Fan-favorite foods from Midnight Asia

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Fan-favorite foods from Midnight Asia

Our top picks from the hit Netflix show Midnight Asia

If you are anything like us at Yami, then we know you are just as obsessed as us with Netflix’s Midnight Asia. The bright neon lights and beautiful cityscapes in the night sky seem like a dream to most of us. But it’s not just the night scene we love, it’s the night market food, like BBQ and skewers, or hot pot and stews, of course! We’ve recapped our favorite street foods from the show to help bring a little inspiration to your home kitchen.

BBQ and Skewers

It's fair to say BBQ and skewers play a very important role in Asian night market food and each country has its own version. It's enticing to stand in front of the stalls and enjoy it with family and friends. The smell of BBQ is making you excited to try different skewers one by one. Meanwhile, owners are showing their high spirit by adding music in the background, trying to provoke people to come to buy their skewers.

Moo Yang in Bangkok, Thailand

  • We’ve all had skewers at some point, but these aren’t your typical Fourth of July skewers. These are Thai-style grilled pork skewers with fermented fish sauce, otherwise known as Moo Yang.
  • So, next time you need to bring a tasty dish to your company pot luck or just need a quick summer appetizer, we recommend you give these juicy grilled pork skewers a try.
  • The key to these crowd-favorites is to use thinly sliced pork tenderloin. Then, make sure you generously marinate the pork in the fish sauce along with coconut cream and cilantro, creating its signature sweet and sour flavor.
  • Make sure you leave the pork in the marinade overnight to get the best flavor.
  • Don’t have enough time to marinate overnight? That’s okay! You can get pretty close to the rich flavor by marinating for at least an hour ahead of grilling.
  • Pro tip: If you’re using bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them in water ahead of time to ensure they don’t snap or burn on the drill.

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Hot pot and Stews

Another huge part of Asian night market food is hot pot and stews. When you think about the weather in Asia, it’s pretty easy to understand why you see so much boiling soup or hot pots on the street.

Nikujaga or “Beef Stew” in Tokyo, Japan

  • During the first episode, Midnight Asia took us to the Standing Bar, a unique bar and restaurant that has become a famous “hole-in-the-wall” for its delicious food and eccentric owner. But what has really caught our eye was the Nikujaga, or “beef stew”, being served.
  • Now, we know beef stew is a classic comfort food for many Americans, but have you ever had this delicious Japanese-style beef stew? If not, then your pallet is in for an amazing ride.
  • Although similar to the traditional cooking process in America, the flavor of Japanese-style beef stew is completely different. Starting with a few new ingredients such as lemon, ginger, soy, sake, and mirin (a seasoned cooking wine), you’ll quickly realize we’re not in Kansas anymore. Plus, add a few extra ingredients like squash or pumpkin for some nice texture.
  • Very similar to Nikujaga, Sukiyaki, a Japanese dish that is prepared and served in the nabemono style. It consists of meat which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin, seems to be more popular globally. The main difference between sukiyaki and nikujaga is that nikujaga is simmered/cooked in soy sauce (similar to oxtail stew) while sukiyaki uses a mixture of soy sauce and sugar.
  • Enjoy this hearty meal after a long day or a chilly winter night with a side of white rice and miso soup for the perfect comfort food. This whole new take on a fairly simple meal can really spice your week up and is why it’s one of our favorites!

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Pav Bhaji

Mumbai, India

  • If you loved the idea of Nikujaga but want a faster process, then you’ll definitely love this quick, hearty dinner from Mumbai, India. Pav Bhaji is similar to a spicy vegetable chili served with warm dinner rolls. Even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy a warm meal with veggies and bread. What’s not to love, right?
  • You can find this iconic meal all over India’s street food scene but for those of us who aren’t traveling to Mumbai anytime soon, you can easily make this dish with your household instant pot.
  • Although there are a couple ways to make this dish, a simple method is to throw together all the vegetables into a boiling pot of water and set them aside when done. Then, start on your spices by sautéing onions, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, chilis, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
  • Once mixed, you can add in your veggies to any stock and you’ve got yourself the most amazing comfort food. Here’s a tip for when cooking a meal within a short amount of time.
  • The secret to Pav Bhaji’s powerful flavor is all in the spices and the spoonfuls of butter that help simmer all the veggies. Your guests will think you’ve been cooking for hours!
  • And of course, the key to enjoying any stews to its fullest is the gourmet bread!

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