Asian Cooking

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					     From the Exotic to the Familiar: Get to Know Asian Cooking

When we think about Asian cooking, we envision rich, flavorful food
mixed with exotic spices. In terms of size, Asian cuisine is probably
the largest, consisting of many different cooking styles from different
regions and countries. Even those countries have several different
cooking styles depending on the locality.

Asian cuisine is made up of many types of cooking, foods and
preparation styles. Some of these include:

East Asia (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese)
Some of the cuisine that represents Asian cooking to the rest of the
world comes from East Asia. Flavors vary and so do cooking styles but
there are also similarities. A staple of East Asian cooking is rice and/or
noodles, followed by dishes that contain fish, meat and vegetables.
While rice is considered as an important part of the meal, noodles and
buns may also be used as substitutes, depending on the region.

In the East Asian region, the use of chopsticks is predominant when
partaking of solid food while flat bottomed spoons are used for soups.
Chopsticks are also practical for the type of cooking practiced in these
regions, since most of the foods are cut up and prepared in small
pieces, allowing for direct eating. Interestingly, forks and knives are
not used for eating because they are considered and were often used
as weapons.

South and Southeast Asian cuisine (Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani,
Bangladeshi, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Filipino,
Indonesian, Cambodian, Laotian, Burmese)
Subtlety and surprise are two of the characteristics of Southeast Asian
cuisine, particularly because it puts emphasis not only in taste and
choice of ingredients but also in presentation. If you want to know
about an Asian country's history, have a taste of its food. Not only will
you taste what the country produces from its own land but you’ll also
encounter the people who came and from there.

The diversity is staggering although similarity also exists to unite the
region. For example, Vietnamese cooking features some French
flavors while Filipino cooking has dishes that are similar to those found
in Spain and America. Noodles and spices are commonly used in most

Middle Eastern cooking (Some Greek, Arab, Afghan, Palestinian,
Egyptian, Turkish, North African, Lebanese, Moroccan)
Middle Eastern cooking is also diverse and many of the dishes are
quite exotic compared to Western tastes. Greek cooking, for example,
is considered partly Asian but its taste and appearance is
Mediterranean. As for the other cooking styles, there are certain
similarities that vary slightly as you go from one region to the next.
Common ingredients such as pita, sesame seeds, honey, sumac,
parsley, mint and other herbs and spices are often used.