We can define Cuisine as a style of cooking and tradition associated with a specific culture. Asia is the largest continent in the world shelters many cultures and cuisines. Some of the major regional cuisines are East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian, Central Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Besides the difference, all of these varieties of Asian foods share some common features. Ingredients like Rice, Ginger, Garlic, Tofu, Chilies, Dried Onions, Soy and Sesame seeds are used in almost all Asian foods. Cooking practices like Steaming and Stir frying are common in every Asian restaurant.
Rice is a staple ingredient in every Asian food; Different varieties are popular in various regions. Basmati is a popular rice variety in subcontinents while long grain rice is popular in China and short grain in Japan and Korea. Curry dishes with its origin in South Asian countries are also common in Southern, Western and Southeastern regions. These are Yogurt based soup with meat or vegetables as optional ingredients.East Asian Cuisine
East Asian Cuisine
Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and Taiwanese Cuisines are collectively known as East Asian Cuisine. Being one of the most populated regions of the world East Asia has many regional cuisines. Rice, Noodles, Soybeans, and Seafood are some of the staple East Asian foods.
Southeast Asian Cuisine
Southeast Asian foods emphasize on light dishes with strong aromatic element featuring flavors as citrus and herbs such as lime, coriander, and basil. Going to the Far East, the Fish sauce is substituted with Soy sauce and more
ingredients like Galangal, Tamarind and Lemongrass become part of the cuisine. Cooking process includes a balanced combination of Stir frying, steaming and boiling.
South Asian Cuisine
Cuisine from the Indian sub-continent makes the South Asian cuisine. Food in this part of the world is flavored with spices and herbs. Flavored Oil and Ghee are stapled element in South Asian cuisine. Yogurt and Coconut milk
makes the base of South Asian curries. Chicken, Mutton, and Fish are the common meats used. Beef and Pork are available only in some part of the continent since these meats are forbidden for certain religious community.
Central Asian Cuisine
Central Asian Nations have very similar cuisines. They share many features with their neighboring cuisine of Western and Eastern Asia. Many of the country’s use horse meat and mutton as the most common meat. Kumis is a popular drink among Turkic people.
West Asian (Middle East) Cuisine
West Asian Cuisine is the Cuisine of the Middle East nations excluding Egypt. The cuisine of this region is unique in its own way. Some commonly used ingredients are olives and olive oil, pitas, honey, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, mint, and parsley. Wheat and rice is the base of any meal in West Asian cuisine. Barley and
maize are slowly getting popular in some regions. Bread is a major element in every Middle East cuisine. It’s eaten by everyone almost at every meal irrespective of their class or groups.
Butter and clarified butter are the most common cooking medium. Olive oil is used instead of butter in some region.
Lamb and mutton have always been the meat of choice in every Middle East meal. The prominent way of cooking meat is grilled or as kebabs. Pork is prohibited in most of the Middle East Country’s since it’s a religiously forbidden
meat for Muslims and Jews. Vegetables and pulses have a dominant place in West Asian cuisine. They are boiled, stewed, grilled, stuffed and cooked with meat and also with rice.
North Asian Cuisine
Most of the North Asia comes under Russian Federation Hence North Asian cuisine can be closely related to Russia cuisine. However, some cultures of Siberia have unique and profound cuisine such as the Yakuts an yamai cuisine.
Peimeni, a dish of permic or ugric origin has entered into mainstream Russian cuisine as a popular dish. Meat preservation for the winter is common in these regions. In Siberia pelmeni are frozen outdoors to preserve meat inside through the long winter. Fish and cowberries are key ingredients in most of the North Siberian cuisine.