Top 45 Most Popular Asian Foods (With IMAGES) (2024)

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Asian food includes seven major regional cuisines from central Asia, East Asian, North Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and West Asian.

Sushi, sashimi, dim sum, jiaozi, yakiniku, ramen, roti, yakitori, kimchi, onigiri, gyoza, baozi, gui, and mutabal are among the most popular Asian foods you probably don’t know about.

Asia, the largest country with the largest population continent, is the home to many cultures that have their particular style of making their cultural food. Ingredients common to the east and southeastern region include garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, dried onions, chiles, rice, and tofu.

Rice is also a critical condiment used, but you can not use all types of rice for specific dishes. The people in Laos use Glutenous rice. Basmati rice is famous in India, long-grain rice is popular in China, while short-grain rice is famous in Korea and Japan.

Table of Contents

1. Sushi

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Sushi roll is one of Japan’s favorite dishes. It is made with rice fillings that have been rolled in a sheet of dried seaweed.

This dish is sometimes wrongly mistaken for raw fish, but the primary ingredient of most sushi is vinegared rice.

2. Ramen

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Ramen is a Korean noodle soup popular with the natives of Korea. It involves combining noodles with salty broth. Unlike the usual Chinese noodles, this curly noodle has a yellow color and is also more elastic.

3. Yakiniku

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Yakiniku is a Japanese technique that you can use to prepare bite-sized chops of meats and vegetables on a grill. This dish was inspired by galbi and bulgogi’s famous Korean words, even if the heart is usually not marinated before cooking.

The process involves slicing raw meats and vegetables on a table for consumers, and some famous roots used for yakiniku include pork, beef, chicken, and shellfish. You can serve it with sauces like soy sauce, garlic oil sauce, or miso sauce.

4. Sashimi

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Sashimi is a Japanese dish made of raw, thin-sliced meat or raw fish, and you can serve it alongside wasabi, raw pepper, and ginger paste.

Some other common ingredients used when preparing the Yashi mi are squid, tuna, scallop, whale, and sometimes, the octopus.

You can cut sashimi in many different ways to give the dish a more appealing appearance. You can decorate it with shiso leaves, seaweed, and even cucumbers, making it perfect for an appetizer.

5. Dim Sum

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Dim sum is a bite-sized food that you can serve with tea. It can either be noodle rolls, savory dumplings, or even buns.

The word dim sum translates to touch the heart, and it was traced to centuries ago when royal cooks invented it to touch the heart of Chinese emperors.

6. Jiaozi

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you can make Chinese dumplings with flour, pork or beef, rice wine, napa cabbage, garlic sesame, ginger, and white pepper.

It consists of a piece of dough that was thinly rolled and filled with either meat or vegetables. Jiaozi is one of the most common dishes eaten in China and East Asia.

Jiaozi can be served either as an appetizer, main dish, or side dish and is also better fit with soy sauce if it Is served as the main dish.

Jiaozi are popularly eaten by the Chinese when they celebrate a new year, and you can enjoy your jiaozi either by cooking, frying, or steaming.

7. Yakitori

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Yakitori is referred to as Japanese grilled chicken. This chicken meat is skewered with a type of skewer known as the Kushi, either made of bamboo or metal before traditionally grilled over a charcoal fire.

There are various types of yakitori, depending on the cut of chicken used and the preparation method.

A critical criterion to consider when making yakitori is the seasoning you’re going to be using, either salty or sweet-salty, which you will apply to your grilled chicken after grilling.

You can combine salty seasoning with pepper, while sweet-salty seasoning is mostly tare sauce mixed with mirin, sake, sugar, or soy sauce.

8. Roti

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Roti is a snack native to Indians; it is a flat and unleavened bread made with wholemeal flour and is traditionally cooked on an iron girdle called the Tava. People once said that when rotis were invented in Persia, it was much more extensive and thicker than the rotis made these days.

9. Mochi

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Mochis are tiny cakes usually made out of rice that contain gelatin. Preparing mochi is time-consuming as boiled rice has to be ponded until it forms a thick, hom*ogenous paste. After that, it is then rolled and shaped in circular forms.

They were usually prepared during the Yayoi period, when the aristocracy only enjoyed it. They were also prepared and served during the religious period because people believed it brought good health and fortune.

10. Kimchi

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At the mention of the word pickles, many people get chills going down their spine, but Koreans have made the pickled vegetable more exciting and much tastier by adding spices to them, either sour, sweet, salty, or spicy.

Kimchi can be either found sliced or tied in bundles after marinating in brine with hot chili peppers, salty fish paste, garlic, and sugar.

Kimchi is an ancient dish that can be dated back to about two thousand years back even if it is still a fast-growing dish in the west. Some varieties of kimchi that you can eat and enjoy are the pa kimchi, baechu-kimchi, or the geotjeori.

11. Onigiri

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Onigiri is Japanese rice balls that you can date from back to the 11th century. They are usually eaten in picnics because they are chewy, moist, and hearty.

They were formerly known as Tajiki and were recorded in the diary of lady Murasaki. Still, later on, certain people discovered that this dish was in existence before the time of lady Murasaki.

Onigiri is usually used when wrapped in nori seaweed, but that method didn’t come up until after the 16th century when it was sold bare.

12. Baozi

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Baozi is known to be one of China’s favorite foods and is also considered to be an everyday snack.

It is known as bao, a steamed bun made with mantou bread and stuffed with various fillings that range from savory to sweet; a typical filling for baozi ranges from meat and seafood to vegetables.

One commonly eaten type of baozi is the Chao Siu bao which is filled with barbecued. The smaller, mincemeat filed Shanghai-style baozi is called xiao long bao, and the succulent tangbao is a giant soup-filled bao mainly made with pork or crab stock.

13. Gyoza

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Gyoza is a famous Japanese-shaped dumpling that is usually crescent-shaped and has originated from traditional Chinese jiaozi dumplings even if you slightly altered the recipe for gyoza to accommodate the Japanese taste.

Gyoza consists of a thin wrapper made with wheat flour, eggs, and water, which is then filled with a mixture of vegetables and meat; the fillings used in these dumplings are regionally influenced and some common fillings used are the garlic, ginger, and green onion.

14. Biryani

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Biryani is a dish that can be traced back to the Mughal empire. The central ingredient used in making biryani is basmati rice, certain spices, a base of either meat, vegetables, and eggs, and some components can then be add4d if you wish to add the ingredients like dried fruits nuts, and yogurts.

It is believed that this dish was inspired by emperor Shah Jahan’s queen, Mumtaz Mahal, in the early 1600s. The word biryani was from brian, which means fried or roasted.

15. Shabu Shabu

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Shabu-shabu is a prevalent Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water. Although beef is the most popular choice of beef, shabu can also be prepared with chicken, lamb, pork, crabs, or lobsters.

16. Gui

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Gui is the general name that refers to every grilled Korean dish. Grilling is one of the most common methods of preparing dishes in Korea, and unlike most modern words, it entails a lot of guidelines that you must follow if you want to obtain a good result.

Beef, pork, and chicken are the three most common lumps of meat used for grilling in Korea. Before grilling these meats, they can either be marinated like the bulgogi or plain like the sliced pork belly, popularly known as samgyeopsal.

17. Mutabal

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Mutabal is a middle eastern dip made with a combination of roasted eggplants, lemon juice, garlic, yogurt, tahini, onions, and salt.

It is made by blending or mashing the ingredients together until the dip develops the desired consistency, either very smooth or a bit coarse.

Once it is prepared, you can garnish it with parsley, pomegranate seeds, or even cilantro. It is usually recommended that you serve this dish with a slice or two of pita bread.

18. Nasi Uduk

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Nasi uduk is an Indonesian rice-based dish. Nasi uduk is made with coconut milk mixed with lemongrass, cloves, pandan leaves, and cinnamon. The process then results in wonderfully fluffy and fragrant rice. Each serving is usually topped with fried shallot.

It is usually served with various side dishes as it is rarely eaten on its own. Some everyday side dishes eaten with the nasi uduk include rice noodles, eggs, tempeh, tofu, fried anchovies, and rice crackers.

19. Tonkatsu

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Tonkatsu is a Japanese dish with very recent history. Tonkatsu is said to date back to the 19th century as a form of yoshoku, but at that time, this dish was already Japanized.

Tonkatsu is a single dish that everyone can enjoy, but when it is cooked with other ingredients and in several ways, you can make it into different words.

Its primary ingredients include bread crumbs, egg, pork, flour, and vegetable oil. Tonkatsu is made like a sandwich and can be paired with ramen or rice to enjoy its deliciousness fully.

20. Hummus

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hummus is an internationally popular dish made with mashed chickpeas, sesame paste, lemon juice, and garlic. Many people love this dish because of its tangy flavor and nutritional profile.

It is usually dressed with a dribble of oil and is a delicious dip for vegetables or flatbreads when served.

Hummus has dated back to the 13th century, even if this has not been fully confirmed yet. You can pair hummus with Bradford martini or Riesling.

21. Kushiyaki

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Kushiyaki is a Japanese technique involving various plates of seafood, grilled meat, vegetables, and sometimes tofu, all placed on a bamboo skewer that is usually seasoned with salt and soy sauce when a less sweetened version is required.

Kushiyaki should always be prepared and served immediately after grilling and can be eaten with salads, edamame, or pickled vegetables. The oldest and most popular type of kushiyaki is the yakitori which is prepared by grilling various chicken cuts.

22. Tempeh Mendoan

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Tempeh mendoan originates from purwokerto and is prepared with fried tempeh as the significant ingredient. The tempeh is sliced, and each slice is dipped in a batter enriched with coriander, sliced scallions, and garlic before it is deep-fried.

This dish originates initially from Banyumasan, and the word is best served with symbals, chilis as essential dips, and kecap mani, an Indonesian sweet soy sauce.

23. Bulgogi

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It is tough to know which is better when eating the bulgogi. Is it the succulent sweetmeat or the spicy side of it? Bulgogi is an Asian-styled barbecue in which thin slices of marinated meat are quickly cooked over high heat.

The name of this dish originated from the word bool and Kogi, which are Korean words for fire and heat. This dish dates back to a very long time ago, during the Goguryeo period, when the meat was marinated before grilling, unlike the Chinese practice of seasoning the essence.

24. Bibimbap

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Bibim and bap are Korean words for mixed rice, so bibimbap means mixed cook rice. This rice is usually cooked and mixed with various ingredients like sliced beef, namul, soy sauce, and gochujang, a thick red chili paste.

In Korea, there’s a tradition whereby citizens cannot waste any leftover meal before new year’s eve, so they started the practice of combining leftover dishes from the previous year, and that was how Koreans created bibimbap.

25. Naan

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Naan is a chewy bread that is popular in India. Naan got its name from the Persian word for bread.

The imperial court in Delhi initially made it in two versions at the imperial court in Delhi, naan-e-trunk, which is light bread, and naan-e-tenure, which is locally baked on stone walls of the tandoor oven.

Naan is made with flour, egg, milk, yeast, salt, and sugar, usually baked in an oven. Its tera drop shape is achieved from how the dough drops in the range of the tandoor walls. Many villages have a communal tandoor placed in the middle of the town so that all locals can bake naan.

26. Mooncakes

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Mooncakes are ancient Chinese delicacies eaten during the festive period in mid-august. This pie-like pastry is made with a shortcrust base called the Yueh ping, traditionally filled with black sesame seeds or lotus seed paste.

Nowadays, mooncakes are available with a lot of savory fillings. Some are sweet like honeydew, litchi or pineapple, chocolates, or mixed fruits.

Their round shape is not only because of the moon but also based on the belief that a full circle with the return is an ancient Chinese philosophy.

27. Pad Thai

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Pad Thai is a dish that originates from Thailand and is very common there. This dish consists of rice noodles, dried shrimps, tofu, bean sprouts, and eggs.

If you prefer using meat, then chicken and pork are the best choices to use. It has an intricate sweet, salty, and sour flavor, a balanced contract of flavors.

Pad Thai is one of the dishes popular in Thailand and several other countries. There was once a public contest to find a new national noodle dish, and the winner for that time was our Thai pad dish that consisted of peanuts, eggs sprouts, and radishes.

28. Spring Rolls

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Spring rolls are traditional Chinese snacks that consist of thin sheets of doughs filled with various related ingredients and are then deep-fried in hot oil. Some of the ingredients used to fill it include shredded pork, shrimp, cabbage, and mushrooms.

These flavorful snacks are usually served as appetizers accompanied by dips, coffee, or tea. Spring rolls were formally called spring dishes and were sent to relatives during the beginning of spring as a blessing, and fruits and vegetables usually filled them with fruits and vegetables.

29. Miso Soup

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Miso soup is a traditional soup in japan made with the dashi stock. Japanese citizens carried out an estimate, and food experts confirmed that more than 70% of the Japanese population consume this soup for breakfast even if it is available to be eaten any time of the day.

In American restaurants, miso soup is usually served as an appetizer as it is said to have a lot of medicinal health benefits.

As the name implies, the primary ingredient used for this soup is miso, which consists of rice, water, soy, and fermented soybeans similar to peanut butter in texture.

30. Dondurma

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This Turkish ice cream is said to originate from the city of maras. It has a chewy texture and is particularly very dense, and two thickening agents bring about those qualities: the essential milk and sugar mixture and then Arab gum.

31. Banchan

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The term banchan is composed of various Korean dishes served on small plates. Although banchan refers to side dishes, banchan are usually served as main dishes in Korean cuisines.

Even if the list of banchan dishes is extensive, the most common options for banchan dishes include the kimchi varieties, pickles, and fresh vegetables.

32. Borek

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Borek is a baked dish usually consisting of a sweet or savory filling wrapped in yufka, a thinly stretched sheet of dough traditionally made with flour, water, and salt. Yufka is usually brushed with butter before it is baked.

Many countries have their version of this dish, but it was said to have originated during the ottoman empire in the Anatolian province.

33. Satay

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Satay is a traditional Indonesian dish made of skewered meat served with sauce by the side. The fantastic thing you’ll discover about this dish is that all types of meat can make satay, even some exotic and rare varieties such as crocodile meat and snake meat.

The marinades used for making this dish vary, but a typical satay dish is made with sugar, garlic, lime juice, lime, and other seasonings. Satay is said to have originated from Indonesia and was later on developed by a Muslim trader who later migrated it to India.

34. Nigiri

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Nigirizushi is a particular type of hand-pressed sushi that consists of the meat being pressed on top of sushi rice. It was developed in Edo, now called Tokyo, in the early 1800s. Sometimes, the nori seaweed wraps the whole concoctions and keeps them together.

The topping is usually seafood plates like shrimps, haddock, tuna, or eel. Nigirizushi is traditionally paired with shiso leaves or soy sauce and is sometimes garnished with salted seaweed.

35. Yakisoba

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Yakisoba is a Japanese variety of fried noodles that originates from the Chinese chow mein, and these fried noodles are usually mixed with a variety of meat and veggies. The most common noodle variety used in this dish is ramen noodles.

Although the dish’s name has the soba noodles attached to it, the ramen varieties are still the common noodle variety used in making the yakisoba.

After the container must have been made, a special yakisoba sauce similar to the Worcestershire sauce is used to complete the dish.

36. Kare

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Japanese-style curry, also known as Kare, is one of the popular dishes in Japan. This dish started gaining popularity in Japan during the Meiji [period, which went on from 1868-to 1912.

This dish is also made in India, but the significant difference between them is that while Indians use a combination of spices, Japan uses just curry powder.

37. Kimbap

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Kimbap is often referred to as Korean sushi. It is a Korean dish consisting of seaweed, seasoned rice, and other optional ingredients that can be sliced, rolled, and served.

You can add anything to your rolls, but meat, spinach, fishcakes, cucumbers, and eggs are the most common filling.

The origin of kimbap is not known as some say it’s a Korean take on Japanese sushi while others say it is a variation of the native kimssam, but it remains one of the most popular Korean dishes.

38. Tteok

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Tteok is a traditional Korean rice cake usually prepared with glutenous or non-glutenous rice. The usual preparation method includes steaming, kneading, or pounding until it gradually becomes a pliable dough.

The most popular tteok varieties include the chapssaltteok, garaetteok, gyeongdan, and songpyeon.

39. Jeon

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Jeon is Korean pancakes, usually served as appetizers, consumed as snacks or side dishes. Jeans are generally prepared as savory dishes, but sometimes they are also in sweet varieties.

At first, jeon is usually coated in flour and eggs because the dough is pan-fried in oil. Ingredients include thinly sliced meat, seafood, poultry, and various vegetables.

These pancakes are usually prepared every year during the Korean festivals, although you can eat them daily throughout the year.

40. Dal

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Dal is a flavorful and very nutritional dish native to Indians, especially in the southern part of India. You can also find it in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Dal is a stew that uses yellow or black lentils as its main ingredients, and you can add other ingredients like chickpeas or mung beans.

41. Daif*cku

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Daif*cku is often referred to as daif*cku mochi. It is a famous Japanese confectionery usually shaped in small and round balls traditionally made of a chewy outer layer and a very creamy inner layer.

The shell of daif*cku is made with mochi, a glutenous ingredient made after stressfully crushing boiled and steamed rice.

Daif*cku is usually tinted with many colors, commonly pale pink and light green, giving it a creative and appealing outlook.

Most of these daif*cku are filled with a creamy and sweet content, and most of these are usually made from the semi-sweet red bean paste, which is popularly called the Anko or tsubuan.

42. Teppanyaki

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This dish originates from Japan and involves grilling some ingredients on an iron plate. The name teppanyaki is derived from teppan and yaki, which means iron place and grill or broiled, respectively.

The most popular types of teppanyaki are steaks, chopped vegetables, rice, and dough-based foods such as yakisoba fried noodles. In some western restaurants, the iron plates are usually placed in front of the customers to watch them while they cook.

43. Tteokbokki

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Tteokbokki is a spicy dish consisting of cylindrical-shaped rice cakes in sweet red chilies and fish cakes. Tteokbokki is one of the many famous street foods in Korea as they are usually bought from street vendors known as the pojangmacha.

44. Sukiyaki

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Sukiyaki is a sweet and salty Japanese meal usually prepared tableside on a gas stove. This dish is preferably made with beef, and the marble tender cut is the best cut of meat you can use. Vegetarians are not left out of the recipe as tofu can substitute meat.

Some other ingredients used in sukiyaki involve cabbage, mushrooms, sliced cabbages, and shungiku leaves. You can cook these ingredients in mirin or soy sauce before they are finally added to your sukiyaki.

45. Samgyeopsal

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Samgyeopsal is a south Korean delicacy made using the most expensive cut of pork, the belly.

The name samgyeopsal was gotten from the met description, which has three layers. Sam means three, gyeop means layered, and Sal means meat. Therefore, samgyeopsal is said to have a three-layered meat profile.

These interesting delicacies are famous around the whole continent of Asia. Some other popular foods include; pilaf, sarma, chow Mein and ma’amoul. You should probably try out one or more of these if you haven’t, and I assure you, you won’t regret it.

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Top 45 Most Popular Asian Foods (With IMAGES) (2024)


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