Top 15 Asian and Pacific Islander Dishes to Try in Honour of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

By: Ayesha J. Khan

We’ve composed a list full of must-try foods from around Asia and the Pacific Islands!

1. Musakhan – Palestine

Musakhan is a popular dish in Palestine and is known as major comfort food. It contains chicken which is seasoned and scented with sumac alongside other spices and served with onion flatbread.

2. Tibetan Momo – Tibet

The Tibetan momo is half-moon shaped and stuffed with either chicken, beef, mutton, or pork. It is also dipped in a special sauce composed of tomato and mustard. 

3. Pho – Vietnam 

Pho, a popular dish in Vietnam is a special type of soup made of bone broth, rice, noodles, spices, and thinly sliced meat. It is usually also topped with herbs and bean sprouts.

4. Haleem – Pakistan

Haleem is a dish that ranges from region to region but it, in general, is made from various grains, lentils, and meat. Typically, it is eaten with naan and served alongside ginger cuttings, fried onions, lemon, green chillies and coriander. 

5. Palak Paneer – India

Palak paneer is a north Indian dish that has origins in the Punjab region. Just as the name indicates it is composed of spinach purée, and cheese with a blend of ginger, garlic, and garam masala. It is served with basmati rice, naan bread, or even both.

6. Apam Balik – Malaysia 

Apal Balik is crispy pancakes with a peanut filling, that is lightly sweetened with sugar, peanuts, and cream corn. 

7. Chatamari – Nepal

Chatmari is rice flour bread topped with cheese, meat, eggs, or vegetables. The dish is often referred to as Nepali pizza. It can be served as either a main dish, appetizer, or snack.

8. Tempura – Japan

Tempura is lightly battered pieces of deep-fried seafood and vegetables. It is typically served as a main dish, side dish, or even as a topping for tendon rice bowls, or udon and soba noodles.

9: Mango sticky rice – Thailand

Mango sticky rice is a dessert served in Thailand and consists of coconut milk, sweet mango, and sticky rice. 

10: Kung Pao Chicken – China

Kung Pao Chicken is a stir-fry chicken with peanuts and vegetables. Vinegar,  soy sauce, and some sugar are used which results in a mixture of sweet, salty, and sour flavouring. 

11. Shish Taouk – Lebanon

Shish Tawook is a skewered chicken/lamb dish marinated in spices, yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic.

12. Poke – Hawaii

Poke bowls start with a base layer of jasmine rice, then sushi-grade fish is placed on top which is mixed with scallions, sesame seeds, and flakes of pink sea salt. 

13. Lap Lap – Vanuatu

Lap Lap, the national fish of Vanuatu, is a pudding-like dish made from starchy vegetables (such as cassava, taro, and yam) or Pacific cooking bananas, alongside coconut cream. 

14. Firi firi – Tahiti

Firi Firi, a breakfast food, usually enjoyed with coffee in Polynesia. The dish consists of coconut and coconut water,  each used for the final composition. Coconut water is responsible for the flavour of the donut dough and coconut taste. Whereas coconut milk makes up the soft texture of the Firi Firi. 

15. Lolo Buns – Fiji

Lolo Buns are soft Fijian coconut buns made with bread dough and baked with coconut milk in the base.


Thomson, KarrieTop 15 Asian and Pacific Islander Dishes to Try in Honour of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month