Not only is cooking at home healthier (sayonara, excess salt), but it’s wallet-friendly too, and more than a few recipes are easy to recreate with the help from some basic ingredients. Asian spices are aromatic and taste wonderful but every additional teaspoon of flavor can be overwhelming. When cooked at home, we can tweak recipes to our personal tastes and preferences. You only need some spices, vegetables, rice, noodles, and protein. Some of the usual suspects in Asian-inspired dishes include coconut milk, ginger, chili, peanut, and lemongrass, to make endless possibilities and combinations. Here are a few of my favorites.

 

Coconut Curry Chicken

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What You’ll Need:

Boneless, skinless chicken breast
Vegetable oil
Curry powder
Onion
Garlic, crushed
Coconut milk
Diced tomato
Tomato sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper for flavor

 

Tomatoes, curry, and coconut blend together perfectly to create a semi-spicy and fragrant sauce for this curry recipe. Although the step-by-step recipe is meant for the stove top, laziness got the best of me and I dumped everything into my crockpot (after cooking the chicken first!) and let it slow cook for double the time. White rice is a perfect accompaniment but it also worked well with fresh noodles.

 

Full recipe: https://salu-salo.com/coconut-curry-chicken/

 

Tom Yum Soup

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What You’ll Need:

Shrimp
Tomatoes
Limes
Thai chilies
Mushrooms
Lemongrass
Kaffir lime leaves
Galangal root
Fish sauce
Sugar: 1 teaspoon

 

Yum is right. Hailing from Thailand, Tom Yum Soup is composed of a spicy, citrus broth filled with herbs, vegetables, and shrimp. Make the broth more flavorful by starting with a base of seafood broth or half broth and half water (we won’t tell!).

 

Full recipe: https://www.eatingthaifood.com/easy-thai-tom-yum-soup-recipe-sour-spicy-soup/

 

Stir-Fry Sauce

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What You’ll Need:

Soy sauce
Sugar
Sesame oil
Rice wine or sherry
Oyster sauce
Ground pepper
Cornstarch

Thanks to Chinese culture, Westerners have adopted the super easy, tasty, and convenient way to get more vegetables and lean protein in our diets by stir-frying. Use up any old veggies, but you can make your recipe more special by including bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, or other ingredients typical in Asian cuisine. Cook the protein for a few minutes on high heat first, add the vegetables and cook for a few more minutes before adding the sauce. Here is an easy sauce recipe that will take your dish from good to great and only requires whisking the ingredients together before using or storing.

 

Full Recipe: http://jeanetteshealthyliving.com/the-best-stir-fry-sauce-recipe/

Poke Bowl

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What You’ll Need:

Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Grated, fresh ginger root
Green onions
Roasted macadamia nuts
Dried seaweed
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

 

The spices used in this raw fish salad originate from Asian countries. Hailing from Hawaii, poke is traditionally made with cubed chunks of raw tuna, seaweed, salt, nuts, soy sauce and sesame oil. Japanese spices are commonly used but can be substituted with Korean spices for a slightly different final product (that pairs nicely with a bit of kimchi).

 

Full Recipe: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/254946/chef-johns-hawaiian-style-ahi-poke/

Spring Rolls

asian-inspired dishes

What You’ll Need:

Shrimp, deveined
Cucumber
Carrots
Buckwheat or Rice noodles
Iceberg lettuce
Fresh cilantro
Fresh mint
Avocado oil
Soy sauce
Rice paper wraps
salt
Plain peanut butter
Chili garlic paste
Cornstarch

Originally made in China and called a “spring” roll because they were made for Spring festivals using in-season vegetables, they are now a favorite dish across the continent served year-round and filled with a plethora of ingredients. This recipe is inspired by Vietnamese cuisine and uses peanut butter in the dipping sauce.

Full Recipe: https://www.watchwhatueat.com/vietnamese-healthy-spring-rolls/