Asian cuisine is packed with interesting ingredients and delicious flavors. Whether you delve into Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indian, or Japanese food, you’re bound to find several dishes that tickle your fancy.
If you love learning about different cultures, what better way to do it than by cooking some of their traditional meals? Take a journey across the globe with 30 Asian dinner recipes for a taste sensation.
This recipe tastes exactly like what you would get at Panda Express and making it yourself saves money and a few calories too. General Tso’s Chicken is deep-fried and coated in a sticky sweet and sour sauce, for real crispy, saucy pieces of chicken. It’s quick to make for those nights when you have an insatiable craving for comfort food.
Yellowtail is a buttery fish that just melts in your mouth, making it the perfect option for sashimi. As long as you have the right knife, it’s easy to prepare at home, and this recipe shows you a technique for cooking it too if you’re not a Sashimi fan.
This homemade Ramen takes more than 2 minutes to make but is so much better than the instant kind. This hearty noodle soup is made with fresh ingredients and topped with the perfect soft-boiled egg. This recipe also adds pork too for a protein-packed one-bowl meal.
It’s probably one of the most beloved Chinese dishes in North America and this saucy chicken tastes exactly as it sounds – sweet and sour. While you can easily grab it for takeout, it tastes its best nice and hot, so why not make it at home? You can toss the chicken on a bed of rice, throw in some onions and peppers and have a beautiful home-cooked meal in just 30 minutes.
This simple Stir Fry uses a sauce you won’t be able to get enough of. Loaded with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and beef broth, it makes the beef unbelievably tender when cooking. Stir-frying is a great way to load a ton of different proteins and vegetables into a meal quickly. This one is sure to impress.
Did you know Lo Mein refers to the cooking process and not the kind of noodle? It translates to “tossed noodles” which describes how stir-fried ingredients are mixed with noodles and sauce towards the end of the cooking process. Like many of the other Chinese dishes I’ve already mentioned, it’s quick to cook, making it a fast and yummy weeknight dinner.
Believe it or not, there’s no barbeque required for this recipe. Mongolian BBQ is such a fun way to enjoy a meal with a large group because everyone can choose their own meats and vegetables, which are then cooked on iron griddles on high heat. The grilled foods are placed on top of a bed of noodles and can be enjoyed with Mongolian BBQ Sauce – which this recipe shows you how to make. It’s a super simple way to make any meal exciting.
Teriyaki is a staple in Japanese cuisine that’s made its way into a lot of North American cooking too because it’s simply delicious. This meal can be made in just 15 minutes and is an easy way to make something tasty but clean and simple. Chicken cubes are tossed in a sauce you’ll want to add to everything going forward, then plated with steamed broccoli and classic white rice.
Pad Woon Sen is made with Thai Glass Noodles, which turn clear when you cook them, hence the name. They’re made from mung bean or green pea flour, making this dish a great option for anyone on a gluten-free diet. The noodles are stir-fried with meat, veggies and egg along with a sauce made from soy and fish sauce, which adds a great umami flavor.
Sushi is delicious, but the price can start to add up if you’re picking a few different pieces. This Salmon Nigiri is actually very simple to make at home. It contains raw salmon, but this recipe gives cooked alternatives if you’re worried about preparing raw fish at home.
There are few foods as comforting as a bowl of noodles, and Pad Thai is so beloved because you get that comfort but with tons of added flavor too. Nuttiness is the distinct taste in Pad Thai, but there’s also a great tang too. For a bowl of noodles, it’s a lot lighter than many thicker noodle options. As a meal, it’s bright and colorful and comes together really quickly.
Mochi might seem pretty intimidating to make, but it’s actually quite easy! This recipe makes delicious dessert bites that wrap fresh strawberries in red bean paste and then soft and chewy mochi. Guaranteed to go fast at any gathering!
This authentic Szechuan Chicken recipe gives you juicy chunks of chicken with a crispy fried exterior, tossed with Szechuan Peppercorns and red chilis for a tongue-tingling heat. It takes about half an hour and goes great with rice or noodles.
Sushi may seem impossible to make, but while this recipe is a little more ambitious than some of the others on this list, it breaks down a pretty fancy roll into a really doable task. Dragon Rolls have the works. You get shrimp tempura and cucumber wrapped in seaweed and rice, then topped with avocado. It’s a really great balance of that fried tempura, but the freshness of the cucumber and avocado.
Japanese sweets are great because they’re usually adorable, but also not overly sugary. This Daifuku is no exception. These little mochi balls are filled with red bean paste and make a yummy snack or super impressive dessert.
Rolled Ice Cream is the kind of food you look at and think you could never possibly make at home, but it’s actually quite simple! This recipe doesn’t even use an ice cream maker, which does mean it requires a little extra time. But it’s a great thing to prep the night before and then take out to enjoy on a sunny afternoon.
Bibimbap is a great dish full of color from all the bright vegetables used in it, but it makes for a much heartier meal than a salad. The name translates to “mixed rice with meat and assorted vegetables”, so there are many different variations. I recommend trying the recipe as is and then finding ways to make it your own.
Chicken Tikka Masala is a delicious Indian dish that’s great for anyone who doesn’t want anything particularly spicy. Chicken is marinated in yogurt mixed with a variety of warm spices, which creates really tender and flavorful pieces. It’s served on a bed of rice and/or with naan and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Glass Noodles, also known as Japchae, are sweet potato starch noodles and they’re pretty light with a pleasant chewiness. Traditionally, the dish is prepared with lean meat, some vegetables and an egg garnish in a sweet and savory sauce. Unlike many of the other dishes on this list, the ingredients are cooked separately in a Japchae, but it still only takes about 30 minutes and is well worth the extra dirty dishes.
A lot of Asian cuisines incorporate peanuts into savory dishes, which is something you don’t really see elsewhere. Kung Pao Chicken stir-fries whole peanuts with chicken and vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce. This recipe is adapted to use ingredients that are easy to find, so there’s no need for any trips to specialty stores.
This Korean dish cooks thinly sliced beef over an open flame. It’s cooked in a marinade that has a pleasant balance of saltiness and sweetness using ingredients like soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil. While at restaurants, Bulgogi Beef is usually chargrilled, you can quickly make it at home in a skillet and toss it over noodles, rice, or in lettuce wraps.
Tandoori Chicken is easily recognizable because of its bright red color, which comes from a mix of red chili powder and cayenne pepper. While the name comes from the clay oven the dish is traditionally cooked in, a tandoor, this recipe will show you how to make this smokey chicken using just your home oven.
This delicious chewy noodle dish is a popular street food in Thailand and you’ll understand why when you realize how quick it is to make. It’s made with thicker noodles than a Pad Thai and the ingredients are simple: noodles, protein, broccoli and sauce. Whip it together in less than 40 minutes for a super satisfying meal.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory…Egg Drop Soup is made by pouring beaten eggs into a hot broth that is being stirred at the same time. If you’ve ever walked into a Chinese restaurant on a cold day and ordered a bowl, you’ll know it’s a delicious way to warm yourself from the inside out. You can make it in just minutes at home and kids love it too.
Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken probably take the top two slots for the most ordered dish at Indian restaurants in North America. While they’re both tomato-based, and extra saucey, they are very distinct dishes. The key ingredient in Butter Chicken is, of course, butter. While it’s traditionally cooked in a tandoor, this simplified recipe gives you a decadent meal in just half an hour.
California Rolls are the classic sushi roll. They’re often the go-to sushi included in Bento boxes. This recipe breaks down really easily how to wrap crab and avocado in seaweed and rice.
We have to include a curry dish in this list! There are three types of curries in Thai cuisine – red, yellow and green. Green is the most popular and gets its color from green chilies and makrut lime leaves, giving it a milder heat and slight tanginess. This saucy dish is easy to make in batches and keeps well in the fridge.
This is a dangerous recipe to add to your repertoire because it is nothing short of addictive. Naan is a must alongside Indian meals to lap up the extra sauce, but it sure is delicious on its own too. This recipe requires some dough work, which can be time-consuming, but naan is actually made on a skillet, instead of baked.
Kimchi Fried Rice is a great way to use your leftover steamed rice in a flavorful, slightly tangy dish. It combines kimchi and rice with meats and vegetables for a hearty rice dish that can be topped off with an egg. This dish has a subtle spice that can really be turned up depending on how you like it.
Making Dumplings is not for the faint of heart. It’s a time-consuming process and one you probably won’t nail the first time around. But the final product is so worth it. They’re deliciously soft and juicy, really all you need in comfort food. If you have the time, it’s a great way to take the afternoon and get the whole family involved in the preparation process…because you’re probably going to need a team to get it done.
Best Asian Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces, or chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon oil canola oil or similar
- 1 ¼ cups water
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 green bell pepper cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 tablespoon oil canola oil or similar
- 1 cup pineapple chunks fresh, or canned/frozen
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1/2 cup sugar
- ¼ cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 2 teaspoon garlic minced, or garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium recommended
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
- sesame seeds optional garnish
- In a large bowl, mix together the cornstarch, flour and salt. Add the egg, 1 tablespoon oil and water, whisking until smooth. (The consistency should be thick like pancake batter.)
- Add the cubed chicken pieces to the batter and coat thoroughly. Let it marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature or up to one hour in the fridge (see note).
- Add one inch of oil to a medium saucepan or deep fryer and heat to 350˚F. Set aside a wire rack and slotted spoon or mesh strainer.
- Add the chicken to the hot oil in batches, frying for 3-4 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove to the rack with a slotted spoon and repeat for remaining chicken.
- Place a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon oil, onion and bell peppers and sauté for 2-4 minutes until slightly softened.
- Add the pineapple to the pan followed by the sauce ingredients: garlic, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and ketchup. Bring to a simmer and give it a taste test, adding sugar and vinegar to get the balance to your liking.
- Mix the cornstarch and water together in a cup. Then slowly stir it into the pan. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the vegetables.
- Add the cooked chicken back to the pan and stir to coat evenly. Remove the skillet from heat (the sauce will thicken further and become sticky).
- Garnish with optional sesame seeds and serve immediately.
- Marinating: Longer marinating makes the chicken more tender, but it should be stored in the fridge and removed 15 minutes before cooking to prevent the oil temperature from dropping.
- Lighter variations: Omit the batter and stir fry the cubed chicken in a skillet in 1 tablespoon oil. Alternatively, you can bake the breaded chicken on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 350°F.
- Make ahead: You can store this dish for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge (the flavor will improve but it will lose its crispiness). You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.