Where to Find the Best Street Food In Asia
The best way to enjoy a country’s cuisine is through its street food. Here in Asia, local gourmet simmers scents and spices, enough to tickle anyone’s appetite. If you’re taking a jaunt around the continent, or just stopping by a country or two, why not snack on their best-known meals and immerse yourself in the flavors locals love?
Here are my picks for some of the best street food in Asia.
Takoyaki in Japan. Takoyaki carts are prevalent in Japan's downtown districts. Vendors can be seen pouring liquid batter into pans with a series of round molds. This concoction is typically made with minced octopus, tempura, green onion and pickles. You'd be delighted to watch vendors as they run a pick along the sizzling rows to turn the takoyaki around with precision. Each ball is brushed with a special sauce and is served with a dash of mayonnaise.
Fishballs in the Philippines. A common Southeast Asian treat, fishballs reign supreme in the Philippines' cultural gastronomy. They are flat-shaped and served skewered in batches of five or more. One has the option to dip it in the sweet, amber-colored, banana-ketchup-based sauce or the spicy vinegar variant. While you're at it, have a go at kikiam (ground pork in bean curd) and kwek-kwek (quail eggs fried in bright orange batter) too.
Pho in Vietnam. Perfect for cold, rainy nights, pho is a cherished comfort food made of rice noodles, beef broth, meat slices, and a few herbs. The northern and southern parts of Vietnam have their own take on this dish. Upper regions use thicker noodles and limited garnishing. Southern pho is a bit sweeter, usually containing bean sprouts and a wider selection of herbs. This noodle dish is served hot in a bowl. Time to practice your chopstick skills so you can enjoy this meal like the locals do!
Vada Pav in India. Vegetarians will love this popular street food most commonly found in tMumbai. Vada pav is the local potato fritter, usually made with spiced mashed potatoes mixed with gram flour. The concoction is then deep fried and is served in a bun with pickled garnishing.
Tteokbokki in South Korea. When in South Korea, have yourself somea tteokbokki. This red-colored dish is made with rice cakes and gochujang, a fermented chili paste. It is typically served with hard-boiled eggs and, vegetables — but the possibilities are endless. You can now find variants with dumplings, ramen, cheese, seafood, and even sausages.
Nasi goreng in Indonesia. Sumptuous stir-fried rice topped with soy sauce and herbs, nasi goreng is Indonesia’s national dish. The meal was created long ago as a way to avoid wasting rice. Over the years, more variations of nasi goreng have emerged; now you can find nasi goreng served with chicken or hot dogs. Vendors will also give you the option to adjust your spice level to regular, spicy or extra spicy.
Xiaolongbao in China. Usually cooked in small bamboo baskets, China's xiaolongbao are actually steamed buns served with clear soup inside. Traditionally, it is filled with a mix of pork, minced crab and roe, then covered with a translucent wrap. The buns are pinched at the top, creating beautiful ripples around the crown. Locals eat this with tea. You might want to memorize a few Chinese words to enjoy a small chat with them.