I love cooking Asian food especially when I am hosting friends or family for dinner. It becomes our shareable treat and it certainly goes well with wine or a chilled beer. I always make it a point to plan the meal beforehand as the wide range of ingredients fresh and bottled, may not be at hand and that can be a mood dampener. So, here’s a list I usually carry before visiting any Berlin Asian market to fill my pantry up for an Asian feast.
Sauces and Seasonings
Chili Garlic Sauce
This ingredient is really versatile. I use it for dipping, marinating, cooking and I also add it to stir fry sometimes. Chili Garlic sauce has a good punch of vinegar, a great hit of garlic and heat from the chili. Sometimes it can even brighten up the flavour of a recipe that you are trying to salvage!
Sesame oil is made from toasted sesame seeds for a golden brown intense colour and nutty flavour. It is used in small amounts as it is quite strong and usually added at the end of cooking to preserve the wonderful flavour.
Sriracha Hot Sauce
Quite a famous component of the pantry, some diners just add Sriracha sauce to anything! This adds a good amount of chili, sugar, salt and vinegar to your recipe from its composition.
I usually prefer a naturally brewed version of Soya Sauce like the Kikkoman. This is a popular ingredient for stir fry, fried rice and some soups as well. It adds a strong and salty Asian flavour to the dish.
This is a dry condiment commonly used in Japanese cuisine that adds a touch of salt and sesame flavour to a dish. You can even keep this on the dinner table to use as a seasoning.
- Sweet Chili Sauce, Fish Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Rice Vinegar are other sauces you can add to your list.
Used in most Asian recipes, these are the healthy elements that will add colour, crunch and freshness to your recipes.
Noodles and Rice
I am not that great at making my own pasta or noodles at home, especially when I have a lot of people coming over to eat. So, I buy them at this Indian-Asian shop near me. Makes my meal prep easier and quicker!
Chinese Egg Noodles
Incredible texture and go with almost everything I make. I even add them to my left over stir fry and take them as lunch the next day. Chinese egg noodles are easy to cook and are chewy.
Generally used in Japanese cuisine, udon noodles are thick and made from wheat flour. They taste well in broth.
Also made from wheat flour, these noodles are thin and used in Japanese recipes.
Thai Jasmine White Rice are my go-to for pairing or using in an Asian dish.
If you love umami, earthy flavour, then Miso is your king. It is a traditional Japanese ingredient that is salty in taste and prepared by fermentation of soya beans, rice or barley, salt and koji.
Silken, soft, firm or extra firm – Tofu comes in many varieties and is a good substitute for meat in the dishes you cook for your vegan guests. It is made from soy milk.
This list could go on for good and all. Such is the beauty of the diverse and delicious Asian cuisine. But even if you buy half of the ingredients listed above, you can prepare yourself a fantastic banquet.