Friday, May 27, 2016

Asian fare is colorful, tasty, healthy, and reflective of each culture, country

Pick out your glass of fruit and vegetables, and it will be blended with juices or coconut milk for a smoothie in Thailand.

A buffet in any Asian country will always include
plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, here in Singapore.
Fried insects are a crunchy snack
in several Asian countries, here
on the colorful streets of Bangkok.





Bite into kiritanpo, taste the dim sum, then maybe try a curry or tempura




STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER

Hong Kong's famed Langham Hotel's formal banquet room,
features a beautifully set table waiting for the owner's party.
DINING IN Asia is like going to an
edible museum. Even the "eat and run" street stalls have a sense of color, texture and style.
A bowl of noodles can look enticing, with a bit of garnish and chopsticks nicely crossed.
Grasshoppers, anyone?
But an elaborate feast in Asia, well, that is a treat.
Cookie and Keller toast between
courses on a river cruise in Vietnam.
MOST ASIAN cultures -- particularly Japan -- love to take time to enjoy a meal -- whether sampling only a bowl of delectable rice dumplings, known as kiritanpo, or partaking of a leisurely meal of fresh sushi.
Serve up a side of sansai, or mountain vegetables, and the country's exceptional quality rice.
We ate our way through eight satisfying days in Tokyo and another month of healthy dining in Vietnam, Thailand
and Singapore, with a few tasty days in Hong Kong. Easy on the meat, because it's mostly a flavoring or accent. Fine with us!
This fish section in Japan offered at least two dozen varieties.


WE VISITED villages on our bikes, celebrating the rich cultures known for their savvy use of seasonal farm-fresh offerings and nature's bountiful gifts from the sea.
Each country has a little dumpling like treat.  We tried the kiritanpo-nabe, a delicious hot pot and staple of the diet in several parts of Japan. Stars of the dish are those tasty rice dumplings, kneaded then toasted.
In a Vietnam restaurant, salads and soups are individually
prepared and garnished with additional bits of veggies. 
WE SAMPLED several delicious bento, or box lunches, artfully prepared and a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. This lovely meal is a single-portion "food bouquet" in Japan.
Asian cuisine refers to many major regional cuisines, including East Asian, Southeast Asian, South and even Middle-Eastern.
A bento box often contains soup, salad or pickles, sushi and tempura. 
A cuisine earns its stripes with a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, associated with the specific culture.  In Hong Kong, you'll find noodles and dumplings.  In Thailand and Vietnam, lots of veggies and small-bites to sample, with more emphasis on spice -- particularly hot pepper.
Asia, as our largest and most populous continent, is home to many cultures, each with its own characteristic cuisine. 
A friend has visited all 23 of China's provinces and swears each has a different, if subtle, method of cooking and serving its fare.
WE FOUND some similar staple ingredients throughout our Asia visit. Rice, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, chilies, dried onions, soy, and tofu cross borders and cultural lines. Stir frying and steaming are
Fragrant green tea often accompanies
a tasty, colorful Asian meal.
also found throughout the Continent.
While rice is common to most Asian cuisines, we noticed more varieties than we'd ever thought possible. The range hops from basmati on the subcontinent, to Jasmine, and many kinds of long-grain and short-grain varieties.
I'VE A fondness for curry, and found that in each of the countries we visited. We also discovered dozens of noodles, beans and seafood throughout, and as many kinds of cabbage as we westerners have lettuce.
Tea accompanies most meals, since Asian cultures have long known its detoxification and purification qualities. “Chī hǎo hē hǎo” which in Mandarin, means "eat and drink well."

Stunning red rocks remind of Sedona, but, no, they're less than
an hour from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Find out where next time.

COMING UP: We're savoring the fabulous red rocks of  Nevada next time. Come with us to a beautiful, unspoiled part of the West, just a half hour from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us Fridays when we post for each weekend.

6 comments:

  1. Bay Area RoadiesMay 28, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    Yum..... I just had some take-out near Union Square... I'll wager you two have written about the fabulous Bay Area eateries. Nice piece.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Broadway Nature BabyMay 30, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    The variety and "spice" of these posts keeps me coming back. Especially like the ones about nature and musical theater.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great Falls GourmandsJune 1, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Love the little Mandarin toast at the end -- and now, we're off to find the fixings for tempura and dim sum.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I confess to having to pass on the fried grasshoppers, but the bento box looks lovely and I'd go bottoms up to a fruit-veggie smoothie!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful photos, nice prose.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful photos, nice prose.

    ReplyDelete