20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

Discover Asian side dishes that you can use to round out any meal for an exotic flair that gets on your table fast!

Discover Asian side dishes that you can use to round out any meal for an exotic flair that gets on your table fast!

Whether you’ve decided to tackle how to make a Chinese main dish like shrimp and snow peas or chili garlic shrimp, you’ll want to add Asian side dishes to help fill you and your dinner companions up. Steamed white rice is always a great choice, but there are other rice sides and veggie sides that can really turn your meal into a full spread.

These Asian side dishes are super-fast and easy to make. Plus, you can serve them with more traditional meals to give it a unique fusion feel. Here are 20 of my favorite sides to go with your dinner tonight!

20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

1. Soy Sauce Fried Rice

Take leftover rice from the night before or earlier in the week and turn it into a flavorful rice side dish that needs just a few ingredients including eggs, green onions, and soy sauce. 

Get the recipe: Soy Sauce Fried Rice

Soy Sauce Fried Rice | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

2. Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry

In just 15 minutes, all you need is baby bok choy and 3 other ingredients to add more vegetables to your dinner in the most delicious and simplistic of ways. 

Get the recipe: Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry

Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

3. Chinese Egg Drop Soup

Why wait for takeout when you can have your favorite Chinese soup on your table in only 15 minutes? Plus, it just tastes better homemade!

Get the recipe: Chinese Egg Drop Soup

Chinese Egg Drop Soup | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

4. Easy Chinese Cucumber Salad

A super-fast and authentic Asian side dish that you’ll see on every table in Chinese households, it’s garlicky, fresh, and fabulous. 

Get the recipe: Easy Chinese Cucumber Salad

Easy Chinese Cucumber Salad | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

5. Chicken Fried Rice

Use the veggies you have along with leftover chicken and rice to add this tasty Asian side dish to flank your main meal. 

Get the recipe: Chicken Fried Rice

6. Choy Sum with Garlic Sauce

Everyone will eat their vegetables when you serve this side topped with a savory garlicky sauce that transforms ordinary greens into something extraordinary. 

Get the recipe: Choy Sum with Garlic Sauce

Choy Sum with Garlic Sauce | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

7. Easy Milk Bread Rolls

When your meal goes best with bread, these super soft, airy, and moist milk bread rolls are the perfect solution. Make them ahead to save time too!

Get the recipe: Easy Milk Bread Rolls

Easy Milk Bread Rolls | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

8. Chinese Pickled Cucumber

Add a fresh, refreshing crispy crunch to your meal with this simple Asian side dish you’ll always want at the ready in your fridge.

Get the recipe: Chinese Pickled Cucumber

9. Vegetable Lo Mein

The best way to please a group of family or friends is to add vegetable lo mein to your Chinese dinner spread. You’ll have it ready faster than takeout!

Get the recipe: Vegetable Lo Mein

10. The Best Chinese Coleslaw

A coleslaw mix is one of the best ways to get more veggies in your meals. If you’re not a fan of mayo though, this Asian side dish uses a mayo-free dressing that’s irresistible.

Get the recipe: The Best Chinese Coleslaw

The Best Chinese Coleslaw | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

11. Instant Pot Black Beans

This heavenly vegan side yields buttery-textured beans with a hint of Asian aromatics to liven up any meal. 

Get the recipe: Instant Pot Black Beans

Instant Pot Black Beans | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

12. Chinese Sausage Rice

Make it faster in your Instant Pot or go for the stovetop version. Either way, this savory rice side is just what you need to go with your favorite main dishes. 

Get the recipe: Chinese Sausage Rice

Chinese Sausage Rice | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

13. Soy Sauce Eggs

For an Asian side dish that adds more protein to a simple meal, there’s nothing better than the slightly sweet yet savory addition of these soy sauce eggs. 

Get the recipe: Soy Sauce Eggs

14. Napa Cabbage Stir Fry with Vinegar Sauce

Crunchy Napa cabbage pairs beautifully with a sweet and sour sauce for an authentic Asian side dish to serve alongside rice and other vegetable or meat dishes.

Get the recipe: Napa Cabbage Stir Fry with Vinegar Sauce

Napa Cabbage Stir Fry with Vinegar Sauce | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

15. Authentic Hot and Sour Soup

Just like your local Chinese takeout place makes, only better, this spicy and sour soup is hearty and fulfilling. And, you can make it fully vegetarian too!

Get the recipe: Authentic Hot and Sour Soup

Authentic Hot and Sour Soup | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

16. The Perfect Rice

No time to make fried rice? No problem! You can find out how to make your white rice taste just like it does at the Chinese restaurant and get it perfect every time. 

Get the recipe: The Perfect Rice

The Perfect Rice | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

17. Fried Cabbage

Slight spice is nice with this aromatic and smoky 4-ingredient Asian side dish!

Get the recipe: Fried Cabbage

Fried Cabbage | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

18. Sichuan Dry Fried Green Beans

Charred just a bit for a blistered look and flavor, this popular Sichuan dish adds an umami taste to your table. 

Get the recipe: Sichuan Dry Fried Green Beans

Sichuan Dry Fried Green Beans | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

19. Chinese Pickled Cabbage

Crunchy and pickled flavors unite is this simple Asian side dish recipe that you can use to add a refreshing crunch with sandwiches and more. 

Get the recipe: Chinese Pickled Cabbage

Chinese Pickled Cabbage | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

20. Garlic Spinach in Chicken Broth

A rich and garlicky broth serves as the perfect base for tender-cooked spinach, a delightful and nutritious side dish!

Get the recipe: Garlic Spinach in Chicken Broth

Garlic Spinach in Chicken Broth | 20 Quick and Easy Asian Side Dishes

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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 New York kitchen.

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14 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
  6. Perkinsson

    Hi,

    I know this is a little old post, but I feel like this a little “westernized” way of making Chinese side dishes. Simple cucumber gives you very popular Chinese dishes when adding sugar, vinegar and soy. Other one is just steamed edamame beans and served cold. Those are very traditional ways of having a side with your hotpot. But I have t say these give a little twist even though some are considered more like a lunch or just a regular meal in China.

    Reply
  7. Jeana

    Lately I’d been addicted cooking chinese food.. thanks for these recipes. It helps me a lot to discover more of chinese cuisine.

    Reply
  8. Hari Dhameliya

    Sooooo good. Made it last night, brought leftovers to the swim meet….fed others….Grace said it was the best thing she’s ever had!

    Reply