Top mukbang channels such as Quang Tran, Gin Pai Thai Rang, and HyuneeEats have done plenty to whet viewers’ taste buds to the wonders of Asian cuisine, with everything from ramen to Korean mozzarella corn dogs whetting viewers’ appetites for more.
These channels do a wonderful job of highlighting both street food and gourmet delights that are already dominating Asian and fusion restaurants across the globe. If the freshness of cilantro and lemongrass or the rich flavor of homemade soy sauce set your gourmet dreams afloat, you may want to keep the following new Asian food trends in mind:
Howard Lo is the Founder of the Empire Eats Group in Singapore (which owns five brands). He has already predicted one of 2020’s strongest trends. The use of black sugar in lieu of white sugar, agave, and corn syrup, to sweeten beverages and desserts. Restaurants in Singapore will be embracing this trend because black sugar bears a beautiful flavor while containing calcium, potassium, iron, and other key minerals. White sugar bears a flavor that is sometimes described as ‘flat’ or lacking in character. Black sugar bears a more rounded, almost umami flavor thanks to the fact that it contains earthy molasses.
The recently published Sustainable Seafood Report has shown that eco-friendliness is as big in the fish and seafood industry as it is in a plethora of industries; everything from wine to dairy products. The recent 2019 Retail and Sustainability Survey shows one 70% majority. Most people feel that sustainability is important when parting with their dollars. This includes monies spent on food. Countries like Japan are seeking to encourage sustainable fishing worldwide. This is because the Japanese seafood industry has suffered a big decline in recent years. Between 1985 and 2017, seafood production fell by 66% owing to practices such as overfishing. Investing in sustainable aquaculture is one way to sustain production. This also offers diners healthy, mercury-free produce that is fresh and tasty all at once.
Healthier Instant Noodles
According to research by Market Watch, instant noodles will be bigger than ever, with an expected 66.17 billion packs expected to sell worldwide by 2023. The big difference is that manufacturers will be looking into healthier ways to meet customer’s demand for this coveted product. They will be turning to techniques like sun drying and air frying noodles to reduce amounts of fat (especially saturated fat). Currently, one pack of instant noodles can contain up to 1,700mg of sodium; customers are demanding lower salt, nutritious varieties such as low-sodium and gluten-free.
Kimchi is a Korean staple that has been increasingly featured on YouTube and televised food shows. This trend is perfectly in line with the rising demand for healthy yet flavor-packed dishes. Comprising fermented cabbage and spices, its benefits include its potent quotient of healthy bacteria. It also boasts the ability to lower bad cholesterol and and improved heart health (thanks to its antioxidant power). Other Korean delights that will be more prevalent include: street food like sugar-coated Korean corn dogs, rice cakes (tteokbokki) and Korean barbecue.
Ultra Delicious Ube
Ube, or purple yam, has been dominating the Philippine dessert industry for centuries. But today, diners across the world are giving in to its earthy umami appeal. Try ube out in puto (a steamed rice dessert), or ube cake (with ube filling). It also goes well in jam (served piping hot over Filipino ensaimadas). Ube is also a revered ice-cream flavor in the Philippines. The format suits this dessert perfectly because of its natural smoothness and creaminess. Filipino ube and Korean kimchi are just two products that will be taking over Asian food restaurants, but there are many more trends in store – including floral-infused drinks, and Japanese Tayaki (a waffle-like dessert bearing a red bean filling and often serving as an ice-cream cone).
As is the case with many other types of cuisine, sustainability and zero-kilometre products will be in big demand. Diners have come to realize that enjoying a great meal in an eco-friendly fashion fits right in with their values and priorities.