Monday, 20 August 2012

Greatest street food cities in Asia

Greatest street food cities in Asia
IF FOOD is one of your greatest pleasures on earth, then Asia won't disappoint.

Lifestyle website CNNGo has named 10 of Asia's greatest street food cities, describing some of these humble beginnings.

Penang was listed as one of the top cities with best hawker fare, Sin Chew Daily reported.

Of course, street food heavyweights like Taiwan and Bangkok were not left out of the list.

Singapore has been named too for her famous chicken rice dish - arguably the Republic's national dish - and Katong Laksa.

But before some of these dishes became world famous, did you know they came from rolling carts on wheels?

We bring you highlights of the best street food grub in Asia and show you a list of must-try snacks from each city, as suggested by CNNGo. Let your Asian food trail begin!
Greatest street food cities in Asia
1. Penang - Char kway teow

Look out for those served on a banana leaf - apparently, it is more fragrant when served that way.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
1. Penang - Hokkien mee

According to CNNGo, you'll find this noodle dish in Penang is deliciously different as the chewy egg noodles and thin, white rice vermicelli is drenched in prawn and pork bone-based broth. The locals like to have it for breakfast. If you find that it is too heavy for the first meal of the day, share a bowl with your travel companion.

OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Penang Assam Laksa, Wanton Mee, Nasi Kandar, Rojak, Lor Bak, Curry Mee, Kway Chap and Ice Kacang.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
2. Taipei
When in Taipei, street stalls are a sight you should never exclude from your sightseeing itinerary. According to CNNGo, Taipei's street food might have some of its roots in China but the Taiwanese have put their own twist, flavouring their dishes with star anise, Taiwanese basil, chilis, pickled vegetables, white pepper and cilantro.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
2. Taipei - Beef noodles

Called Niu rou mian in Mandarin, this handmade noodle dish is served in spicy soup. Served on the side is finely chopped ginger and garlic, chilli flakes in oil and pickled mustard greens. The noodles taste best when you throw all that in and toss!
Greatest street food cities in Asia
2. Taipei - Stinky tofu

Want a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Then you have to try this dish. According to CNNGo, the street vendors make the best smelly toufus as they are handmade and not mass manufactured. Once you get past the smell before putting a piece in your month, the smell should not be as pungent when you are chewing - that's when you should try and savour it for what it's worth.

OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Sheng jian bao (pork-stuffed dumplings with sesame seeds), Oyster Mee Sua, Pork Belly Bun, Black Pepper Pie, Bean Curd Pudding with Pearl Jellies, Taiwanese Meatballs, Scallion Pancake, Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang (big sausage wrapped around small sausage).
Greatest street food cities in Asia
3. Bangkok
The Thai street food culture comes from the habit of locals eating many small meals throughout the day, reported CNNGo. It also said that the street food is so plentiful that one does not need to step in a restaurant at all during your stint there. As you immerse yourself into Thai culture, try having small meals throughout the day too - that way you can sample more street food and perhaps, stand to save more money as well.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
3. Bangkok - Cha yen

The iced tea drink is much like "teh beng" in Singapore, which is black tea mixed with condensed milk and served with ice, but the Thai concoction is blended with star anise and crushed tamarind seeds.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
3. Bangkok - Som tam

The famous Thai appetiser made from unripe green papaya and peanuts is refreshingly yummy. While you may be able to find this dish in Cambodia and Laos, the Thai version is tastier as it has a wicked mixed of sweet, sour and spicy flavours.

OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Pad See Ew, Som Tam (papaya salad), Moo Ping (grilled pork skewers), Boat Noodles, Khao Pad Poo, Moo Dad Diew (deep fried pork in chilli sauce), Kanom Jeen, Khao Niew Ma Muang (sticky rice paired with mango and coconut milk) and Khanom Krok (coconut pudding).
Greatest street food cities in Asia
4. Fukuoka
Only one city in Japan is known for its street food scene and that is Fukuoka, said the CNNGo report. Every evening street vendors will set up stalls, better known as yatai, serving sake and shochu with local specialties. According to the report, the most stalls can be found at the southern end of Nakasu Island near Tenjing station.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
4. Fukuoka - Hakata gyoza

The Hakata gyoza originated from the Fukuoka yatai, reported CNNGo. What's special about it is that they pan-fried dumplings are served hot and crisp on the iron frying pan.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
4. Fukuoka - Tonkotsu ramen

Fukuoka is famous for Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, served with straight, thin noodles, cha shu (braised pork belly), red pickled ginger and fresh minced garlic in creamy, whitish soup made from pork bones and fat.

OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Yakitori, Mentaiko (spicy pollack roe), Tempura, Motsunabe, Iwashi Mentaiko (sardines stuffed with pollack roe, Yaki Ramen, Chicken Tsukune and Bacon Maki.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
5. Hanoi
Signature Vietnamese dishes like pho and bun cha were birthed from the sidewalks of Hanoi's streets. The food preparation and ambience maybe unsavoury for some but you haven't tasted the flavour of Hanoi until you have not tasted the street food in local settings of short stools and low tables
Greatest street food cities in Asia
5. Hanoi - Bun rieu cua

This all-in-one meal will be a hit among crab lovers as the broth is from crabs, which is made into a tangy tomato soup. It is often served with rice vermicelli, mashed crabmeat and deep-fried tofu.

OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Bun Cha, Barbeque Chicken, Sticky Rice, Iced Coffee, Nem Cua Be (crab meat spring rolls), Chao Ca, Banh Cuon and Muc Nuong (dried squid).
Greatest street food cities in Asia
5. Hanoi - Pho

The world famous Vietnamese dish had its humble beginnings on the streets of Hanoi. Locals usually have it for breakfast. And pho ga chicken) and pho bo (beef) are the two most popular versions.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
6. Singapore
Open-air food streets are few these days with the famous ones located at Chinatown Street, Lau Pat Sat and Glutton's Bay at the Esplanade. But good street food - with different flavours from Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures - can also be found in hawker centres and food courts.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
6. Singapore - Chicken rice

Manyatimes, this dish has been called the country's national dish. Widely available, you'll find it almost all the food courts and hawker centres.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
6. Singapore - Laksa

The best way to eat laksa is to slurp it up with a spoon. For those who can take spicy food, add more sambal chilli for added zest.
OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Kaya Toast, Chilli Crab, Sambal Stingray, Otah, Hokkein Mee, Satay, Chai Tao Kway and Roti Prata.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
7. Seoul
Pojangmacha, which means "covered wagons", can be found a busy shopping streets. Vendors operate portable restaurants popular among the working crowd looking for a quick bite after work. It is also a perfect place to have a cheap beer in Seoul, said CNNGo.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
7. Seoul - Gimbap

It's like a Korean version of sushi in which anything can be wrapped in it. But the Koreans usually include vegetables as the main ingredients.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
7. Seoul - Haemul pajeon

A savoury pancake with shrimp, oysters, squid and clams is a popular appetiser dish.

OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Tteokbokki (rice cakes), Sundae (Korean blood sausage), Hotteok (flat cinnamon pancake), Odeng (fishcakes), Gamja-dog, Bungeoppang (sweet pancake in shape of fish), Mandu (dumplings) and Dakkochi (meat skewers).

Greatest street food cities in Asia
8. Xi'an
The city's cuisine is influenced by the local Shaanxi people and the Muslim Hui population. Over at the Muslim Quarter, you'll find the air filled with barbequed mutton as small restaurants spill out onto the street. Night markets is also a good place to find snacks of both cultures.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
8. Xi'an - Majiang liang pi

A Shaaxi specialty, the local dish is white wheat noodles served with tangy vinegar, chilli oil and black sesame paste.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
8. Xi'an - Rou jia mo

Meat filling -usually beef or mutton - is stuffed in a flatbread bun. The hamburger dish has become popular throughout China.

OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Yang Rou Chuan (lamb kebabs), Shi Zi Bing (orange pastry with persimmons), Kao Anchun Dan (grilled quail eggs), Xun Rou Da Bing (smoked pork pancake), Babao Meigui Jing Gao (sticky rice cakes), Guan Tang Baozi (dumplings), Jian Bing Guo Zi (crepes) and Dao Xiao Min (handcut wheat noodles).
Greatest street food cities in Asia
9. Manila
Most vendors are mobile and walk up and down the street peddling their snacks. Most food comes deep-fried, which is a sure way to put on calories but it is also the hawkers' sure way of killing germs in raw food. Due to the tropical clime, cooling drinks and sweet desserts are also popular in Manila, said CNNGo.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
9. Manila - Balut
One of the quirkier snacks of Manila but no street food list will be complete without it, said CNNGo. It is a fertilised duck egg where the embryo is allow to grow up to three weeks then cooked for sale. Don't be alarmed if you see an almost full-grown duckling and even some tiny feathers.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
9. Manila - Kwek kwek

Deep-fried quail eggs served with vinegar sauce.

OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Tsitsaron (deep-fried salted pork rinds), Taho (silken tofu drink with brown sugar), SIlog (fried rice with egg), Isaw (barbequed skewers), Kikiam (eggroll), Fish balls and Banana Cue.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
10. Phnom Penh
The Cambodians like to snack so you'll find stationary food stalls or roving vendors throughout the day, especially near markets and schools. Unlike the Filipinos, the locals like their snacks char-grilled.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
10. Phnom Penh - Num pang

Getting the influence from its former French colonel masters, the baguettes are stuffed with a fusion of eastern and western ingredients.
Greatest street food cities in Asia
10. Phnom Penh - Fresh fruits

The fruits are often eaten with some MSG, sugar and chilli.

OTHER MUST-TRY DISHES: Nom Bahn Chok (noodles in green fish curry), Num Plae Ai (coconut dumpling dessert), Bai Sach Chrouk (grilled pork rice), Coconut water, Mi Char (fried noodles), Kuy Teav (pork or beef soup noodles), Ngeav Chamhoy (cockles) and Num Sang Khya L'peou (pumpkin with egg yolk).

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