Asian cuisine


Family gatherings to celebrate and enjoy each other throughout the generations are essential in the culture and the food generated.  The Asian culture is one of the world’s oldest and its ethnic cuisines is an intricate part of the Asia and worthy of anthropologist and culinary historians’ study due to the longevity of the Asian population. says that the first is known as the southwest style that includes cuisines from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Burma. Having its roots in Persian-Arabian civilization, the eating of nan (or flat bread) became widespread, along with mutton, kebabs (derived from Turkish cooking), and the use of hot peppers, black pepper, cloves, and other strong spices, along with ghee (a butter oil). Curry also became a staple in this dietary culture. Through the teachings of Hinduism, cows were used only for their milk and not for meat. In addition to rice, chapati made from wheat or barley is also a staple part of the diet, and beans also play an important role in meals.
The Northeastern style from China, Korea and Japan is very recognizable to us as it has been in America for several generations now as a part of non-Asian homes. The use of oils and spices that were once new and exciting to North Americans are now common to us, with Chinese food being the most familiar to us. However, now with the many wonderful Sushi and Japanese restaurants, the once a week Chinese dinner could certainly be Japanese!
Arguably, Chinese cuisine has become the most prominent of all Asian styles of cooking due to its huge population and migration of culture, with several different styles based on region – the most basic difference being between northern and southern styles of Chinese cuisine. Southern dishes emphasize freshness and tenderness while due to the colder weather, northern dishes are relatively oily and the use of vinegar and garlic tends to be more popular. In contrast, Japanese cooking came to emphasize the frequent use of deep-frying (i.e., tempura, etc.) using vegetable oil or conversely, raw foods (i.e., sushi and sashimi). In Korea, much of the tradition cuisine is centered on grilling or sautéing and the use of hot chili spices (i.e., kim chi, etc.).
The third major dietary culture of Asia is the southeast style, which includes Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. The traditional emphasis in this region is on aromatic and lightly-prepared foods, using a delicate balance of quick stir-frying, steaming, and/or boiling, supplemented with discrete spices and seasonings, including citrus juices and herbs such as basil, cilantro, and mint. Also, while northeastern cuisines emphasize using soy sauce in nearly everything, many cultures in the southeast substitute fish sauce, along with galangal, lemon grass, and tamarind for additional flavor.
Comparing the three cuisines with each other, we can see that curries are very important to the cuisines of the southeast and southwest.  Southwestern curries are generally based on yogurt, whereas the curries of the southeast are generally based on coconut milk.
Rice is a staple starch in all three areas. In addition to rice, southwestern cuisines are supplemented with a variety of leavened and unleavened breads while southeast and northeast cuisines add noodles made from rice, egg, or potatoes. (Many Italians would argue this but pasta was invented in China). Garlic and ginger are used in all three cuisine areas, while chilies of all varieties are more common in the southwest and southeast.


Comments are closed.