List of Asian cuisines

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This is a list of Asian cuisines. A cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions,[1] often associated with a specific culture. Asia, being the largest and most populous continent, has numerous cuisines. Ingredients common to many cultures in the east and Southeast regions of the continent include rice, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, chilies, dried onions, soy, and tofu. Stir frying, steaming, and deep frying are common cooking methods. While rice is common to most Asian cuisines, different varieties are popular in the various regions; Basmati rice is popular in the subcontinent, Jasmine is often found across the southeast, while long-grain rice is popular in China and short-grain in Japan and Korea.[2] Curry is also a common dish in found in southern and eastern Asia, however they are not as popular in eastern cuisines. Those curry dishes with origins in India and other South Asian countries usually have a yogurt base while Southeastern and Eastern curries generally use coconut milk as their foundation.[3]

Central Asian cuisine[edit]

Main article: Central Asian cuisine
Main article: Asian cuisine
Central Asia world region.png
Afghan food
  • Afghan cuisine is largely based upon the nation's chief crops: cereals like wheat, maize, barley and rice. Accompanying these staples are dairy products (yogurt and whey), various nuts, and native vegetables, as well as fresh and dried fruits. Afghanistan is well known for its grapes.
  • Kazakh cuisine is the cuisine of Kazakhstan. Traditional Kazakh cuisine revolves around mutton and horse meat, as well as various milk products. For hundreds of years Kazakhs were herders who raised fat-tailed sheep, Bactrian camels, and horses, relying on these animals for transportation, clothing, and food.[4]
  • Kyrgyz cuisine - originating in Kyrgyzstan, is similar in many respects to that of its neighbors, particularly Kazakh cuisine. Traditional Kyrgyz food includes mutton and horse meat, and milk products. The cooking techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the nation's nomadic way of life.
  • Mongolian cuisine refers to the local culinary traditions of Mongolia and Mongolian styled dishes. The extreme continental climate has affected the traditional diet, so the Mongolian cuisine primarily consists of dairy products, meat, and animal fats. Use of vegetables and spices is limited.
  • Tajik cuisine, the traditional cuisine of Tajikistan, has much in common with Afghan, Iranian, Russian, and Uzbek cuisines. Plov (pilaf), also called osh, is the national dish in Tajikistan, as in other countries in the region. It consists of chunks of mutton, carrots and rice fried in a large cast-iron cauldron similar to a Dutch oven. Green tea is the national drink. Traditional Tajik meals start with a spread of dried fruit, nuts, halwa, and other sweets arrayed on the table in small dishes, and then progress to soup and meat, before finishing with plov.
  • Tibetan cuisine
  • Turkmen cuisine, the cuisine of Turkmenistan, is similar to that of the rest of Central Asia. Plov is the staple, everyday food, which is also served at celebrations. Turkmenistan is perhaps most famous for its melons, especially in the former Soviet Union, where it was once the major supplier. Meals are almost always served with naan, Central Asian flat bread, known locally as "çörek."
  • Uyghur cuisine (Cuisine of Xinjiang)
  • Uzbek cuisine is influenced by local agriculture, as in most nations. There is a great deal of grain farming in Uzbekistan, so breads and noodles are of importance, and Uzbek cuisine has been characterized as "noodle-rich".[5] Mutton is a popular variety of meat due to the abundance of sheep in the country and it is a part of various Uzbek dishes.

East Asian cuisine[edit]

Location EastAsia.png
Due to Guangdong's location on the southern coast of China, fresh live seafood is a specialty in Cantonese cuisine.
Szechuan cuisine – A Chengdu-style, hot-pot stew
The Shilin Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan

East Asian cuisine – evolved with a common usage of oils, fats and sauces in the preparation of dishes (with the notable exception of Japanese cuisine).

Chinese cuisine originated in what is known as the Eight Great Traditions, though it can be generalized into northern styles that feature oils and strong flavors derived from ingredients such as vinegar and garlic while southern styles tend to favor fresh ingredients that are lightly prepared. It has become widespread throughout many other parts of the world — from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa. In recent years, connoisseurs of Chinese cuisine have also sprouted in Eastern Europe and South Asia. American Chinese cuisine and Canadian Chinese food are popular examples of local varieties. Local ingredients would be adopted while maintaining the style and preparation technique.
  • Eight Great Traditions – Regional cultural differences vary greatly amongst the different regions of China, giving rise to eight main regional cuisines, or Eight Great Traditions (八大菜系, Bā Dà Cài Xì)
    1. Anhui is derived from the native cooking styles of the Huangshan Mountains region in China and is similar to Jiangsu cuisine. It is is known for the use of wild herbs, from both land and sea, and simple methods of preparation.
    2. Cantonese comes from Guangdong Province in southern China[10] Due to Guangdong's location on the southern coast of China, fresh live seafood is prominent in Cantonese cuisine. Canton has long been a trading port and many imported foods and ingredients are used in Cantonese cuisine. Char siu is a popular way to flavor and prepare pork in Cantonese cuisine.[11]
    3. Fujian is one of the native Chinese cuisines derived from the native cooking style of the province of Fujian, China. Many diverse seafoods and woodland delicacies are used, including a myriad of fish, shellfish and turtles, along with edible mushrooms and bamboo shoots, provided by the coastal and mountainous regions of Fujian.[12]
    4. Hunan, sometimes called Xiang cuisine, consists of the cuisines of the Xiang River region, Dongting Lake and western Hunan Province, in China. The cuisine is well known for its hot spicy flavor, fresh aroma and deep color. Common cooking techniques include stewing, frying, pot-roasting, braising, and smoking. Due to the high agricultural output of the region, ingredients for Hunan dishes are many and varied.
    5. Jiangsu is derived from the native cooking styles of the Jiangsu region in China. Food texture is often soft, but not to the point of mushy or falling apart. Other characters includes the strict selection of ingredients according to the seasons, emphasis on the matching color and shape of each dish and emphasis on using soup to improve the flavor.
    6. Shandong in Chinese is more commonly known as Lu cuisine, and is derived from the native cooking styles of Shandong, an eastern coastal province of China. Possibly Shandong's greatest contribution to Chinese cuisine has been in the area of brewing vinegars. Hundreds of years of experience combined with unique local methods have led to Shandong's prominence as one of the premier regions for vinegar production in China.
    7. Sichuan is a style of Chinese cuisine originating in the Sichuan Province of southwestern China famed for bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavor of the Sichuan peppercorn (花椒). Peanuts, sesame paste, and ginger are also prominent ingredients in Szechuan cooking.[13]
    8. Zhejiang is derived from the native cooking styles of the Zhejiang region in China. Food made in the Zhejiang style is not greasy, having instead a fresh and soft flavor with a mellow fragrance.[14]
  • Four Great Traditions – are often considered as the standouts of Chinese cuisine and due to their influence are proclaimed as the Four Great Traditions (四大菜系, Sì Dà Cài Xì).
    1. Cantonese
    2. Sichuan
    3. Shandong
    4. Huaiyang cuisine – often viewed as the representation of the entire Jiangsu cuisine.
  • Chinese cultural subcuisines
  • Chinese cuisines, by region
Different types of nigiri-sushi
Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques used in the preparation of such meals, and are analogous to Western haute cuisine.[15]
  • Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food (, shun),[16] quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese regional cuisine includes a vast array of regional specialities known as kyōdo ryōri in Japanese, many of them originating from dishes prepared using local ingredients and traditional recipes.[17] Sushi and sashimi are both part of the cuisine of the island nation. The Michelin Guide has awarded Japanese cities by far the most Michelin stars of any country in the world (for example, Tokyo alone has more Michelin stars than Paris, Hong Kong, New York, LA and London combined).[18][19]
Traditional cooking methods eschew the use of oils and fats, with a focus on featuring the delicate flavors of the natural ingredients. Due to an abundant seafood supply, the traditional Japanese diet featured minimal use of meat; however, modern Japanese cuisine includes an extensive variety of popular meat dishes. Japanese cuisine offers a vast array of regional specialties that use traditional recipes and local ingredients.
  • Japanese wine
  • Okinawan cuisine is the cuisine of the Japanese island of Okinawa. Due to difference in culture, climate, vegetables and other ingredients between Okinawa and mainland Japan, Okinawan cuisine is very different from Japanese cuisine. The cuisine incorporated influence from Chinese cuisine and Southeast Asian cuisine due to trade. The sweet potato, introduced in Okinawa in 1605, became a staple food in there from then until the beginning of the 20th century. An article about Okinawan food written by Kikkoman stated that Goya (bitter melon) and Nabera (luffa or towel gourd) were "likely" introduced to Okinawa from Southeast Asia. Since Ryukyu had served as a tributary state to China, Ryukyuan cooks traveled to Fujian Province to learn how to cook Chinese food; Chinese influence seeped into Okinawa in that manner. The same Kikkoman article states that the method of distillation of awamori likely originated from Siam (Thailand) and traveled to Okinawa during the 15th century. After the lord of the Kagoshima Domain invaded the Ryukyus Okinawan cooks traveled to Japan to study Japanese cuisine, causing that influence to seep into Okinawan cuisine.[20]
  • Ainu cuisine
Hanjeongsik, a full-course Korean meal with an array of banchan (side dishes)[21]
  • Korean cuisine originated from ancient prehistoric traditions in the Korean peninsula, evolving through a complex interaction of environmental, political, and cultural trends.[22] Korean cuisine is largely based upon rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes (banchan) that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi is served often, sometimes at every meal. Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and gochujang (fermented red chili paste). Korean regional cuisine (Korean: hyangto eumsik, literally "native local foods"),[23] is characterized by local specialties and distinctive styles within Korean cuisine. The divisions reflected historical boundaries of the provinces where these food and culinary traditions were preserved until modern times. Korean barbecue, or gogi gui, refers to the Korean method of grilling beef, pork, chicken, or other types of meat. Such dishes are often prepared at the diner's table on gas or charcoal grills that are built into the center of the table itself. It features cooking methods such as sautéing and what is known in the West as barbecue. Strong flavors featuring spices derived from chili peppers can also be found in dishes such as kimchi.[24]
  • Mongolian cuisine
  • Taiwanese cuisine

Southeast Asian cuisine[edit]

Thai Kaeng phet pet yang: roast duck in red curry
A complete Javanese Nasi Gudeg, which consist of Gudeg (young jackfruit cooked in coconut milk), fried chicken, boiled egg (also in coconut milk), and krecek (buffalo skin cracker dipped in spice).
Philippine cuisine

The styles of Southeast Asian cuisine include a strong emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with a strong aromatic component that features such flavors as citrus and herbs such as mint, cilantro (coriander) and basil. Ingredients in the region contrast with the ones in the Eastern Asian cuisines, substituting fish sauces for soy sauce and the inclusion of ingredients such as galangal, tamarind and lemon grass. Cooking methods include a balance of stir-frying, boiling and steaming.[24]

South Asian cuisine[edit]

Dal-bhat-tarkari is a traditional dish in Nepalese cuisine.
An assortment of spices and herbs. Spices are an indispensable food ingredient in much of India.
  • South Asian cuisine, also known as Desi cuisine, includes the cuisines from the Indian subcontinent. It has roots in South Asia, including practices taken from the Hindu beliefs practiced by the large population found in the region, alongside influences from neighboring regions and cultures, particularly from Muslim cultures of the Middle East and Central Asia, such as Persia, the Turkic and Arabic countries. Dishes in this area of the world are known for their use of hot peppers, black pepper, cloves, and other strong spices along with the flavored butter ghee. Common meats include lamb, goat and chicken; beef is not very common as in western cuisines because the tenets of the Hindu faith prohibit its consumption. Other staples of many of the cuisines include rice, chapati made from wheat and barley, and beans.[24] The cuisine of South Asia has roots in Persia, Turkey, and the Middle East as well as practices taken from the Hindu beliefs practiced by the large population found in the region. Naan, a type of flat bread from the former regions is a common part of meals in many parts of South Asia.
  • Bangladeshi cuisine
  • Bhutanese cuisine employs a lot of red rice (like brown rice in texture, but with a nutty taste, the only variety of rice that grows at high altitudes), buckwheat, and increasingly maize. The diet in the hills also includes chicken, yak meat, dried beef, pork, pork fat and mutton. When offered food, one says meshu meshu, covering one's mouth with the hands in refusal according to Bhutanese manners, and then gives in on the second or third offer.
Further information: Outline of Indian cuisines and List of Indian dishes
  • Indian cuisine is characterized by its sophisticated and subtle use of many Indian spices[39] and vegetables grown across India, herbs,[39] vegetables[39] and fruits, and also for the widespread practice of vegetarianism across its society. Considered by some to be one of the world's most diverse cuisines, each family of this cuisine is characterized by a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques. As a consequence, Indian cuisine varies from region to region, reflecting the varied demographics of the ethnically diverse Indian subcontinent.[40] India's religious beliefs and culture has played an influential role in the evolution of its cuisine. However, cuisine across India also evolved with the subcontinent's cross-cultural interactions with the neighboring Middle East and Central Asia as well as the Mediterranean, making it a unique blend of various cuisines across Asia.[41][42] The colonial period introduced European cooking styles to India adding to its flexibility and diversity.[43][44] Indian cuisine has also influenced cuisines across the world, especially those from Southeast Asia.[45][46][47] In particular, curry has been widely adopted in cuisines around the world.
  • Other Indian cuisines

West Asian cuisine (Middle East)[edit]

Map world middle east.svg
Hummus with pine nuts at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, Israel
  • Israeli cuisine comprises local dishes by Jews native to Israel and dishes brought to Israel by Jewish immigrants from around the world. Since before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and particularly since the late 1970s, an Israeli fusion cuisine has developed.[48]
  • Jordanian cuisine
  • Lebanese cuisine includes an abundance of starches, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat, and when red meat is eaten it is usually lamb on the coast and goat meat in the mountain regions.
  • Palestinian cuisine cooking styles vary by region and each type of cooking style and the ingredients used are generally based on the climate and location of the particular region and on traditions.
Syrians are renowned for producing dried apricot paste
  • Syrian cuisine is a diffusion of the cultures of civilizations that settled in Syria, particularly during and after the Islamic era beginning with the Arab Umayyad conquest, then the eventual Persian-influenced Abbasids and ending with the strong influences of Turkish cuisine, resulting from the coming of the Ottoman Turks.
Light snacks of Azerbaijani cuisine
  • Kuwaiti cuisine - the national dish of Kuwait known as machboos (Arabic: مكبوس‎) consists mainly of mutton or chicken placed over or mixed in a large mass of well-cooked and prepared rice.
  • Omani cuisine is generally very simple, with the aid of many spices and marinades to complete a dish, which usually consists of chicken, fish, and mutton. Unlike many other Asian nations, Omani cuisine is not spicy, and varies between regions.
  • Qatari cuisine
Kabsa is a traditional Saudi Arabian dish.
  • Regional foods
  • Abgoosht is an Iranian stew usually made with lamb and vegetables
  • Kabsa is considered by many as Saudi Arabia's national dish
  • Mandi is a traditional Yemeni dish usually made from meat (lamb or chicken), basmati rice, and spices.
  • Musakhan is a Palestinian dish of roasted chicken and bread
  • Pastırma is a highly seasoned, air-dried cured beef, common in Armenia
  • Qabili Palau is Afghanistan's national dish
  • Ptitim is an Israeli toasted pasta shaped like rice or little balls.

See also[edit]


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  18. ^ (Japanese) "「ミシュランガイド東京・横浜・鎌倉2011」を発行 三つ星が14軒、二つ星が54軒、一つ星が198軒に", Michelin Japan, November 24, 2010.
  19. ^ Tokyo is Michelin's biggest star From The Times November 20, 2007
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