5 Must-Try Asian Dishes You’ve Never Heard of + Where to Find Them

Contributed by: Traveling Spoon

Spoiler Alert: There is more to Asian cooking than Pad See Ew or Fried Rice from your local take out joint. As we traveled throughout Southeast Asia and China, something magical happened in the homes of our local hosts:  we’d never heard of most, if not all, of our favorite dishes.

Read on to learn about our five favorite dishes you haven’t heard of, the home cooks who make them, and about how you can try them on your next travels by visiting a local home and sharing authentic, home-cooked recipes passed down through generations.

Mumbai_DahiWadaDahi Wada are airy lentil dumplings drenched in a cool yoghurt sauce drizzled over with tangy tamarind chutney, green mint chutney and sev, crispy lentil vermicelli that you find in Indian homes. Our host Pallavi in Mumbai artfully prepares dahi wada and serves it to you in her Mumbai home.

Asian dishes Nikujaga​Nikujaga is a traditional Japanese meat and potato stew simmered in sake, Mirin, soy sauce and sugar. Our host Keiko specializes in Obanzai cooking (loosely translated as “mother’s cooking”, a method of comfort food cooking distinct to Kyoto that relies heavily on vegetables and meat, prepared simply, with ingredients that are seasonal and local to the Kyoto region.

Asian dishes, fish lime saucePla neung manao, whole fish delicately steamed in lemongrass, galangal and fresh Thai herbs and finished in a spicy lime sauce will make you wish for it every time you eat Thai food. Visit Pia in her home in the central Sukhumvit neighborhood of Bangkok and learn to cook authentic Thai dishes that you won’t find in restaurants, and share a private experience and meal together.

Asian dishes, Turkish KarniyarikKarniyarik, stuffed eggplant with mincemeat and tomatoes served with rice or pasta over wine is the perfect way to enjoy one of Turkey’s most delicious ingredients. Ipek and Nuray are a mother-daughter team who truly enjoy feeding people and sharing their Turkish culture and cuisine in their modern Istanbul apartment.

Asian dishes, Ssam BulgogiBulgogi, slivers of pork marinated in Asian pear, soy sauce, gochujang and sesame oil, stir fried and wrapped in fresh greens, is an addictive Korean dish. Jessie, a young food blogger, will treat you to bulgogi made with Jessie’s mom’s homemade gochujang, red chili paste in her modern apartment in the Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul.

Visit Traveling Spoon to learn to cook and share delicious homemade dishes with the best cooks in their homes around the world!

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on Sept. 4th.

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