Culinary traditions of the many Asian cultures converged to form the renowned Asian cuisine. Popular for its intense flavour and aroma, Asian foods have strong consumer base not only in Asia but also all over the world. It is popularity is celebrated from the western nations to the sandy shores of the Middle East.
Rice and Noodles are the staple elements of the Asian cuisine. While the meats and spices become the soul of the cuisine, Rice and Noodles become the body of the same. Rich which is mostly starch and carbohydrates; they cover the major portion of most of the dishes. Here are some very popular Rice and Noodles based dishes, which are indeed tasty and worth trying.
Nasi goreng translates to “fried rice” in Indonesian and Malay languages. It is considered as the national dish of Indonesia. The simple version of the dish can be enjoyed from tin plate at a roadside food stall, eaten on porcelain in restaurants or it can be collected from the buffet tables of Jakarta dinner parties.
The name can be referred to fries pre-cooked rice, a meal including stir fried rice in a small amount of cooking oil or margarine. The dish is typically spiced with kecap manis (sweet soya sauce), shallot, garlic, ground shrimp paste, tamarind and chili along with other ingredients, mostly egg, chicken or prawns. Another variety of the dish is made from ikan asin (salted dry fish) which is also popular across Indonesia. It is distinguished from other Asian fried rice dishes by its aromatic, earth and smoky flavour, obtained from the caramelized sweet soy sauce and powdered shrimp paste. Also, its taste is rather stronger and spicier compared to Chinese fried rice.
Also pronounced as Phad Thai – it’s a stir-fried rice noodle commonly served in Thailand as a street food and casual local eateries. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu. The dish is flavoured with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chilli pepper and palm sugar. Served with lime wedges and chopped roast peanuts, Pad thai may also contain vegetables like the bean sprout, garlic chives, coriander leaves, pickled radishes or turnips and raw banana flowers. It may also contain sea fresh shrimp, crab, squid, chicken or other protein-rich meats. Many of the ingredients are served on the side as condiments such as red chilli pepper, lime wedges, roasted peanuts, bean sprouts and other miscellaneous fresh vegetables and herbs. Fish sauce is substituted by soy sauce in the vegetarian version of Pad thai.
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Bakmi is a Chinese noodle originated in China, later propagated and popularized in Southeast Asia by Chinese immigrants with Fujian and Hokkien origin. The name consists of two Hokkien Chinese words literally translated to English as “meat noodles”. Pork is the meat often used. Bakmi is generally prepared and topped with chopped pork seasoned in soy sauce and few slices of char siu (barbecued pork). Chinese vegetables and a bowl of broth are also served along with the noodles. Different types of meat often used in the preparation of the dish. This includes chicken and beef. Variations include mie ayam (chicken noodles) and mie goring (stir-fried noodles in sweet soy sauce).
Today, Bakmi is extremely popular in Southeast Asia which has a significant Chinese population. The dish has been further developed to align with the local tastes. The dish stands somewhere in between Chinese style wheat noodles and Japanese udons in thickness. There are several different variants of Bakmi in Indonesia.
Chow mein is a classic Chinese stir-fried egg noodles with shredded chicken breast. The dish is popular throughout the Chinese diaspora and is a prominent option in the restaurant menus; it is also popular in foreign countries like the United States, U.K., Nepal and India.
Chicken meat is used in the preparation of the dish. Soft chicken breast marinated in soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and freshly grounded pepper provides the meat with a unique and elegant taste. Many variants of Chow mein use the flesh of different fish, beef, pork and vegetables. Other ingredients used in the dish are groundnut oil, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, sugar, spring onions, pepper and salt for seasoning. All the ingredients mixed and stir-fried along with the noodles results in a splendid Chinese dish.
Yang chow also known as Yangzhou or Yeung chow is a Chinese fried rice dish originated in city of Yangzhou in Jiangsu province. Ingredients vary according to the region, but there are some staple items which are common to all Yang Chow. The Key Ingredient of the dish is cooked rice, preferably day old because freshly cooked rice is too sticky due to higher water content. Cooked shrimp is another major ingredient which provides a decent fish flavour to the dish. Diced cha shao/char siu pork or lap cheong, spring onions or green onions mostly chopped including green end, fresh vegetables such as kai – lan, carrots, peas, corn, bamboo shoots and many other veggies, eggs, bits of sea cucumber and crab meat are some of the staple elements of the dish. Peas can be a replacement for the green onions. Some variants of yang chow use Shaoxing wine, soy sauce to flavour the rice and add meat such as chicken.