20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

No matter whether you’re cooking a hearty meal for your better half, preparing a dinner party for friends, or enjoying a family feast during the holiday season, side dishes are what you probably don’t want to spend a ton of time and energy on.

If you’re cooking your main dish in the oven, you may want to prepare the sides on the stove top. If the main dish will take some time right before serving, you’ll want to prepare the sides ahead of time, or even a day earlier.

And of course, you’ll also want side dishes that are flavorful and delicious. Nobody wants a big plate of soggy and bland green beans!

Here is a list of great Asian style side dishes that you might have never heard of. They are bold in flavor, easy to prepare, and most of them go very well with non-Asian main dishes. Try out one or two, and you’ll fall in love with them!

#1 Szechuan Dry-Fried Green Beans (干煸豆角)

One of my favorite green bean dishes! If you’re looking for a great side dish for Thanksgiving, check out these Asian style stir fried green beans served with a spicy garlic sauce. It won’t take up any space in your oven and it tastes great after reheating, so you can prepare it on Thanksgiving Day or a day ahead. You can skip the ground pork to make it a vegetarian dish, too!

Chinese Dry-Fried Green Beans and Pork | Omnivore's Cookbook

#2 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Plum Sauce

A copycat recipe of a dish at a local restaurant. The greatest thing about this dish is that it goes very well with all types of cuisine. The crispy Brussels sprouts are gold, and this extra rich plum sauce will get you addicted!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Plum Sauce - Learn how to use dried plums and curry powder to make an extra rich plum sauce. | omnivorescookbook.com

#3 Stir Fried Corn and Pine Nuts

This is a side that is slightly filling (like mashed potatoes). The sweet corn kernels, pine nuts, cucumber, and carrot are lightly seasoned with green onion, salt, and sugar. Every ingredient comes together to create a hearty meal that is nutty and sweet. You can use a bag of frozen veggies to make this, and it only takes five minutes to cook.

Stir Fried Corn with Pine Nuts (松仁玉米) - The sweet corn kernels, pine nuts, cucumber, and carrot are lightly seasoned with green onion, salt, and sugar. Every ingredient comes together to create a hearty meal that is nutty and sweet | omnivorescookbook.com

#4 Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad

Blanched spinach and fried peanuts are served in a gingery vinegar dressing. A slightly hardcore Chinese dish that is refreshing, healthy, and great tasting. If you’re serving a heavy main dish, this is will be a great side to cut the grease!

Chinese Spinach and Peanut Salad | omnivorescookbook.com

 

#5 Stir-Fried Cauliflower with Tomato Sauce

The cauliflower is blanched, then cooked in a hearty tomato sauce. With the classic combination of cauliflower and tomato sauce you can’t go wrong!

Stir Fried Cauliflower with Tomato Sauce | Omnivore's Cookbook

#6 Yunnan Style Pineapple Rice

This also belongs to the “filling” category of side dishes. The sweet, gooey rice has a nice fruity aroma. This is a creative side dish that will surprise your guests.

Yunnan Style Pineapple Rice - Gooey and sweet with a nice fruity aroma. It’s a creative side dish that tastes as good as a dessert | omnivorescookbook.com

#7 Cantonese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

A plate of poached veggies served with Cantonese style oyster sauce. It uses three ingredients and takes no time to cook.

1510_Cantonese-Broccoli-with-Oyster-Sauce_002

#8 Zucchini and Pork Stir-Fry

The original recipe was not intended as a side dish, but you can turn it into one by skipping the pork. Zucchini can be super tasty stir fried. It tastes good after reheating, so you can make it ahead of time.

Zucchini and Pork Stir-Fry | Omnivore's Cookbook

#9 Chinese Style Potato Salad

Potatoes are always welcome as a side and this is a new way to enjoy them. The potato strips are blanched, then drizzled with a Sichuan peppercorn infused hot oil. Simple, appetizing. and delicious.

Chinese Style Potato Salad | Omnivore's Cookbook

#10 Blanched Bok Choy with Garlic Soy Sauce

The easiest way to prepare mustard greens and Asian green-leaf veggies. All you need is: soy sauce, garlic, and 10 minutes, to get the dish on the table!

Chinese Style Green Vegetables | Omnivore's Cookbook

#11 Traditional Egg Drop Soup (鸡蛋玉米羹)

It’s a classic and everyone loves it.

Traditional Egg Drop Soup (鸡蛋玉米羹) - The ultimate comfort food you can easily create at home | omnivorescookbook.com

#12 Four-Ingredient Okra Stir-fry

A great way to cook and serve okra. It is cooked in a spice-infused hot oil until slightly charred on the outside, giving the okra a smoky and spicy savory flavor. It takes only 10 minutes to prep and cook.

Four-Ingredient Okra Stir-fry | omnivorescookbook.com

#13 Healthy Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole

It’s so creamy in texture, with a cheesy crust. A quick, satisfying, and healthy side dish that contains only five ingredients. You can prepare it ahead of time and reheat it in the oven before serving it.

Healthy Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole - They’re so creamy and moist in texture, with a cheesy crust. A quick, satisfying, and healthy side dish that contains only five ingredients | omnivorescookbook.com

#14 Thai Brussels Sprouts Salad

Did you know that you can create super crispy Brussels sprouts on the stove top? Check out the method in this Thai brussels sprouts salad recipe. It’s a wonderful side dish that is bursting with flavor, full of nutrition, and can be on the table in 30 minutes.

Thai Brussels Sprouts Salad - A wonderful side dish that is burst with flavor, full of nutritions, and can be finished within 30 minutes | omnivorescookbook.com

#15 Easy Chinese style Cabbage Stir-Fry

Spicy, pungent and appetizing. You need just four ingredients and 10 minutes to finish this dish.

Chinese Style Cabbage Stir-Fry

#16 Stir fried eggplant, tomato, and bell pepper

OK, this might not be the quickest dish, but it’s very simple to prepare ahead of time and won’t take up any oven space. Plus, it’s so delicious!

Di-San-Xian-(stir-fried-potato-aubergine-and-green-pepper) | omnivorescookbook.com

#17 Asparagus Salad with Mushroom, Eggs, and Glass Noodles

A simple yet scrumptious salad that is wonderfully flavorful, rich in nutrition, low in calories, and takes less than 30 minutes to get ready.

Asparagus Salad with Mushroom, Eggs, and Glass Noodles - A simple yet scrumptious spring salad that is wonderfully flavorful, rich in nutrition, low in calories, and takes less than 30 minutes to get ready. | omnivorescookbook.com

#18 Spicy Cauliflower Stir-Fry

A quick and easy vegan stir fried cauliflower dish that has a great texture, just like oven-roasted. It uses a pungent, savory, and slightly sweet sauce to bring out the greatness of the cauliflower.

Spicy Cauliflower Stir-Fry - A quick and easy vegan stir fried cauliflower dish that creates a great texture, just like oven-roasted | omnivorescookbook.com

#19 Authentic Hot and Sour Soup (酸辣汤)

Another classic. Goes great with all kinds of cuisine.

Hot and Sour Soup | Omnivore's Coobkook

#20 Easy Oyster Mushroom Stir-Fry

This easy oyster mushroom stir fry is another quick and easy stir fry that you can cook for a busy weekday dinner. The tip to cooking perfect mushrooms: blanch them before stir-frying.

Easy Mushroom Stir-Fry | Omnivore's Cookbook

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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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10 thoughts on “20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

  1. Kathryn Dodd

    I’ve never been fond of vegetables, but I’ve noticed lately, that I have less aversion, or even enjoy (to the small capacity that my brain is willing to admit that at this stage) them when eating at some of Asian restaurants we frequent. I tried okra for the first time in a Malasian curry dish, and far from being the slimy mushy texture that everyone I know describes, it was pleasant, firm, and the seeds were a unique entertaining (because I have to crunch them) texture. I’m super happy to see these recipes, because I know I need to add more veggies to my diet, and at least this way, I can enjoy them while I do it. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Kathryn, I won’t say I’m a big fan of vegetables, but I do love them when they are super flavorful. You can find many good Asian vegetables dishes because they tend to use bold seasonings, like the curry dish you mentioned (btw it sounds totally awesome!). Definitely check out the eggplant in garlic sauce on my blog. It’s one of my most popular recipes and it’s a great way to enjoy eggplant. Happy cooking and hope my recipes help you to enjoy veggies a bit more 🙂

      Reply
  2. J-Mom

    I’m so glad I came across this page. I like one-pot meals because it’s so easy. I don’t have to think of combinations to match the main dish. But sometimes you do need side dish. And it’s difficult to find good ones. I did the broccoli one tonight.

    Reply
  3. Joyce Kilmartin

    Wow, there are some great ideas here. I am going to try three of them tonight with the lettuce wraps that I had planned. Thank you

    Reply
  4. Sarah Silva

    Wow, so glad I found this ! I just returned from a 10 month stay in China and I ate almost every one of these. The cabbage and the cauliflower is my favorite 🙂

    Reply
  5. Red Salt Cuisine

    such a nice post, i love to read your article and so many dishes we can make so quickly and i love to cock instantly and quick, so many new dishes are here, i will be try them once. such a nice post, thanks for sharing!

    Reply