If you think Australia has the monopoly on barbecue cooking, think again. Asian nations have elevated barbecuing to an art form, using mouth-watering marinades, affordable cuts of meat, and an open flame to create tantalising grills. This summer, update your alfresco menu with authentic barbecue recipes from across Asia, and you’ll never settle for a plain old sausage again.
Along with fried chicken and kimchi, barbecue is one of Korea’s hottest culinary exports. Once you’ve mastered the art of Korean marinades and banchan (side dishes), you can whip up a Korean barbecue feast in minutes. Use a store-bought marinade for speedy bulgogi pork and beef and mushroom skewers, or make your own savoury sauces for dak bulgogi (Korean chicken barbecue) and galbi gui (grilled short ribs). Read on to discover the secret to creating an authentic Korean barbecue treat at home.
Seafood and poultry are the stars of the show when it comes to barbecuing in Thailand. In the coastal regions of Central and Southern Thailand, the day’s catch is simply marinated with Thai spices such as chilli, lemongrass, garlic and basil, and quickly grilled over an open flame. Try Thai salt-grilled fish, quick-smart spicy grilled shrimp, or luxurious lobster tails with basil sauce for a Thai seafood feast that’s ready in minutes. On the poultry front, it’s hard to go past the grilled chicken of the north-eastern Isan region, typically served with som tum salad and sticky rice.
Pork reigns supreme as the barbecue meat of choice in Vietnam. Stroll the streets of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city, and you’ll be greeted by the aroma of marinated pork sizzling over charcoal braziers. Try barbecued pork crammed into banh mi sandwiches or in Hanoi’s street-food favourite, bun cha, served with vermicelli noodles, zesty herbs, crunchy vegetables and sweet-tangy dressings.
In Malaysia and Singapore, barbecues aren’t relegated to the backyard. The cities’ famed hawker stalls are a hotbed of sizzling activity; cooks fan charcoal flames as they grill smoky satay skewers of chicken or beef, or flavoursome seafood dishes, such as ikan bakar, fragrant banana-leaf parcels packed with sambal and fish.
From the smoky yakitori dens of Tokyo to the salty-sweet flavours of teriyaki, Japan is a rich source of grilling inspiration. Create authentic Japanese yakitori skewers of chicken and spring onion. Try a delicate dish of grilled scallops with daikon dressing, or add a Japanese accent to your seafood with saba shioyaki and ikayaki.
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