Travel through Asia: Cuisine is an integral part

Cuisine is an integral part of any travel through Asia as it ties together its history and culture and is a key ingredient in all kinds of celebrations. While traveling through Asia, make sure to try some of the following delicacies.

Known as a top delicacy around the world, Beijing Roast Duck has crisp skin and tender meat, and is usually sliced into many thin pieces. The slices of duck are wrapped in specially prepared thin pancakes together with other seasonings.

Dim Sum, Char Sui and Fresh Seafood are all must-eats in Hong Kong but don’t forget to start ther day off right with a tasty breakfast. The flaky cream filled egg tart is the perfect companion to a cup of milk tea, a lightly sweetened black tea drink dating back to Hong Kong’s colonial days. Enjoy these local delicacies at any one of the city’s neighborhood tea shops before venturing out for a day of adventure.

Food in India ranges in variety, taste, and flavor and due to the great geographical diversity of the country, each region has its own cuisine and style of preparation. Indian cuisine, renowned for its exotic gravies, immense variety of flavors, spices, and curry seems complicated for any newcomer. An authentic Indian curry is an intricate combination of a stir-fried masala (spice) - a mixture of onion, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes; various spices and seasonings with which meat; poultry, vegetables or fish is prepared to produce a stew-type dish.

Detail of the Chinese Flag Flying, Yangtze (Yangtse) (Yangzi) River, China, Asia

Detail of the Chinese Flag Flying, Yangtze (Yangtse) (Yangzi) River, China, Asia

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Kaiseki Ryori is regarded as Japan's most exquisite specialty. It is a traditional multi-course haute cuisine consisting mainly of vegetables and fish with a seasoning base of seaweed and mushrooms. The dish is characterized by its refined savor and the meticulous beauty in their presentation. Today, Kaiseki is served in specialized restaurants or can be enjoyed it at a ryokan (Japanese style inn).

Bibimbap is a dish made by mixing rice with a variety of cooked vegetables. It is pleasing to the eye, and full of nutrients. The city of Jeonju’s version of Bibimbap is the most popular in Korea.

As the birthplace of fusion cuisine, Macau will have something to please all palates. Macanese cuisine combines elements from not just China and Portugal, but all the places that the Portuguese visited during their years of traveling around the world. In Africa and India the Portuguese learned how to use spices with the result that Macau's most popular dishes include African and Goan's elents, like Macau's signature dishes: African chicken and Devils Prawns; all baked or grilled with peppers and chilies. Macau's Dim Sums are also renowed around the world as the most creative and delicious. At the end of your meal, make sure to try one of Macau's signature deserts: Portuguese Egg Tarts, almond cookies, coconut cake or Serradura, a delicious pudin made of cookies.

A visit to the Philippines would not be complete without savoring Pancit, an all-encompassing term for countless kinds of dishes of rice, corn or egg noodles, which is a favorite meal or snack all over the islands. Among the favorites, pancit palabok and pancit luglug both use round rice noodle smothered with a thick, golden shrimp sauce and topped with shrimp, bits of pork rind, hard-boiled eggs, smoked fish and freshly minced green onion. On the other hand, pancit Malabon draws heavily from the seafood available in the busy fish port city from where it derives its name and may include fresh shrimp, squid, oysters as well as hard-boiled duck or hen eggs and tender slivers of pork.

What do you get when you combine Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian flavors with aromatic herbs and spices, such as lemongrass, chillies, and shrimp paste that is unique to Singapore? Peranakan cuisine! Notably Singaporean Laksa, a dish consisting of noodles, fishcake, prawns, cockles and chopped bean sprouts served in a spicy coconut-based soup is the most popular of Peranakan cuisine. However, as most Peranakan recipes go, it has since developed into several variations based on influences from around the region. Laksa lemak, named for its rich and creamy coconut gravy, is a variant unique to Singapore.

Siam Sunrays is based on the Thai ingredients that have made Tom Yam soup world renowned including freshly-picked lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai lime and Thai bird chili (phrik kee nuu). All these play a key part in the unique culinary experience Thailand has to offer and leave the first-time visitor with a very distinct and long-lasting impression. The recipe for this revitalizing cocktail drink, which also calls for coconut liqueur, was created by Surasakdi Pantaisong, winner of the 2008 Bar Tender Championship hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Thai Hotel Association.

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