Must-Try Street Food in Asia

A photo of skewered meat displayed in the streets of Malaysia
Learn more about the famous and delicious street food in Asia.

Asia is the largest continent in the world and it is home to many great things that keep tourists coming back for more, such as jaw dropping views and beaches, rich and interesting cultures and traditions, beautiful and amazing Asian women, and a variety of delicious and exotic street food.

The latter is mostly what makes traveling to Asia fun and memorable. Imagine walking the busy streets of any Asian city or country with a beautiful Asian woman while enjoying a number of flavorsome dishes. Romantic, right? Although it’s not an ideal activity for a date, rest assured that the time you spend with your Asian girl will be enjoyable and worthwhile because first, these ladies are not that picky in terms of food choices when out on a date, and second, they love their local street food, so it’s a win-win situation for you.

With that, here are some of the most delicious and popular Asian street food that you will get to enjoy in Asia:

1. Adobo

Ask tourists what they love about the Philippines and this dish will be mentioned as one of their top favorites. This popular Filipino viand was influenced by the Spaniards during the Spanish colonial era in the country. Adobo, which means dressing in Spanish, is basically chicken or pork marinade—the two most common meat variations of the dish. If you are dating an Asian woman from the Philippines, you will most likely have a taste of this mouthwatering recipe.

2. Nasi Lemak

This is the national dish of Malaysia and is a must-try for tourists visiting the country. Nasi Lemak is a rice dish soaked in coconut cream cooked in steam, mostly with the use of pandan leaves. It is usually served with sambal, a famous Malaysian spice sauce, and garnished with fried egg, roasted or crushed peanuts, and anchovies. Although it originated in Malaysia, many countries in Southeast Asia, like Singapore, have added this recipe to their Asian street food menu.

3. Stinky Tofu

You may feel a bit off about its name, but stinky tofu is a tasty dish that you can find in all markets and street stalls in China. This fermented tofu is cooked in different variations, such as deep-fried, stewed, or steamed, or it may be served cold. It is served with a spicy chili sauce to lessen the foul smell of the dish. Locals believe that the stinkier the tofu, the better. So never miss trying this famous and unique Asian dish when in China.

4. Satay

This dish is one of the most famous Asian street snacks that originated in Indonesia and is now served in some countries in Southeast Asia, such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Satay is a meat skewer dish topped with the famous satay sauce, which is usually a mixture of peanut and soy sauce. The meat used for this Asian street food is soaked in water before grilling to avoid burning.

5. Kwek-Kwek

Kwek-kwek is another popular street food in the Philippines that you can find at any street stall in the country. These are basically boiled quail eggs soaked in an orange batter, then deep-fried for 2-3 minutes. Once cooked and crisped, the dish is served either in sticks or cups with spicy vinegar sauce. Although most Filipinos are not sure how kwek-kwek was born, legend has it that it was accidentally invented by a local vendor. Nevertheless, kwek-kwek is one of the must-tries in the country.

6. Shaobing

This Asian street snack is famous in Northern China. Shaobing is a layered flatbread stuffed with sweet fillings, like red beans and jujube, and usually topped with sesame seeds. It originated in Shandong province in China, but is now served in many street stalls throughout the country. This dish can be enjoyed with soy milk or tea, so you can have it any way you like.

7. Fried Shrimp

Fried shrimp is not the healthiest or the most traditional Asian food, but it is one of the most delicious. It is very popular in Thailand because locals and tourists love to indulge in this crispy deep-fried seafood dish. It is usually served with a sweet chili sauce. You can find this in street stalls at any market across the country, like the Klong Hae Floating Market.

8. Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng means fried rice that can be found in Indonesia and Malaysia. This delicious and popular dish includes stir-fried rice, sweet soy sauce, tamarind, shrimp paste, garlic, chili, meat, and vegetables. This street food is also much spicier than Chinese fried rice, so tourists from all over the world make sure not to miss out on this famous dish. Aside from it being well-known in Indonesia and Malaysia, it is also present in Singapore and Sri Lanka.

9. Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of the best street foods to try when in Thailand. This dish is made of rice noodles with fish sauce, eggs, shrimp, tofu, and some ingredients that will boost its overall taste. This is a typical Thai dish that you can find not only at the street stalls everywhere around the country, but also in some restaurants, so you can enjoy the dish out in the market or in a classy environment.

10. Balut

You can never say you have been to the Philippines if you have not eaten a balut. Despite its bizarre appearance, balut is a delicious street food that Filipino people, including some tourists, enjoy in the country. These are fertilized duck eggs that are boiled and sold usually along with a bottle of beer to lessen the strange taste. Basically, what’s inside the egg is still developing, so once cooked, you will see a duck fetus inside and can eat it with some spicy vinegar sauce.

Whether you travel to Asia to visit a family, witness its wonders, or find love, there’s no way you will miss trying the many mouth-watering and appetizing street food. There’s a lot of popular Asian dishes that you can try, most of which are easy to find wherever you go, and the aforementioned are just a few of Asia’s most flavorful foods.

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