Burmese, Lao and Cambodian cuisines are just as diverse, colourful and yummy as their Southeast Asian neighbours. Come discover them!
All Asian cuisines have deep-fried dishes – a fundamental cooking technique that turns almost any kind of ingredient into crispy delicious delights. According to Hong Kong Chef Chan Hon Cheong of the Michelin-starred restaurant Ming Palace, deep-frying enriches the texture of food, and when done right, brings out their rich, natural flavours. Crunchy on the outside, tender and savoury within.
The secret is heat – high temperature, but not too hot till your food cooks too fast on the surface, but undercooked inside. Choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point, preheat your wok, put in the oil and cook till it sizzles. Next, sprinkle in some frying powder/mixture you coated your food with: if no bubbles form, the oil is not hot enough; if it’s too hot, the powder will cook instantly. Adjust the heat till the powder cooks at an even pace, then drop in your ingredients. Not too many at one go. Instead, cook in batches to ensure every piece is well-fried. Keep a close eye, and adjust the heat accordingly. Also, be sure to put enough oil that you can dip in your food completely when cooking.
But wait, won’t all that oil make your food greasy and unhealthy? Well, with good quality oil at the proper high temperature, your food actually cooks quicker without absorbing too much oil. Ideally, your dish should have an alluring golden hue, crisp, crunchy mouth-feel, and hot, succulent flavour.
So, follow our pro-tips above, and enjoy these 10 amazing Asian deep-fried favourites with your loved ones!
A popular dish savoured across Japan, Karaage simply means ‘deep-fried in oil’. Sumptuous chicken thighs marinated with cooking sake, soy sauce, ginger juice and sesame oil; fried to tasty perfection. Enjoy with mayonnaise, or with rice for a full meal.
Spicy Korean Fried Chicken
Zest up your fried chicken, spicy Korean style. Coated with potato starch, mirin, black pepper, fine sea salt and minced ginger; fried till crisp and drizzled with a special sauce mix for piquant enjoyment.
Crispy Larb Chicken Wings
Love chicken wings? Then have a tantalizing deep-fried Thai treat that’s easy to make and delightful to taste. Best enjoyed with a refreshing mix of lime juice and fish sauce.
Seafood is great for deep-frying too. Have a crunchy, delicious snack with this Japanese prawn special. Dip with yuzu juice and mayonnaise, or savour as a side with your salad.
Khai Jiao Omelette
Great for breakfast, snack or a side dish in any meal, this superbly simple Thai-style omelette is sure to surprise you!
A must-have Lunar New Year snack that’s awesome to enjoy all year round. Vietnamese spring roll combines the rich taste of minced pork with a variety of wholesome veggies; wrapped in a crunchy golden crust. Best served hot!
Traditional Asian pastries are rarely baked, but steamed or fried, and with very rich fillings. This adorable Malaysian curry puff is a fine example: delicious chicken and potato curry packed in a deep-fried dough. A splendid weekend treats for the whole family.
Enjoy a sweet, crunchy banana special for your breakfast or afternoon snack. Super easy to make!
An easy Chinese snack of deep-fried glutinous rice flour balls coated with fragrant white sesame seeds and filled with red bean paste. Chewy, yummy, and fun for children of all ages.
An all-time favourite snack in Southeast Asia, the Keropok Ikan or fish crackers is basically a deep-fried mix of fish paste and tapioca flour. Crunchy, fragrant and very umami. Once you munched your first cracker, you might not want to stop!