As a true food addict, I had to tell you about Asian dishes. If you are vegan or vegetarian it offers a lot of options too. Besides, there are a variety of Asian vegetables and fruits that we need to incorporate more in our daily diet. Here is a list of some of my favorite Asian dishes. Bon appétit!
1. Pad Thaï
Always my number one when it comes to Asian food. If you go to Thailand you have to try it. People cook it on the street markets in front of you. So you can basically choose the ingredients you want and eat on the spot for just a couple of dollars. You have noodles as a basis and then can add eggs, chicken, shrimps and seasonal vegetables.
2. Vietnamese rice noodles
This meal is eaten cold. It is like the Asian version of a pasta salad with coriander, meat (optional), green cabbage, soybean sprouts, carrots etc. The base of the dish is often cold rice noodles. For a little bit of crunch I like to add peanuts.
3. Singaporean duck rice
This meal is based on jasmine rice that you accompany with duck slices breaded and fried in oil. I like the crispiness of the meat and I could eat jasmine rice almost every day. The two go perfectly together with a caramelized sauce. It is a meal for the days you are not counting your calories.
4. Chinese coconut balls
For coconut lovers: these are made with mung beans, sticky rice powder, grated coconut and sugar. The mung beans (a variety of Asian “yellow” beans) are first steam-cooked with sugar and some grated coconut. It is pretty easy and simple to make them with these 4 ingredients only. I like to eat them warm with some ice-cream on the side. Simply delicious!
5. Malaysian kuih ketayap
For adventurous people: this is a dessert that I have found only in Malaysia. It is a rolled pandan pancake which is filled in the middle with a dark brown coconut preparation. Pandan is a plant that grows in South East Asia and is often used to make flour for desserts. This a beloved tea snack for people there. It became one of my favorites too during my stay.
6. Indonesian cendol
For ice-cream and jelly lovers: the particularity of this dessert lies with its jelly spaghetti made of green rice powder and pandan leaves. You then add some coconut or condensed milk, crushed ice and sometimes sweet red beans. Very refreshing and original.
7. Corean bibimbap
You can find different types of bibimbap: vegetarian, with beef, fried eggs, fish or chicken. It is basically a bowl of steamed and crunchy vegetables with some chilly sauce and rice. An healthy and varied dish in my opinion.
8. Indian naan bread and sauce
If you like eating spicy but not having the mouth on fire, this meal is made for you. Naan is the flat bread with which you eat the sauce. Other bread options can replace the naan such as chapati, roti, paratha – and will give you different textures and tastes. As a drink, I would suggest any type of lassi (milk or yogurt based drink) to go with it and help you handle the spiciness as well.
9. Indian daal
Another vegetarian option that will fill you and also tastes good. I prepare it with red lentils, potatoes that I cook each aside. Then I add coconut milk into the beans preparation and put the cooked and cut potatoes in the end. I then accompany the dish with homemade bread or flat bread I get from my exotic supplies store.
10. Indian vegetarian samosas
I love samosas. It takes some time to make but it will lasts you a while and you can put them in the freezer. You can buy or prepare the dough first, which is simply made of water, salt and flour. The technics will come in action when you will have to create several layers of dough and put them in a pan so that they could hold their triangle shape when you cut them and put the stuffing inside. For the stuffing, I like to put boiled and smashed potatoes, with green beans, curry powder and onions. Fry them for a couple of minutes on each side to get a beautiful golden color. You can then do a basic tomato or curry sauce to accompany the samosas.
Bonus : Japanese california rolls
Avocado, rice and salmon make my heart melt. For those who are not really into raw or sea food and want to try it, this would be my best suggestion.