Asian foods constitute healthy and easy-to-make recipes that can be on the table in 15 minutes. Asian food recipes have many common ingredients. Once you get a few Asian pantry essentials, all of which you can get from supermarkets, you’ll have the base for all of these recipes.

Whether Indian, Malay or Chinese, some parts of Asian cuisine are renowned for its nutritious and balanced properties.

Researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute believe that the Asian plant-based diet – locally grown staple grains like rice, starchy roots such as potatoes, legumes, beans, and other vegetables and fruits provide protection against many chronic diseases. Let's check out some of the easiest food recipes from different regions of Asia.

Black wok
If you are cooking Asian foods, the wok is your biggest ally | Source: Helinton Fantin on Unsplash
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Easy Chinese Recipes

Check out these recipes that are like a breeze for those new to Chinese cooking.

Basic Fried Rice

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Wash and finely chop the green onions. Lightly beat the eggs with pepper and salt.
  3. Heat a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggs. Cook, stirring until they are lightly scrambled but not too dry. Remove the eggs and clean out the pan.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the cooked and cooled leftover rice. Stir-fry for a few minutes, using chopsticks or a wooden spoon to break it apart. Stir in the soy sauce or oyster sauce as desired.
  5. When the rice is heated through, add the scrambled egg back into the pan. Mix thoroughly, then stir in the green onions. Serve hot.

Kung Pao Chicken

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Combine marinade ingredients, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for 25 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce and vegetables: In a small bowl, combine the dark soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Set aside.
  5. Cut the chilies in half so that they are approximately the same size as the chicken cubes. Remove the seeds.
  6. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut the green onion on the diagonal into thirds.
  7. Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil.
  8. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Stir-fry until it turns white and is 80 percent cooked. Remove from the wok.
  9. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).
  10. Add the chili peppers and the Szechuan peppercorn if using. Stir-fry briefly until they turn dark red.
  11. Add the sauce to the wok. Bring to a boil.
  12. Add the chicken back into the pan. Stir in the peanuts and the green onion.
  13. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve hot.

Easy Japanese Recipes

Tokyo, with the finest sushi in the world, is often considered one of the best food cities in the world. Moreover, Japanese cuisine is synonymous with umami or a deeply satisfying, savory flavor.

Miso Soup

  1. Put the wakame in a small bowl and cover with cold water, then leave it for 5 mins until the leaves have fully expanded.
  2. Make the dashi or heat until it reaches a rolling boil. Add the tofu and cook for 1 min before adding the seaweed.
    • Dashi stock can be made by simmering pieces of dried kombu seaweed and dried shitake mushrooms in water and draining.
  3. Reduce the heat. Put both types of miso in a ladle or strainer and dip it into the pot. Slowly loosen up the miso with a spoon inside the ladle or strainer; the paste will slowly melt into the dashi.
  4. Once all the miso is dissolved into the soup, turn off the heat immediately. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions to add color and fragrance.
fried rice
Rice forms a staple of both Chinese and Japanese cuisines | Source: Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Sushi Rice

  1. Measure out 1 cup rice into a saucepan, rinse the rice, swirling it around the pan, then drain off the water. Try not to lose any of the rice. Add 1½ cups water (about 375ml).
  2. Bring the rice to a simmer quickly, put on a tight-fitting lid, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 13 mins – don’t take the lid off.
  3. Check a couple of grains at the top – the rice should be just about cooked and the water evaporated. If not, continue to cook and check at 2 min intervals, each brand of rice will differ.
  4. Turn the heat off and leave the rice to stand with the lid on for 10 mins so all the moisture is absorbed.
  5. Add sushi rice seasoning, if you want to, and serve.
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Easy Korean Recipes

Scour the Internet and you will find many Asian food blogs that offer simply Korean recipes that can solve your cooking headache!

Korean BBQ Chicken Wings (Tong Dak)

  1. Mix all ingredients, except the chicken, together for the sauce.
  2. Marinate chicken for at least an hour in the sauce.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  4. In a heated pan on the stove, brown the chicken on all sides, reserving the marinade for later.
  5. Transfer chicken wings and drumsticks to a shallow roasting pan, pouring sauce over pieces.
  6. Put the chicken into the preheated oven and cook for a total of 40 to 50 minutes. Turn once during cooking, covering with more sauce if needed.
  7. Serve hot.

Spicy Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Jjigae or Kimchichigae)

  1. Sauté the beef in 1/2 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a soup pot for a few minutes.
  2. Add kimchi to the pot and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining oil, onion, garlic, gochujang, gochugaru, and soy sauce, mixing to combine. Pour the water into the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes to concentrate the flavors, adding the tofu after the first 10 minutes.
  5. Add the scallions at the very end.
  6. Serve this stew immediately after cooking, accompanied by steamed white rice.

Easy Filipino Recipes

Filipino recipes range from the very simple, such as fried salted fish and rice, fish curry, chicken curry, to the complex paellas and cozidos of Iberian origin created for fiestas. Here, we discuss 2 of the simplest.

Pinoy Spaghetti

  1. In a large pot, pour water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Put in the salt.
  3. Add the Spaghetti Noodles and cook until tender. Set aside.
  4. Using a separate pan, saute the garlic and onions.
  5. Put in the ground meat and let cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the hotdogs and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Put in the tomato sauce, banana catsup, tomato paste, and brown sugar then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Place the sauce on top of the cooked noodles and add some cheese.
  9. Serve hot.
filipino spaghetti
Do more with spaghetti like the Filipinos do | Source: Rob Wicks on Unsplash

Lechon Kawali Recipe

  • Pour water into a cooking pot.
  • Boil.
  • Add the pork belly and 1 tablespoon of salt. Put some pepper and bay leaves. Boil for 30 minutes or until the meat gets tender.
  • Remove the meat from the pot and let it cool down for a few minutes.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of salt on the pork belly. Make sure to distribute it evenly on all sections.
  • Start to deep fry the boiled meat. Heat oil on a cooking pot.
  • Put each piece of boiled pork belly into the hot oil with extra caution. Fry until crispy. Turn the meat over to completely fry the opposite side until crispy.
  • Remove the meat from the cooking pot. Arrange on a wire rack to cool down.  Slice according to desired portions.
  • Serve with Lechon sauce.

Easy Thai Recipes

Thai dishes may contain complex flavors. However, that doesn't mean they are hard to cook. Wok-fried dishes are all in a day's work for Thai locals. There is no reason why you can't make them too!

Ever wondered what makes Asian and Western foods different? Find out here!

Thai Rice Porridge with Pork Meatballs (Jok Moo)

  1. Tip the rice and stock into a large pan and simmer gently, stirring regularly, for 45 minutes or until the rice has started to collapse.
  2. Stir in the ginger and soy sauce.
  3. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a bowl with some seasoning and form 24 meatballs.
  4. Add to the porridge with 300 ml of water and simmer gently, stirring carefully every now and again, for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Spoon into bowls and top with the spring onions and chili oil, if you like.

Pad Thai

  1. To make the sauce, put all the ingredients and 3 tbsp of water into a small pan.
  2. Bring to a simmer, stirring, and cook for 2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Cool.
  4. Pour just-boiled water over the noodles, cover, and leave until just softened.
  5. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  6. Drain again.
  7. Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan.
  8. Fry the shallots for 2-3 minutes or until soft and golden.
  9. Add the prawns and cook for another 2 minutes until pink.
  10. Push the prawns and shallots to one side. Add the egg, stirring until it has scrambled.
  11. Add the noodles and toss for 2 minutes.
  12. Add the sauce, chili powder, bean sprouts, and chives, and cook for 30 seconds.
  13. Divide between two plates and scatter with peanuts and extra chives.
  14. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.

Easy Indian Recipes

It is not easy to pick the easiest recipe from such a diverse cuisine as Indian cuisine. However, you can try these basic Indian recipes at home to get a taste of what India likes to eat every day!

Yellow Moong Dal

  1. Wash the dal 3–4 times and keep it aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add the washed dal, salt, turmeric powder, and 2 cups of water.
  3. Cook the dal for 2 whistles.
  4. Wait till the pressure releases naturally.
  5. Dish out the dal to a serving bowl.
  6. Take a tadka pan, heat the ghee in it.
  7. Add jeera seeds and chopped garlic.
  8. Cook till the garlic gets dark brown in color.
  9. Add red chili powder and immediately pour this tadka over the cooked dal.
  10. Garnish with chopped green coriander.
  11. Serve your peeli (yellow) dal!
lentils
The daal (lentil soup) is a staple in most parts of India | Source: Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Chettinad Chicken

  1. Put the chicken in a large bowl along with ginger, turmeric, and chili powder. Stir well and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Use a pestle and mortar to lightly bash the fennel seeds, cinnamon, dried chilies, and peppercorns. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a wok or large frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and, when they begin to pop, fry for 10 seconds. Add the crushed spices and fry for a minute. Add the curry leaves and, as they splutter, add the onion. Fry for 7–8 minutes, stirring often. Add the marinated chicken and turn the heat up slightly, frying for 4 minutes. Season with a little salt.
  4. Lower the heat, cover, and cook the chicken for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  5. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking uncovered for 4–5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle over the coriander and serve with rotis or parathas.

Check out what makes the wok the most versatile cooking utensil in Asia.

Dum Aloo

  1. Cook the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom pods, ground almonds, coconut, and sesame seeds in a small pan for 2–3 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  2. Cool, then use a spice grinder or pestle and mortar to grind to a powder.
  3. Put the ginger, garlic, green chilies, and 4 tbsp of water into a food processor and whizz to a purée. Stir into the spice powder.
  4. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick, lidded wok or frying pan and fry the potatoes for 10 minutes until really golden all over. Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes until soft and golden. Tip in the purée along with lots of seasoning, ground turmeric, yogurt, and 300 ml of water. Mix well, put on the lid and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.
  5. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10–15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Season and sprinkle with coriander to serve.
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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.