Exploring Asia’s Street Food

The continent of Asia has a rich, diverse culture. One of the greatest things about it, is the amazing food on offer. The incredible dishes on offer are a world away from our own cuisine, and their street food in particular is definitely something to write home about. If you are planning a trip to Asia, these are the cities that are famous for their wonderful street food.


Penang, Malaysia


Penang is a very multicultural city, with citizens of Chinese, Malay, and Indian descent. The street food on offer here reflects this, giving birth to a whole host of interesting fusion dishes that combine the cuisines of these different countries. The whole city is covered with roadside stalls and marketplaces, offering a wide range of street food from all over Asia.




The signature dish of the city is called Penang Assam Iaksa. It is a spicy fish soup, served with thick noodles and some sweet pineapple to cut through the heavier flavors. It is available outside of Penang, but if you want a real, authentic experience, you have to go to the source to get it.


Taipei, Taiwan


Due to Taipei’s historical links with China, its food takes a lot of inspiration from Chinese cuisine. However, they have put their own personal twist on many of the dishes. There is a big focus on dumplings and pickled vegetables in the food in Taipei.



One of the dishes that it is most famous for is Chou Doufu, but it is not for everybody. It is a form of Tofu, that has been fermented, giving it an incredibly strong taste and smell. It is available in supermarkets out there, but most of the street vendors still make it in the traditional way, by hand, and so it is best to get it from them. If you are a bit unsure about the overpowering taste, try deep fried Chou Doufu, as this takes away some of the strength.


Xi’an, China


Xi’an is most famous for the collection of Terracotta Warriors that are on display there, but the street food is equally as attractive. There is a lot of Muslim influence in the area so you can experience great Chinese food, with a Middle Eastern twist. The best place to get good street food is at the night markets.



One of the most popular fusions of Middle Eastern and Chinese cuisine is Yang Rou Chan. These delicious lamb kebabs are marinated in red pepper and cumin, before being roasted over open coals at the side of the road, giving a delicious smoky taste.


Seoul, South Korea


The capital city of South Korea is host to a wide variety of great street food. Unfortunately, they are fighting against the city to be able to serve it. Street vendors are actually illegal in the city, and police forces are trying to shut them down.


If you do manage to get hold of a street vendor, then it is worth trying Haemul Pajeon. This delicious pancake is packed full of oysters, shrimps and squid. It is often served as an appetizer in restaurants but street vendors will make you a big one to have as a main meal.  


If you can’t make it out to Asia, click here for a few recipes that you can try at home.


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