Contributed by: Traveling Spoon
Spoiler Alert: There is more to Asian cooking than Pad See Ew or Fried Rice from your local take out joint. As we traveled throughout Southeast Asia and China, something magical happened in the homes of our local hosts; we’d never heard of most, if not all, of our favorite dishes.
Read on to learn about our five favorite dishes you haven’t heard of, the home cooks who make them, and about how you can try them on your next travels by visiting a local home and sharing authentic, home-cooked recipes passed down through generations.
Dahi Wada are airy lentil dumplings drenched in a cool yoghurt sauce drizzled over with tangy tamarind chutney, green mint chutney and sev, crispy lentil vermicelli that you find in Indian homes. Our host Pallavi in Mumbai artfully prepares dahi wada and serves it to you in her Mumbai home.
Nikujaga is a traditional Japanese meat and potato stew simmered in sake, Mirin, soy sauce and sugar. Our host Keiko specializes in Obanzai cooking (loosely translated as “mother’s cooking”, a method of comfort food cooking distinct to Kyoto that relies heavily on vegetables and meat, prepared simply, with ingredients that are seasonal and local to the Kyoto region.
Pla neung manao, whole fish delicately steamed in lemongrass, galangal and fresh Thai herbs and finished in a spicy lime sauce will make you wish for it every time you eat Thai food. Visit Pia in her home in the central Sukhumvit neighborhood of Bangkok and learn to cook authentic Thai dishes that you won’t find in restaurants, and share a private experience and meal together.