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Traveller Guide: Food Edition

Street food for the soul

In addition to being rich in culture and tradition, Asia has an array of unique street food to devour. From fried bugs in Cambodia to a multitude of curries in the subcontinent, a trip to Asia guarantees a food adventure of a lifetime. With so many options, it is easy to be overwhelmed by choices. Hence, we have prepared this guide to help you get started on your gastronomic journey.

1. Stinky Tofu – Taiwan

True to its name, stinky tofu can be smelled from miles away. The popular Taiwanese street food is pungent, but fans claim that the smellier the tofu, the better the taste. Locals recommend that you do not leave the city without trying it at least once.
The tofu is fermented in a brine that may include fermented milk, salt water, herbs and shrimps and is left for months to perfect the fermentation process. It is generally deep fried in vegetable oil and served with chilli and soy sauce to help mask the smell.

2. Takoyaki – Japan

Takoyaki are fried golden balls filled with diced octopus, tenkasu, pickled ginger and spring onion. Stand watch as takoyaki vendors flip these treats in the air with the grace of well practiced masters. Eat these tasty treats while they are piping hot, as they will be slightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and delicious throughout.

3. Phở – Vietnam

Vietnam’s national treasure, phở, brings you complementary textures, delicious flavors, and a taste of this bustling country. First to enter your mouth is the tangy broth that is warm and soothing, followed by flaming chillies with that spicy kick. Altogether, this is the perfect choice for a quick and light meal on the go.

4. Tarantula – Cambodia

For the adventurous at heart, we dare you to try Cambodia’s popular delicacy - deep fried tarantula, commonly known as ‘a-ping’. The spiders are prepared with sugar and salt before being deep fried in hot oil. These savoury treats are served with lime and pepper to enhance their flavour.
‘A-ping’ is most popular during the rainy season, and locals reveal that the taste is similar to crab or prawn legs.

5. Chicken Rice - Singapore

Hainanese chicken rice is a must-try dish in Singapore! Commonly found throughout the island from food courts to high-end establishments, it is one of the national dishes of Singapore. It consists of simple ingredients such as poached chicken, fragrant rice, and chicken broth served with a special concoction of chilli sauce and ginger paste.

6. Asam Laksa – Malaysia

This deliciously sour dish delivers exactly what its name promises. Aptly named Asam after the Malay word for 'sour', this dish gets its sour flavour from the tang of tamarind, which is mixed with an assortment of vegetables unique to the Southeast Asian region. Shredded fish and shrimp paste tops this dish. Put these ingredients together, and you have yourself a winning meal.

7. Vada Pav– India

Native to the state of Maharashtra, this street food is loved by people all over India. With a spicy potato fritter neatly tucked between two buns with layers of spicy green and garlic chutney, this dish is best eaten like a burger! To fully appreciate this delicacy, add a pinch of red chilli powder and squeeze out a slice of lime.  

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