These easy Asian appetizers make easy healthy dinners or great light snacks for entertaining. I created these recipes after being inspired by recipes I found in the September 2017 issue of Cooking Light. Subsequently, I adjusted them to our tastes. The photo below shows a variation using salmon sashimi with cilantro and cucumbers served with spicy chili sauce. Once you try the recipe feel free to improvise and create your own versions based on your likes and what you have on hand.
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Easy Asian Appetizers: #1 Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls
While the photo above is a variation, you can view this recipe on the cover of this post. Vietnamese cooking often uses a lot of fresh vegetables and seafood in its dishes due to the abundance of coastline for fishing. Spring rolls are basically salad wrapped up in rice paper. So feel free to create your own combo of veggies and meat.
- 1 package Asian salad mix
- 1/4 cup torn cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- rice paper sheets
- 4 oz. cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp
- peanut sauce
- Begin by combining the Asian salad mix with the dressing, cilantro and onions. Then add in the shrimp. You don’t need the salad garnish, but of course, you can save it for another use.
- When you have made the filling, place hot water in a large pan. Then place a rice paper sheet in the water for about 30 seconds.
- Next place the sheet on a flat surface. Subsequently place a mound of shrimp mixture on one end of rice paper. After that, fold sides of sheet over filling. Then, beginning with the filled side, start rolling tightly. To complete, place seam side down on a serving platter. Further, you will want to chill these for about an hour before serving to prevent the rice paper from being too sticky.
If you don’t want to make your own sauces, below is a convenient pack available for purchase.
Easy Asian Appetizers: #2 Steamed Chicken Dumplings
The photo above shows a variation of the dumplings served with Asian chili sauce and sliced cucumbers instead of baby bok choy. Likewise, feel free to get creative with your accompaniments and sauces. I certainly improvised the cooking method for this recipe here. However, if you would like to cook them in the traditional way you can purchase a bamboo steamer by clicking the link above. For an authentic experience, serve the meal with chopsticks.
- 8 oz. finely chopped mushrooms
- 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 leek chopped
- 3/4 tsp. grated ginger
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 6 oz. cooked shredded chicken
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 24 square wonton wrappers
- 4 baby bok choy
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. mirin
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- Start by heating a large skillet over medium high heat. Make sure to coat with cooking oil. Once the skillet is hot, add mushrooms, leek, and ginger. Cook about 7 minutes until leek is tender and liquid is absorbed. Then cool.
- Once the chicken cools, mix it with 1/2 tsp. soy sauce and mushroom mixture.
- After that, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Then place a wonton wrapper on a work surface with starchy side up. Further, moisten edges with water to make sure they stick together. Place 2 tsp. filling into center of each wrapper. Bring opposite corners together. After that pinch points together to seal. Then repeat with remaining quarters. Place on baking sheet. Make sure to keep remaining wonton wrappers covered with a damp towel until ready to use so they won’t dry out. Moreover, continue process with remaining wontons.
- For stove top cooking place dumplings in a large frying pan with about a quarter inch of boiling water in the bottom. Then cover and cook for about ten minutes on medium high.
- Similarly, you can place the dumplings in a baking pan with a quarter inch of boiling water and cook at about 350 degrees for ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, mirin, sugar, and remaining soy sauce in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
- The bok choy can be steamed by either of the same methods as the dumplings for ten minutes. If you are making less dumplings you can even cook the bok choy in the same pan.
- Serve the dumplings and bok choy with sauce.
Easy Asian Appetizers: #3 Korean Lettuce Wraps
Korean food like other Asian food is often accompanied by rice and lots of vegetables. Koreans cook their meals by stir-frying, steaming, and braising. In this recipe we use pork, but in Korea chicken and seafood are more commonly eaten. For a cold dish you could try using the filling for the spring rolls above wrapped in lettuce if you don’t have rice paper.
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 lb. pork roast
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 6 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. salt
- Asian slaw mix
- 6 Tbsp. white miso
- 1 Tbsp. Sriracha chili sauce
- 12 leaf lettuce leaves
- 2 cups hot cooked brown rice
- Begin by combining ginger and sugar. Then rub on pork. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. When the skillet is hot, add pork and brown on all sides.
- After that, place the pork in a slow cooker with stock and garlic. Cook on low about 7-8 hours until pork can be shredded easily with a fork.
- Meanwhile, mix Asian slaw with dressing and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Subsequently, combine miso, Sriracha, and remaining oil.
- When pork is done, remove it from the slow cooker and place it in a bowl. Shred it with 2 forks. Once the pork is shredded, add 1/4 cup of cooking liquid and salt to pork and mix well.
- To serve, spread 1 tsp. miso mixture over each lettuce leaf. Then top with 1 ounce of meat and 2 Tbsps. of Asian slaw. Serve with rice to make a meal or without as an appetizer.
If you are still hungry, try our lo mein chicken recipes.
I hope you enjoy making and eating these delicious Asian appetizers. Please comment below with any improvements or variations you try. I would love to hear from you.
Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.