15 Minute Asian Light Meals


8/8 This morning I woke up and Scott surprised me by telling me, “pack 3 days of clothing, we’re going on a surprise trip!” Soooo coooool! We’re just about to leave but I wanted to tell you that I’ll spin the random number generator wheel as soon as I have a moment with Internet access after 3pm.

I have no idea where he’s taking me!! I’m in VEGAS, baby!!!!



Winners have been announced!!!


It’s my birthday and I wanna give away a cool gift!

Watch my video for details:

Here’s what’s up for grabs – the wonderful Flip Video Ultra 30 Minute It’s about the size of a deck of cards: Flip Camera

Here’s what you need to do:

It’s my birthday on 8/8/08 and I’m compiling a version of 101 Simple Meals Bittman’s 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less Except, Asian style. Here are my differences:

  • Dish has to be Asian style or inspired: Chinese, Japanese, Indian Korean, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Filipino, Indonesian,Pakistani, Armenian, Mongolian, Tibetan, Iranian, Hong Kongnese (heehee), Cambodian, fusion etc.etc. (whew)
  • Dish has to be ready in 15 minutes or less. Bittman’s 10 minutes just seems really short and as a mother of 2, I get distracted by a kid once every 5 minutes anyways.
  • Submit a simple, light, quick meal OR a dish that goes with rice.  You don’t have to count rice steaming time. Most Asian meals are accompanied by rice and rice takes about 20-30 minutes to make. So don’t worry about the rice time. Just type in “Serve with rice” in your recipe
  • Write the recipe Bittmann style – like this

Steamed Mussels Put three pounds of washed mussels in a pot with 2 tablespoons of Thai curry paste, 2 cups of coconut milk, garlic cloves, Thai basil leaves and chopped tomatoes. Steam until mussels open. Serve with bread or rice. The simpler and more elegant the recipe is, the better. You can link to a recipe, but please at least describe what you’re linking to. Name your recipe too!

  • Submit by my birthday, August 8th 3pm EST. Contest open to anyone in the world. I’ll be using the handy Random Number Generator to pick a winner. YOU CAN ENTER ONCE A DAY!!! Come back everyday and submit a new 15 minute recipe if you’d like.
  • BONUS! If you blog or Twitter about this contest, you can have an extra entry. Just come back and link to what you’ve posted or just write that you Twitter’d about it


Here are of my favorite “15 Minute Asian Light Meals”

of course, no photo needed for your entry..

Lettuce Cups Lettuce Cups Stir-fry 3/4 lb ground chicken with diced red onion, diced water chestnuts, garlic, ginger, 2 tbl oyster sauce and 1 tsp Chinese rice wine. Drain juices, serve in crisp, cold lettuce cups, top with mandarin orange slices
Unagi Bowl Unagi-don Broil defrosted Japanase unagi until hot and the top nicely carmelized, about 5-7 minutes. Serve over rice, top with Kabayaki sauce and shredded nori.

Will you please enter??

Please enter

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Comments 141

  1. Kindra

    Place 24 jumbo shrimp in a shallow dish. Dress seafood with lime juice and zest, a generous drizzle of sesame oil, grill seasoning and hot pepper flakes. Wrap each shrimp with a half slice of bacon. Arrange the shrimp on a slotted baking panto allow draining while bacon crisps. Bake shrimp in 425 degree oven 10 minutes until pink and curled and bacon is crisp.

  2. Peb

    Steamed Fish with Black Bean Sauce

    All you need is some fish fillets – Prompret or tilapia. Sometimes I use a whole fish mid-size. Wash and put fish on plate ready for steaming. Just put Black Bean Sauce (available in regular stores or Chinese Grocery stores) and some scallions on fish. Steam for 10-15 minutes. It will be ready to eat. What I do is that I put to steam on my rice cooker (especially if you have steamer on top of rice cooker even better). Just leave it and it will be ready when rice is ready.

  3. Peb

    My second entry. I blogged about this contest. see link. http://foodmadesimple.blogspot.com/2008/08/steamy-kitchen-contest.html

    Recipe – Fried Egg with Preserved Turnips
    You can get these chopped preserved turnips in any Chinese Grocery stores.
    Put some olive oil on pan, stir fry some chopped garlic and the chopped perserved turnip and then add 2 eggs (beaten). Flip and cook both side of eggs. Ready to serve. An Asian twist to egg omelet.

    View this link! Enjoy! http://foodmadesimple.blogspot.com/2008/05/chai-por-fried-eggs.html

  4. Annie

    Hi Jaden,

    This is so much fun. You’ve gotten me to think about quick and easy Asian dishes all this week. Here’s another one that I thought of that is fast if you already have boiled eggs on hand. I do it two ways–the non-fussy way is to not bother to fry the boiled eggs. If you have time and want to do it the fussy traditional way, then it involved frying the boiled eggs. My Thai friend taught me this dish.

    In a small pot, add a couple tbsps of oil, then add one yellow onion, sliced thin. Cook over med heat till onions are wilted and starting to caramelize just a little. Add 1/3 cup of tamarind juice and 3 tbsp sugar (more to taste if it’s too sour). Bring to boil and add 6-8 boiled eggs. Coat eggs with tamarind sauce and dish out. If you want it to be spicy, add a couple of diced Thai bird chillies to the sauce. Serve over rice.

  5. A Cowboy's Wife

    Bacon-y Bok Choy

    Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon and drain the fat, reserving one tablespoon of the grease in the skillet. Add the olive oil, onion, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until the onions are starting to be tender.
    Add the bok choy, and place a lid on the pan. Let cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the lid; cook and stir until the bok choy is tender but still crunchy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the bacon, and season with salt. Serve piping hot and with rice:)

  6. The Survival Gourmet

    Wok Soup

    Put some seasoned, cubed chicken in a hot wok with sesame oil. When chicken is cooked add shredded cabbage, chopped onion and minced garlic stir until onion and cabbage wilt. Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 4 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a slow boil. Add 1/2 pound of peeled shrimp. Stir until shrimp are pink. Eat.

  7. Seetha

    Masala Cauliflower

    Heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds. Once that sizzles, add half a red onion chopped. After 2 mins, add 1 tsp each of chilli powder and turmeric powder. Then add the cut cauliflower florets and 2 tbsp of water. Mix well and cook covered on medium high heat for 5 mins. Eat with rice or chapatti.

  8. Nate


    Another blog entry and recipe for you:

    Stir-fried Beef with Ginger and Egg
    Marinate thin-sliced flank steak in cornstarch, rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and ground white pepper. Cut 1-1/2 inch piece of ginger into thin matchsticks. Chop 4 green onions into 1 inch pieces. Heat oil in wok over high heat and fry ginger until golden. Remove ginger and add beef. Stir-fry beef for 1 minute and add green onions. Make a well and add in 1/4 cup water and 1 beaten egg. Mix everything together and stir-fry until the egg sets. Plate it up and garnish with the fried ginger sticks.

    Serve over rice.


    One more day to go, right?

  9. Reena

    My healthy version of Maggi Mee

    For 2 to 4 pax. This can be made in 15 minutes or less. Just put a pot of water for boiling, and while its boiling, cut up vegetables like carrots(1), chinese long cabbage(3 leaves), sausages (4), taufu pok (8 to 10), mushrooms (canned button would do) – by this time, the water would be boiling already, just put all the cut ingredients inside and let it boil for abt 2 minutes, and then add in the Maggi Mee (3 pkt) and the powdered spice, and let it cook for abt another 2 minutes. Lastly, throw in some bean sprouts and 2 eggs. Voila! Done!

  10. A Cowboy's Wife

    Yeah, I’m back again! I’m determined to enter as many times as allowed by gosh;) I WANT that prize!!

    Lebanese Garlic Sauce

    This is a garlic powered lemony dressing. Serve with meats, as a seasoning in salad dressings or on pocket bread sandwiches or tear off pieces of pita bread and dip in it. If sauce separates while in storage, just stir or blend again.

    In the container of a blender, combine the 4 bulbs garlic, cloves separated and peeled, 1 cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend at medium speed until smooth. Continue blending while pouring 3 cups olive oil into the blender in a thin stream. The mixture should become thick and white like salad dressing. Store refrigerated in a glass container.

  11. Christine

    Spicy Calamari and Noodles (Korean)

    Here’s my small contribution:

    1 small package of calamari rings (18 oz)
    2 Handfuls of fettucine noodles
    Red Bell Pepper
    Green Pepper
    1 carrot

    Sauce Ingredients:
    2 Tbs of red pepper paste
    4 Tbs of Soy Sauce
    1 Tbs of red pepper flakes
    2-3 Tbs of Sugar (depending how sweet you like your spicy food)
    1 Tbs of minced garlic
    1 Tbs of minced ginger
    1 Tbs of sesame oil
    Pinch of sesame seeds
    Pinch of pepper

    1) Boil the calamari in water until softened.
    2) Thinly slice the onion, scallions, red bell pepper, green pepper, carrot.
    3) Boil the fettucine noodles
    4) In a heated wok, combine all the sauce ingredients with about 1/4 cup of hot water from the calamari.
    5) Mix sauce ingredients well until everything is blended.
    6) Toss in calamari after straining
    7) Toss in fettucine noodles after straining
    8) Mix well

    Voila. A delicious dish ready to be consumed as soon as possible.

  12. Ashley

    My birthday is tomorrow as well. It seems so epic since it is 08-08-08.

    My favorite thing to cook when I am in a pinch is very simple. You purchase steak that is pre sliced for fajitas from the grocery store.

    Stir Fry steak with a little soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and a touch of crushed red peppers. When steak is almost done add snow peas. Cook till crisp-tender. Serve over brown rice.

  13. Barbarainnc

    Happy birthday tomorrow!!!!!

    Teriyaki Steak

    1/2 c soy sauce
    1/4 c brown sugar
    2 T olive oil
    1 T grated ginger root
    1/2 t MSG
    1/4 t black cracked pepper
    2 cloves garlic minced
    1 1/2 lbs top sirloin steak cut into strips 1/4 ” thick and 1 ” wide. Soak bamboo skewers. In a deep bowl combine all ingredients then add meat. Let stand 2 hrs. Lace on skewers and broil. Serve with rice.

  14. Carmen

    steamed egg custard: in a medium bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs, 1 cup of chicken broth (or 1 cup of water + 2 T soy sauce), a drizzle of sesame oil, black pepper, and some chopped scallions. steam on low heat for 12-15 minutes, until the custard is set.

  15. argus

    I just cooked this yummy dish:
    Mild Lentil & Veggie Curry
    Soak one-and-a-half cups of orange-coloured lentils in water. Slice up a medium purple onion and leek. Stirfry onion in a teaspoon of oil till tender. Add the leek (and other veggies if you like such as chopped fresh chilli and zucchini). Add half a tsp each of powdered cumin, turmeric, coriander and curry. Pop in a stick of cinnamon, a few blooms of staranise, several fenugreek seeds, 3 cloves, 2 tsp dried (or fresh chopped) curry leaves – if you have them. Add the lentils and 2 cups of veggie (or chicken) stock. Boil for 9 minutes. Adjust taste with chilli powder, salt and pepper. Eat as it is or with boiled rice and/or panfried meats. Serves 2-4.

  16. Fran

    Easy Chicken Katsu (Chicken Cutlet)

    Pound out some chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap to make thin cutlets. Basically you want to even out the thickness of the cutlet, how thick or how thin you make them is up to you. Season cutlets with a little salt. Set out three shallow bowls on the counter. In first bowl, whisk up one or two eggs and a small amount or water. Add AP flour to the second bowl and panko bread crumbs to the third bowl. Dip your cutlets into the egg, dredge in flour, dip into the egg again and then finally dredge in the panko. Heat up some oil in a large skillet. You want oil to be about 1/2 inch deep. Fry the cutlets on medium to medium-high heat until the panko coating is golden brown and cutlet is cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your cutlets. Serve with hot rice and tonkatsu sauce, Bulldog brand if you can find it. Green beans would be a perfect vegetable to serve with this.

    (except for the Bulldog sauce, this isn’t uniquely Asian, but it is quick and easy and darn it, I want that camera!)

  17. Nan

    I love this. You can also use dried noodles or thin spaghetti.

    sauteed noodles

    Cook and drain 1/2 lb fresh Chinese noodles according to package directions. Cut 1/2 lb roasted pork into matchsticks. Cut 1 bunch scallions into 2-inch pieces, then into lengthwise shreds. Peel and cut into matchsticks 2 quarter sized slices of ginger. Mince two cloves garlic. Rinse 1 lb bean sprouts, drain and set aside. Combine 2 1/2 Tablespoons each soy sauce and oyster sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small dish and set aside.

    Heat wok or skillet, add 3 Tablespoons peanut oil and heat until very hot. Stirfry ginger, garlic pork and scallions for 1 minute. Pour in 1 tablespoon of sherry, mixing rapidly. Add the bean sprouts while you toss. Pour in the soy-sauce mixture while stirring. Add the noodles, stirfry for three minutes, until mixture is evenly coated with sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.

  18. Annie

    Egg fuyong with preserved cabbage, onions and long beans: Heat pan and add 2 tbsp oil, throw in preserved cabbage and diced onion (1/2 cup). When onions are translucent, add in long beans (1/2 cup diced). Cook for 2 mins until long beans are soft. Beat 4 eggs with 1 tsp soy sauce and dash of white pepper. Add to frying pan. Scramble and let sit till eggs are golden on one side. Flip, and cook other side. Serve with rice.

  19. Vitor Hugo

    At last, my recipe! 😀
    – Oriental Rolls: 1 cucumber (peeled or not, or “mezzo”), 1 medium carrot, 2-3 units rakkyo (Japanese shallot pickled), 1Tbsp. Gari (young ginger pickled – a taste), 1Tbsp. sesame oil (roasted), 1Tbsp. sesame seed, 1tsp. salt (a taste), 1tsp. sugar, rice paper (about 6-8) and cold water.

    Method: cucumber, cut the edges and slice vertical, then in half to make little sticks. Add salt, sugar, sesame seed and sesame oil. Set aside.

    Now, finely grated carrot and chopped the rakkyo. Mix everything with cucumber (don’t forget gari). Taste.

    Re-hydrate the rice papers with cold water about 5-7 seconds (yes, seconds), put the vegetable in middle and wrap. You can work in batched if making for a crowd by dipping individually several rice paper and setting them on a flat surface. So, when you finish the last one, the first will be ready for filling and wrapping.

  20. Ron Merlin

    Quick Egg Foo Yung

    6 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 cup fresh bean sprouts
    1/4 cup minced scallions
    1/4 cup minced bamboo shoot or celery or shredded Chinese cabbage
    4 water chestnuts, minced
    1/3-1/2 cup slivered cooked ham or chicken or pork or minced shrimp
    1 teaspoon soy sauce
    2-3 tablespoons peanut oil (or other cooking oil)

    Foo Yung Sauce

    * 1 cup chicken broth
    * 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    * 2 teaspoons sugar
    * 2 teaspoons vinegar
    * 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    * 2 tablespoons water


    1 Mix eggs, vegetables, meat and soy.

    2 Heat 2 tsp oil in a 4-6 inch skillet over moderate heat for 30 seconds.

    3 Add 1/3 cup egg mixture and fry as you would a pancake until lightly
    browned on the bottom, turn over and brown flip side.

    4 Keep warm (but do not stack), while you fry remaining pancakes, adding
    more oil if needed and stirring egg mixture before adding to pan.

    5 Foo Yung Sauce: In a pan, heat broth, soy, sugar and vinegar.

    6 In a bowl, blend cornstarch and water.

    7 Add to sauce and cook, stirring, until sauce bubbles and thickens.

    8 Serve with hot Egg Foo Yung.


    Check out my food blog at: http://themerlinmenu.blogspot.com

  21. noobcook

    Japanese Cold Tofu Appetizer

    Refrigerate a piece of organic Japanese tofu. Dilute 1 tsp of soba/tempura sauce with water to suit your taste & pour mixture over the tofu. Top the tofu with bonito flakes and chopped spring onions. Ta-Da!! =x


    Happy Birthday Jaden (I’m a few hours early) … your birthday is such an auspicious date, and coincides with the Beijing Olympics opening too! Hope u have a wonderful celebration and a super year ahead (plus big sales for your cookbook *ka ching!*)

  22. Reena

    Quick Spaghetti Carbonara

    Get a pot of water to boil. Add in the spaghetti and some shitake mushrooms (chopped). While it’s boiling, cut fine 4 bulbs of garlic, slice sausages (4), chop some herbs (any herb would do), and have half a packet of frozen mix vege at hand. Also, just mix 3 eggs, 2 cups of low fat milk, with 1 cup of cheese (any), and lots of black pepper in a bowl. In a wok, heat up some oil, fry the garlic till fragrant, throw in everything except the egg mixture. Let it cook for abt 5 minutes. Drain the spaghetti & mushrooms – mix it into the wok. Stir with a wooden spoon. And then off the fire, and pour in the egg mixture. Add salt to taste. Voila! Done! 🙂

  23. babe_kl

    Happy Birthday Jaden!!!! Wish you a joyous birthday and wonderful AND prosperous (from the sale of your book and adverts) year ahead.

    Here’s my entry…

    Quick Stir-fry Vege

    Chop up some celery, carrot, baby corn, yellow capsicum and enoki mushrooms. In a wok, fry some chopped garlic in some oil until fragrant. Chuck in all the vegetables and stir quickly. Add in a couple of dashes of oyster sauce to taste and sprinkle a wee bit of water in the wok. Keep stirring until water dries up. Dish up and serve hot with rice.

  24. Nate

    Happy Birthday Jaden! May you have a long and prosperous life! Here is my birthday recipe for you

    Steamed Shiitake Mushrooms with Bok Choy and Fatt Choy
    Soak a small handful of fatt choy in boiling water with a drop of sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Drain and set aside. Marinate 10 fresh shiitake mushrooms in salt, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Steam the shiitakes for 15 minutes. Cut 6-8 baby bok choy in half, lengthwise, and steam for 8 minutes. Boil a sauce made from salt, Shaoxing wine, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper, then thicken with a cornstarch slurry. Arrange the bok choy in a circle with the tops pointing inward on a plate. Pile the shiitakes in the center. Garnish with the fatt choy. Drizzle the sauce all over the vegetables.


  25. rita

    big happy, happy birthday, gorgeous! guess what? today’s the first day (and started at 11am) of the 10-day weinfest in town and we are sure to celebrate your big day with bottles of sekt! (german sparkling wine)

    Herzlichen Glckwunsch zum Geburtstag!(Happy Birthday!)

  26. A Cowboy's Wife


    Did you think I wouldn’t enter on the last day??? HA!!! Of course I’m entering again woman! I promise I’m not a stalker…just desperate to win;)

    Thai Chicken Tenders

    Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil in large skillet and cook 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken sliced into strips until it is no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add 2 teaspoons minced ginger, 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, 1/2 cup Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter and 1 teaspoon McCormick cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is bubbly and warm, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with 1/2 cup scallions, chopped. Serve immediately with rice or noodles.

  27. finsbigfan

    First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JADEN!!! Road trip….ENJOY! Now for the recipe…
    Take about a pound of leftover beef and cut into thin strips. Toss with a little dry sherry, salt and pepper (to taste),about 3 tablespoons oyster sauce, a clove of minced fresh garlic, a pinch of brown sugar and one tablespoon 5 spice. Mix with leftover noodles (or any leftover pasta) Heat in microwave until warm and comforting. Drizzle with sesame oil. If you have any small amounts of salad ingredients toss that in too. Serves 1 to 4. Viola!!

  28. Leah

    Quick Vegetarian stir fry with spicy sauce:

    1 handful of green beans
    2 oz mushrooms
    (optional) 2 vegetarian “sausages”, sliced

    whisk together:
    2 T red wine vinegar
    2 T sweet chili sauce
    .5 T spicy chili sauce
    2 T honey powder (or regular honey or even sugar, though I’d prob use less)
    1 T chopped lemongrass (jarred makes it easy)
    1/4 cup tomato sauce (canned… straight tomato sauce, not jarred pasta sauce)
    1 T garlic (jarred makes it easy)
    splash sesame oil.

    Stir fry the beans, mushrooms and sausages for 3-5 mins- add the sauce and cook until heated through. Serve over rice or noodles (I prefer soba.)
    Pic: [IMG]http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee215/leahmarsh/food/squashpizzacrust2.jpg[/IMG]

  29. Barbarainnc

    Happy Birthday today!!!!

    Fried Rice

    Cook up some rice the day before and chill it. In a wok scramble some eggs and set aside. Wipe out the wok and put in some oil, then rice, grated carrots,chopped scallions, eggs, cooked chopped pork or chicken, salt, pepper and soy sauce to taste. Stir all around until heated. I make fried rice for my Foods I students. Usually I make enough for 75 students in one day, and they enjoy it.

  30. Annie

    Happy birthday Jaden!! This is my last one (and crossing my fingers that the random number generator will pick me!).

    Coriander chicken with fish sauce: Season 8 pieces of oiled boneless, skinless chicken thighs with S&P, and 1 tbsp ground coriander. Mix 2 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tsp brown sugar and set aside. Broil thighs for 3-5 mins until opaque (flipping once). Brush fish sauce mixture over thighs and broil for another 4-6 mins until chicken is cooked (no need to flip again). Plate up and squeeze lime juice and sprinkle on chopped green onion for garnish. Serve over rice.

  31. Rebecca (Foodie With Family)

    Happy Birthday! (It was the 5th anniversary of my 29th birthday and I’m still celebrating.) The recipe I’m passing along has been a family favorite for years and is insanely simple.

    In an unheated heavy bottomed skillet with 1/3 cup of good olive oil, place 1 1/2 lbs of boneless salmon fillets skin side up. In a measuring cup, mix 1/4 cup light soy sauce, 1/4 cup sake and 1 bunch of scallions that have been washed, trimmed and sliced finely. Flip the fillets skin side down to coat with oil and evenly sprinkle 3 cloves of minced garlic on top. Grate a 2 inch piece of ginger over the fish and top with half of the soy sauce mixture. Cook over medium to medium high heat, tightly covered, for about five minutes or until salmon is opaque most of the way up the sides with plenty of pink in the center. Flip fillets, remove skin, add the rest of the soy sauce mixture and continue cooking until fish is opaque the rest of the way through.

    Serve pieces of the fish and the pan liquids over steamed rice or hot linguine.


  32. Lisa

    Baby Bok Choy with Chicken

    1 lb of chicken sliced thin
    6 heads of baby bok Choy
    1/4 cup of chicken stock
    3 tablespoons of fish sauce
    fresh garlic finely chopped
    hot oil for stir frying
    salt and pepper

    Coat pan with a few tablespoons of oil. Add garlic and chicken and stir fry until done one the outside. Add bok choy and continue to stir fry for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover pan with a lid. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. When the bok choy is bright green and cooked to your liking, add fish sauce and stock and cook for 1 more minute. Serve with rice and enjoy.

  33. SeeLifeMarvels

    Your recipe was featured in Parents/Feb 2010. We, my 7 year old & I, made a version of it last night. The response? From both my 7 year old & my 9 year old, “Can we have this for dinner every night?” Loved it!

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