As winter approaches, nothing warms up the body like a hot serving of soul satisfying comfort food. Whether savory or sweet, hearty comfort foods are a perfect treat for anyone looking to satisfy their cravings in the chilly weather. Asia is no exception. From warm noodle soups to sweet rice dumplings, the range of comfort food in Asia is incredibly diverse.
Here are the top five halal friendly comfort foods of Asia:
1. Ohn No Khauk Swe (Burmese Chicken Noodle Soup)
This Burmese take on chicken noodle soup is filled to the brim with chewy wheat noodles and creamy coconut broth.
The soup is rich with the flavor of turmeric, onions and ginger. And don’t skip the
garnishes of scallions and lime wedges. These elements add a tart flavor that
compliments the hearty broth, which is thickened with an interesting ingredient–chickpea flour.
To make this soup at home, try this recipe. Or eat it at Burmese Bites in Long Island
2. Curry Laksa (Coconut Milk Soup)
A coconut milk infused Malaysian noodle soup, curry laksa features an assortment of toppings: fried tofu, shrimp, bean sprouts and hard boiled eggs. Although there are many varieties of laksa, curry laksa is the most well-known. Being a
predominantly Muslim country, many Malaysian dishes are halal. Since no meat is used
to make curry laksa, curry laksa is a great option for halal diners.
For the adventurous home cook, try this simplified version. Or try it at Taste Good in
3. Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
Often called the national dish of Taiwan, these noodles
are a favorite throughout Taiwan. An island nation off the coast of China, Taiwanese
cuisine is a combination of Chinese cooking with tropical Southeast Asian ingredients.
The beef for the soup is “red braised” (cooked with aromatics like star anise, sugar,
Sichuan peppercorns and soy sauce) and served with chewy wheat noodles and pickled
mustard greens for a tart punch.
Recipe. To make this dish halal, use halal beef and replace the rice wine with a splash of
white vinegar. Or try it at Ho Foods in Manhattan.
4. Tang Yuan (Chinese Mochi in Soup)
Chinese mochi, like their more well-known Japanese counterparts, are sticky balls made from sweet glutinous rice flour. Eaten for
breakfast in the winter or as dessert, Chinese mochi is often filled with sweet black
sesame or adzuki bean paste and served in a bowl of hot water, the same liquid the
mochi were cooked in.
Curious how to make Tang Yuan at home? Try this recipe. Or try them at Dumpling
Galaxy in Queens, where they have interesting variations like pumpkin and strawberry.
5. Taiyaki (Cake)
A distinctive fish-shaped cake, this warm treat is a Japanese favorite during
winter street festivals. Don’t worry, despite the fishy shape, there’s no fish in the cake.
Instead, this “fish” dessert is a cake filled with sweet adzuki bean paste. The dessert’s
curious shape is made from cake batter being poured and cooked in a cast-iron fish-shaped mold. The soft and warm cake texture is a delightful treat in the winter chill.
Taiyaki is also popular in Korea.
Live or traveling to Los Angeles? Try one of these sweet treats at Little Tokyo Taiyaki.