Taste Your Way Through Asia: The Best Asian Snacks & Fruits
There’s no denying the fact that Asian fruits are among some of the most exotic, unique, and delicious fruits on the planet Earth. And let’s not forget about the delicious dishes unique to Asian countries. From Southeast Asia all the way up to China, each region and country officers its own unique fare.
Whether you’ve traveled far and wide to encounter these delicious fruits, scrumptious dishes, or tasty treats, the only problem with finding them is realizing that you can’t enjoy the flavors once you’ve arrived back home. So, when you’re craving Asian snacks, dishes, and fruits, here’s where to find them (and what to try if you’re a newbie to the cuisine).
The Best Asian Fruits to Try
It’s likely that you’ve seen this Chinese fruit all over the United States by now. It seems to be particularly popular as a frozen yogurt flavor, but there’s nothing quite like sampling it in its original form. Sweet, succulent, and small enough to enjoy in bite-sized versions, lychee is also packed full of antioxidants and Vitamin C. Not sold on sampling this exotic fruit? It’s considered to be a symbol of sensuality, so much so, in fact, that the emperor of the Tang Dynasty had his men go out in search of lychee in order to win over a woman.
Durian is the smelly fruit you might have seen signs for if you’ve ever ridden public transportation or taken a taxi in Asia. Yes, it’s so smelly that they’ve even banned it from certain hotels. However, if you can get over the smell, you might just find that you’re delighted by the fruit’s unique flavor. It’s slightly creamy, which is unique for a fruit, and it packs the perfect punch of delicately sweet and just slightly sour. You can’t visit Asia without sampling it at least once.
Rambutan is so pretty that it’s almost a shame to eat it! It’s got a similar color to lychee but looks more as if it’s sporting a shaggy haircut. You’ll find these fruits growing naturally in Indonesia and Malaysia, and the inner core is a slightly slimy ball of sweet goodness (similar to a grape). Best of all, the fruit is packed with vitamins and tons of fiber!
Also called pitaya in some regions of the world, dragon fruit is the bright pink fruit that looks like cookies and cream on the inside. It’s vibrant, beautiful, and oh-so-tasty. One trip to Bali and you’ll see the fruit included in nearly every smoothie bowl they serve to travelers. And we don’t blame them! It’s just as tasty as it is colorful and unique. Unlike Asian fruits such as durian, dragon fruit is slightly sweet and mild in taste, almost like a melon or kiwifruit.
Typical Asian Foods & Snacks
Lao Gan Ma Chili Black Bean Sauce
More a sauce than a sheer snack, Lao Gan Ma Chili Sauce is an iconic Chinese sauce hailing from Guizhou. The name of the black bean sauce comes from Lao Gan Ma, which translates to “old grandmother” because, well, the lady on the sauce is actually her! She set up her own sauce factory and sold noodles drenched in it.
You’ll note that the sauce is sold in a variety of different flavors, including chili crisp and hot chili sauce, but we recommend starting with the black bean sauce first! Host a potluck dinner with friends and use it as a sauce for stir-fried noodles or dumplings. It’s sure to be a hit.
You don’t have to look far in any American city to find a place that sells Taiwanese bubble tea. This iconic drink was first seen in Taichung around the 1980s and has since taken the world by storm. Basically, boba are the little balls of slimy starch that you see in the bottom of the cup. Combine those with tasty milk tea and you have boba tea!
If you’re after a traditional mix, we suggest sampling drinks that use green or black tea as a base, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also get boba tea with fresh fruit tea, matcha, oolong, or even white tea. The options are endless and the boba is always delicious!
Dive deep into Japanese culture and host a virtual Zoom Japanese tea ceremony with friends. This traditional ceremony usually lasts for hours, embodying a sense of spirituality, and centers solely around the preparation and consumption of Japanese matcha tea (while the tea originated in China, it was brought to Japan in the 1100s and used in Zen Buddhist ceremonies).
As a green tea, matcha has numerous health benefits, but the chance to sample authentic matcha tea is really about the unique cultural background surrounding the drink and the ceremonies that it’s a part of.
Where to Buy Asian Treats
If your mouth is watering after reading our descriptions of lychee or boba then get in line! Wipe the drool from your face and figure out the fastest way to order from your local Asian market. Not only is it a great way to mix up your meal planning and try out new cuisines, it’s a fantastic way to support local grocers other than Walmart, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s.
Did you know that Cheese offers exclusive cashback deals for brands that sell Asian groceries and snacks? Ummmm, yeah! While you’re here, why not click around and browse through the app to see which stores sell the Asian fruits and foods that you’re interested in.
Here’s a list of the cashback deals we offer at online and local markets:
- Weee! = 3%
- Yamibuy = 3%
- 99 Ranch Market = 2%
- H-Mart = 2%
- Mitsuwa = 2%
And, for those interested in Asian food delivery, try:
- Chowbus = 2%
- Fatuan = 2%
- Hungry Panda = 2%
In the mood for other foods? Visit our offers section to see which other hot cashback deals you can access by paying with your Cheese Debit Card.