List of Asian cuisines

This is a list of Asian cuisines, by region. A cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions,[1] usually associated with a specific culture or region. Asia, being the largest, most populous and culturally diverse continent, has a great diversity of cuisines associated with its different regions.

Location of the continent of Asia.

Central Asian cuisine

Location of Central Asia. In some definitions, it also includes Afghanistan (south of area shown).
  • Central Asian cuisine includes food from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
    • Bukharan Jewish cuisine - cuisine of the Bukharan Jews with great influence from Uzbek cuisine.
    • Kazakh cuisine 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.[2]
    • 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, as well as milk products. The cooking techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the nation's nomadic way of life.
    • Tajik cuisine traditional cuisine of Tajikistan, has much in common with Afghan, Russian, and Uzbek cuisines. Plov, 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, halva, and other sweets arrayed on the table in small dishes, and then progress to soup and meat, before finishing with plov.
    • Turkmen cuisine cuisine of Turkmenistan. It 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".
    • Uzbek cuisine cuisine influenced by local agriculture, as in most nations. There is a great deal of grain farming in Uzbekistan, so bread and noodles are of importance, and Uzbek cuisine has been characterized as "noodle-rich".[3] 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. Uzbekistan's signature dish is palov (osh) made with rice, pieces of meat, grated carrots and onions.

East Asian cuisine

Location of East Asia.

East Asian cuisine has evolved with common usage of oils, fats and sauces in the preparation of dishes.

An assortment of Hong Kong dim sum delicacies
Hot pot featuring a simmering soup stock involving a variety of Chinese foodstuffs and ingredients that are served beside the pot for the diners to put in.
  • Chinese cuisine – Traditional Chinese cuisines include Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang,[4] all of which are defined and termed per the respective regions within China where they developed. A number of different styles contribute to Chinese cuisine, but perhaps the best known and most influential are the Sichuan, Shandong, Jiangsu and Guangdong cuisines.[5] These styles are distinctive from one another due to factors such as available resources, climate, geography, history, cooking techniques and lifestyle. Many Chinese traditional regional cuisines rely on basic methods of food preservation such as drying, salting, pickling and fermentation.[6]
    • 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.
    • Wine in China
    • Great Traditions
      • 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 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.[7] 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.[8]
        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.[9]
        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 include 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 vinegar. 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 Sichuan cooking.[10]
        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.[11]
        • Four Great Traditions – often considered 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
    • Hong Kong cuisine is mainly influenced by Cantonese cuisine, non-Cantonese Chinese cuisine (especially Teochew, Hakka, Hokkien and the Jiangsu & Zhejiang), the Western world, Japan, and Southeast Asia, due to Hong Kong's past as a British colony and long history of being an international city of commerce. Fish balls, Wonton noodle, Egg waffle, and milk tea are some of the most notable dishes, snacks, and drinks.
    • Macau cuisine
Different varieties 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.[12]
  • Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food (, shun),[13] quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese regional cuisine includes a vast array of regional specialties known as kyōdo ryōri in Japanese, many of them originating from dishes prepared using local ingredients and traditional recipes.[14] 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).[15][16]
    • 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 the 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 there 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 Ryūkyū had served as a tributary state to China, Okinawan 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 subjugated Ryūkyū, Okinawan cooks traveled to Japan to study Japanese cuisine, causing that influence to seep into Okinawan cuisine.[17]
    • Nagoya cuisine
    • Ainu cuisine
Hanjeongsik, a full-course Korean meal with an array of banchan (side dishes)[18]
Bibimbap, a Korean rice dish filled with white rice topped with namul or kimchi and gochujang, doenjang commonly added by a raw or fried egg and sliced meat on top.

South Asian cuisine

Location of South Asia.

South Asian cuisine includes the cuisines from the Indian subcontinent and when included in the definition, also that of Afghanistan. It has roots in South Asia, including practices taken from the Hindu beliefs practiced by the large population found in the region, alongside in some regional cuisines, certain influences from neighboring regions and cultures, particularly from Muslim cultures of the Middle East and Central Asia. 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 as 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.[21] The cuisine of South Asia has mostly indigenous roots, as well as influences practices taken from foreign origin empires.

Naan, a type of flat bread from the former regions, is a common part of meals in many parts of South Asia.

Southeast Asian cuisine

Location of Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asian cuisine emphasizes lightly prepared dishes with strong aromas, featuring such flavors as lemongrass, fermented fish sauce and pastes, and ginger.[34] Ingredients in the region contrast with the ones in the Eastern Asian cuisines, substituting fish sauces for soy sauce and including such ingredients as galangal, tamarind and lemongrass. Cooking methods include stir frying, boiling and steaming.[21]

West Asian cuisine

Location of Western Asia.

See also


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