We all know it: the all-you-can-eat Chinese place where you can eat spring rolls, Peking duck with fried noodles and Jell-O until you feel like bursting. Yes, I also have to honestly admit that before my trip to Asia, I thought that Asian cuisine had nothing else to offer – but no! I was able to taste many delicious Asian specialities during my round trip and was simply thrilled.
In this blog article, I would like to lure you into the Asian food world and introduce you to Asian cuisine. What makes Asian cuisine special and which dishes are typically Asian?
I’ll tell you my top 5 Asian specialities that I got to know and love on my trip to Asia. For my favourite dish, I even have the matching recipe with video tutorial for you.
Asian specialities – that’s what they are
First of all, let me clarify: there is no such thing as one Asian cuisine, it is rather the sum of many different country cuisines. These include Thailand, China, Vietnam and Japan, for example. That’s why Asian specialities are so multifaceted. Whether sweet, sour or spicy – here every palate gets its money’s worth.
Even though Asian cuisine consists of specialities from many countries, there are ingredients that end up in the pot or wok everywhere from Japan to China to Thailand. First and foremost is rice, which is considered the staple food of Asians. But noodles and various types of vegetables are also often found in Asian cuisine. Beef and pork as well as tender poultry and fish are also highly valued in Asian cuisine. Unlike in our food culture, however, they are not prepared in one piece, but in bite-sized pieces. With chopsticks instead of knives and forks, of course 😉
Seasoning is a must in Asian cuisine
Believe me: when preparing Asian specialities, you can safely leave salt and pepper in the spice cabinet. In Asian cuisine, spices are used differently for that special kick of flavour. For example, ginger and sambals (chilli-based spice pastes) are usually always included and provide the desired spiciness. Likewise, lemongrass is often used for an exotic freshness and coriander is often used in meat dishes. And of course, the famous soy sauce is also a must in most Asian specialities.
5 Asian specialities you should try
Of course, every Asian country has its own specialities, which are also familiar to just about everyone here. For example, sushi and miso soups come from Japan, Peking duck and spring rolls from China and the rice dish nasigoreng and the popular crab chips from Indonesia. It’s understandable that some of you are now wondering what other Asian specialities there are.
I have put together a list of 5 Asian specialities that I have integrated into my daily cooking routine after my trip to Asia, because they are simply unbelievably delicious.
- Pad Thai with prawns
Pad Thai – this Asian speciality is probably one of the most famous Thai dishes. I too
e got to know this dish on my trip to Asia. Especially at the famous night markets, you can traditionally get this dish on every corner. For me personally, it is a highlight of Asian cuisine! Whether with chicken, prawns or purely vegetarian with vegetables and tofu – it tastes good in every variation. Be sure to try it out!
- Vietnamese summer rolls with peanut sauce
I’m sure everyone knows spring rolls! But do you also know summer rolls? The preparation is basically the same as for the well-known spring rolls, except that the summer rolls are not deep-fried, but can be eaten straight away. I, too, could not imagine that this variation of the well-known spring rolls would taste good. But I can tell you, I was convinced otherwise. I would always order a delicious peanut dip with the summer rolls, it’s worth it.
My tip: As the name suggests, the summer rolls are perfect for a hot summer’s day, as they are a pleasantly light variation on the familiar deep-fried spring rolls.
- Ramen soup from Japan
For me, there is nothing better than a delicious and at the same time warming ramen soup during the cold season. Ramen is an Asian speciality from Japan and is basically nothing more than a noodle soup. With this dish, too, you can simply vary the ramen soup to suit your taste. Whether with meat or vegetarian with an egg – ramen soups are an absolute highlight in Asian cuisine.
- Jiaozi from China
Chinese cuisine also has much more to offer than spring rolls or the famous Peking duck. Personally, I love eating Chinese jiaozi. These are Chinese dumplings, which you may also know from Japanese cuisine as gyoza. Traditionally, they consist of a vegetable-meat mixture. For the veggies among you, however, there are also numerous vegetarian versions. Jiaozi are more of a starter or snack in China. However, I also like to eat them with a salad as a main meal.
In China, I took a cooking course and learned how to make jiaozi myself. I can recommend it to everyone if you’re ever in Asia. If you feel like it, you can also try your hand in your own kitchen 😉
- Tofu sweet and sour
The recipe for sweet and sour tofu is one of my absolute favourites. Tofu comes from Asia and is made from soy milk, which is why it is an absolute must for me in vegetarian or even vegan dishes. It is super delicious and easy to prepare to suit any taste.
We at TUI BLUE show you how to refine tofu with a delicious sauce. Combine it with rice and fresh herbs for a real taste explosion!
You will need these ingredients:
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
2 lime leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
50 ml soy sauce
50 ml sweet chilli sauce
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
20 ml maple syrup
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 spring onions (chopped)
2 chopped tomatoes
250 g smoked tofu
250 g normal tofu
Bring everything to the boil and set aside.
Cut the tofu into even cubes and fry in an oiled pan until golden brown. Deglaze with the marinade and set aside.
Our tip: Deglaze the fried tofu with the marinade. Enjoy the dish hot with baby tomatoes, rice and fresh leeks. You can also serve it cold with fresh sprouts as a salad.
Are you looking for the exact instructions for this Asian speciality? We at TUI BLUE show you how it’s done. Watch the video now and cook it yourself!
Asian cuisine – delicious and healthy at the same time
Almost all Asian dishes have one thing in common: they are all considered very healthy. This is because most Asian dishes use a lot of fresh vegetables, fish or lean meat and fibre-rich soy products such as tofu. In addition, the food is usually prepared in a super healthy and vitamin-friendly way. Unlike us Europeans, who often fry and deep-fry, Asians rely on their beloved wok in almost all cases.
So you see: Asian cuisine is not only super delicious, but also super healthy at the same time!
Asian specialities in our TUI BLUE Hotels
Personally, I love to get to know the culture of the country I’m visiting. And that includes the cuisine. In our TUI BLUE Hotels in Thailand and Vietnam you have the opportunity to try different Asian specialities and get to know the food culture of the country better. Spend your holiday in one of our TUI BLUE Hotels in Asia now and try delicious Asian dishes!
Would you like to try out more of the countries’ cuisines? Then find out more about turkish specialities here or take a culinary trip to Greece.
Do you want to test your way through the cuisines of the countries? Then find out more about Turkish specialities here or take a culinary trip to Greece.