Try the world's best foods across Asia
Thoughts of delicious dishes may bring you to places like France or Italy, but according to CNN Travel's World's 50 best foods, the most mouthwatering morsels are in the far East. The CNN food list is the result of a survey taken by thousands from across the world, and the most popular plates are all Asian in origin. From Thailand's pad Thai to Japanese sushi and from Peking duck in China to Rendang in Indonesia, these Eastern delicacies are food lover favorites.
For travelers seeking a food tour of a lifetime, Asia is the place to go. Interesting spices and unique combinations are sure to excite tourist taste buds and open visitors up to a whole new world of tasty flavors. Here are some descriptions of some of the greatest meals the region has to offer, according to the polls.
It does not take a trip to Japan to know what exactly sushi is. However, some of the best sushi in the world can only be found in the island nation. Voted the third best food in the world, sushi from Japan is a testament to the fact that great food can come in simple, bite-sized packages. The common sushi dish is all about a combination of rice and raw seafood served with a side of pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi. Sushi can be as simple as a piece of sliced raw fish - called sashimi - or as complex as a multi-layered fried soft-shell crab roll with cucumber, avocado and roe. Its diversity is one of its great qualities. Just go easy on the wasabi.
Chinese Peking duck
Pleasing everyone can be difficult, especially in a country as densely populated as China, but Peking duck is known for its popularity with the locals. An internationally known Chinese delicacy, Peking duck is valued for its crisp, flavorful skin. Often a truly authentic Peking duck dish will feature more skin than meat. Traditionally it is served with mandarin pancakes and hoisin sauce. Peking duck is a must for any traveler visiting Beijing. Quanjude is a Beijing restaurant famous for its Peking duck roasted using a hung-oven roasting method developed by the restaurant's founder. The oven is fueled using aromatic, non-smoking fruit wood fuel to add fragrance and a unique flavor. For authentic Peking duck, there is no place like Beijing.
Indonesia is home to the top two favorite foods in the world. Nasi Goreng, basically a fried rice, was the runner up, only being surpassed by the food legend known as rendang. Voted as the best food in the world, according to the CNN poll, Rendang is masterpiece among Asian cuisines. It takes a great deal of time and skill to make this famed curry. Beef is slowly simmered with coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, tumeric, ginger and chilies. After hours of stewing, the beef is made perfectly tender. This dish is often saved for special occasions in Indonesia, but visitors should not forego the opportunity to taste this world class dish in its country of origin.
Thailand pad Thai
This stir fried rice noodle dish a favorite in Thailand. Simple to make and flavorful, the rice noodles are combined with egg, tofu, tamarind pulp, fish sauce, shrimp, garlic, red chili peppers and palm sugar. Many cooks will add a combination of vegetables to the dish as well. Pad Thai has a rich history in Thailand and is commonly served by street vendors. While pad Thai has gained a great deal of popularity worldwide, the authentic pad Thai of of Thailand promises a cultural twist and time-tested recipes.
For travelers with a taste for spice, South Africa also has a wide variety of delicious and cultural foods. Chakalaka, with origins in Johannesburg, is a fiery mixture of vegetables served with curries or bread that is sure to make mouths water.