This is a list of Asian cuisines, by region. A cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, usually associated with a specific culture or region. Asia, being the largest and most populous continent, has many great cuisines.
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.
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". 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.
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.
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)
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.
Cantonese comes from Guangdong Province in southern China. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food (旬, shun), quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese regional cuisine includes a vast array of regional specialities known as kyōdo ryōri in Japanese, many of them originating from dishes prepared using local ingredients and traditional recipes.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).
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.
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.
Korean cuisine originated from ancient prehistoric traditions in the Korean peninsula, evolving through a complex interaction of environmental, political, and cultural trends. Korean cuisine is largely based upon rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes (banchan) that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi is served often, sometimes at every meal. Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and gochujang (fermented red chili paste). Korean regional cuisine (Korean: hyangto eumsik, literally "native local foods"), is characterized by local specialties and distinctive styles within Korean cuisine. The divisions reflected historical boundaries of the provinces where these food and culinary traditions were preserved until modern times. Korean barbecue, or gogi gui, refers to the Korean method of grilling beef, pork, chicken, or other types of meat. Such dishes are often prepared at the diner's table on gas or charcoal grills that are built into the center of the table itself. It features cooking methods such as sautéing and what is known in the West as barbecue. Strong flavors featuring spices derived from chili peppers can also be found in dishes such as kimchi.
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. 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.
Afghan cuisine – cuisine of the Afghan people, largely based upon Afghanistan's chief crops: cereals like wheat, maize, barley and rice. Accompanying these staples are dairy products (yogurt and wheat), various nuts, and native vegetables, as well as fresh and dried fruits. Lamb is the primary meat for many Afghans, although Turkic peoples also eat horse. Afghanistan is also well known for its grapes.
Bhutanese cuisine employs a lot of red rice (like brown rice in texture, but with a nutty taste, the only variety of rice that grows at high altitudes), buckwheat, and increasingly maize. The diet in the hills also includes chicken, yak meat, dried beef, pork, pork fat, and mutton. When offered food, one says meshu meshu, covering one's mouth with the hands in refusal according to Bhutanese manners, and then gives in on the second or third offer.
Bengali cuisine is a style of food preparation originating in Bengal, a region in eastern South Asia which is now divided between the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, and Barak Valley of Assam and the independent country of Bangladesh. Bengali food has inherited a large number of influences, both foreign and South Asian, arising from historical and strong trade links with many parts of the world.
East Indian Cuisine (East Indians are an ethnic group from Bombay in the West of India) The East Indian cuisine is distinct to the community and includes delicacies such as the vajri curry or goat tripe curry, chicken tope, sorpotel, khudi curries and many more.
Southeast Asian cuisine emphasizes lightly prepared dishes with strong aromas, featuring such flavors as citrus, mint, coriander (also known as Chinese parsley), and basil. 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.
Bruneian cuisine is similar to, and heavily influenced by, the cuisine of neighboring Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, with additional influences from India, China, Thailand, and Japan.
Burmese cuisine has been influenced greatly by China, India and Thailand. However, Burmese cuisine has retained unique preparation techniques and distinct flavors, and there are many regional variations of "standard" dishes. The Burmese eat with their right hand, forming rice into a small ball with only the fingertips and mixing this with various morsels before popping it into their mouths. The Burmese eat a great variety of vegetables and fruits, and all kinds of meat. A very popular vegetable is the danyin thi, which is usually boiled or roasted and dipped in salt, oil and sometimes, cooked coconut fat.
Cambodian cuisine is another name for the foods and cuisine widely consumed in Cambodia. The food of Cambodia includes tropical fruits, rice, noodles, drinks, dessert and various soups.
Eurasian cuisine of Singapore and Malaysia is characterized by Portuguese, Dutch, British, Chinese, Malay, and also Indian and Peranakan influences. Within this cuisine ingredients in European dishes are replaced or complemented by Asian ingredients. The other way around, European ingredients are used in Asian dishes.
Sundanese cuisine is the cuisine of Sundanese people of West Java, Indonesia. In Sundanese restaurants, it is common to eat with one's hands. They usually serve kobokan, a bowl of tap water with a slice of lime for handwashing.
Laotian cuisine is the cuisine of Laos, which is distinct from other Southeast Asian cuisines. Laos shares borders with neighboring countries and as a result, Lao cuisine has strongly influenced the neighboring cuisine of Northeastern Thailand (Isan) and some Lao culinary influences have also reached Cambodia and Northern Thailand (Lanna).
Malaysian cuisine reflects the multicultural aspects of Malaysia. Various ethnic groups in Malaysia have their own dishes, but many dishes in Malaysia are derived from multiple ethnic influences. Spices, aromatic herbs and roots are all used in Malaysian cuisine.
Omani cuisine is generally very simple, with the aid of many spices and marinades to complete a dish, which usually consists of chicken, fish, and mutton. Unlike many other Asian nations, Omani cuisine is not spicy, and varies between regions.
Israeli cuisine comprises a mixture of dishes—from those brought back to Israel by Jews from the Diaspora, those from Jews who remained in the region, and those adopted from surrounding Arab inhabitants. Since before the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948, and particularly since the late 1970s, an Israeli fusion cuisine has developed.
Lebanese cuisine includes an abundance of starches, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat, and when red meat is eaten it is usually lamb on the coast and goat meat in the mountain regions.
Syrian cuisine is a diffusion of the cultures of civilizations that settled in Syria, particularly during and after the Islamic era beginning with the Arab Umayyad conquest, then the eventual Persian-influenced Abbasids and ending with the strong influences of Turkish cuisine, resulting from the coming of the Ottoman Turks.