16 Quick and Easy Asian Recipes for Dinner Tonight
Stir-frys, noodle dishes, lettuce wraps, and more! Beat the clock with these inventive Yummly original recipes.
Photograph by Sher Castellano
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Tick, tock. You’ve made it through the work day and are craving something super flavorful. The kids are hungry. The cat’s hungry. You’re hungry. Tick, tock. Asian cooking — that sounds good. You remember the groceries you swooped up over the weekend: boneless chicken thighs, a bottle of toasted sesame oil, and a box of gochuchang, the sweet and spicy Korean red pepper paste that gives everything it touches a massive flavor boost. Easy Korean Sticky Chicken! That’s the recipe plan, with a side of rice and a green salad. You’re on it.
With the Yummly Guided Video Recipe loaded up on your device, you quickly see that this is basically a stir-fry. No problem! Chop, chop, stir. You’ve cut up the chicken and tossed it with cornstarch. Out comes the grater and some measuring spoons, and you’re on to the sauce. Fresh ginger, garlic, mirin, honey, the toasted sesame oil and gochuchang, rice vinegar: This is going to be good. Tick, tock. You fire up the stove. The chicken is sizzling. The sauce is sizzling. Your pot of rice has steamed to perfection. Rrrrring. Dinner, done, in 20 minutes!
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Quick and easy Asian dinners in 30 minutes or less
Even when there’s almost no time to cook, you can whip up a quick and satisfying meal following the basic stir-fry formula of Healthy Protein Meets Tasty Sauce. Vary the ingredients a bit for Thai, Chinese, or Korean flavors; add veggies or incorporate noodles; and you quickly have seven deliciously different dinners.
The irresistible flavors of this healthy Asian chicken recipe echo Korean fried chicken wings, but without the hassle — or calories — of deep fat-frying. Sliced green onions on top give it a little flair.
Looking to add more plant-based cooking to your repertoire? With chewy rice noodles and golden-brown tofu, this easy Asian noodle recipe for Dragon Noodles with Crispy Tofu checks the boxes for gluten-free as well as vegan. Plus, the dish has loads of personality from the spicy sriracha sauce.
Pad Thai may be your favorite dish to order at Thai restaurants, but it’s a cinch to make yourself when you have a grocery-store-friendly version of the classic recipe — and a video to show you how it comes together. Pick up rice stick noodles, fish sauce, and chili garlic sauce online or from your grocery store’s Asian foods aisle. At home, stir up a quick, citrusy sauce; boil the noodles; and stir-fry shrimp and eggs. Toss all the ingredients together, and dinner is ready in 30 minutes.
Flank steak can be chewy if you don’t prep it the right way. Luckily, the video for Beef and Snap Pea Stir-Fry shows you how to slice it thinly across the grain so it will be tender and cook quickly. A simple Chinese sauce of dry sherry, soy, and oyster sauce seasons the meat and crisp snap peas. All you need to add is a pot of rice.
If you’re in the mood for an easy Chinese chicken recipe with tender, juicy chicken breast meat and crisp vegetables, you’ve landed in the right place. As with any great chicken stir-fry, a few techniques guarantee success for Quick Stir-Fried Ginger Chicken. Get your prep completed before you fire up the wok or saute pan, because the cooking goes quickly. Don’t crowd the pan, and don’t stir too often.
You don’t need to go to a Korean restaurant (or have a Korean grandmother) to make Korean Bulgogi, a fantastic version of Korean bbq beef. But you do want to let the meat stand in the marinade at least 8 hours for best flavor, so grab a few minutes in the morning or the night before you plan to cook to get it started. At dinner time, all you do is brown the meat briefly on a grill pan or in a frying pan. Serve the beef with lettuce (if you want to make wraps), and kimchi.
Who needs a Chinese takeout dish when you’ve got a healthy, easy Asian recipe like 6-Ingredient Orange Chicken that’s ready in only 20 minutes?
Quick Asian dinner recipes under 45 minutes
Adding a few more minutes to your prep and cooking time compared to the 30-minute category opens up the possibilities of crowd-pleasing grain bowls, one with a Korean bent and the second with pan-Asian-inspired flavors. There’s also a classic Chinese recipe for a noodle dish with shrimp and fresh vegetables, and a simple South Indian curry.
Toasted sesame oil and gochuchang, the sweet and spicy Korean red pepper paste, turn what could be a very ordinary combo of ground turkey, rice, and zucchini into a deeply flavorful one-bowl dinner. Finish Korean Ground Turkey Rice Bowls with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and more toasted sesame oil.
Here's a great example of how you can set yourself up for weeknight success by expanding your broader pantry. If you keep a few basic Asian seasonings on hand (namely, toasted sesame oil, mirin, soy sauce, roasted seaweed, and sesame seeds) as well as a few staples (quinoa, eggs, and frozen edamame), all you need are fresh mushrooms to make healthy, filling Sesame Fried Egg and Mushroom Quinoa Bowls.
Good old spaghetti is the starting point for this next one-dish meal, Spicy Shrimp and Vegetable Lo Mein. Swing by your market’s international aisle for the chili bean sauce, a salted paste made from fermented soybeans that adds a spicy, pungent flavor; or buy it online. You’ll also need shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine) — though dry sherry is a good sub if it's not available. Once you boil the pasta and stir together the sauce, all you do is stir-fry the shrimp and vegetables.
Fresh curry leaves give authentic nutty flavor to South Indian curries like this one. Once you buy them online or at an Indian market, you can keep them in the freezer so you’ll be ready to simmer up this delicious weeknight dish using canned coconut milk in just 35 minutes.
Easy Asian dinner recipes in 1 hour or less
Expand your weeknight Asian cooking universe to 60 minutes, and you allow for additional complexity in your seasonings, and even a little simmering time for Indian flavors to meld in the last two recipes.
The flavors you love in Thai food — salty, sour, spicy, and sweet — come together in ground turkey patties served with fresh herbs, chilies, and lettuce wrappers. Sriracha and store-bought peanut sauce make weeknight-friendly sauces for dunking and drizzling.
A sweet and spicy combo of honey, sriracha, ginger, and soy sauce serves as both glaze and sauce for broiled Salmon and Coconut Rice Bowls with Sriracha Honey.
The easy technique for pan-frying tofu in a little oil until it’s crispy is a keeper, and one you’ll want to watch and commit to memory for your own creative riffs on this vegan recipe. If you opt for gluten-free tamari, the recipe can be gluten-free as well.
Made from canned chickpeas and tomatoes and supermarket seasonings, vegan Big Batch Chana Masala is Indian comfort food and its best — and easiest.
Instead of marinating chicken pieces in spices for hours, grilling them in a clay oven, and then adding them to a rich tomato-based sauce, this recipe for Quick Chicken Tikka Masala cuts to the chase. You skip the marinating, brown seasoned chicken in a hot skillet, and then add it to the masala mixture. This version clocks in at 50 minutes!
More Asian easy weeknight recipes
We've got loads more easy recipes for Asian favorites on Yummly, starting with popular cashew chicken, kung pao chicken, and Chinese chicken salad. You'll also find ramen, pho, soba, fried rice, noodle soup, noodle salad, and chow mein. Just type what you're craving into the search bar on any page. If you especially love Asian tofu or noodles — or are curious to know more — be sure to check out these next articles, too.