Food and Drink

Eight Best Street Foods across Asia

Asia, the world’s largest continent, has the most distinct and delicious cuisines on the planet. The best Asian cuisine you’ll ever taste is a fusion of spices, culture, landscape, and vegetation, all of which contribute to the distinct flavor on every plate and bowl.

From gourmet to street food to Asian fusion, Asia will never go out of style in feeding your hungry tummies.

However, the tastiest food in Asia is usually found in carts and booths lining bustling streets and quiet alleyways, not in luxurious restaurants.

Here is a list of eight foods that are not only particular to their city or country but also demonstrate the exquisite variety of texture and flavor that can be found across Asia.

1. Xiaolongbao – China

Xiaolongbao, or “small basket bun,” originated from the Jiangnan region in Shanghai and Wuxi. It’s a steamed dumpling that is traditionally filled with pork and soup.

Its ingredients, which range from ground pork to shrimp to special herbs and spices, are not difficult to find. Likewise, vegetables such as cauliflowers, potatoes and other greens are also added as fillings in some cases. It is delicious and juicy, and everyone enjoys it.

xiaolongbao (Source: freepik)
xiaolongbao (Source: freepik)

2. Chaat – India

This delicacy constitutes  a wide range of Indian street foods, snacks, and small meals. Chaat masala adds flavor to chaat, giving it a salty, spicy, sweet, and sour taste.

Chaat is often a small dish that can be eaten alone as a snack or paired with other meals to make a larger meal.

Chaatwallas (street vendors) all over South Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh typicaly sells this food. These vendors also sell a variety of foods ranging from stuffed bread to deep-fried pastries with complementing dipping sauces.


3. Taiyaki – Japan

Taiyaki is a traditional Japanese fish-shaped street snack that’s been enjoyed for decades. It is a Japanese dessert made of wheat filled with azuki sweet bean paste, similar to a combination of cake and waffles.

Street vendor usually serve hot Taiyaki mostly during any Japanese winter festival.

taiyaki (Source: pexels)
taiyaki (Source: pexels)


4. Samosa – Pakistan, India and Nepal

A samosa is a fried or baked pastry filled with savory ingredients like as spiced potatoes, onions, and peas. Depending on the region, it can have various shapes such as triangle, cone, or half-moon.

People usually serve this savory dish with chopped onions, yogurt, or fresh. Likewise, people also prefer homemade chutneys made with spices like mint, coriander, or tamarind to serve with it.

5. Tteokbokki – South Korea

Tteokbokki is a spicy stir-fried dish made up of cylinder-shaped rice cakes, sweet red chili sauce, and fish cakes. It is one of Korea’s most popular street foods, and usually sold by street vendors, pojangmacha.

tteokbokki (Source: pexels)
tteokbokki (Source: pexels)

6. Som tam – Thailand

Som Tam is a popular Thai Salad made up of green papaya. It is traditionally mashed with a mortar and pestle.

This salad also usually features roasted peanuts, green beans, tomatoes, and a tangy sauce made with garlic, chili peppers, fish sauce, dried shrimps, palm sugar, and lime or tamarind juice, in addition to thin strips of green papaya.

7. Simit – Turkey

Turkish simit is a circular bread served with tea or ayran for breakfast with fruit preserves or in savory combinations such as with cheese, pastrma, and fresh veggies.

This crusty bread, often known as a Turkish bagel and is possibly the most popular bread in Turkey. They also consume this food by dipping in molasses and topped with sesame seeds.

Simit (Source: pixabay)
Simit (Source: pixabay)

8. Martabak – Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Malaysia

Martabak is a stuffed and fried pancake that is famous as a street snack in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Although the ingredients vary, ground meat, eggs, garlic, onions, peppers, curry, and ghee are some of the common ingredients.

Vendors removes martabak from the vendor’s large deep pan and cut into squares once it turns golden and crisp. The snack is also typically served with a curry sauce for dipping in Malaysia.

But Indonesians prefer a garnish of raw hot chillis, fresh coriander, red onion, and pickled cumbers.


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