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Fast Food of the World. Part II – Asia & Australia.

March 21th, 2016 · 6 Comments

Here is the second post of a series we called “Fast Food Around The World”. Today we will take a look at what do people in Asia and Australia eat when they need to eat fast. Again, this is not a scientific research and we don’t pretend to list every food in every country. So if you have something interesting to add or if we have made some mistakes, please do not hesitate to comment and share your thoughts.

The countries and foods are arranged in no particular order.


The meat pie and sausage rolls are examples of traditional take-away foods. Typically found in many takeaway shops is the ‘Australian Hamburger’. This is mainly distinguished from other hamburgers by the range of fillings available. An order with all fillings is known as a ‘Hamburger with the Lot’. The fillings include lettuce, tomato, cheese, beetroot, grilled onion, bacon, a fried egg and pineapple.









In China different areas and cities all have their own specialities. Here are examples of snacks and fast food in Shanghai

  • Xiaolongbao – steamed dumplings with a meat and soup filling
  • Shengjian – fried steamed bread
  • Guotie – fried dumplings
  • Malatang – shrimp, fish balls, tofu, bean curd, lotus root, mushrooms, chicken, beef tendon, noodles, and much more get cooked in a pot of steaming broth laced with Sichuan peppers and sesame oil.
  • Bingtang hulu – a skewer of about half a dozen hawthorns that are dipped in a sugar syrup, which hardens into a shiny candy coating.
  • Roujiamo – pork, herbs, shredded lettuce, and chilli sauce stuffed into a pita-like pocket.
  • Suanlafen – spicy and sour noodles
  • Jian bing – a crepe-like snack typically found only in the north.
  • Yangrouchuan – lamb kebab
  • Zhurouchuan – pork kebabs
  • Dao xiao mian – handmade chewy noodles cut from ball with a knife














Chaat is a name of a quick food, often found in the streets of many Indian cities. Chaats are sold by street vendors in a push-cart, where the Chaatwala or the Chaat guy prepares the snacks. The popular chaats include:

  • Bhel Puri – diced boiled potatoes, chutney dal, coriander powder, grated coconut, and mustard oil
  • Masala Puri – popular evening snack. The gravy is prepared using peas and spices and the snack is arranged in layers, with crushed crispies as the base, hot peas gravy over it, raw vegetables on top of it and sweet and spicy chutneys and powders over it.
  • Vada Pav – is a vegetarian fast food dish. It consists of a Batata Vada a deep-fried potato mash patty served in a salted bun (pav) with savory condiments

Traditional Snacks include: Dhokla (chickpeas spiced by adding chile pepper, ginger, and baking soda. It is usually served with green chutney or some peanut oil), Podimas (Plantain, Potato, Banana), Poha (rice).






In most cities it is common to see Chinese dishes such as bakpao (buns), bakmi (noodles), and bakso (meatballs). Though, pork is not used since the majority of Indonesians are Muslims. Another popular Indonesian street foods and snacks are siomay (mackerel fish meat served with peanut sauce, pempek (fish and sago), bubur ayam (chicken congee), bubur kacang hijau (green beans porridge), satay (diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef or fish), nasi and mie goreng (fried rice and fried noodle), gorengan (Indonesian assorted fritters).

Indonesian street snack also included ice and sweet beverages, such as es cendol or es dawet, es teler, es cincau, es doger, es campur, es potong, and es puter. Indonesia has rich collection of snacks called kue (cakes and pastry) either savoury or sweet: risoles, pastel, lumpia, lemper, lontong, tahu isi, lapis legit, getuk, just to name a few.















Japanese-style fast foods generally fall under three types: noodles, rice with toppings, and street foods. Common quick meals located throughout Japan:

Noodles – found everywhere;

  • Ramen – Japanese version of the original Chinese noodle soup served with various toppings
  • Udon – wheat-based noodle in broth garnished with toppings
  • Soba – thin brown buckwheat noodles: kake-soba (soba noodles in hot soup); zaru-soba (soba served cold with dipping sauce); yaki-soba (stir-fried soba with vegetable and meat toppings); and chuka-soba (boiled soba served with vegetables, meat, or seafood).

Rice plates – rice served with different toppings:

  • Kaiten-zushi – plates of different kinds of sushi, placed on a conveyor belt
  • Donburi – a bowl of steamed rice with various toppings: tendon (tempura shrimp); katsudon (pork and egg); oyakodon, (chicken mixed with egg); and gyudon (beef and onions)
  • Curry rice – thick, creamy Japanese curry sauce with chicken, pork or beef served over steamed rice.
  • Street foods – found at food stalls in the day time and at night known as yatai:

    • Oden – stew with various ingredients
    • Yakitori – skewered chicken, giblets, or vegetables
    • Okonomi-yaki – found at food carts or small shops: pancake containing various ingredients, such as pork, seafood, cabbage, etc.









    Korean fast food: bulgogi (marinated barbecued beef), Gimbap (steamed white rice (bap) and various other ingredients, rolled in gim (sheets of dried seaweed) and served cold in bite-size slices). Hoddeok – a fried yeast dumpling, flattened to a pancake, with sticky cinnamon sugar center.

    6 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Lee // Mar 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      Regarding Korea: you missed so many exciting street food items! Odeng and dukbeokki are just two which spring to mind. Odeng is everywhere: slabs of fish paste threaded on skewers and heated in a delicious, spicy broth. Dip the odeng in soy sauce and drink a cup of hot broth, perfect when standing outside in winter… and dukbeokki is sort of like sections of thick rice noodle in a sweet-hot red pepper sauce, wonderful. Korea is a wonderland of cheap street food. I miss it!

    • 2 Bogong // Mar 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm

      In the Australian section, you have missed
      fish and chips – battered fish and potato chips (big fat French fries, for our USA cousins)
      dim sims- pastry enclosing spicy meat dumpling served fried or steamed (pseudo Asian dish)
      pasties (par-stees)- pastry enclosing a mixture of meat and vegetables; can be just vegetables

    • 3 Michael // Mar 29, 2009 at 6:30 pm

      You might like to investigate these unique Australian ‘take- away’ food items
      Dim Sims, “Chiko” Rolls

    • 4 Maozze // Mar 30, 2009 at 6:22 am

      For the Australian section – you missed the Chico Roll. The single most inedible thing on the planet (and yes, I am including magma, faeces and knishes in that list)

    • 5 debunker // May 29, 2009 at 11:42 pm

      wow… bulgogi as streetfood? most places in korea it’s upwards to $20 per person or more, and served in restaurants. hardly “streetfood”.

      hoddeok= “fried yeast dumpling”? not even close.

      and “gim” is not seaweed, it’s laver.

      try doing some research. it’s easy as going to wiki, you know.

    • 6 Laura // Jun 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm

      Laver is seaweed…