The tastiest cuisine in Asia may be found not in sophisticated restaurants but in carts and stalls that line bustling streets and quiet nooks. These 17 snacks showcase the mouthwatering variety in texture and flavour that can be found iconically particular to their city or nation.
Street Food of Bali (Indonesia): Nasi Campur
A traditional dish in Balinese cuisine is nasi campur. Basically, it is a mixed platter with rice. Most restaurants will choose for you; however, you may choose whatever kind of nasi campur you want at warungs, the local eateries in Bali. You can choose from delectables such as spice-rubbed meat, sate lilit, and tofu. Chopped vegetables, spicy tempeh, and chicken.
Street Food of Bangladesh: Singara
Singara is fried pockets of spicy potato and vegetable mixture wrapped in a thin flatbread. The flaky texture of an excellent singara is what sets it apart. Some seem to be prepared with savoury pie crust since they are so flaky.
Singara were a go-to Bangladeshi dish for us throughout our travels around Bangladesh since they are widely available and reasonably priced (you can get 24 for $1).
Street Food of Cambodia: Breakfast Banana Blossom Soup
When we left the temples at Banteay Srei in Siem Reap, we saw our tuk-tuk driver enjoying breakfast with other drivers. He extended an invitation for us to join him and introduced us to a delicious morning soup. A teaspoon of dark sweet sauce was placed on top of the dish, which also included fresh rice noodles, paper-thinly cut banana blossoms, cucumber, and cabbage. For the finishing touch, a bowl of long beans and bitter herbs was passed around our table.
One of our favourite dinners in all of Cambodia, however, could be challenged by the local foods we prepared on our own at a Battambang cooking lesson.
Street Food of China: Jiaozi (Dumplings)
It is very hard to pick just one Chinese street food meal, so we’ll go with the dish that is most popular with the public: dumplings. This pork, shrimp, and leek dumplings at Da Yu Dumpling Restaurant in Qingdao stand out among the many dumplings we tried while visiting China. Deliciously tasty and expertly steamed.
Street Food of India: Aloo Tikki
India has a wide variety of delicious street foods, from north Indian tandoori specialities to south Indian meals like dosa. We’ll have to choose this Varanasi Aloo Tikki (spiced potato chips) vendor as one of our favourite street food experiences, despite all of this fierce competition. Although the Aloo Tikki was tasty, the experience was enhanced by the charming vendor who persuaded me to prepare food for him.
Street Food of Iran: Spiced Fava Beans
After eating so many kebabs and meats in Iran, we were grateful to come across this seller in the highlands outside Kermanshah, who was selling a sizable quantity of steaming, seasoned fava beans. Delicious with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and vinegar. He may have thought it unusual that our group was so deficient in vegetables because we kept returning for more food.
Street Food of Japan: Takoyaki
The octopus balls? Please, yes. Takoyaki is light, hot circles of diced octopus in the dough with herbs. Observing the experts swiftly turn their takoyaki in what seems to be a cupcake pan with long toothpicks so that the balls cook uniformly on all sides is all part of the experience.
A sweet sauce, aonori (powdered seaweed), and copious amounts of hanakatsuo are frequently added to takoyaki (dried bonito fish flakes). During our journey to Japan, we made sure to try takoyaki whenever we came across it, and it is evident that not all Japanese food is pricey or formal.
Street Food of Kyrgyzstan: Samsa
Samsa is flatbread pockets filled with meat, onions, and spices. These are a common sight at Kyrgyzstan’s fresh markets, hillside livestock markets, and food stands on the street. However, go to Osh in the south for the greatest Samsa in the nation since there, “Oshski Samsa” is baked in a clay tandoor oven.
Street Food of Nepal: Momos
I find it difficult to resist dumplings anywhere, and the momos in Nepal were no exception. Momos are a common dish across Nepal and the territories around the Tibetan plateau, whether they are served steamed or occasionally fried. An ideal treat following a multi-day hike in Nepal, such as the Annapurna Circuit.
We also suggest enrolling in momos cooking course in Kathmandu with
Sasane Sisterhood, a social impact tour provider that aids trafficking survivors. Delicious and beneficial to a good cause. We prepared momos at home using the recipe and method we learnt in the session.
Street Food of Singapore Street: Hainanese Chicken
A dish that is exclusive to Singapore is Hainanese chicken rice. Although the description may not seem outstanding, the flavour is delightful. The meal comprises light chicken stock soup with vegetables, pieces of roasted (or steamed) chicken served with cucumbers and herbs, spicy sauce, and sweet soy sauce. In its subtlety, it is delicious.
Street Food of Uzbekistan: Plov
Plov is the national dish of Uzbekistan. Consider a fried rice pilaf with julienned carrots, caraway seeds, red pepper, and pork pieces. Similar to how Americans relate to pizza and chilli, plov is so common in Central Asian markets and eateries that self-described local experts can spot variances that are undetectable to outsiders.
Our travels through Central Asia led us to this street-side stall in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, which served the greatest plov we ever tasted.
Street Food of Jordan: Knafeh
Street food does not have to be savoury all of the time. A delectable Middle Eastern delicacy called knafeh is constructed with a foundation of gooey white cheese, semolina crumbs baked on top, and sweet syrup drizzled over everything. Even while knafeh is popular throughout the Middle East and Turkey, we still haven’t seen one that compares to what is offered at Habibeh Sweets in the Jordanian capital of Amman.
Everyone who has visited Jordan that we have spoken to has mentioned this knafeh with a yearning sigh. On top of all the other great Jordanian food, it’s a delight.