Asia is the biggest continent in the world and has many countries that have beautiful nature resources, many exotic holiday destinations, thousand years of traditional cultures, amazing climate, and extra ordinary exotic cuisine. Well, I think the most ultimate destinations for holiday, honeymoon, or business in Asia are in these countries - in alphabetical order : China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippine, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. When you visit those countries, you can avoid the local food, or at least once you must trying their local dishes, for your own food adventure or just honoring the host, right ? So, these are the top ten exotic local food you have to try during your visit in Asia. I try to pick the moderate ones, i mean I will not choose the bizarre food like grasshopper satay,fried cockroach and other insects food. I'm serious, there are such kind of food in Asia :)
- Dim Sum in China and Stinky Tofu in Hong Kong. Well China and Hong Kong are the same country, so if you travel to China, you will enjoy many kinds of Dim Sum. According to wikipedia, Dim sum (literally meaning "touch heart") is the name for a Chinese cuisine which involves a wide range of light dishes served alongside Chinese tea. It is usually served in the mornings until noon time at Chinese restaurants and at specialty dim sum eateries where typical dishes are available throughout the day. Dishes come in small portions and may include meat, seafood, and vegetables, as well as desserts and fruit. The items are usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. I love Dim Sum very much, especially car xiu bao, ha gao, lo mai gai, and chicken feet. While Stinky Tofu is made from a brine made with shrimp, vegetables and salt, ferment for months, soak a block of tofu in it for several hours, and you have a dish renowned for its pungent odor. You may love it or hate it, the smell is really strong but tastes pretty good if you like it.
- Chicken makhani or murgh makhani in India. Well, curry and naan bread is a must in India, but for alternative, you may try this chicken makhani or butter chicken. It's a chicken dishes that cooked with butter, onion, garlic, garam masala, chayenne pepper, curry powder, cardamon pod, ginger, lemon juice yoghurt or coconut milk, and tomato paste. It can be made as mild or spicy as you wish by adjusting the cayenne. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
- Indonesia has many exotic food as well. I'm not sure what is the most exotic and have to try one but if you visit Indonesia, do not forget try the Padang food like rendang, chicken pop, and fish head curry. Try also gudeg rice, liwet rice or nasi liwet, and Balinese mix rice. For beverage try the bajigur and beras kencur those are exotic beverages you have to try.
- Sushi in Japan. Sushi is welknown all around the world, but I still find out that sushi is very exotic one, in fact I don't have any gutts to try this food (I mean the raw fish and meat) although the appearance is so amazing and look delicious but eating raw fish or meat is not my plan :)
- Pulut Lepa in Malaysia. Made of glutinous rice and fish, this snack food is prepared over a barbecue. Boiled fish meat is mixed with sliced onions, and dried chilies and coconut. The mixture is cooked until it is dry. This is then used as a filling for the glutinous rice rolls. Wrappings of banana leaf cover the food before it is cooked over the fire.
Malay food is quite the same as Indonesian food. You will find fried chicken or ayam goreng and rendang in Malaysia too, but have a bit differences. Malay food has many influence from chinese food, indian food, and western food as well.
- Balut in Philippine. Balut is the most extreme food I think. What is balut anyway ? Balut is a popular Filipino street snack and is essentially a duck egg with a fetus inside, typically between seventeen to twenty days in gestation. Balut is very popular in Philippine and is kind of aphodisiac food. Philipino men love this kind of food. If you travel to Philippine, you will find many balut seller and most western tourist are grossed out by the idea. I can't imagine eat this kind of food, sound horrible :)
- Kimchee in South Korea. According to wikipedia it is a traditional Korean pickled dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings. Its most common manifestation is the spicy baechu (cabbage) variety. Kimchi is the most common banchan, or side dish. Kimchi is also a common ingredient and combined with other ingredients to make dishes such as kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae) and kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap). Kimchee is so delicious and healthy. It's a must try food when you visit Korea. I have been try it, but I try the Kimchee in Korean Restaurant in Indonesia, I don't know the taste in its real country. Have to go to Korea for the genuine Kimchee...
- Chilli Crab in Singapore. It's definitedly very delicious meal. Of course if you don't have any allergic on seafood and like spicy dishes. You may find the chilli crab in Geylang, and the jumbo seafood in east coast beach in Singapore. Or for not so expensive chilli crab, you may try "The Big eater" near Tanah Merah MRT Station.
- Mango Ice in Taiwan. It's very different and so sweet. The mango itself is very exotic fruit. Mango ice or mang kuo ping is made from a pile of ice that covered with fresh mangos, some sort of jelly or custard, and sweet and condensced milk. It is a delicious summer treat. It so irresistable..yummy.
- Som Tam in Thailand. It is a spicy salad made from shredded unripened papaya. It is originally from Laos and the Isan region of northeastern Thailand. Thai food is unique and delicious. Thai food is also very popular. Many of you have known about Tom Yang Soup right ? Som Tam is different,it has a sour, hot, and fresh taste. It a little bit like "rujak" in Indonesia maybe.
Enjoy your visit in Asia, for leisure, fun, or business do not forget to give a try to local food it so unforgettable.