Asian dishes can look daunting for an amateur cook. Believe me, I’ve been there. But what if I told you that some of these exotic delicacies are actually surprisingly simple? would you believe me? Here are a few of my favourite simple Asian dishes to whip up at the end of a long day.
1. Egg Fried Rice
Simple, tasty and oh, so easy! The most satisfying meal you can make in 15 minutes with just 2 main ingredients: eggs and rice, and 3 major components for the sauce: soy, garlic and ginger! (Or if your super lazy like me, just get powdered garlic and ginger) To make this dish, simply boil the rice in a separate pan, and mix the soy, garlic and ginger together with the eggs. Once your rice is cooked, mix in with the eggs and transfer everything to a frying pan!
Extra Tip: Too really make your rice pop, make sure you add vegetables or meat of your choosing while your rice is sizzling in the pan. My personal favourite blend is mushrooms, cabbage, baby corn and a little fresh chilli for a spice kick!
2. Mushroom Ramen
Who doesn’t love a good old bowl of ramen! The key ingredients you’ll need are: noodles, miso paste, stock (of your choosing!) and mushrooms (a mixture preferably). Just throw stock and diced mushrooms into a boiling water and let it brew for 10-15 minutes for a great mushroomy flavour! Add a tablespoon’s worth of miso paste and stir until fully mixed. After that, add the noodles and extra mushrooms and other veggies. Pour carefully into a bowl and chow down!
Extra tip: How mushroomy your broth becomes depends on how long you leave the mushrooms to boil in the stock. So if you have the time, I recommend a good thirty to forty minutes on low heat!
3. OmuRice (オムライス)
This simple Asian dish of omelette on rice is an absolute Japanese classic that you simply cannot miss out on! While this is probably the most technical of all the dishes on this list, with a little practice you can become an omurice master! And the end product is so worth the effort! The main ingredients are: eggs, ketchup and rice!
Boil your rice and transfer to a frying pan then stir ketchup and rice together and let sizzle. In a separate pan, pour out your beaten eggs and cook like a pancake. Once cooked transfer rice onto a plate and carefully blanket the rice with your omelette-pancake.
Extra tip: Try adding some fresh tomatoes and fried onion to your rice for a little tangy zing to counteract the sweetness of the ketchup!
4. Stir-fry Udon
There ain’t no noodle like an udon noodle! And when in a stir-fry, it just can’t be beat! For this simple dish, the base ingredients are: udon noodles, soy, garlic and ginger. Packet-udon at the supermarket are usually already soft, so they can be easily transferred straight to the pan! Just like with the egg-fried rice, mix your soy, garlic and ginger for your base sauce, and pour on top of the udon noodles. Let them sizzle and throw in some extra veggies for good luck. My personal veggie mix for this would be bean sprouts, spinach and carrots!
Extra tip: Feeling brave? Try throwing a pinch of brown sugar and lemon in your sauce to get a great tangy-sweet-sour flavour!
5. Vietnamese fresh spring rolls
A refreshing see-through wrap that’s always a great choice for a light lunch or a warm evening meal. You can have it in its original form with skinned prawns, or substitute with red peppers or tofu for a tasty vegan treat! For this simple dish the main ingredients are: rice paper wraps, vermicelli (glass noodles), prawns and any fresh vegetables of your choosing! Preparation and execution of these delicate wraps are varied amongst many foodies, so really the world is your oyster! Spring rolls are a great chance to get creative with your ingredients since they can be tailored to anyone’s taste! Go crazy!
Extra tip: Try mixing peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic and a pinch of paprika for a creamy sauce to partner this fresh dish! OR if you’re wanting something a little less heavy, try a balsamic vinegar and sesame oil combo! I know it sounds like weird fusion, but trust me, you’ll love it.