Wok’s Up? 6 Inspiring Food Trends From South Asia

Pizza Fireballs – Korea

The Korean restaurant, ‘The Place’, certainly sounds nothing out of the ordinary. Based in Seoul, however, it boasts something extraordinary lurking on its menu – ‘The Bomb’. This in ovative way of cooking pizza involves covering the traditional crust and toppings in a dome of dough, set on fire to cook the ingredients inside. Once crisped to perfection, the dome is sliced open to reveal the cheesy, gooey pizza inside.

Squid Ink Burgers – Japan

Famed worldwide for their weird and wonderful food trends and never to be outdone, Halloween 2014 saw both McDonalds Japan and Burger King Japan releasing competing additions – squid ink burgers. The burgers consist of black buns, black cheese and black sauce – earning them the nickname ‘goth-burgers’. Halloween 2015 saw the trend cross the Atlantic to America – could Halloween 2016 see the goth burger spread to the British Aisles?

Chicken Feet – Malaysia

We’ve all heard horror stories about deep fried animal feet turning up unwanted in our own fast food outlets. But what if chicken feet were on the menu by choice? While it may turn the stomachs of some, deep-fried chicken feet are available ‘literally everywhere’ in Malaysia, dubbed a ‘must-try’ for tourists. The jury’s out on whether this trend will venture overseas!

Banh Xeo – Vietnam

While these savoury Vietnamese crepes have been popular in Vietnam for a while, the rise in popularity of South Asian food has seen them creeping over to our shores. Loosely resembling omelettes, the pancakes contain shrimp; pork; bean sprouts and egg, they are fried, wrapped in rice paper with greens and dunked in a spicy sauce before being eaten.  

Matcha Powder – Japan

A green tea rich in antioxidants, Matcha powder has been popular for some time now. Its health benefits are plentiful – research has linked it to the potential reduction of the risks of diseases such as Parkinson’s, heart disease and cancer. Although it gained popularity through its use in smoothies, it has gradually found its way to the dinner plate – being increasingly worked by chefs into dishes such as curries, bread, porridge and other grain-based dishes.

Kimchi – Korea

Not only has Kimchi won praise for its antibacterial and stomach-settling qualities, it has served as an introduction to Korean cuisine, which so far has been slow to make an impact overseas. A side-dish consisting of spicy pickled vegetables such as cabbage, it is traditional within the cuisine described as ‘less greasy than Chinese, less spicy than Thai and lighter than Indian’, by head Chef Jamie Dobbin.

The variety of methods which can be used to make Kimchi, and its suitability with both meat and non-meat dishes, mean Kimchi appeals to almost everyone. If you’ve been inspired by these and are looking for help launching your range or would just like to discuss this growing market, then call us on 01803 203387 or email at hamish@hra-global.com.

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