Food Map of Asia – Delicious Food to Try in 39 Countries
This food map of Asia shows all the dishes we’ve eaten on our journey to visit every country in the world. This continent is a definite favourite for us – mainly because the food is so incredible. We return to this part of the world over and over just to get another taste.
Here is our food map of Asia with a dish to eat in every country:
Lamb Kebab – Ground lamb is blended with a mix of spices for these fragrant, delicious kebabs. Traditionally cooked over a coal fire, eat with fresh salad and warm Afghani bread. If you’re really lucky like us, you might be invited to lunch in an Afghan home for a home-cooked meal.
Food Map of Asia – Armenia
Manti – These little boats, or manti, have much in common with Italian ravioli, Chinese dumplings and wontons. Stuffed with beef and served with yoghurt and a red tomato-based sauce – this is a very memorable dish.
Qutab – A savoury crepe that can be personalised to your liking. Fill it with herbs, meat, cheese, or spreads. Qutab is then folded and usually baked on a saj, a traditional Azerbaijani frying pan.
Curry & Rice – Plain rice is the main food in Bangladesh. It is served with different meat and fish curry, a mash of various vegetable curries, bhaji (fried) of vegetables, and lentil soup. If you enjoy vegetarian food, then Bengali food is a cuisine you will love. This dish could be probably be included for other countries on our food map of Asia list. In both Sri Lanka and India, you can find plenty of curry and rice.
Food Map of Asia – Bhutanese food is so good!
Ema Datshi – the most famous dish in Bhutanese cuisine, made from cheese and chilli peppers. “Ema” means “chilli” and “datshi” means “cheese” in the Dzongkha language of Bhutan. The balance of flavours in this dish is perfect when served with a plate of rice and other wonderful dishes in this country. Find out if Bhutan is worth the money?
Nasi Lemak – This dish is popular in both Malaysia and Singapore too – but we ate some wonderful Nasi Lemak in Brunei, so you need to keep an eye out for it. We ate the best nasi lemak on our food tour of Kuala Lumpur.
A basic plate of nasi lemak consists of coconut rice, fried anchovies, sliced cucumber, sambal (spicy sauce) and a slice of hard-boiled or fried egg. Additionally, you can add curry chicken, fried fish or chicken/beef rendang.
Fish Amok – I couldn’t get enough of this aromatic dish during my visit to Cambodia. Essentially, it’s a freshwater fish-based curry with lemongrass, chilli and coconut milk, typically served in a banana leaf. This is one dish you can’t miss on your journey to taste the food map of Asia.
Dim Sum – This is traditionally a Chinese brunch. So many dishes to choose from which are either deep-fried or steamed. Find everything from steamed pork spareribs, steamed buns with roast pork, and my favourite har gaw (shrimp dumplings). Don’t forget to even up the meal with some fresh steamed greens covered in oyster sauce and garlic.
The best places to find great dim sum is small teahouses or local eateries. TOP TIP: Just look for the line of locals and wait your turn – it will be worth it. Learn more about China and the 10 Bizarre foods to eat in China.Do you research before you arrive so you don’t get caught out with some of the most popular tourist scams in China, and how to avoid them.
Khinkali – Delicious Georgian dumplings stuffed with meat, herbs, spices, and juicy broth. Order a plateful of these guys and I dare you to stop there, you’re going to want another, and another.
Biryani – You can find different biryani in various regions of India. Biryani is a mixed rice dish, flavoured with aromatic spices and generally, meat, such as tender chicken or mutton is a popular addition. I love to eat biryani all over Asia – my favourite is Hyderabadi chicken biryani. So, where can you find the best food in India? Our Top 5 Food Cities.
Iraqi Kebab – Some of the most delicious lamb kebabs we’ve eaten in the world. The secret is in the minced lamb (having a good ratio of fat in the mix) and the charcoal fire it is typically cooked on – this gives it the charred outer coat, leaving the delicious spiced meat on the inside tender and soft. If you think it would be impossible to visit Iraq, read our blog: Is it safe to visit Erbil in Iraq
Food Map of Asia – Delicious satay sticks are the best!
Satay – Seasoned, skewered meat which is cooked over charcoal to give it that smokey taste- then served with a yummy peanut, satay sauce. This dish is super popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Brunei too. You can find satay on every corner in Indonesia and most of the countries mentioned above.
Felafel – One of my favourite foods of all time – and the best felafel I’ve eaten were in Jordan. These little balls of goodness are prepared using chickpeas, fresh parsley and spices and then deep-fried. The best part is eating them in pita bread with hummus and pickled vegetables or fresh out of the fryer with a plate of hummus. This food map of Asia wouldn’t be complete without hummus and felafel appearing at least once.
What would our Food Map of Asia be without featuring Ramen?
Ramen – One of the best noodle soups you will ever eat. This is one of my favourite noodles soups in the entire world and a clear favourite to feature on our food map of Asia list. Ramen are typically categorised according to their soup base. My favourite is Tonkatsu (pork bone) ramen – the depth of flavour is incredible. The main types of soup are shoyu (soya sauce), (shiyo) chicken broth or miso (soybean-based). If you are planning a trip to Japan, make sure to read about the foodie destinations outside of Tokyo.
Shashlik – are marinated grilled skewered meats. So delicious served alongside fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and onion, some fresh bread and a cold pint of beer. You can find shashlik all over Central Asian countries and Russia.
Manty – These are dumplings, usually a little smaller than the size of your palm and filled with a mixture of meat (usually lamb), onions, potato and fat. Be careful when you bite into them as the super hot broth inside squirts out. You can eat these guys with some sour cream, ketchup or vinegar. Learn more about Central Asian Food and the 7 most popular dishes.
Larb – A delicious meat salad. This dish combines savoury flavours with fresh herbs like coriander, scallions, mint, chilli and fresh lime juice. The addition of toasted ground rice adds texture to the end result. It doesn’t sound so great – but trust me, once you taste larb, you’ll be addicted. This dish goes perfectly with sticky rice – another staple of Laos cuisine.
You are halfway through our Food Map of Asia, keep going!
Mutton – If you take a trip to Mongolia, you’ll soon realise that the cuisine heavily consists of meat products – in particular, mutton. You might eat mutton in dumplings or perhaps as part of a Mongolian BBQ, alongside other meat such as yak or goat. Mutton isn’t for everyone, but it deserves a place on our food map of Asia. If you do travel to Mongolia or Central Asia, you will see it on every menu.
Rendang – a rich and tender coconut beef stew that is rich and full of flavour. My favourite is beef rendang, eaten with fresh roti and steamed rice. Rendang is famous in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Need to be inspired? Here are 5 Reasons to love Kuala Lumpur
Mohinga – A comforting noodle soup is considered one of the national dishes of Myanmar. The hot and sour fish-based broth is poured over noodles in generous bowls. This dish is usually eaten for breakfast, however, you can find it during lunch and dinner time too.
Food Map of Asia – Momos in Nepal for the win!
Momo – Delicious dumplings filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. You typically eat them steamed with a few different sauces or chutneys on the side. I loved sitting in small momo shops in Kathmandu with a cup of fresh ginger and lemon tea and a generous serve of freshly cooked Nepalese momos. Try and stop at one plateful – I dare you.
Kimchi -This food is relied upon during the winter months when fresh vegetables are unavailable in North Korea. Kimchi is salted and fermented vegetables, including cabbage and Korean radish. Spring onions, garlic and ginger are commonly added. It takes a little to get used to – but you’ll find that it’s the perfect side dish to steamed rice, vegetables and grilled meats. Find out more about this unique country in our blog 7 Myths about North Korea.
Shuwa – a dish of slow-cooked marinated lamb or goat. The meat is coated in a mixed rub of spices, garlic and oil and then cooked slowly until it is tender and delicious. Commonly served with pilau rice – this dish is a winning combination.
Food Map of Asia – Pakistani food is fantastic, and super spicy
Kebabs & Naan – Food map of Asia has to mention Pakistani food! There are many different kebabs to chow down on in Pakistan. My favourite during my visit was the chapli kebab. This is prepared using ground beef, mutton or chicken with various spices in the shape of a patty. Best eaten hot with naan bread or rice.
Adobo – This dish is sticky and delicious and I love it. Essentially, it’s chicken, meat or seafood which has been braised in vinegar, soy sauce and lots of garlic. The addition of brown sugar and black pepper creates a yummy sauce – perfect with fresh green vegetables and steamed rice.