Extended stay-at-home protocols have pushed people to get creative and come up with clever ways to explore new places. With Agoda’s Usage & Attitude survey showing food and dining experiences as the third top motivation to travel for Asians, it’s no surprise that Filipinos have been spending more time cooking in the kitchen as of late.
Even though we can’t travel yet, recreating the flavors of distant shores can be just as inspiring as an adventure in itself. Agoda invites you to go on your own culinary journey around Asia with these gastronomic delights to feed your wanderlust (and belly)!
The Destination: Thailand
The Dish: Phat Kaphrao
Agoda’s booking data shows that Thailand has been the top country of choice for Filipino travelers—with Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai taking spots in the top 15 cities most visited by Filipinos. While travelers are unable to fly off to the Land of Smiles just yet, you can savor the authentic flavors of Thailand in your own kitchen by giving phat kaphrao a go.
This classic quickie lunch order is easily available at high-end Thai restaurants, street-side carts, and floating markets throughout Bangkok and is typically served over rice with a nice, crispy fried egg made in a stir fry wok. The dish embraces the contrast of saltiness, sweetness, and sourness that are the secret to good Thai cuisine.
The Destination: Indonesia
The Dish: Rendang
If you looked forward to soaking up the sun and immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of Bali this year, you can still get a taste of Indonesia’s wonderful culture through their food from the comfort of your own home.
Equatorial Indonesia has a plethora of amazing eats as hot as the weather itself—from nasi goreng, often touted as Indonesia’s national dish, to the gado-gado which translates to “mix-mix”, which Jakartans love to pair with cashew sauce instead of peanut sauce. However, if there’s one dish worth trying to cook yourself, rendang has to be it.
Rendang is a spicy slow-cooked meat dish—usually beef—made notably with lemongrass, coconut milk, and a ton of flavorful spices. This dish is traditionally served on special occasions, but who says you can’t treat yourself today? While the rendang is cooking, quaranchefs will have time to explore the many places to stay at and things travelers can do in Bali or Jakarta and beyond via Agoda.com.
The Destination: South Korea
The Dish: Jjajangmyeon
Korea, the third most popular country for Filipino travelers, boasts a number of tasty offerings, from samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) to tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and even dalgona (spongy sugar candy) which inspired the lockdown favorite dalgona coffee. However, slurping down a bowl of South Korean delivery food staple jjajangmyeon is sure to instantly transport you to your favorite K-drama locations.
Enjoyed by many from the streets of Itaewon and posh Gangnam district of Seoul all the way to the southern city of Busan and even the calm and serene island of Jeju, jjajangmyeon is not too complicated to try to make at home as chunjang or Korean-style black bean paste is readily available at most K-marts.
The Destination: Japan
The Dish: Sushi
Pining for the vibrant flavors of Japan? Aside from scrolling through travel guides and staring longingly at the lovely photos of what could be, rise to the challenge and learn how to make one of Japan’s signature dishes and global favorite: sushi. Learning to make sushi is a delightful achievement to take away from this whole quarantine situation and is quite therapeutic, as well. With more than 29,000km of coastline, it is not surprising the Land of the Rising Sun has an abundance of the freshest seafood selection allowing for a wide variety of sushi.
Sushi-making is regarded as an art form with master sushi chefs taking years or even a lifetime of training before they can man their own sushi counter. Aside from using only fresh fish, the key to delicious sushi is ensuring you season the rice well with a balance of vinegar, sugar, and salt.
The Destination: Iloilo
The Dish: Adobong Pula / Adobo sa Atsuete
In the never-ending debate for the title of Philippine National Dish, the Ilonggo version of adobo is a
noteworthy point of consideration. Just like Iloilo, which is known as the Province of Festivals and for its heritage churches, this red-hued dish has a rich and flavorful history. Travelers can try their hand at it while sheltering in place for the meantime, but shouldn’t miss the chance to head South to experience
authentic adobo sa atsuete for themselves once able.
When planning that trip to Iloilo (hopefully sooner, rather than later), check out the Goldberry Lite Hotel with its unique façade and modern interiors, as well.
What’s your favorite international dish to cook at home? Share your recipes with us!
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