohydrate is to produce energy. However there are two types of carbohydrate, simple carbohydrates and carbohydrate. The simple carbohydrates commonly found in grain products such as bread, pasta and flour. For the choice of staple foods, Asians prefer rice from white rice, brown rice or red rice so they consume fever simple carbohydrate.
- Dessert for the Asians is Fruits
The meaning of dessert for the Asians is quite different because while most Americans and Europeans prefer sweet treats after the main course, the Asians prefer fruits instead. Banana and orange are the most common fruits they usually consume after having lunch or dinner especially around Indonesia and Malaysia.
- Herbal Beverages
The choice of beverages are also healthier compared to most Americans and Europeans. Instead of Coca Cola or Pepsi, Asians people prefer beverages like ginger milk, green tea, traditional coffee, herbal tea made of lemon and honey or cinnamon and ginger. Moreover, the prices of those healthy herbal beverages are cheaper than Coca Cola or Pepsi.
Cautions of Asian Cuisines
As mentioned above Asian people love their foods to be spices, so the list of spice like garlic, red onion, chili, cayenne pepper, white pepper, cardamom and coriander are some of spices commonly found in their cuisines. However, not only that they love their beef as well as they adore the seafood, so below is the list of cautions of Asian cuisines you should know.
- If you are not really fond of spicy food perhaps you should be careful with some Asian cuisines such as the curry, rendang and tom yum. Don’t fall easily to the mouthwatering chili-paste usually served along with other foods because they could put your stomach in danger.
- Coconut milk is commonly used in traditional Asian cuisines such as nasi lemak, rendang, curry and so on. Coconut milk gives the food salty flavor but you should be careful with the level of cholesterol you should face after that.
- If you have problems with some symptoms of high blood pressure, avoiding foods made of beef or seafood are highly recommended. You don’t need to worry there are some foods like pecal or gado-gado which are similar to vegetables salad but instead of mayo, they are using peanut sauce as the dressing.
Asia is a big region and each country has its own signature dishes that are worth trying. However, no matter how short your time in those countries, don’t force yourself to eat everything because the key to healthy lifestyle is eating various foods in moderate amount. For example is after you eat a portion of Korean’s bulgogi for lunch, instead of Japanese’s sushi you could choose something as light as vegetable’s salad for your dinner.