7 Interesting and Delicious South Asian Foods You Need to Know About

A beginner's guide to ordering South Asian food

With the Covid-19 cases surging each day, it’s time again to stay at home and order takeaways instead of eating out. If you have run out of options or bored of ordering the same Chinese or Italian food, here’s what you need to know. South East Asian countries have some flavourful and delicious dishes that you should absolutely try and the good news is that these dishes are easily available. If you are wondering what to order, here are some traditional dishes from Taiwan to Indonesia and from Vietnam to Malaysia that you can dig into from the Fatty Bao Menu at Monkey Bar, Delhi.  

1.Char Siu Bao

south asian food

Originated from Guangzhou in Mainland China, Char Siu is a classic Chinese barbecue pork. Traditionally the Char Siu Bao is soft, fluffy, steamed closed buns stuffed with this wet and savoury Chinese barbecue pork or Char Siu. This is a signature dish in dim sum restaurants across the world. 

2. Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken

south asian food

This is an iconic chicken dish immensely popular in Taiwanese  cuisine and is locally referred to as San bei Ji. The name three cup chicken comes from the three key ingredients in the recipe:  “Cups” refer to the equal ratio of rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil. Traditionally, three cup chicken is made with an entire chicken, carved-up, bone-in, and skin-on. It’s braised in a sweet and savoury broth until it gets a delicious, sticky glaze. Then, fresh basil is added for the finishing touch.

3. Pho Ramen or Vietnamese Soupy Noodles 

south asian food

Pho (pronounced fuh) is a light Vietnamese noodle dish with herbal broth and rice noodles. It comprises an immensely flavourful broth of chicken, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and this popular soupy noodles is usually served with chicken and garnished with fried onion and scallion

4. Malaysian Chicken Kapitan Curry 

south asian food

Ayam Kapitan or Kapitan curry, is classic Malaysian chicken curry. An interplay of traditional Malay herbs and spices with a touch of Chinese cooking technique makes this dish unique. This rich combination of galangal, candlenut, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk and chicken makes it a flavourful dish.

So if you are wondering why it’s called Kapitan curry, then there’s a fun legend from the British colonial era in Malaysia. A Chinese chef on board a British Ship learnt how to cook this local Malay curry. His toned-down version received rave reviews and the captain asked him what dish it was. Completely caught off-guard, he mumbled “Äyam Kapitan” or “Captain’s Chicken” and the name just stuck! 

5. Indonesian Sayur Lodeh 

south asian food

Sayur Lodeh is a traditional Indonesian dish that originated from the island of Java and is served at feasts marking special occasions. This curry is made with various vegetables cooked in rich coconut milk and is usually eaten with rice. From Java, the dish has spread throughout Indonesia, and it can be found in numerous traditional Indonesian restaurants or with street hawkers.

6. Thai Green Curry 

thai

As the name suggests, the dish from Thailand makes use of ingredients like fresh ginger and cilantro, coconut milk, lemongrass, coriander, cumin, garlic and chilli too arrive at a delicious, aromatic dish that’s spicy with a hint of sweetness. However, it is believed that Indians who had travelled as far to South Easter countries introduced curry there and the local adapted it to their taste and as per the seasonal ingredients available there.  

7. Soba Noodles 

south asian food

It is a Japanese dish made from buck wheat noodles cooked over a teppanyaki with black pepper sauce. It is a simple Asian side dish or can be served as a main meal. It is served both hot and cold.