Food you should try

Basics of an Asian Pantry

Keep these Asian pantry necessities handy in your kitchen, so you can make your favorite Asian cuisine fast and effortlessly at home!

If you like to make ‘Asian’ food at least twice a week and have collected a very well-stocked pantry of supplies to draw from over time, you can often create a great, healthy dinner far superior to take-out with very little effort and time. 

If you are unfamiliar with them, they can appear intimidating, but you do not need many ingredients to create delicious recipes.

Although most of these items should be available in a medium-sized grocery shop, it is worth looking for an Asian market in your area. They frequently feature lower costs and a larger selection of fresh produce. If you cannot find them locally, you can always turn to the internet. 

We have got you covered if you want to add a splash of Asian flavor or Lemongrass Substitutes to your home cooking. The following is a list of our top Asian culinary items that you may use to elevate your home cooking. Let’s have a look at them.

Oyster Soy Sauce-Asamurasaki

Oyster sauce, sometimes known as ‘liquid umami,’ is an excellent taste enhancer for both savory and sweet dishes. Soy sauce, on the other hand, has a salty kick and is often referred to as “liquid salt”! 

With a rich flavor profile and a peculiar fragrance that’s a mix of fishy and beefy, this Japanese delicacy is a balanced blend of both. Unlike other blends, however, it still manages to bring out the distinct flavors of soy sauce and oyster.

Asamurasaki is created using umami extract from Hiroshima and oysters. As a consequence, you’ll get a thick, smooth sauce that’s ideal for fusion and Asian dishes.

Asamurasaki, one of the best cooking sauces in our opinion, is great for flavoring ramen dishes or simply drizzling over fried chicken.


Galangal, a relative of turmeric and ginger, has a slightly peppery flavor and is a staple in Asian comfort food soups and curries. The spicy ginger substitute is sometimes known as ‘Thai ginger,’ and it is popular in Indonesian rice recipes. Galangal can be used in any cuisine that requires a powerful aroma-flavor combination without the lingering heat of ginger. Galangal is the main ingredient in some cuisines, such as Satay (Indonesian chicken on skewers) and Tom Ka Gai (Thai chicken galangal soup). While most recipes call for it sliced or diced, it can also be coarsely grated or mashed into a paste to give texture to soups.


Shallots are widely accessible in supermarkets all over the world. This sweeter and more delicate onion family member is not utilized as commonly in meals in the United States.

Shallots, like green onions, are a staple of Asian cuisine. They have a stronger flavor and less heat than yellow and white onions.

These flavorful nuggets can be used in a variety of ways. They are usually coarsely sliced and fried as a crispy topping for soups, oatmeal, curries, and rice.

The natural sugar content of shallots is one of their best qualities. They caramelize far better than onions and are best used as a flavorful substitute in onion-based recipes and curries.

Shrimp Paste

Shrimp paste, arguably the king of seafood pastes, is an excellent way to add a fishy, salty taste to otherwise bland foods. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for shrimp paste. There are, however, two distinct types. The salty version is more well-known, whereas the mildly spicy-sweet version is less so (albeit just as delicious).

Curries, fried rice, and soups are all dishes that use shrimp paste. Other sauce mixtures and condiments, such as sambal, contain it. You can eat shrimp sauce straight from the can or jar or simply sauté it to give even more richness. But be careful: it is bursting at the seams with salty delight.

Peppercorns from Sichuan

Sichuan peppercorns are the foundation for Sichuan cuisine’s robust flavors, and they should be on your top Asian spices list. These are not peppers, but rather a dried fruit native to China’s Sichuan area. Before being used in recipes, the berries are dried and then powdered or crushed.

Surprisingly, Sichuan peppercorns are not at all spicy! Their flavor is more akin to a zesty, sharp berry, with a tingling, numbing sensation inside the mouth. While these peppercorns are not a replacement for white or black pepper, they can be used in meals that demand a more delicious heat.

Rice Wine Shaoxing

Shaoxing wine is a prominent element in Chinese fish and meat recipes, and it adds a level of taste complexity and richness that other cooking wines lack. There is a popular belief in the United States (and the rest of the Western world) that this flavorful cooking wine is the reason why homemade Chinese food doesn’t exactly taste like restaurant food. There could be other elements at play, but this wine is unquestionably one of them.

This rich, deep amber-colored wine can also be enjoyed as a conventional glass of wine. This variety is normally aged longer than the cooking version. No matter what recipe you are making, Shaoxing wine can be used as a substitute for any cooking wine.


Lemongrass has a wonderfully fresh and lemony aroma that will brighten up any salad or stir-fry dish. It is one of the most fragrant ingredients in Thai cuisine, but it is also used in various Asian cuisines, including- Vietnamese lemongrass chicken, Sate Kerang Hijau (Thai mussels satay), and Bun. 

Furthermore, it is used to make lemongrass tea, which is superior to any herbal tea you can think of! Although lemongrass is edible, the stalk is difficult to chew. However, you can ground it into a paste and use it in a curry or hot sauce.


That’s it, people, these are a few must-have Asian items to have in your pantry. Make sure you get all of them the next time you go to an Asian grocery shop! There are undoubtedly more products you can add to your Asian pantry, but anyone passionate about Asian cuisine can make several quick and easy stir-fries using the basic ingredients listed above.

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