japanese tonkotsu ramen bowl on dinner table at restaurant

Asian Food

Asian Cuisine, The Alluring Flavors of Asia

Countries / States: Thailand / China / South Korea / Japan / Philippines / Vietnam / Taiwan / North Indian / South Indian / Sri Lanka / Pakistan / Nepal / Afghanistan

Asia is the largest continent in the world. Hundreds of different regions, countries, and subcultures form Asia. It shares borders with two other continents – Africa and Europe. The region is home to a series of oceans, mountain systems, and lush forests. Dubbed the continent of contrast, it has the highest elevation on Earth (Mount Everest) as well as the lowest point on Earth (the Dead Sea). Influenced by both land and sea, Asia is undeniably diverse, a multicultural region that’s endlessly colorful in ingredients, flavors, and dishes.

In Southeast Asia, countries like Thailand and Vietnam focus on bright, citrusy flavors influenced by the sub-tropical and coastal environment. As we adventure east, countries like China, Korea, and Japan lean into softer flavors that draw from the lush agriculture of the land. If you head down South, the region is formed by countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka that feature deep spices and aromatics in many recipes.

Whichever direction you venture, Asia is a complex ecosystem that’s both rich and diverse in culture. There’s no better way to explore this region than through the food and ingredients that flow through its borders. Every new food journey — no matter how large — begins with a single dish.

“I really, really love China. To be honest, the food is so amazing! When I first went to Beijing and Shanghai, I actually became obsessed with soup dumplings, and would stand in lines and get them on the street. It was something that I became obsessed with and when I came back to the States, I did all this research for the best soup dumplings in the Los Angeles area and in the New York area and it was amazing to find those Asian dishes that were authentic and I can enjoy them at home.”

— Tyra Banks

List of Asian Cuisines

Top Asian Dishes

  • Fried Rice
  • Stir-Fried Noodles
  • Japanese Ramen
  • Sushi / Sashimi
  • Kimchi
  • Taiwanese Beef Noodles
  • Pad Thai
  • Satay Skewers
  • Hainanese Chicken Rice
  • Hainanese Chicken Rice
  • Singaporean Chili Crab
  • Pho
  • Sinigang
  • Sambal
  • Hummus
  • Falafel
  • Curry Laksa
  • Biryani
  • Samosa
  • Couscous
  • Shawarma
  • Baba Ghanoush
  • Tabbouleh
  • Fattoush
  • Kebabs
  • Borscht Soup

History of Asian Food

A conversation about Asia’s food culture is incomplete without acknowledging the deep history of the region. The continent of Asia has always been a global marketplace for world trade.

In 130 B.C.E. the famous Silk Road was established as a land & sea trade network that connected East Africa, Europe, & the Middle East to the various regions of Asia. These lively trade routes were a gathering place where international travelers met and discussed art, philosophy, and innovation. As culture & traditions spread, so did food — with ingredients and spices becoming a core part of the Silk Road trade networks.

The rich cultural infusion that took place during these formative years shaped Asia’s identity. As we explore more into each region of Asia, let’s remember that each country’s diverse food & culture played a role in the rich history that cultivated it. Let’s eat!

Dumplings from Around the World

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