The continent of Asia is considered to be the most populated area on earth. Asia is located in the north-eastern hemisphere and includes 48 amazing countries. Each nation has unique traditions, folklore, cuisine, and culture. Typically, the cuisine of countries in Asia consists of ingredients such as noodles, seafood, rice, and soybeans.
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In this article, we will discuss some of the most popular and widely admired sweet and salty Asian snacks. We will explore snacks from Japan, Mongolia, China, Taiwan, India, Korea, Turkey, and many more. So let’s dive into the sweet and savory flavors of Asian snacks.
Asian Snack Names
- Gim Gui
- Apam Balik
- Roti Canai
- Mame Daifuku
- Khanom Khrok
Salty and Savory Asian Snacks
When thinking of Asian snacks, it is impossible not to mention Turkish Kumpir. Kumpir is actually the whole baked potato. After it is baked in the oven, it comes out flame-hot and is immediately topped with various toppings. This Asian snack has especially become popular in recent years and is considered to be a must-try snack for all tourists that go to Turkey.
It is believed that the snack was first imported to Turkey from Yugoslavia and then modified. Typically, the hot potatoes are cut in half, and the inside part is mixed with cheese, butter, and sour cream. After that, typically you will be asked what your topping preferences are. This can include anything from olives to bacon.
In Turkey, you can get Kumpir at any restaurant, cafe, or street vendor. Walking around the streets of Istanbul while enjoying the delicious creaminess of Kumpir sounds like a miracle, right?
If you plan to visit Indonesia, you must definitely try their famous Asian snack, Goregaon. Goregaon is a deep-fried appetizer that consists of several components. The fritters, whether savory or sweet, are often made using egg batter and a variety of ingredients, including tofu, bananas, sweet potatoes, tempeh, or jackfruit.
Before they are cooked, the ingredients can either be lightly dipped or coarsely chopped and added to the batter. These Asian snacks are consumed as street food and are often found in the marketplaces. Aci Goreng (fried tapioca dough), Ubi Goreng (sweet potatoes), Pisang Goreng (bananas), Tahu Goreng (fried tofu), and Singkong Goreng are some of the more well-known variants. However, they occur in an almost infinite variety of combinations.
Zhaliang is a Cantonese term for classic Chinese crullers that are deep-fried and then wrapped in sheets of silky, nearly transparent rice. Zhaliang, like the simple cruller, is commonly eaten for breakfast, but it is also a component of authentic Cantonese dim sum dinners.
These Chinese snacks come with a distinctive soy sauce that is sweetened and can either be used as part of the meal or offered on the side. Zhaliang snacks are typically eaten fresh to preserve the crunch and softness of the crullers. They are chopped into bite-sized pieces for ease of eating, and on the top, the sesame seeds are sprinkled.
The Indian snack known as Bonda is small and fried. It is created with a spicily spiced mashed potato mixture that is covered with gram flour batter and deep-fried till crispy, earning it the name “potato Bonda.” The original Bonda is thought to have come from southern India and only contains mashed potatoes.
Different variations of this delicious treat are found across India. One of the varieties that is native to the northern part of India is called Batata Vada. These snacks are frequently sold by street vendors across the nation and are one of the most loved to-go Asian snacks. There are other regional variations in Kerala where potatoes are not used; instead, ingredients such as lentils, sweet potatoes, tapioca, and minced meat are included.
5. Gim Gui
Gim Gui is a very easy yet delectable Korean side dish made from crispy, salty, roasted seaweed. These Asian snacks are frequently seen in bento boxes because of their deliciousness and substantial amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Due to its excessive salinity, gim gui is sometimes eaten with a cold beer on the side.
For centuries, the cooks of Korea would roast their own seaweed, even though gim gui is now available in most supermarkets. When beer is unavailable, gim gui seaweed can be combined with freshly cooked white rice and eaten as a complete meal as a snack.
Sweet Asian Snacks
Sweet Asian snacks are truly a thing. The variations and wide range of ingredients make amazing treats that can be enjoyed by everybody and will eventually win your heart. One of the most widely used ingredients in sweets coming from Asia is rice, soy, beans, and nuts.
This time, let’s discuss some of the loved sweets from Asia, including Apam Balik, Pitha, Mame Daifuku, Doushabao, Injeolmi, and Khanom Khrok.
6. Apam Balik
Apam Baliks are traditional Asian snacks that can be found in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore. This snack has several different names, but they all describe amazing, sweet turnover pancakes.
This sweet treat can be either thin and crispy or soft and sick, similar to pancakes. The pancakes are then folded and the delicious filling is trapped inside. Typically, the herd includes sugar, butter, ground peanuts, corn, raisins, and chocolate. The ingredients can be modified and changed according to tastes and preferences.
7. Roti Canai
Traditional pan-fried flatbread from Malaysia, prepared from wheat, water, eggs, and grease, is known as Roti Canai. Roti canai is made by continuously folding the dough, resulting in a finished product with a soft, delicious center and a crispy outside. Ghee, the conventional Indian clarified butter, is the most often used fat in roti canai.
This crispy pastry is one of the most loved Asian snacks and is typically served simply, in its classic round shape, as a side dish to curries.
Pitha is a broad category of bread and pastries that are popular in India and Bangladesh. Typically, this sweet or savory snack is made from rice flour, although wheat or maize flour can also be utilized. The majority of Pitha variations are produced as little cookies or dumplings with fillings made of various veggies, nuts, or spices.
Simpler Pithas are made with coconut and jaggery as their fillings, but more elaborate ones frequently have cheese, lentils, and veggies. In Bangladesh, Pithas are often saved for major events like weddings, family reunions, and harvest festivals like Nabanna and Poush Barban.
9. Mame Daifuku
A popular Japanese confection from the Edo era is called Mame Daifuku. The treat is a rice cake that comes with soybeans, azuki beans, and anko. Mame daifuku can also be eaten with coffee and is frequently served during Japanese tea rituals. Typically, people eat the Mame daifuku on the same day that it is made.
There are many different types of Daifuku, mainly because they are made from fruits like anko, cocoa, and sugar. Variations include Yomogi, Shio, Awa, Ichigo, Ume, Coffee, Mont Blanc, and Purin Daifuku.
10. Khanom Khrok
This little Thai treat, which is also known as a pancake, pudding, or cake, is made with a batter made of coconut milk and rice flour. It is normally made in two phases, with a batter that comes with the crispy layer and a gently sweetened coconut milk cream filling. The delicacy is cooked in huge iron pans with small, circular indentations.
Slices of taro, maize, pumpkin, or scallions are commonly added to the filling that resembles custard. A common street meal in Thailand, it is a fast and substantial snack that strikes an excellent balance between sweet and salty ingredients.
Chinese steamed buns called doushabao are soft and delicious and filled with silky red bean paste. They belong to the baozi group and were developed in China, but modern international trade in traditional Chinese food has made them widely available.
The Doushabao is a delicious everyday snack, a full dessert, or a healthy breakfast because of the tasty mix of the red bean filling and shite dough. When biting into the Doushabao, the sweet taste creates a feeling of satisfaction and sets the mood.
Steamed rice cakes known as injeolmi are traditional South Korean snacks. In order to make them, rice is cooked and ground into a flexible dough, then rolled and liberally sprinkled with the soybean powder that has been roasted well. Ssuk injeolmi, which contains mugwort powder, and kkaeinjeolmi, which is sprinkled with black sesame, are two main types of those amazing Asian snacks.
These cakes are said to have been created by a commoner named Yim, who later presented them to King Injo after the latter had fled Seoul owing to an uprising. The monarch gave the dish its creator’s name as a mark of gratitude. Injeolmi is mostly consumed nowadays on special occasions and is often served in small, rectangular, bite-size pieces.
Asian snacks are truly worthy of recognition. The Asian people have been making delicious snacks for centuries and have mastered sweet and salty dishes. It is impossible not to be amazed by the salty, savory, and sweetened snacks that rule the Eastern part of the world. In this article, we discussed several Asian snacks that every visitor has to try to get a true taste of Asia.
Nato is a content writer and researcher with a background in psychology. She’s passionate about writing about the candy industry and exploring the cultural significance of sweets and treats. She believes that the stories behind our favorite snacks can reveal a great deal about our values.
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