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Asian cuisine includes several regional cuisines – East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian, Central Asian and Middle Eastern.
East Asian cuisine includes Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian and Taiwanese food. Staple foods for this region include rice, noodles, mung beans, soy beans, seafood, mutton, bok choy and tea. There are various forms of Chinese cuisine inspired by the regions – Anhui, Cantonese, Hunan, Szechuan, Zhejiang are just some of these influences. Japanese cuisine generally includes an abundance of seafood and is know for it’s quality of ingredients and presentation.
Sushi and sashimi are part of the cuisine from this island nation. Korean cuisine is known for the number of side dishes that accompany steam cooked rice. Korean barbecue refers to the grilling method of preparing meat and is often done at the diner’s table on gas or charcoal grills.
Mongolian cuisine is influenced by it’s extreme climate and primarily consists of dairy products, meat and animal fats while use of vegetables and spices are limited. Taiwanese cuisine is very similar to Chinese but also has a mixture of Japanese included.
Southeast Asian cuisine has a strong aromatic component to their cooking and features such flavours as citrus and herbs. They often substitute fish sauces for soy sauce when preparing their meals. Vietnamese, Indonesian, Cambodian and food from Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand would be included in this region.
South Asian cuisine includes food from the Indian subcontinent. Dishes from this region are flavoured with various types of chili, black pepper, cloves and other strong herbs and spices. Turmeric and cumin are often used to make the curries that this region is famous for. Beef and pork are often avoided due to Hinduism religious beliefs in this region so lamb, goat and chicken are the main meats used for meals. Naan, a type of flat bread, is very common in these regions as well.
Central Asian cuisine has similar foods as their neighbours, but horse meat and mutton are their most common meats. They also utilize various milk products when cooking. Central Asia is known as the birthplace of yogurt.
West Asian or Middle East cuisine commonly uses olives, olive oil, pitas, honey, dates, chickpeas, mint and parsley in their cooking. Wheat and rice are major staple foods in this region, and lamb, mutton and chicken are the preferred meats. Lebanese cuisine also includes an abundance of starches, fruit and fresh fish and seafood.
North Asian cuisine is often inspired by Russian cuisine due to the location of this region being in the Russian Federation.