7 food habits you are likely to pick up living in Asia as expat

Asia has always been one of the most fascinating travel destinations and recently it has become one of the biggest hubs of expatriation.

And according to the Annual Expat Explorer survey, currently Asia is the leading destination for expat quality of life and overall satisfaction. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, now it’s confirmed – expats moving to Asia are the happiest.

Undoubtedly, one of the reasons, expats are happier in Asia is its variety of unusual exotic experiences and drastic cultural differences that allow you to explore more.

One of the major pillars of such cultural experiences in Asia is its food.

Rich, colorful, with striking contrast across regions and counties, but similar in its nature, Asian food is an adventure in itself.

And if, going as a tourist, you may not get to fully enjoy it and understand it, as expat you have better chances to do so.

Not all expats choose to adapt to local cuisines, some stick to their well-known food palette, but if you do get to like food in Asia, living there for a while, you may find yourself having a few new specific patterns when it comes to food choices.

I have listed below some of the food habits you are likely to pick up, being expat in Asia:

  • Eating a lot of rice
  • Well, this one doesn’t exactly require an explanation. Rice and dishes cooked with it is a foundation of all Asian food, region irrespective.

    Rice is everything in this area. You will not only get to enjoy it as a side dish, but can taste cakes and pastries, buns and milk made out of it.

    My personal preference here has always been Thai rice and Vietnamese one, but rice game is very strong in any country in Asia.

  • Drinking very sweet coffee
  • Well, that one is especially relevant for places like India, Thailand and Vietnam.

    Vietnamese coffee

    First one prefers a very mild sweet coffee with a lot of milk, whereas the famous Vietnamese coffee is a very strong blend served on the pillow of condensed milk.


  • Having tea. More tea. And then something tea flavoured.
  • Probably the most famous trait of Asia is its love for tea.

    Milk tea with spices in India, Green tea in Vietnam and Hong Kong, Oolung and White tea in China, Thai Iced tea etc etc

    Again, one of the cult products, which is not only drank, but consumed in forms of pastries and sweets, ice-creams and buns.


  • Spicing it up
  • Spices - a vast universe, an Asian specialty, opened to the rest of the world by travelers, traders and invaders long time back.

    India spices, in particular Garam masala, are generally the most acknowledged and the most radical to your taste buds.

    Indian spices market

    Getting used to them means you will never be able to eat not-so-spicy food again. Needless to say, after India, every other cuisine will seem not-so-spicy.

    Korean kimchi mix, Vietnamese and Thai spices are following India with sweetness, ginger, clove and cardamom being predominant in the spicy palette. Nutmeg, clove and coriander are in the lead roles in Singapore.


  • Fruity life
  • Because why not? Fruits in most Asian countries are ridiculously cheap, fascinatingly exotic and naturally fresh. You are not restricted by seasons as throughout the year you will get one or the other fruity indulgence.


  • Coconut
  • A mother of exotic cuisine and a symbol of tropical life, this fruit is consumed in astonishing quantities, be it in a curry, in spices or in sweets. Just looking at it always made me feel like vacation and being expat in India for many years I can proudly say that this vacation is now a part of my staple diet.

  • All that curry
  • Thai, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Malaysian…every region has its traditional curry and living there is bound to make you develop an addiction to this filling aromatic food, which main ingredient unsurprisingly is curry leaf.

    In the end, whether you do adjust to Asian food or prefer to stick to your native one, but living in Asia will always leave a delicious and exotic mark on your food choices. It’s a part of mystical influence this region holds over those visiting it. And if you haven’t yet - pack your bags and go on your foodie adventure.

    Disclaimer: All pictures in the blog are intellectual property of the author and cannot be used or copied without written permission.

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