The world’s most exciting cuisines come from East Asia, where food is fresh, healthy and delicious. Each country has developed its own unique dishes, and sampling them is a culinary adventure.
So come with us on a taste tour and explore the fantastic food of this region.
Japanese food contains few spices. Its flavours come from the sea in the form of seaweed, kelp and dried fish flakes, from rice wines such as mirin and sake, and from products made from soya beans: miso, tofu and soy sauce.
A 200-year ban on foreigners, from 1640, meant that food in Japan remained true to its origins.
Vietnam shares borders with China, Laos and Cambodia, and its cuisine is influenced by these neighbours. There is also a lightness of touch and sophistication developed during the years of French colonisation.
The lush green countryside produces a wide range of vegetables and herbs that bring fresh tastes and fragrances, such as zesty limes, lemongrass, Asian basil, star anise and chillies.
Stretching over 8,000 kilometres and made up of 18,000 islands, Indonesia’s cuisine is influenced by China, India, the Middle East and Europe.
Indonesian cooking combines the spicy flavours of chillies, herbs and other aromatic seasonings with the sweetness of coconut, palm sugar, peanuts and kecap manis, and the sourness of limes, lemongrass and tamarind.
Think Indian-hot curries, Malay influenced Satay, and Chinese-style stir-fries and noodles.
The mix of Malay and Chinese people has created Nonya cooking, and these influences come together in dishes such as Laksa noodle soup, which marries Malay seasonings with Chinese noodles.
Every Thai meal is a balancing act of bold flavours brought together in harmony. Heat from chillies and curry pastes, saltiness from fish sauce (nam pla), sourness from tamarind and limes, and sweetness from palm sugar feature in some way in our Thai dishes. Hot, salty, sour and sweet.