Are you the kind of traveler who lets your tastebuds decide where to go? Source: Shutterstock.
LONELY PLANET has published a global list of 500 food experiences – the Ultimate Eatlist.
Just the pictures alone will whet your appetite and stir up hunger pangs.
The pages revealed some of the culinary recommendations from experts including world-renowned chefs like Elena Arzak, joint head chef of three Michelin starred restaurant Arzak; Eric Ripert, French chef, author, and television personality; television chef Andrew Zimmern; and BBC MasterChef judge Monica Galetti.
It ranks 500 incredible food experiences around the world including the lesser-known mouthwatering morsels only known to a region or a country’s residents.
“When we travel, the food we eat tells a story, unlocking social customs and revealing ancient traditions, all while offering us a chance to connect with the locals in an organic way,” Lonely Planet wrote.
“The inextricable link between food and travel is so fascinating (not to mention, delicious!) that we set our community of bloggers, writers and staff the task of trawling the planet for epic foodie adventures.”
Asian delicacies have come out on top, from meticulously-crafted sushi in Tokyo to Korean rice mixed with colorful and crisp vegetables in a hot stone bowl.
Find out what are some of the ultimate eats that Asia has to offer, according to Lonely Planet.
#2 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Curry laksa
Rich and cream curry laksa is one of the signature dishes of the Malaysian Chinese community and particularly popular on the island of Penang and Kuala Lumpur city.
Eating it is a sweat-inducing process, but you will definitely love its flavorful fiery-red and orange curry soup combined with noodles, shredded chicken, shrimp, cockles, tofu puffs, bean sprouts, topped with a fresh chili and mint, and if you’d like, a squeeze of lime.
Tucked in the shadows of Kuala Lumpur’s towering skyscrapers is Madras Lane, just off Petaling Street, where you will find more than a handful of curry laksa stalls.
#3 Tokyo, Japan: Sushi
No traveler can leave Japan without at least having a bite of sushi.
It is a Japanese dish made of specially prepared vinegared medium-grain white rice and a variety of ingredients such as seafood and vegetables and served with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce.
When in Tokyo, be sure to visit Sukiyabashi Jiro, Sushi Saito, Manten Sushi Marunouchi, or Juzo Sushi as these joints will dish up a life-changing experience for your palate.
#5 Bangkok, Thailand: Som tum
In Thailand, green papaya salad is called som tum – som means sour and tum refers to the pounding sound of the large pestle used to crush ingredients.
This amazing salad with all sorts of flavors – sour, salty, sweet, and fiery – rolled in one can be eaten on its own as a snack, with marinated grilled beef and chicken, and even with a side of warm rice, whatever your taste buds desire.
You can get this off the street vendors all over Bangkok, such as Jay So, or from Somtam Nua restaurant at the Siam Center on Siam Square.
#8 Seoul, South Korea: Bibimbap
Often hailed as the healthy meal, popular Korean meal in a bowl bibimbap literally means mixed rice.
Traditionally, it is served in a hot stone bowl, consisting of warm fluffy white rice, sauteed and seasoned vegetables (julienned cucumber, radish, mushrooms, bellflower roots, spinach, soybean sprouts, zucchini), an egg, chilli pepper paste, and fermented soybean paste.
For visual appeal, the vegetables are often placed so adjacent colors complement each other then stirred together thoroughly before eating, perfect for any season.
#9 Hong Kong: Dim sum
Fact: Nowhere else in the world does dim sum like Hong Kong, not even its neighboring Asian countries.
Dim sum (known as yum cha, which means “with tea” to the locals) is a popular brunch activity and destination whereby locals and foreigners alike stop for tea and snacks.
Duddell’s and Fook Lam Moon serve their trademark styles of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food, such as dumplings and buns, in small hot steamer baskets or on small plates.
#17 Singapore: Chilli crab
This is one dish that Singaporeans can truly and proudly call their own – chilli crab.
Said to be invented by Madam Cher Yam Tian in the 1950s, chilli crab consists of fresh mud crabs stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savory tomato and (not very spicy) chilli-based sauce.
Thinking of putting your tolerance for spicy crabs to the test? Head on over to Red House Seafood, Jumbo Seafood, or Majestic Bay on the island city-state.
#19 Beijing, China: Peking duck
Originating from the Chinese capital city of Beijing since the imperial era, Peking duck was one of the main dishes on imperial court menus and is now a highly sought after dish.
Ducks are bred specially for the dish and are slaughtered after 65 days then seasoned before being roasted in a closed or hung oven.
Peking duck is characterized by its thin, crisp skin (mostly skin and little meat) that is eaten with spring onion, cucumber, and sweet bean sauce with pancakes.
#20 Hau River, Vietnam: Pho
Famed for being a popular street food in Vietnam, pho originated in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam and shared with the rest of the world through Vietnam War refugees.
It is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, banh pho rice noodles, fragrant herbs, and either beef or chicken meat.
However, don’t expect to find the same flavors in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, as their styles of pho differ by noodle width, the sweetness of broth, and their choice of herbs.
Going to Asia sometime soon?
Be sure to check out the rest of the Ultimate Eatlist then let your taste buds and stomach guide you through the region.