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Old 04-15-2014, 07:23 PM
 
Location: East coast
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I've already asked about culture and the region in general, but what about food?

Southeast Asia seems to be like South Asia in that it has curries and things like roti bread. Southeast Asia also uses tropical crops of South Asian origins, like mangoes.

But in terms of cuisine overall, Southeast Asia also seems to be more like East Asia in other ways, like using noodles, soy sauce etc. It seems to not use the same amount of dairy as in South Asian cuisine either, or things like tomatoes or potatoes in curries.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Well obviously it depends on the country...

Thailand - has the influence of India in curries, and the range of spices used, but overall it seems closer to Chinese to me. From the ingredients, cooking style (a lot of wok/stir-frying, chopping meat into small pieces), noodles.etc.

Khmer/Lao - Not so familiar with it, but it's similar to Thai.

Malaysia - Malaysian food is very diverse, and while it is an umbrella term to include Indian, Malay and Chinese, there are many dishes which are a fusion of these, like curry laksa or mee rebus (noodles with curry). Malaysia has some of the best, most authentic Indian food (some say better than in India), which has also had an influence on Malay cuisine, yet Chinese cuisine has been a major influence in the country. Mee rebus is such a classic 'mamak' (Indian Muslim) dish a long with roti canai, murtabak, Malaysian-style briyani. Malaysian curries are some of the tastiest you will find, in fact Malaysian-style nyonya chicken curry is still my favourite curry of all time.

Indonesian - Some similarities to Malay food, nasi padang/mixed rice, nasi goreng, lots of fried chicken, fried fish, the use of tofu is quite common in Indonesian cuisine, and there is Chinese influence. Lots of curries too of course.

Vietnamese - Pretty obviously more like Chinese than India. Actually the only country in SEA where chopsticks are pretty ubiquitous.

Burmese - I haven't had a lot of Burmese, but it seem sort of like Thai, but some dishes are pretty unique. A lot of onion-based curries.

Philippines - More Spanish/Chinese/Native than Indian. Probably the least Indian influence of all the SEA cuisines along with Vietnam.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:37 PM
 
Location: East coast
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I noticed that one big difference or divide between South Asian compared to East or Southeast Asian cuisine is that there is a lot more dairy in the former, especially desserts, but then again I'm not really familiar with Southeast Asian desserts.

I'm guessing Southeast Asians, like East Asians (except pastoral ones like Mongolians) didn't really have much of a dairying tradition but then again there's water buffalo and I heard their milk is popular too in some places.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
I noticed that one big difference or divide between South Asian compared to East or Southeast Asian cuisine is that there is a lot more dairy in the former, especially desserts, but then again I'm not really familiar with Southeast Asian desserts.

I'm guessing Southeast Asians, like East Asians (except pastoral ones like Mongolians) didn't really have much of a dairying tradition but then again there's water buffalo and I heard their milk is popular too in some places.
Yes, historical reasons, cattle have a long history of domestication in India. In South-east Asia and southern China there were water buffalo, but i think the tropical/mountainous terrain wasn't as suitable for cattle, so hogs were more a mainstay. In fact beef wasn't really a part of most Asian cuisines until fairly recently.

Also most Asians (most humans) are lactose intolerant to some degree...even Indians but less so.

In many SEA cuisines coconut milk acts as a sort of substitute for milk. From curries to desserts such as sago in gula melaka (palm sugar), ice kacang, various Thai desserts, cendol.etc. Malaysia probably has the best desserts in SEA, then Thailand, Indonesia.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
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Fermenting food is also common indonesia, we invented tempeh a counterpart of the japanese nato except it taste nicer. India and Indonesia have been trading spice and influencing each other, so there is minor similarities mainly in curries but cooking style of indonesian tend to be still very much SEA and no not all of it are fried stuff, shreded coconut, galangal and clove is also a very common ingredient. Eastern indonesia probably didnt have much influence from india since its not part of the indianized island and are mostly tribal, cooking method and ingredient used are quiet different from the west.

Then came the chinese through colonialism, impact are pretty big as well and occur mixing of cooking method from there. But instead of using the soysauce most of you know, we have the richly thick and sweet soysauce used on most things.

And roti was Mughal influence in india so it didnt happen in indonesia.

Last edited by Goshio22; 04-15-2014 at 09:45 PM..
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
I noticed that one big difference or divide between South Asian compared to East or Southeast Asian cuisine is that there is a lot more dairy in the former, especially desserts, but then again I'm not really familiar with Southeast Asian desserts.

I'm guessing Southeast Asians, like East Asians (except pastoral ones like Mongolians) didn't really have much of a dairying tradition but then again there's water buffalo and I heard their milk is popular too in some places.
Whether it is a southeast asian thing or not, im not sure but most of the local cow are brown cow (is it water bufalo?) That dont produce much milk, if you milk them then they will not have enough milk to feed the calfs, so they're bred only for meat. The dairy cow exist now but they arent exactly from indonesia.

And since beef is not consumed in india mostly, their dairy product is consumed and considered quiet sacred. But in indonesia (even during hindu era and balinese today) beef has always been consumed but dont produce much dairy product.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goshio22 View Post
Fermenting food is also common indonesia, we invented temeh a counterpart of the japanese nato except it taste nicer. India and Indonesia have been trading spice and influencing each other, so there is minor similarities mainly in curries but cooking style of indonesian tend to be still very much SEA and no not all of it are fried stuff, shreded coconut, galangal and clove is also a very common ingredient. Eastern indonesia probably didnt have much influence from india since its not part of the indianized island and are mostly tribal, cooking method and ingredient used are quiet different from the west.

Then came the chinese through colonialism, impact are pretty big as well and occur mixing of cooking method from there. But instead of using the soysauce most of you know, we have the richly thick and sweet soysauce used on most things.

And roti was Mughal influence in india so it didnt happen in indonesia.
I find Indonesian curry often includes large chicken pieces, same with Malaysian, whereas in a lot of the Indian meat curries they cut them into smaller pieces. I think the bones give it an added flavour...I do like biryani/pilaf.etc.

Roti is only really prominent in Malaysia and Singapore in SEA.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
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^well indian actually migrated to singapore and malaysia, through colonialism so their influence is much more prevalent. I think roti is quiet common in Medan, if you go to kampung keling area there, they have few good indian food restaurants.

Well meat really depends in indonesia, most of the meat pieces you find in gulai or eef soto mostly cut to pieces, but chicken is very different i guess, mostly in big pieces, we even consume its leg and use its head as flavor enhancer. Apperently many foreigner find this quiet taunting haha, especially the head. Animal guts is consumed in indonesia something i find particularly rare in Malaysian Malay dishes but common in Chinese cuisine.

Head is considered sacred in Indonesia so its not strange if animal heads sometimes are still attached to the cooked meat.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,238,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goshio22 View Post
^well indian actually migrated to singapore and malaysia, through colonialism so their influence is much more prevalent. I think roti is quiet common in Medan, if you go to kampung keling area there, they have few good indian food restaurants.

Well meat really depends in indonesia, most of the meat pieces you find in gulai or eef soto mostly cut to pieces, but chicken is very different i guess, mostly in big pieces, we even consume its leg and use its head as flavor enhancer. Apperently many foreigner find this quiet taunting haha, especially the head. Animal guts is consumed in indonesia something i find particularly rare in Malaysian Malay dishes but common in Chinese cuisine.

Head is considered sacred in Indonesia so its not strange if animal heads sometimes are still attached to the cooked meat.
Lol you're telling me that? I'm of Singaporean-Malaysian heritage, most of my friends in school who were from Singapore/Malaysia were actually of Indian heritage. I always enjoy great Indian food in Singapore/Malaysia, definitely the Indian influence is very prevalent.

Hmmm...yeah not really, although i think some dishes do. Organ meat is pretty standard throughout most of Asia.

Yes, a chicken head would usually freak most Westerners out...certainly not something you see in Singapore much. Fish head curry is a mamak speciality in Singapore.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
1,022 posts, read 3,145,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Lol you're telling me that? I'm of Singaporean-Malaysian heritage, most of my friends in school who were from Singapore/Malaysia were actually of Indian heritage. I always enjoy great Indian food in Singapore/Malaysia, definitely the Indian influence is very prevalent.

Hmmm...yeah not really, although i think some dishes do. Organ meat is pretty standard throughout most of Asia.

Yes, a chicken head would usually freak most Westerners out...certainly not something you see in Singapore much. Fish head curry is a mamak speciality in Singapore.
Yeah if you do notice lots of western food don't include heads except Norwegia and its neighboring viking countries, including fish dishes, babi guling is a good example how head is used as a display on Indonesian cuisine as well showcase of how long this has been going on in here. I saw a lot of pig head in babi guling warungs when i was in Bali.

Fried Chicken head anyone?

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.n...38347195_n.jpg

Or perhaps Soto babat? (include guts testicles, brains, eyes of goat)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ifhRmwasaV...babat+asli.jpg

I don't exactly remember much but i don't think i have encounter organs in my plate when i went to Malay restaurant.

Last edited by Goshio22; 04-16-2014 at 12:05 AM..
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