Besides being an avid traveler, I’m also a massive foodie. From all of the countries that I’ve been to so far in my life, I can say that, aside from iconic monuments and sweeping natural landscapes, the different cuisines which I’d tried still remain in my fondest memories.
Personally, I believe travel and food go hand-in-hand perfectly, as you can get to experience a culture through eating. It’s not just the dishes which make one unique, though, but also the mannerisms in which food is prepared, served, and consumed. From grilling steaks in the United States to preparing raw fish for sashimi in Japan, food traditions extend all over the globe!
Any case, I’ve already written posts on some of my favorite dishes that I’ve had while in Europe (Parts 1 and 2 here), let alone in France, so today I thought that I would share my favorite Asian dishes with you! Some of them come from my travels in Asia while others I’ve had while living in Los Angeles (a large melting pot of different cuisines in itself), but in any case, they are all delicious!
Savor away, my dears! 😛
1. Bimbimbap (Korean).
With a mixture of carbs, meat, and veggies, what more do you need for your daily nutritional intake than with bimbimbap? Although I’ve never been to Korea, I love this particular dish back at home in Los Angeles, especially in my town where there’s a distinctive Korean community, therefore lots of opportunities for some deliciously hearty and spicy bimbimbap!
2. Boba milk tea (Taiwanese).
Some also call it “bubble tea,” but I refuse to call it that, as it’s an Anglicized way of saying what it truly is, and that is “boba.” As a proud Taiwanese-American, I can say that the drink is heavenly, especially on a hot summer’s day. It can also be a meal in itself, as all of that starch from the tapioca balls and the heavy milk tea really fills you up in the end!
3. Oyster pancake (Taiwanese).
Another Taiwanese favorite, this dish (called 蚵仔煎, or “oh-ah-jian”) brings land and sea together (eggs and oysters, respectively) into a fusion of sweet, savory, and chewy! Getting them as street food at the night markets in Taiwan is a must. Even if you don’t like oysters, you’ll be surprised to find that they don’t actually have a very briny taste to them, as the eggs and sweet-spicy sauce on top work to combat it. All that’s left is the chewy texture, which I think is great!
4. Pad thai (Thai).
Never been to Thailand (although that’s high on my bucket list), and even though it’s generic to say that I love pad thai when there’s so many other Thai dishes out there, I still can’t help but be enticed by its sweet and carb-loaded features, which are sure to satisfy me at the end of it all. There are many Thai restaurants in and around my LA neighborhood, so it’s easy to pick out a spot and just go!
5. Saag paneer (Indian).
Just like with Korea and Thailand, I have yet to visit India someday. To the point of trying the popular dishes like saag paneer, a spinach-cheese curry which just hits all of the right spots in terms of warm, hearty comfort food. Pair it with some basmati rice, and you have heaven on Earth!
6. Samosas (Indian).
Again, I know that samosas are generic to say for Indian cuisine, but I still can’t help but enjoy the crispy, fried goodness of the outside pastry, followed by the tender, vegetable-based inside. Even though I’m not vegetarian, I can see samosas as being just perfect for non-meat eaters out there!
7. Soba (Japanese).
I’ve grown up most of my life eating hot noodles, but hadn’t considered having cold ones until I came across soba. My town in Los Angeles also has a predominant Japanese neighborhood, so you’re bound to find a Japanese restaurant nearby. There’s so much more to the typical sushi-sashimi ideology behind Japanese cuisine, and you just need to look further to find the lovely diversity of it all…soba included!
8. Taiwanese beef noodle soup.
Call me biased for listing so many Taiwanese dishes (and more to come down below!), but seriously, Taiwanese food is so underrated. While beef noodle soup can come from anywhere, the Taiwanese version is the best, in my opinion. The beef chunks are always marbled and tender, the broth earthy and piping hot, and the freshly-cut noodles cooked just to the right consistency. Add in some bok choy, and you’ve got yourself the perfect, quick lunch!
9. Taiwanese shaved ice.
I swear, this will be the last Taiwanese dish that I list in this post (I realized that Taiwanese food alone takes up half of this list)! But for hot, humid nights like in Taiwan’s summertime, having some freezing shaved ice will cool you off like no other. Add delicious toppings like starchy taro, sweet red beans, chewy glutinous balls, and even some ripe mangoes for the ideal shaved ice experience!
10. Taiyaki (Japanese).
I love pastries and red bean; I also also pastries and red bean together, and the taiyaki that I had in Japan this past summer was a match made in heaven! Essentially, it’s in a fish shape (quite odd, but cool at the same time!) and is absolutely stuffed with red bean, along with feather-light cream for that extra character. Seriously, no one can make it quite the same way as the Japanese…even those in the United States!
*bonus!* Yangnyeom chicken (Korean).
Whether as a snack or as an actual meal, this version of the fried chicken beats any KFC joint! So much flavor and texture is packed into these itty-bitty pieces of chicken, from sweet, spicy, and savory to crispy and tender. I can imagine these being the ultimate drunk food for nights after a bit too much alcohol; I wish that they existed in France! 😛
Any case, that’s it for me! What is your favorite Asian dish? Let me know!
— The Finicky Cynic
Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic