• Akshay Patel

4 Asian takeaway classics that people in Asia may have never heard of

4 Asian takeaway classics that people in Asia may have never heard of

Peng food pending.

By Akshay Patel

BuzzFeed staff

Food and Drink/REX/Shuttersock via Buzzfeed UK

It’s another Friday night, in the country’s third national lockdown. The Australian malbec is unscrewed, and you’ve launched yourself in your “spot,” ready to gawk at the tv until Netflix asks, ‘are you still watching.’ Restaurants stay closed, and the thought of cooking is effort. It’s the fifth week rummaging through the mini Jenga tower, made up of bright green Pedro Pizzeria and Tandoori Palace leaflets, hunting for this week’s 2-4-1 coupon special. Across floors, you hear, “can you stick a Vindaloo on for me.” A top contender for the nation’s favourite takeaway dish but for Indians in India, they wouldn’t have a clue. Here are some more inauthentic takeaway favourites that might not be so common in Asia.

1. A Cheeky Tikka Masala

720 Fusion Fresh via Buzzfeed UK

A winner of the 2015 Takeaway dish of the year, a tikka masala. Typically, chicken pieces, or potato chunks as a veg alternative, marinated in a spice fused blend, coated in a thick tomato and turmeric gravy, sprinkled with coriander and swirls of yogurt and mint for that extra zesty tang, a visual masterpiece. The word tikka masala has probably been said over a million times in London’s Brick Lane, the country’s ‘Curry Mile,’ but outside of the western hemisphere of the globe, the dish is close to being non-existent. Birthed in Glasgow in the 70s, the tikka masala was created when a customer requested sauce with their chicken tikka, the Bengali chef fused the two together, kickstarting what all foodies now known as fusion cuisine. It’s that simple. This popular dish has now been saluted as a symbol of modern multicultural Britain.

2. . Salt ‘n’ Pepper Chips

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A northern treasure that ticks all the boxes of being daring, bold, and in your face. A scouse invention through and through. Adored by northerners, salt and pepper chips barely made it to the midlands. Londoners would have no clue. Salt and pepper chips originated from Chinese chippies in Liverpool in the 90s when a customer demanded peppers and onions be added to the chips. And that was it. This classic would typically dominate a quarter of the plate, next to the Cantonese style noodles and always a little bit soggy as the tangy sauce from the sweet and sour chicken seeps in.

3. Chicken Balls

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Unsealing that tin foil box to see eight chicken balls all paired in perfect twos, impulsively separated as family members grab their share of the favourite Chinese side. Sorry veggie lovers, but the chicken balls are another top addition to the already very tan looking plate. You always need a kickass sidekick to make the main look good, and the chicken ball does just that. The dish consists of chicken in a thick batter coating and then deep-fried. Adding garlic to the batter if you’re feeling that little bit lux — it’s basically, the chicken nuggets international cousin. Oh, so British. Another dish unheard of in Asia.

4. The Fortune Cookie

@live.and.breathe.reiki via Buzzfeed UK

Controversial indeed, but rumour has it that the Fortune Cookie isn’t actually from Japan. Before all hell breaks loose, the exact origin is unclear; some say the crunchy appetiser was founded in California by Japanese immigrants. One thing is for sure, in Asia, the Fortune Cookie isn’t typically eaten after you’ve just spent the last 30 minutes scoffing your face with a cheeky Chinese and graced every surface with a layer of grease from your grotty fingers, that’s for sure.

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