Asian Street Food Smarts

Smoky chicken sate plucked from a grill and dipped in sweet-spicy peanut sauce in a Jakarta alley. Steamed ground rice and jaggery cakes eaten from a banana leaf on a street corner in Penang. A mound of sticky rice drizzled with coconut cream and topped with juicy mango slices spooned up at a stall in a Chiang Mai market. For the Asia-bound traveler keen to know the region’s diverse culinary cultures, these are essential experiences.

In this part of the world the term “street food” (or “hawker food,” as it’s referred to in Malaysia and Singapore) denotes not just a cheap and quick way to fill one’s belly. It also describes a repertoire of dishes prepared by experienced specialists, dishes rarely duplicated successfully in restaurant kitchens. Eating on the Asian street offers the opportunity to observe cooking techniques up close and to engage with strangers over a meal in a way that would be difficult in a proper brick and mortar eatery.

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4 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Dan June 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    In this part of the world the term “street food” (or “hawker food,” as it’s referred to in Malaysia and Singapore)

    • Dan June 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      Just as likely to top our list of tear-jerkingly romantic terraces, rooftops with staggeringly splendiferous views or bars to drink dry before you die

  2. Dan June 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    For the Asia-bound traveler keen to know the region’s diverse culinary cultures, these are essential experiences.

  3. JB June 19, 2012 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Curious to learn more about Asian “street food.”

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