5 Classic Oriental Dishes To Order

written by Liz Maelane 28th August 2014

With Asia totaling a staggering 48 countries, it’s easy to get confused when deciding what to eat from your local Thai, Chinese or Japanese. Whether it’s dunking a crunchy spring roll into a fiery chilli dip or guzzling a bowl of deliciously greasy noodles. The choices are seemingly endless. We’ve tried to make the process a bit easier by listing 5 classic oriental dishes that are timeless, easy to find and will never disappoint.

Miso Soup

Miso soup is a steamy combination of water, fermented soy bean paste, tofu squares, salad onions, sesame oil and a Japanese stock called Dashi. Popular for of its lightness, this mildly flavoured broth is the perfect start to any meal. Give it a try next time you’re at Furusato Restaurant in Westlands.

EatOut Tip: Some places may serve the soup in a cup-sized bowl. If that is the case, feel free to drink it like a tea once you have spooned out all the tofu.

Dim Sum

Dumplings (Dim Sum)

Dim sum consists of a variety of bite-sized delicacies served in traditional steamer baskets – great for sharing amongst a group or just for ravaging on your own. The main feature in a Dim Sum spread are the dumplings. Dumplings are made using a thinly-pressed dough which is filled with anything from vermicelli, mushroom and soya to shredded pork, chicken and herbs. and can be served either with a small broth or just on their own, freshly steamed.

EatOut Tip: Although soy sauce and sesame oil often accompany the dumplings, wherever you see a mango sauce in the selection, give it a try with a piece or two.

Thai Green, Yellow or Red Curry

Red curry with pork

With shared flavours like lemongrass, lime, chilli and garlic, you can never really go wrong regardless of which one you choose. If you’re in the mood for something creamy, hearty but still carrying all the subtle Thai flavours, the curries are an obvious pick. All three types come with the option of chicken, fish, beef or vegetables. However, we suggest that you try: red curry with fish or beef, yellow curry with chicken or vegetables and green curry with chicken or vegetables.

EatOut Tip: If you are ordering a yellow curry with vegetables, ask that they add potatoes to the mix. It’s a delicious no-brainer.

Stir Fry

Stir fry

A stir fry dish refers to a combination of spices, sauces and vegetables, with or without meat, sautéed in a wok. You can choose to have either rice or noodles added to the mixture. This is a very simple but filling and enjoyable dish. It is a great choice if you’re having a quick lunch or don’t want to over-think your asian supper.

EatOut Tip: Make sure to ask for a nice sweet soya or sweet and sour sauce to be added. Keep the bottle of soya sauce nearby in case you’re unfortunately served a dry batch.

Noodle Broth (Pho or Hot Pot)


Noodle broths can be found on almost any Asian menu and are a great choice if one is supremely hungry. The two mentioned here are just an example of popular noodle broth varieties. Pho is a traditional and extremely popular Vietnamese dish with ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, fish sauce, chilli, bean sprouts and beef. It is a hot, spicy broth notorious for clearing sinuses as it’s been eaten. Another type of noodle broth could be a combination of vegetables and meats at a Hot Pot table. Hot Pot is a meal shared amongst a group wherein a sizzling metal pot sits at the centre of a table (with a broth boiling away) and ingredients are added as desired. Hot Pot ingredients range from nuts, tofu and mushrooms to pork, chicken and sweet potato.

EatOut Tip: If cooking at home or at a Hot Pot, make sure not to boil ingredients on too high a heat as the water will be soaked up and there will be no broth to speak of.

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