As per a recent study, as many as 67 pc of Indians travel to a destination on grounds of the cuisine and food choices it offers. The study also shows that dedicated food trips by Indians are bound to increase, making food tourism the fad of the travel industry. If you are planning one such trip, here are some destinations closer home, worth exploring for food.
Popular around the world for sushi (raw fished served wrapped in rice), Japanese cuisine also has on offer dishes like the ramen (egg noodles in a salty broth), unagi (river eel grilled over charcoal), tempura (fried fish), soba (long, thin buckwheat noodles), okonomiyaki (savoury pancake), yakitori (charcoal grilled chicken).
Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Krabi- all the popular, touristy spots in Thailand are also food havens. Dishes such as tom kha gai (coconut soup), pad thai (stir fried noodles), som tam (green papaya salad), gai med ma moung (chicken cashew nuts), geng kheaw wan gai (green curry chicken), kao phad (fried rice) are a must try. Street food is rooted in the places culture, just like in India, but of course makes for an exotic experience for an Indian traveller.
Korea and its kimchi (salted and spiced fermented vegetables) go hand-in-hand. Bibimbap (mixed rice and veggies), bulgogi (marinated beef barbecue), japchae (stir-fried noodles), hoeddeok (sweet syrupy pancakes), ddukbokki (spicy rice cake), seolleongtang (ox bone soup) are some popular dishes.
In Ho Chi Minh City, food markets are a unique attraction. Pho (fresh rice noodles in salty broth), cha ca (fried morsels of fish), banh xeo (crepe filled with pork, shrimp, bean sprouts and seasoned with herbs), Cao lau (thick noodles similar to Japanese udon), rau muong (stir fried river weed) are top five recommendations.
For those willing to try the local food in an equally local style, the historic hawker centre of Lau Pa Sat, is open at any time of the day. Rice cakes, po piah (fresh spring rolls and chicken rice), sugarcane juice, bak chor mee (meat noodles), nasi padang (steamed rice dish), laksa (spicy noodles) are just a few dishes one can try here.