Assignment 98: Pakistan

Location: South Asia, bordering the Middle East Population: 193.2 million Capital: Islamabad Geography: A mix of desert, plains, plateaus, and towering mountains Language: Urdu, English Signature flavours: Lamb, goat, rice, cumin, coriander, mint, dairy, pulses, hot peppers, cardamom The Menu Eric tried Pakistani food for the first time at a restaurant called Khan’s when he…

Assignment 95: Taiwan

Location: East Asia Population: 23.5 million Capital: Taipei Geography: A small island nation with a mix of mountain, forest, and urbanized areas Language: Mandarin Chinese Signature flavours: Beef, pork, rice, scallion, soy, pickled vegetables, bamboo, pineapple The Menu I was really excited for this assignment, not only because I love Asian food, but I felt…

Assignment 94: Hong Kong

Location: East Asia Population: 7.5 million Capital: Hong Kong Geography: A highly urbanized area on the South China Sea Language: Chinese (mainly Cantonese), English Signature flavours: Pork, rice, seafood, garlic, shaoxing wine, soy, sesame, greens, egg, beans The Menu Hong Kong boasts a diverse culinary history, with influences ranging from China (their big neighbour to…

Assignment 84: Brunei

Location: South Asia Population: 459, 500 Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan Geography: Two disconnected pieces of land on the island of Borneo, mostly covered with tropical rainforest Language: Malay Signature flavours: Seafood, shrimp paste, chilli peppers, coconut, garlic, tamarind, ambulung, pandan The Menu Sayur Lodeh: A vegetable and shrimp curry with cabbage, carrot, and green beans,…

Assignment 77: Myanmar

Location: Southeast Asia Population: 53.6 million Capital: Napyidaw Geography: A country of lowlands and coastal mountains, with a tropical climate Language: Burmese Signature flavours: Seafood, rice, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, lime, pandan, coconut, chilli peppers, onion, shallot The Menu When we first began the Wooden Spoon Wanderer blog (way back in Bhutan…remember that?), we relied almost…

Assignment 76: Tibet

Location: Central Asia Population: 3.2 million Capital: Lhasa Geography: Extremely mountainous and receiving little precipitation, and host to the sources of several of Asia’s major rivers Language: Tibetan Signature flavours: Barley, beef, garlic, szechuan peppercorns (also called prickly ash), blue cheese, daikon, dumplings, scallions The Menu Eric and I fondly remember our trip to New…

Assignment 71: Saudi Arabia

Location: Middle East Population: 33 million Capital: Riyadh Geography: A desert nation with coastlines on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea Language: Arabic Signature flavours: Rice, cardamom, cinnamon, tomato, parsley, sesame, lamb The Menu I ordered a couple of cookbooks from the library for this assignment. One ended up being more focused on Lebanon, but…

Assignment 64: Afghanistan

Location: Central Asia Population: 31.6 million Capital: Kabul Geography: A landlocked, mountainous country Language: Pashto Signature flavours: Rice, lamb, rosewater, cumin, dried fruits, nuts, yoghurt The Menu Eric went straight to the Toronto Public Library for cookbooks when he was assigned Afghanistan. A newly-released and well-reviewed Afghan cookbook was on order for the library and…

Assignment 55: Singapore

Location: Southern tip of the Malay Peninsula Population: 5.6 million Capital: Singapore Geography: A highly developed island city state Language: English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil Signature flavours: Seafood, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), garlic, chillies, anise, noodles The Menu Recipes abound for Singaporean cuisine, so my challenge for this assignment was choosing between them all. Singaporean…

Assignment 51: Laos

Location: Southeast Asia Population: 6.8 million Capital: Vientiane Geography: A heavily forested and mountainous landlocked nation Language: Lao Signature flavours: Sticky rice, fish sauce, lime, mint, shallot, chilli pepper, lemongrass The Menu I love the flavours of southeast Asia, namely Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese foods. Having no experience with Laotian cuisine, I was looking forward…