Wherever your travels may take you in Asia – whether it is to the north or south - one thing remains constant and that is that the people of this region have a complete and utter affinity for Asian food. This love is visible on every street corner and marketplace with the sheer abundance of fresh food vendors whipping up something fiery and delicious with Asian ingredients. Or it can be seen in the huge number of restaurants that line the streets in every city and the number of people in them at any time of any given day; eating from a table that is groaning under the weight of dozens of dishes of steaming soups, fresh crispy salads, deep fried fish, curries, noodles and of course, the staple of Asian cuisine; rice.
With its lush and tropical geographical background, it comes as no surprise that Asia reaps the culinary benefits of an abundance and diversity of delicious fruits, plants, spices, herbs and vegetables. In fact, so exotic and unique is the cuisine of Asia that it has now becoming a craze in the rest of the world. Restaurant chains that specialize in Asian recipes such as Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and a host of other Asian countries now adorn every street in every city, country and continent. Asian food in the West has practically become a fashion in its own right: one that is as popular as ever and yet to become ‘so last season’. When the trendiest eateries in the city are sushi bars and Asia food fusion restaurants, then there can be no doubt that the East has made its fundamental mark upon the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the interpretation of Asian food in places such as Europe and the United States is a far cry from the genuine thing in Asia itself.
While sushi may be mimicked authentically in the West, the translation of countless Asian and particularly Southeast Asian food dishes has been so adapted to suit the Western palate that it becomes virtually unrecognizable! Prepared from simple, fresh ingredients with a speed that is refreshingly quick and a zest that is sure to light a fire at the back of your throat, Southeastern Cuisine is characterized by the crunchy texture of fresh vegetables and silky finish of coconut milk. The northern cuisine is a testament to chili and simple ingredients that give yield to complex flavours. Galangal (Siamese ginger), Thai basil, garlic, lime juice, chili, tamarind and fermented fish sauce all form the complex foundation to just about any meal in Southeast Asia. All this complexity boils down to the main philosophy of Southeast Asian foods: to maintain a vision of balance between the four primary flavours: sweetness, saltiness, sourness and fire!
In our Asian food supermarket, you can find most of these exotic Asian ingredients.