For every country and cuisine, there are appetisers that are just as important as the main meals. In Italy they eat bruschetta and other small meals to whet their appetites, while in India they eat cheese puffs and aloo tikki to get their taste buds going. Across Asia, there are plenty of different starters that have remained staples in the individual cuisines for centuries so we thought we'd cover some of the best. From Chinese dim sum to Thai chicken satay, here are some of the best Asian appetisers out there.
1. Bao Chicken Bao Wow
When someone says Taiwanese, it's not always easy to conjure up an accurate image of the cuisine, especially when it comes to appetisers. At least, that's true for anyone who's never tried bao – otherwise known as baozi in Chinese cuisine. Over at BAO BOI in Cork, they specialise in the Chinese steamed bread rolls, filling them with an assortment of meats and vegetables. One of their most well-known options is the Bao Chicken Bao Wow, which is just as fun to eat as it is to say (go on, give it a go!). You can order any of the restaurant's bao dishes as an appetiser or go absolutely bao bonkers and order a dozen of your favourites for a main meal.
2. Dim Sum Platter
The Spanish have tapas, the Italians have antipasti and in China they have dim sum, small bite-size dishes to be eaten before the main meal. Most good Chinese restaurants have some dim sum on the menu, for customers looking for an authentic experience, and Orchid in Dublin is no exception. With over a dozen dim sum options to choose from, the Dim Sum Platter is your best bet. It's made up of various Chinese dishes, including Wal Tip (fried pork dumplings), Hung Yau Kaw (prawn, chilli and garlic) and Kaw Zhe (deep fried chicken and vegetable), as well as Singapore noodles - so the platter ensures you get to sample a bit of everything.
3. Ebi Gyoza
What we would recognise as dumplings is most commonly referred to as gyoza in Japanese and it's one of the country's most popular appetisers. There are several variations on gyoza depending upon where you go, but you'll probably find and stick with one that you prefer pretty quickly. Japanese restaurant Eatokyo began as a humble sushi kitchen, but Ebi Gyoza appears to be the big favourite on the menu. This dish is made of homemade prawn and garlic chive dumplings, steamed to perfection and grilled before being served with traditional gyoza sauce. Light and fluffy, gyoza is sure to whet your appetite.
4. Satay Chicken
For years now, Red Torch Ginger has been offering the people of Dublin exquisite Thai cuisine, using only the best, authentic ingredients. They may be most well-known for their curries and stir-fry dishes, but they also have a number of appetisers including the Satay Chicken. The marinated, succulent chicken breasts are served with a small pot of traditionally made satay sauce and pickled cucumber, so you get to decide exactly how you want to eat your starter.
For an even greater selection of Asian appetisers, see what else Deliveroo has to offer in your area.