HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Asian recipes

I'm wondering where do people find authentic asian recipes? Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian. I find epicurious and food newtwork to have watered down recipes, and substitute ingredients. Any other websites, or cookbook recomendations?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Asiafood.org, recipezaar.com, and geocities.com have some decent Asian recipes. Alohaworld.com has a bunch of recipes from Hawaii for Asian and Hawaiian style foods. Some of them are quite good.

    Epicurious does have a good recipe for lamb shanks with 5 spice. I've made it several times, along with the baby bok choy recipe that accompanies it, and it always gets rave reviews from my dinner guests. It's delicious provided you reduce the number of star anise by about half. Otherwise the licorice flavor is too strong.

    Have fun!

    3 Replies
    1. re: KailuaGirl

      KG, I tried looking for that lamb shank recipe at epi and all I found was lamb shanks with ginger and five-spice (which ALSO looks good, made with garlic black bean sauce, too)...can you please post the link to it? Sounds so good!

      1. re: Val

        I haven't figured out how to post links, but did look it up in my epi "recipe box." It's called "Twice Cooked Five-Spice Lamb with Red Chiles" from the Feb. 2007 Bon Appetit. I made it again the other day because lamb shanks were on sale and the weather was cold and rainy. Perfect for a cold night's dinner and the apartment smelled wonderful. One of my neighbors actually came over to ask what that marvelous smell was that was coming from my place.

        1. re: KailuaGirl

          I believe it after looking at that recipe...thank you for coming back to tell me the exact title of it!

    2. Charmaine Solomon's The Complete Asian Cookbook. It has all of those cuisines, plus some others. Good, clear recipes, and nice pictures and background information of the different cuisines. The only thing to take note of is that it was first published in the 1970's so occasionally I will find a term for an ingredient that I've never heard before, but if look it up online it is something that I can find easily. I bought my copy new last year and love it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: corneygirl

        I picked up a cheap copy of this book in a second-hand bookshop yesterday and it does look good. Any favourite recipes?

        1. re: greedygirl

          does it have sri lankan plain "hoppers" with sambals? delicious!

          1. re: alkapal

            alkapal: It does have a recipe for hoppers, and several samals. I'll have to try those.
            greedygirl: I've made the various thai curry pastes and different curries with them, malaysian cauliflower, and some noodle dishes. I have enjoyed everything, and find the book easy to work with. So many things look and sound good it's hard to choose sometimes.

        2. re: corneygirl

          I just got The complete Asian in the mail today. Bought it used from Amazon. Looks great, thanks for the tip.

          1. re: corneygirl

            I agree. Sufficiently authentic that shopping can require an extra side trip or two, but with delicious results.

          2. My Asian recipe collection is primarily hand written so I can't help you with a commercial source for recipes. But I would like to add one comment that might help you (or someone else) who is developing an increased interest in Asian cooking. Many years ago, I found that my Asian cooking results fell just a little short of the quality I felt I should be getting. I found a local program, sponsored oddly enough by the city recreation department, instructing on Asian cooking "techniques". It was a two day "hands on" course and relatively inexpensive. Best two days I ever invested for sharpening my Asian cooking skills. Proper ingredients, proper equipment and proper preparation/cooking methods are all important to Asian cooking.

              1. I have a terrific Thai cookbook by David Thompson, Thai Food. The recipes are very authentic, although somewhat involved. It's a great book, though, with lots of history and many recipes from street food to full menus!! I would highly recommend it!

                  1. re: hannaone

                    hannaone, would you have a recipe for haejangguk and gopchanjigae (or jungol)?
                    i've looked everywhere on the web and cannot find anything on either- oh and the raw oyster muchim if you have one. Thanks!

                    1. re: liveloveat34

                      I've been looking through my scattered notes and I do have recipes for the haejangguk and gulmuchim (well, notes on recipes). I will finish those up today or tomorrow and post them.

                          1. re: hannaone

                            Thank you so much! i really appreciate it!! relocated to boulder after being in ny for two years. such a drastic lifestyle change from being able to get korean food within 2 blocks of work to now driving 1 hour to the nearest korean grocery which is not nearly as good as the stores in ny (and most certainly not LA which I am originally from) I'll be making a lot more korean food at home now. I need to get a good kimchi recipe because the kimchi in Hmart is so watery and not spicy at the least!

                            1. re: liveloveat34


                              If you like it spicier, just increase the amount of red pepper powder, or add fresh hot chile's to the mix.

                      1. www.thaifoodandtravel.com

                        The author/teacher is pretty uncompromising on authenticity of ingredients & techniques. Plenty of recipes on the site, also ingredients explanations, with sources in case you can't get it locally.

                        You don't mention Indian, but the following have a lot of user contributions from different regions of the subcontinent.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Louise

                          Yes, the Thai Basil chicken recipe at that website is fabulous!

                        2. My favorite and best Asian recipes come from my Asian friends. I took a class taught by an Asian woman and we used her family recipes. And I have received SO many good ones right here on this board.
                          I have a binder full of Asian recipes that I've sub grouped into, Chinese, Thai, Filipino, etc. and its stuffed with recipes. Most are handwritten or i've typed them out.

                          Once you get good at cooking Asian cuisine, believe me, you'll be able to tell immediately if a recipe will work or not.

                          I've recieved many recipes, especially advice on products and techniques from my Chowhound buddies and if you're looking for a particular dish that you'd like to try, search here first and then if that doesn't help, ask for the recipe or advice.
                          The people here will help you no matter if you're cooking Asian or meatloaf!

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: chef chicklet

                            "The people here will help you no matter if you're cooking Asian or meatloaf!"

                            The two needn't be mutually exclusive. Just the other day I was trading recipes for embutido, a Southeast Asian meatloaf!

                            1. re: JungMann

                              How did the southeast asian meatloaf turn out? I'm trying to figure out what sort of tastes it had? Very interested...

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                The embutido was very good for my first time. Characteristically, it is a steamed meatloaf of seasoned mincemeat spiked with sweet highlights such as carrots, raisins and/or relish, wrapped around a savory stuffing, such as eggs, spicy sausage or, true to the Pacific palate, Spam or vienna sausage. I use all ground pork as I think the lighter flavor allows the other seasonings to shine, but I've also been told that adding a little beef to the mixture works, too.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  JungMann and I had been swapping recipes. One of my filipina wives and I used to make it with: ground beef, ground pork, egg, raisins, onions, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, fish sauce, and bouillon powder - steamed in foil.

                                  I was reminded that I recently made pork hom yu: ground pork, lots of chopped shallots and green onions, garlic, ginger, and lots of fish sauce - steamed without any wrappping. JungMann said that reminded him of steamed meatballs. Good call. I'm going to make steamed hom you meat balls next.

                                2. re: JungMann

                                  Really! Well it could be as delicious as my Chinese Spaghetti!! Will you share your?
                                  I'll share mine if you want it. It's a favorite around here.

                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                    Mine is made of ground pork, ground ham, diced onions and green pepper, grated carrots and cheddar, sweet relish, raisins, garlic powder, salt and pepper and breadcrumbs. Once that is thoroughly combined, I wrap it around hard-boiled eggs, vienna sausage, cornichons, a length of carrot and the optional chorizo bilbao. The center should be a riot of colors when sliced.

                                    Hom yu sounds like another terrific and easy recipe for mincemeat. While Sam tries my meatball idea, I might try the traditional recipe.

                              2. I have a few cookbooks that were published by churches and a woman's organization. The recipes in these cookbooks use locally available ingredients. The Church cookbooks are from two local Buddhist Churches and include both favorites (non-Japanese style food) and Japanese Style recipes. The other cookbook was published the the local Chinese American Woman's Association, it includes Chinese Style recipes.

                                I have two "formal" cookbooks I recommend. Washoku and Japanese Cooking, A Simple Art for Japanese Style recipes.

                                1. Mom, the aunties, and living and working all over Asia for 15 years. I actively recorded recipes from people in remote rural areas of south and southeast Asia.

                                  1. i've found this blog by lily wai sek hong to be reliable:


                                    that link is to a cheung fun recipe i used a while back. there are a lot of non-chinese / asian recipes on the site, too, which i haven't tried.

                                    her instructions are clear, she includes some nice looking food porn, and her notes on what parts of the technique she found difficult are often helpful.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: cimui

                                      i want that Chee Cheong Fun for breakfast. that looked so delicious! wowee.
                                      (i'm also a big fan of thai pad kee mao, and the rice noodle reminds me of this other "fun" dish.). thanks, cimui!!!!

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        my pleasure, alkapal. i find the blog-thor, lily, to be an amazing chef. i love the precision of her approach, her clear and concise descriptions. i believe her background is malaysian and she has lived in another multicultural society, the united states, for many years. her recipes reveal these profoundly multicultural roots.

                                      2. re: cimui

                                        oooooo I wish I had a huge plate of cheung fun RIGHT now! What a delicious breakfast that would be I'm sure. Borax? I don't know what that is other than what I remember watching commercials as as kid, and it was about laundry or cleaning your hands.. What is this Borax and who in the first place thought to add it to a recipe? I know that glossy texture, and it is exactly what I want. It couldn't be too bad for you... could it?

                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                          It is a salt, and a carcinogen. It's used in imported caviar, too...

                                          1. re: galleygirl

                                            a carcnogen? at what levels, do you happen to know?

                                      3. Do you have a favorite Asian restaurant where you are a regular? Chat up an owner or manager, tell them about how much you like their food, tell them you are trying to learn how to cook it, and ask if you can spend a couple of minutes touring their kitchen. You will learn more than you ever would from any recipe. You'd see the process, the technique. You'd see the power of their stoves and thus appreciate the amount of heat you are trying to achieve. You can ask about ingredients. Hopefully the owner will be proud and confident enough of his cooks and hygiene to view this as a compliment and honor your request -- note that if things don't work out well, you may never want to eat there again.

                                        1. I've really been honing my Sichuan cooking skills ever since we did Fuschia Dunlop's book "Land of Plenty" as Cookbook of the Month" (link with recipe reports and pics below). While I like her Hunanese book too, I love LOP. Besides soy sauce, ginger, etc, you can pick up just a few inexpensive ingredients at the local Asian market (drid chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, preserved/pickled vegetables, black beans, Sichuan chili bean paste, and black Chinese vinegar), and make almost every recipe in the book. I'm half Vietnamese, but Sichuan is now my favorite Asian cuisine, and I learned it all from this book.

                                          Pics of some of my favorite dishes which I now make at least once a month:

                                          Ma Po Tofu
                                          Dry-fried beef with celery
                                          Sichuan Eggplant
                                          Dan Dan Noodles
                                          Dry-Fried Chicken

                                          MARCH COOKBOOK OF MONTH: Fuchsia Dunlop

                                            1. The website of the KL Star for Malaysian


                                              Also for malaysian, there is a fine cookbook by Carol Selvah Rajah.http://www.amazon.com/Makan-Lah-Malay...

                                              For Thai, the cookbooks of David Thompson - Thai Food is not the only one available - there is also a paperback Classic Thai Cuisine (out of print but available) that has many fine recipes


                                              For chinese, in addition to Fuchsia Dunlop, I recommend the recipes in the Wei Chuan series of regional cookbooks published in Taiwan. The cooking methods are well described and produce very good dishes. Widely avaiable.

                                              For Indonesian, Cradle of Flavor is very good.

                                              1. utube has a few good chefs/cooks that do amazing things with Thai, Chinese, and all the rest. I was trying to find a recipe for samosas and needed help with the technique of holding the pastry, they're are quite a few. Tons of Chinese recipes, its fun to watch these people cook and the food looks to be quite good! Just go to utube and type in Asian food or the name of the dish you want to make, you'll be surprised.

                                                1. I've tried a few recipes off of this site and gotten good results:

                                                  If nothing else, the photos are total food porn.

                                                  1. hi foodforu,
                                                    I bought a really good chinese cookbook(I think at Barnes&Noble). It's just titled Chinese(from the Cookshelf series) and it has authentic ingredients, as well as a glossary and great pictures. I highly recommend it. I think they also have Thai and Korean. I also second the steamykitchen blog.

                                                    1. Wow, thanks everyone for the suggestions, I don't even know where to start (which is a good thing).

                                                      1. I was inspired by greedygirl, and went to a used book sale today. I picked up an almost homemade looking book called "Korean Cooking" by the Korean Institute of Minnesota. It looks very promising. I also found "Hot Wok" from an old PBS show. The photos look amazing. I hope the recipes are as good.

                                                        1. thought you might be interested to see this list of recommended brands of thai ingredients: http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/bran...

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            I live between two of NY Chinatowns, so I do have access to a large assortment of ingredients. However, I often have no idea what brands to buy. This list will be a great help. I will add, that there is a Thai grocery on Mosco street in NY Chinatown that I recommend. They also recommended to me, some of the brands in your list. They had keffir lime leaves the last time I was there, which I find hard to find. They also said they have galangal seasonally. As a bonus, across the street and upstairs is a little chinese restaurant that is cheap and good.

                                                            1. re: foodforu

                                                              foodforu, notice that there is a "one page" version for printing .... in pdf or html format. (see the end of the introductory section on that page).

                                                              as to the kaffir lime leaves, you can often check the freezer section if fresh aren't available. i just saw some online, for what seemed a decent price. shipping, however, via fedex second day is twice the price of the product! http://grocerythai.com/fresh-kaffir-l...

                                                          2. For Malaysian, Singaporean, and Chinese recipes, try www.makantime.com
                                                            Having lived in Singapore, I can attest to the authenticity of these recipes.

                                                            1. look at these two new-to-me websites:

                                                              viet world kitchen

                                                              appon's thai kitchen (and check out the "browse" feature upper left. really appetizing! http://www.khiewchanta.com/index.html

                                                              i always like to explore the links that good blogs give to other blogs. i usually find the referrals are delicious too.

                                                              1. I've recently found a great site by a Thai woman http://www.shesimmers.com Great writing and lots of cool Thai and Thai-inspired recipes.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Jay2512

                                                                  I really, really like this blog! Thanks for bringing it to light.

                                                                  1. re: Jay2512

                                                                    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I discovered this blog several months ago while randomly searching for tom yum tips and fell in love with the author's forays into food and linguistics, but neglected to favorite the URL. Now I'm sure not to lose it.