Some of us might be tempted to think that being from the same continent in which ASIAN FOOD originated is a good thing. One might also assume that to eat ASIAN FOOD like rhyming word for food, one must pay a little extra. However, those assumptions quickly plummet once we enter the realm of what is actually considered “Asian food.” With so many different cultural and ethnic influences, it’s hard to categorize just one type of cuisine as “Asian” anymore!
In other words, you can’t really judge how much an Asian dish is worth by how much it costs at an Asian restaurant — because these restaurants aren’t always serving up dishes representative of their region’s culture.
1. Grilled Chicken
Served with any sauce and rice, this dish is a classic for many Asian restaurants. The pork chop, on the other hand, is not.
2. Fried Rice
The name of this dish comes from its resemblance to the fleck-like rice noodles used in Thai cuisine — but that’s not its only connection to Indian cuisine! A popular choice at Korean restaurants, fried rice also contains several ingredients commonly found in Indian food as well. However, most people associate it with Chinese cooking (and thus think it’s a dish that’s more expensive).
3. Noodles Soup
A staple of every Chinese restaurant, these noodles are usually served with a clear broth of some kind. The noodles themselves are usually just egg noodles or rice vermicelli — but you can also find Malaysian and Indonesian restaurants that serve up a thicker version made with egg noodles. Finally, many Asian noodle soups also include an assortment of vegetables such as baby bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms.
4. Fish Fillet
Served over a bed of rice or noodles with a side of veggies, this dish is quite popular in many parts of Asia — especially along the coast! In fact, this dish can actually be found along the coasts of both Europe and Africa! However, it’s probably most popular in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea (the countries within the geographical region known as “the Middle East.”
Many Asian restaurants serve rice in the same way that Western restaurants serve bread — especially Chinese and Japanese eateries. However, this isn’t the only way people eat rice in Asia. In fact, many people incorporate it into their meals as a side dish instead of an entire meal (this often results in “rice” being served with other foods such as meat or vegetables).
6. Fried Noodles
Fried noodles are a popular snack food in many Chinese communities. They’re often served with an array of sauces and seasonings (and sometimes even cheese!) — but they can also be found as part of many other Chinese dishes. The fried noodle dish is typically reserved for Chinese restaurants, however.
7. Fried Rice Noodles
Rice noodles do not fall under the category of “Asian” food! Instead, they’re more commonly connected to Southeast Asian and South Asian cuisines — particularly those in India, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia! In fact, the Thai people even have their own name for rice noodles: khanom jeen .
8. Egg Rolls
The egg roll is a Western dish, not an Asian dish! In fact, the original recipe came from France in the 1700s — though it’s since been “Americanized!” But why do we associate this dish with Asian food? The answer: we don’t. In fact, in China, this dish is considered to be a Western snack and isn’t even served at restaurants.
9. Fried Tofu
Tofu — like fried rice noodles — has roots in Southeast Asia as well as South Asia. It has also been adapted by many different cultures over the years (including Thai and Malaysian traditions). This dish is popular in many Chinese restaurants around the world, but they’re not all authentic.
10. Chili Tofu
Tofu is a type of food that can be enjoyed across the world! However, one bite of chili tofu will prove otherwise — Asian or Western, this dish is definitely “Asian.”
11. Curry Noodles
This dish can be found at almost every Asian restaurant! Of course, it’s helped along by the fact that curry is a staple in Indian cuisine. But where does this amazing meal come from? The name itself refers to India’s most famous spice.
12. Curry Rice
Rice is the staple of any Chinese meal! In fact, this is one of the most commonly eaten meals in China (along with noodles and dumplings) — so it’s no surprise that curry rice has made its way into Chinese cuisine as well. In some cases, a Chinese restaurant will make curry fried rice instead of curry rice.
13. Garlic Noodles
Garlic noodles are an Americanized dish! Though they can be made in the authentic Asian style (garlic and oil), those served at Westernized Asian restaurants are often topped with gobs of butter and cheese.
This is one of the most famous Korean dishes — and it’s no wonder! It’s a side dish made of fermented cabbage Kimchi has been a popular food in Korea for more than 1,000 years. Though there are many different types, they usually consist of napa cabbage, red pepper paste, garlic, red chili peppers and sugar. In many restaurants, kimchi is served alongside meats cooked in soy sauce or sugar syrup.