This is a list of Asian cuisines, by region. A cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, usually associated with a specific culture or region. Asia, being the largest and most populous continent, has many great cuisines.
Central Asian cuisine
- Bukharan cuisine
- Central Asian cuisine includes food from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan.
- Afghani cuisine – cuisine of the Afghan people, largely based upon Afghanistan's chief crops: cereals like wheat, maize, barley and rice. Accompanying these staples are dairy products (yogurt and wheat), various nuts, and native vegetables, as well as fresh and dried fruits. Afghanistan is also well known for its grapes.
- Kazakhstani cuisine – cuisine of Kazakhstan. Traditional Kazakh cuisine revolves around mutton and horse meat, as well as various milk products. For hundreds of years, Kazakhs were herders who raised fat-tailed sheep, Bactrian camels, and horses, relying on these animals for transportation, clothing, and food.
- Kyrgyzstani cuisine – originating in Kyrgyzstan, is similar in many respects to that of its neighbors, particularly Kazakh cuisine. Traditional Kyrgyz food includes mutton and horse meat, as well as milk products. The cooking techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the nation's nomadic way of life.
- Tajik cuisine – traditional cuisine of Tajikistan, has much in common with Afghan, Russian, and Uzbek cuisines. Plov, also called osh, is the national dish in Tajikistan, as in other countries in the region. It consists of chunks of mutton, carrots and rice fried in a large cast-iron cauldron similar to a Dutch oven. Green tea is the national drink. Traditional Tajik meals start with a spread of dried fruit, nuts, halva, and other sweets arrayed on the table in small dishes, and then progress to soup and meat, before finishing with plov.
- Turkmen cuisine – cuisine of Turkmenistan. It is similar to that of the rest of Central Asia. Plov is the staple, everyday food, which is also served at celebrations. Turkmenistan is perhaps most famous for its melons, especially in the former Soviet Union, where it was once the major supplier. Meals are almost always served with naan, Central Asian flat bread, known locally as "çörek."
- Uzbek cuisine – cuisine influenced by local agriculture, as in most nations. There is a great deal of grain farming in Uzbekistan, so breads and noodles are of importance, and Uzbek cuisine has been characterized as "noodle-rich". Mutton is a popular variety of meat due to the abundance of sheep in the country and it is a part of various Uzbek dishes. Uzbekistan's signature dish is palov (osh) made with rice, pieces of meat, grated carrots and onions.
East Asian cuisine
East Asian cuisine has evolved with a common usage of oils, fats and sauces in the preparation of dishes (with the notable exception of Japanese cuisine).
- Chinese cuisine – Traditional Chinese cuisines include Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang, all of which are defined and termed per the respective regions within China where they developed. A number of different styles contribute to Chinese cuisine, but perhaps the best known and most influential are the Szechuan, Shandong, Jiangsu and Guangdong cuisines. These styles are distinctive from one another due to factors such as available resources, climate, geography, history, cooking techniques and lifestyle. Many Chinese traditional regional cuisines rely on basic methods of food preservation such as drying, salting, pickling and fermentation.
- Chinese cuisine originated in what is known as the Eight Great Traditions, though it can be generalized into northern styles that feature oils and strong flavors derived from ingredients such as vinegar and garlic, while southern styles tend to favor fresh ingredients that are lightly prepared. It has become widespread throughout many other parts of the world — from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa. In recent years, connoisseurs of Chinese cuisine have also sprouted in Eastern Europe and South Asia. American Chinese cuisine and Canadian Chinese food are popular examples of local varieties. Local ingredients would be adopted while maintaining the style and preparation technique.
- Wine in China
- Great Traditions
- Eight Great Traditions – Regional cultural differences vary greatly amongst the different regions of China, giving rise to eight main regional cuisines, or Eight Great Traditions (八大菜系, Bā Dà Cài Xì)
- Anhui is derived from the native cooking styles of the Huangshan Mountains region in China and is similar to Jiangsu cuisine. It is known for the use of wild herbs, from both land and sea, and simple methods of preparation.
- Cantonese comes from Guangdong Province in southern China. Due to Guangdong's location on the southern coast of China, fresh live seafood is prominent in Cantonese cuisine. Canton has long been a trading port and many imported foods and ingredients are used in Cantonese cuisine. Char siu is a popular way to flavor and prepare pork in Cantonese cuisine.
- Fujian is one of the native Chinese cuisines derived from the native cooking style of the province of Fujian, China. Many diverse seafoods and woodland delicacies are used, including a myriad of fish, shellfish and turtles, along with edible mushrooms and bamboo shoots, provided by the coastal and mountainous regions of Fujian.
- Hunan, sometimes called Xiang cuisine, consists of the cuisines of the Xiang River region, Dongting Lake and western Hunan Province, in China. The cuisine is well known for its hot spicy flavor, fresh aroma and deep color. Common cooking techniques include stewing, frying, pot-roasting, braising, and smoking. Due to the high agricultural output of the region, ingredients for Hunan dishes are many and varied.
- Jiangsu is derived from the native cooking styles of the Jiangsu region in China. Food texture is often soft, but not to the point of mushy or falling apart. Other characters includes the strict selection of ingredients according to the seasons, emphasis on the matching color and shape of each dish and emphasis on using soup to improve the flavor.
- Shandong in Chinese is more commonly known as Lu cuisine, and is derived from the native cooking styles of Shandong, an eastern coastal province of China. Possibly Shandong's greatest contribution to Chinese cuisine has been in the area of brewing vinegars. Hundreds of years of experience combined with unique local methods have led to Shandong's prominence as one of the premier regions for vinegar production in China.
- Sichuan is a style of Chinese cuisine originating in the Sichuan Province of southwestern China famed for bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavor of the Sichuan peppercorn (花椒). Peanuts, sesame paste, and ginger are also prominent ingredients in Szechuan cooking.
- Zhejiang is derived from the native cooking styles of the Zhejiang region in China. Food made in the Zhejiang style is not greasy, having instead a fresh and soft flavor with a mellow fragrance.
- Four Great Traditions – often considered the standouts of Chinese cuisine and due to their influence are proclaimed as the Four Great Traditions (四大菜系, Sì Dà Cài Xì).
- Huaiyang cuisine – often viewed as the representation of the entire Jiangsu cuisine.
- Chinese cultural subcuisines
- Chinese cuisines, by region
- Hong Kong cuisine is mainly influenced by Cantonese cuisine, non-Cantonese Chinese cuisine (especially Teochew, Hakka, Hokkien and the Jiangsu & Zhejiang), the Western world, Japan, and Southeast Asia, due to Hong Kong's past as a British colony and long history of being an international city of commerce. Fish balls, Wonton noodle, Egg waffle, and milk tea are some of the most notable dishes, snacks, and drinks.
- Macanese cuisine
Different types of nigiri-sushi
is a traditional multi-course Japanese
dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques used in the preparation of such meals, and are analogous to Western haute cuisine
- Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food (旬, shun), quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese regional cuisine includes a vast array of regional specialities known as kyōdo ryōri in Japanese, many of them originating from dishes prepared using local ingredients and traditional recipes. Sushi and sashimi are both part of the cuisine of the island nation. The Michelin Guide has awarded Japanese cities by far the most Michelin stars of any country in the world (for example, Tokyo alone has more Michelin stars than Paris, Hong Kong, New York, LA and London combined).
- Traditional cooking methods eschew the use of oils and fats, with a focus on featuring the delicate flavors of the natural ingredients. Due to an abundant seafood supply, the traditional Japanese diet featured minimal use of meat; however, modern Japanese cuisine includes an extensive variety of popular meat dishes. Japanese cuisine offers a vast array of regional specialties that use traditional recipes and local ingredients.
- Japanese wine
- Okinawan cuisine is the cuisine of the Japanese island of Okinawa. Due to the difference in culture, climate, vegetables and other ingredients between Okinawa and mainland Japan, Okinawan cuisine is very different from Japanese cuisine. The cuisine incorporated influence from Chinese cuisine and Southeast Asian cuisine due to trade. The sweet potato, introduced in Okinawa in 1605, became a staple food there until the beginning of the 20th century. An article about Okinawan food written by Kikkoman stated that Goya (bitter melon) and Nabera (luffa or towel gourd) were "likely" introduced to Okinawa from Southeast Asia. Since Ryūkyū had served as a tributary state to China, Okinawan cooks traveled to Fujian Province to learn how to cook Chinese food; Chinese influence seeped into Okinawa in that manner. The same Kikkoman article states that the method of distillation of awamori likely originated from Siam (Thailand) and traveled to Okinawa during the 15th century. After the lord of the Kagoshima Domain subjugated Ryūkyū, Okinawan cooks traveled to Japan to study Japanese cuisine, causing that influence to seep into Okinawan cuisine.
- Ainu cuisine
- Korean cuisine originated from ancient prehistoric traditions in the Korean peninsula, evolving through a complex interaction of environmental, political, and cultural trends. Korean cuisine is largely based upon rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes (banchan) that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi is served often, sometimes at every meal. Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and gochujang (fermented red chili paste). Korean regional cuisine (Korean: hyangto eumsik, literally "native local foods"), is characterized by local specialties and distinctive styles within Korean cuisine. The divisions reflected historical boundaries of the provinces where these food and culinary traditions were preserved until modern times. Korean barbecue, or gogi gui, refers to the Korean method of grilling beef, pork, chicken, or other types of meat. Such dishes are often prepared at the diner's table on gas or charcoal grills that are built into the center of the table itself. It features cooking methods such as sautéing and what is known in the West as barbecue. Strong flavors featuring spices derived from chili peppers can also be found in dishes such as kimchi.
- Mongolian cuisine – local culinary traditions of Mongolia and Mongolian styled dishes. The extreme continental climate has affected the traditional diet, so the Mongolian cuisine primarily consists of dairy products, meat, and animal fats. Use of vegetables and spices are limited.
- Taiwanese cuisine – Majorly Chinese cuisine, however mixed with part of Japanese cuisine.
Southeast Asian cuisine
Southeast Asian cuisine – includes a strong emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with a strong aromatic component that features such flavors as citrus and herbs such as mint, cilantro (coriander) and basil. Ingredients in the region contrast with the ones in the Eastern Asian cuisines, substituting fish sauces for soy sauce and the inclusion of ingredients such as galangal, tamarind and lemon grass. Cooking methods include a balance of stir-frying, boiling and steaming.
- Bruneian cuisine is similar to, and heavily influenced by the cuisine of neighboring Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, with additional influences from India, China, Thailand, and Japan.
- Burmese cuisine has been influenced greatly by China, India and Thailand. However, Burmese cuisine has retained unique preparation techniques and distinct flavors, and there are many regional variations of "standard" dishes. The Burmese eat with their right hand, forming rice into a small ball with only the fingertips and mixing this with various morsels before popping it into their mouths. The Burmese eat a great variety of vegetables and fruits, and all kinds of meat. A very popular vegetable is the danyin thi, which is usually boiled or roasted and dipped in salt, oil and sometimes, cooked coconut fat.
- Cambodian cuisine is another name for the foods and cuisine widely consumed in Cambodia. The food of Cambodia includes tropical fruits, rice, noodles, drinks, dessert and various soups.
- Cuisine of East Timor is the cuisine of one of the newest Southeast Asian countries.
- Eurasian cuisine of Singapore and Malaysia is characterized by Portuguese, Dutch, British, Chinese, Malay, and also Indian and Peranakan influences. Within this cuisine ingredients in European dishes are replaced or complemented by Asian ingredients. The other way around, European ingredients are used in Asian dishes.
- Indonesian cuisine is diverse, in part because Indonesia is composed of approximately 6,000 populated islands. Many regional cuisines exist, often based upon cultural and foreign influences. For example, Sumatran cuisine often has Middle Eastern and Indian influences, featuring curried meat and vegetables, while Javanese cuisine and Sundanese cuisine are more indigenous.
- Balinese cuisine is the cuisine and culinary traditions of Balinese people from the volcanic island of Bali.
- Batak cuisine is the cuisine and cooking traditions of Batak ethnic groups, predominantly found in North Sumatra region.
- Indonesian Chinese cuisine is characterized by the mixture of Chinese with local Indonesian style. Chinese Indonesians bring their Chinese cuisine legacy.
- Javanese cuisine is the cuisine of Javanese people. In wider sense, Javanese cuisine might also refer to the cuisine of the whole people of Java Island, Indonesia; which also includes Sundanese in West Java, Betawi in Jakarta and Madurese on Madura Island off East Java.
- Sundanese cuisine is the cuisine of Sundanese people of West Java, Indonesia. In Sundanese restaurants, it is common to eat with one's hands. They usually serve kobokan, a bowl of tap water with a slice of lime for handwashing.
- Padang food, also known as Minangkabau cuisine, is the cuisine of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is among the most popular food in Maritime Southeast Asia. It is known across Indonesia as Masakan Padang.
- Laotian cuisine is the cuisine of Laos, which is distinct from other Southeast Asian cuisines. Laos shares borders with neighboring countries and as a result, Lao cuisine has strongly influenced the neighboring cuisine of Northeastern Thailand (Isan) and some Lao culinary influences have also reached Cambodia and Northern Thailand (Lanna).
- Macanese cuisine consists of a blend of southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisines, with significant influences from Southeast Asia and the Lusophone world. Notable dishes include Pastéis de nata, Pato de cabidela, and Minchi.
- Malay cuisine is the cuisine of Malay people of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Southern Thailand.
- Malaysian cuisine reflects the multicultural aspects of Malaysia. Various ethnic groups in Malaysia have their own dishes, but many dishes in Malaysia are derived from multiple ethnic influences. Spices, aromatic herbs and roots are all used in Malaysian cuisine.
- Filipino cuisine has evolved over several centuries from its Austronesian origins to a mixed cuisine with many Hispanic, Chinese, American, and other Asian influences adapted to indigenous ingredients and the local palate. For more information refer to: Filipino cuisine; regional specialties.
- Singaporean cuisine is indicative of the ethnic diversity of the culture of Singapore, as a product of centuries of cultural interaction owing to Singapore's strategic location. The food is influenced by the native Malay, the predominant Chinese, Indonesian, Indian and Western traditions (particularly English) since the founding of Singapore by the British in the 19th century.
- Thai cuisine can be described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern (or Isan), Central, and Southern. A fifth cuisine is Thai Royal cuisine, based on the palace cuisine of the Ayutthaya kingdom (1351–1767 CE), which was influential upon the cuisine of the Central Thai plains. Each cuisine has similarities to foods and cuisines in neighboring countries and regions, including the Cuisine of Burma, Yunnan cuisine, Lao cuisine, Cambodian cuisine and Malaysian cuisine.
- Vietnamese cuisine is a style of cooking derived from Vietnam. Fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables are commonly used. Vietnamese recipes utilize a diverse range of herbs, including lemongrass, mint, Vietnamese mint, long coriander and Thai basil leaves.
South Asian cuisine
South Asian cuisine includes the cuisines from the Indian subcontinent and when included in the definition, also that of Afghanistan. It has roots in South Asia, including practices taken from the Hindu beliefs practiced by the large population found in the region, alongside in some regional cuisines, certain influences from neighboring regions and cultures, particularly from Muslim cultures of the Middle East and Central Asia. Dishes in this area of the world are known for their use of hot peppers, black pepper, cloves, and other strong spices along with the flavored butter ghee. Common meats include lamb, goat and chicken; beef is not as common as in western cuisines because the tenets of the Hindu faith prohibit its consumption. Other staples of many of the cuisines include rice, chapati made from wheat and barley, and beans. The cuisine of South Asia has mostly indigenous roots, as well as practices taken from the Hindu beliefs practiced by the large population found in the region. Naan, a type of flat bread from the former regions, is a common part of meals in many parts of South Asia.
- Bangladeshi cuisine is dominated by Bengali cuisine and has been shaped by the diverse history and riverine geography of Bangladesh. The country has a tropical monsoon climate. Rice is the main staple food of Bangladeshi people and it is served with a wide range of curries. Sublime Bangladeshi dishes exhibit strong aromatic flavours; and often include eggs, potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines. A variety of spices and herbs, along with mustard oil and ghee, is used in Bangladeshi cooking. The main breads are naan, porota, roti, bakarkhani and luchi. Dal is the second most important staple food which is served with rice/porota/luchi. Fish is a staple in Bangladeshi cuisine, especially freshwater fish, which is a distinctive feature of the country's gastronomy. Major fish dishes include ilish (hilsa), pabda (butterfish), rui (rohu), pangash (pangas catfish), chitol (clown knifefish), magur (walking catfish), bhetki (barramundi) and tilapia. Meat consumption includes beef, lamb, venison, chicken, duck, squab and koel. Vegetable dishes, either mashed (bhorta), boiled (sabji), or leaf-based (saag), are widely served. Seafood such as lobsters and shrimps are also often prevalent.
- Bhutanese cuisine employs a lot of red rice (like brown rice in texture, but with a nutty taste, the only variety of rice that grows at high altitudes), buckwheat, and increasingly maize. The diet in the hills also includes chicken, yak meat, dried beef, pork, pork fat, and mutton. When offered food, one says meshu meshu, covering one's mouth with the hands in refusal according to Bhutanese manners, and then gives in on the second or third offer.
An assortment of spices and herbs. Spices are an indispensable food ingredient in much of India.
Traditional North Indian Thali, India
South Indian vegetarian Thali, India
- Indian cuisine is characterized by its sophisticated and subtle use of many Indian spices and vegetables, herbs, and fruits grown across India. There is also the widespread practice of vegetarianism across its society. Considered by some to be one of the world's most diverse cuisines, each family of this cuisine is characterized by a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques. As a consequence, Indian cuisine varies from region to region, reflecting the varied demographics of the ethnically diverse Indian subcontinent. India's religious beliefs and culture has played an influential role in the evolution of its cuisine. However, cuisine across India has also evolved with the subcontinent's cross-cultural interactions with the neighboring Middle East, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Central Asia, as well as the Mediterranean, making it a unique blend of various cuisines across Asia. The colonial period introduced European cooking styles to India adding to its flexibility and diversity. Indian cuisine has also influenced cuisines across the world, especially those from Southeast Asia. In particular, curry has been widely adopted in cuisines around the world.
West Asian cuisine
- Middle Eastern cuisine, or West Asian cuisine, is the cuisine of the various countries and peoples of the Middle East (Western Asia). Despite their similarities, there are considerable differences in climate and culture, so the term is not definitive. The cuisine of the region is diverse while having a degree of homogeneity. Many Middle Eastern dishes are made with a paste called tahini. Tahini is a sesame paste made with hulled seeds, unlike its Asian counterpart. It is used to make such popular meze, or appetizers, as baba ghanoush and hummus along with pungent dipping sauces served with falafel, keftes or kofta and vegetables. Hummus is made from chickpeas, which are staples of the diet. Some commonly used ingredients include olives and olive oil, lamb, pitas, honey, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, mint and parsley. Some popular dishes include kibbeh and shawarma.
- Arab cuisine of the Persian Gulf - Arab cuisine of the Persian Gulf today is the result of combination of diverse cuisines, incorporating Lebanese, Indian, Chinese, and Persian cooking styles, and many items not originally indigenous to the Persian Gulf region, which were most probably imported on the dhows and the caravans.
- Assyrian cuisine
- Azerbaijani cuisine
- Bahraini cuisine refers to the cuisine of The Kingdom of Bahrain, a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. Bahrain produces only a small amount of its food requirements due to limited land space, and imports much of its food. Its primary crops are dates, bananas, citrus fruits, pomegranates, mangoes, cucumbers and tomatoes.
- Emirati cuisine
- Iranian cuisine - Persian cuisine is diverse, with each province featuring dishes, culinary traditions and styles distinct to its region.
- Iraqi cuisine or Mesopotamian cuisine, has a long history going back some 10,000 years - to the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. Tablets found in ancient ruins in Iraq show recipes prepared in the temples during religious festivals - the first cookbooks in the world.
- Kuwaiti cuisine - the national dish of Kuwait known as machboos (Arabic: مكبوس) consists mainly of mutton or chicken placed over or mixed in a large mass of well-cooked and prepared rice.
- Omani cuisine is generally very simple, with the aid of many spices and marinades to complete a dish, which usually consists of chicken, fish, and mutton. Unlike many other Asian nations, Omani cuisine is not spicy, and varies between regions.
- Qatari cuisine
- Saudi Arabian cuisine - Food staples include lamb, grilled chicken, falafel (deep-fried chickpea balls), shawarma (spit-cooked sliced lamb), mutabbaq and Ful medames. Arabic unleavened bread, or khobz (خبز), is eaten with almost all meals, and is often used as an edible utensil to scoop foods.
- Kabsa is considered by many as Saudi Arabia's national dish
- Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighboring cuisines, including that of western Europe.
- Yemeni cuisine - The most common Yemeni dishes include: Aseed, Bint Al-Sahn, Fahsa, Fatoot, Fattah, Ful medames, Hareesh, Jachnun, Kabsa, Karees, Komroh, Mandi, Mateet, Mutabbaq, Saltah, Samak Mofa, Shafut, Shakshouka, Thareed, and Zoam.
- Mandi is a traditional Yemeni dish usually made from meat (lamb or chicken), basmati rice, and a mixture of spices.
- Levantine cuisine – traditional cuisine of Ottoman Syria, now usually called the Levant, known in Arabic as the Bilad ash-Sham. This region shared many culinary traditions under the Ottoman Empire which continue to be influential today. It covers the modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Northern Iraq, northwest Iraq (the province of Mosul), and parts of southern Turkey near Adana, Gaziantep, Antakya and Mardin.
- Israeli cuisine comprises a mixture of dishes—from dishes brought back to Israel by Jews from the Diaspora, to dishes from Jews who continued to live in the region, to dishes adopted from surrounding Arab inhabitants. Since before the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948, and particularly since the late 1970s, an Israeli fusion cuisine has developed.
- Jewish cuisine The cuisine of the Jewish diaspora.
- Jordanian cuisine
- Lebanese cuisine includes an abundance of starches, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat, and when red meat is eaten it is usually lamb on the coast and goat meat in the mountain regions.
- Lebanese wine
Syrians are renowned for producing dried apricot paste
- Syrian cuisine is a diffusion of the cultures of civilizations that settled in Syria, particularly during and after the Islamic era beginning with the Arab Umayyad conquest, then the eventual Persian-influenced Abbasids and ending with the strong influences of Turkish cuisine, resulting from the coming of the Ottoman Turks.
- Middle Eastern foods and dishes
Chicken Fesenjān with Persian rice, an Iranian dish
Fatayer is a meat pie or pastry that can alternatively be stuffed with spinach (sabaneq), or cheese (jibnah). It is eaten in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries in the Middle East.
Fahsa is a famous Yemeni dish, containing beef or lamb meat cooked in a stony pot called Madara.
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