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.ย  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. smashinglady

    Hubby’s Yummy Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

    Easy and Delish! Will wow your kids and guests and only takes 10 minutes and easy to make for a family of 2 or a group of 20. In a large ziplock bag or bowl with 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, add a lovely sprinkling of garlic powder (~ 1tbsp) and onion powder (~1tsp) and pepper to your liking (~1tsp). Add enough Kikkoman Teriyaki Glaze to lightly coat all the chicken and toss the chicken in the bag or bowl to mix everything together. Let sit overnight or for a few hours. When ready put 2-3 chicken thighs on wooden skewers, grill or broil for 10 minutes until cooked through. What you end up with is yummy, juicy flavorful chicken skewers to serve on rice or with a side salad.

    This is my hubby’s recepie but super yummy and easy to make with a toddler in tow ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy Early Birthday!

  2. Tia

    Toss a pound of raw shrimp with some minced shallot, ginger, garlic, fresh chili, black pepper and fish sauce. Drizzle some cooking oil and sugar into a really hot skillet and throw in the shrimp. Once shrimp caramelizes, add a splash of Chinese rice wine, a drizzle of sesame seed oil and chopped scallion. When shrimp have absorbed most of the liquid, take off heat and serve immediately with jasmine rice.


  3. nicki

    Place minced garlic and chopped spring onions on top of a block of soft tofu. Mix well together in a small bowl 1 tbsp of oyster sauce, 3 tsp of soy sauce, a splash of sesame oil, sprinkling of sugar and 2 tbsp of water, and drizzle sauce all over. Serve with rice.

    Fast, yummy and easy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Carrie Hasson

    LOOOVE your new hair!!

    So,one of the best things I’ve ever tasted was a simple dish served at the Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma. http://www.westranch.com/ranch-kitchen.html

    I have the cookbook on order (Celebrating the Seasons at Westerbeke Ranch by John Littlewood), and I’m pretty close to sure that it was the Hot Sweet Tofu that’s in this cookbook. It’s one of those dishes you think about long after it’s gone! And it appears so simple.

    Here is a similar version I found online that may come close http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1031684

    …will definitely share The Westerbeke’s recipe when I get it (p.s. EVERYTHING they served was to die for!).

  5. Raquita

    my infant loves a quick take on one of your recipies some of those fresh noodles you always talk about a little soy sauce a little black vinegar some cooked chicken tossed real quick in a skillet sometimes we add some asparagus or other veggies.

    Its the lazy version of one of your recipes.

  6. Mia

    My rice is part of the recipe, even though it takes a bit longer than 15 minutes to cook (but in a rice maker, you can just turn it on and forget about it!).

    Cold tofu with nori rice: Cut a block of high-quality firm or extra firm tofu into 1-in. cubes. In a medium bowl, mix chili-garlic paste (to taste) with a few splashes of soy sauce, a splash of rice vinegar, and a few drops of toasted sesame oil. Add tofu and stir gently to combine. For rice: Add rice (brown or white) and water, along with 1 crumbled sheet of toasted nori, to a rice cooker. Cook rice, and then add a tablespoon of miso paste mixed with a splash of rice vinegar and stir to combine. Serve with cold tofu and garnish with scallions, if desired.

  7. tina gasperson

    I tweeted everyone to come and post their 15 minute Asian recipes! Now I will see if there’s any that I actually know how to do, and check back in!

  8. Natalie Sztern

    Japanese cucumber salad/Sunomono

    take 1 cucumber, slice vertical in half and seed it with the back of a spoon all the way down. place in a bowl and add 1/8 cup sweetened rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon mirin, Chopped fresh dill, Salt, to taste. Toss all ingredients together. By the time the rest of your dinner is ready, this will be sufficiently marinated.

  9. Margot

    My Mum’s Cold Noodles are one of my favorite and easiest recipes. You can use any kind of chinese noodle or I even prefer whole wheat spaghetti because of its hearty, nutty flavor. I usually make extra pasta the night before, so we can have cold noodles the next day. The sauce is pretty simple and should be adjusted to taste and consistency. Combine the following ingredients in a jar or blender and mix vigorously: 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter, 1 tbsp of sesame oil, 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, pinch of sugar or honey, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp Chinese Rice Wine Vinegar, 1 tbsp Sambal Olek or Chili Paste. Simply toss some shredded chicken, cucumber and green onion over a bed of cold, cooked noodles. Drizzle with sauce. Yummie!!!!

  10. Jandi

    Jaden! Love the haircut…and the tiara!
    OK, here’s my 15 minute recipe:
    Chop a bunch of veggies…whatever is in the garden or in the frig, but especially celery and bean sprouts and broccoli…heck, even portobello mushrooms and sundried tomatoes will work.
    Heat some coconut oil in a wok (that’s the truly Asian part)…add veggies…cook just until crispy-soft (for lack of the proper term, which escapes me at the moment). Take wok off heat. In a bowl stir together some red curry paste, a shot of soy sauce and a can of coconut milk. Put wok back on heat. Stir furiously while adding the red curry sauce. Heat to bubbly. Spoon over brown rice. With the 9 minutes you’ll have left, pour a glass of wine and garnish dish with a fresh orchid ;-D

  11. rachel

    Spicy sesame noodles: Whisk together 2 cloves minced garlic with 1 1/2 tbsp each sesame oil, hot chile oil, sesame paste and rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon ginger. Toss with cooked soba noodles, cucumber slices and snowpeas.

  12. Natalie Sztern

    hey if i win i’ll even pay the shipping to that city they call the ‘other paris’ which btw it is not…and i did twitter, I think….i really don’t know what twitter is but i am a member anyway on ur suggestion…so what exactly is twitter?

  13. Saksith

    My poor attempt at a Thai-Italian fusion:

    “Pasta Kee Mao” (“Drunken Pasta”, Pasta)
    Boil pasta of your choice al dente (reccommended: Spaghetti), meanwhile stir fry minced meat (pork or beef) with chopped garlic and chili, diced onion, diced bell pepper and a few cherry tomatoes (whole or halfed). Toss in the cooked pasta, season it with soy sauce, fish sauce and pepper. To finish, put in some Thai basil leaves.

    Alternatively, you can have the meat with rice and a fried egg (sunny side up) – that’s more Thai for you!


  14. deb on the rocks

    Spring rolls can save the day! Always have rice paper sheets on hand.

    Matchstick slice napa cabbage, carrots, green onions, red peppers, whatever your have with a crunch. Layer on rice paper sheets with chopped peanuts and cilantro if you have it. Roll into gorgeousness. Make a dipping sauce–maybe add a bit of rice vinegar and sesame oil to soy and a shot of hot sauce. Or do a honey with a kick one. The repetitive dipping, crunching, dipping, crunching will heal you, promise.

    Jaden! How cute is that picture?!!!

  15. AmyInOhio

    Someone gave me this recipe a couple months ago, I can’t remember what site it was from (sorry). It’s great ’cause you can use up the leftovers in your fridge – great end of the week dish! Or Saturday lunch!

    Easy Asian Chicken Salad (makes 3-4 svgs)

    Chicken – 2 cups shredded/pulled
    (we use the leftover baked chicken like you get at the supermarket – perfect)

    Ginger – 1/4 tsp or more if you love the taste
    (we use the paste you get in a tube at the market – keep it in the freezer to last longer)

    Coleslaw – 2 cups
    (we’ve only tried it with the mayo-based kind, but it might work with vinegar variety – try it!)

    Pineapple Chunks – 1 cup
    (we use the canned variety, but fresh would be fine)

    Mixed these things together. Then serve it over a bed of lettuce and top with some crunchy noodles – no dressing needed.


  16. Haley W.

    Love your blog – happy upcoming birthday! Love the Bittman article on 10 minute meals – it’s given me some graet ideas. I submit an easy broccoli, grapefruit, and pork stirfry:

    Cut up a grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juices while heating up about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Fry up a knob of ginger that’s either chopped or cut into matchsticks. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain when golden. Add about 3/4 lbs of boneless pork chops cut into strips to the pan. Stirfry over high heat until cooked through, then remove and set aside. Add a cup of broccoli florets to the pan and stir to coat in the pan drippings, then pour in about a 1/4 cup of water to steam it. When done, add the pork back. Pour in the reserved grapefruit juice, a couple tablespoons of soy sauce, and a palmful of corn starch. Stir until thick, then add in the grapefruit sections. Serve with rice, with the fried ginger sprinkled on top. Crunchy, tangy, fresh, and tasty!

  17. Brent

    OK, I like your unagi don, but I have two complaints. First, no seasoning for rice. Second, what if you are too lazy to broil? So, I go for this:

    Tekka don. Take a really nice piece of tuna loin (tell the fish guy it’s for sushi). Set it out for a few minutes while you dress the rice so the fish isn’t ice cold when you eat it. Combine a half-cup of rice vinegar, a couple of tablespoons of sugar and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Stir it up, and then sprinkle some over your hot rice–right in the cooker. Mix gently and taste. If it needs more seasoning, add more (this should cover about 4 cups of cooked rice). Let the rice absorb the seasoning while you thinly slice the tuna loin across the grain. Fill bowls with rice, top with sliced tuna.

    Variation: Got a family member who won’t eat raw fish? You can sear the loin in a hot pan, slice into medallions. Or you can replace that person with a computer.

  18. Kindra

    I guess this would be a fusion of Asian and Mediterranean but my husband and I LOVE it. Grill chicken breast or thighs on grill and in last 5 minutes spread on PC Szechuan Peanut Sauce. Finish grilling and then cut up into chunks or shred with forks. Spread hummus on a pita or tortilla wrap, add diced cucumber and tomato, chicken and top with a little more Szechuan Peanut Sauce. Delicious!

  19. Amy in OHio

    Easy Asian Chicken Salad (makes 3-4 svgs)

    Someone gave me this recipe a couple months ago, I can’t remember what site it was from (sorry). It’s great ’cause you can use up the leftovers in your fridge -great end of the week dish! Or Saturday lunch!

    Mix two cups shredded/pulled chicken (we use the leftover baked chicken like you get at the supermarket – perfect) with 1/4 tsp of Ginger (more to taste if you’re a ginger lover), 2 cups of your favorite mayo-based Coleslaw and 1 cup of small pineapple – fresh or canned, your choice. Then serve it over a bed of lettuce and top with some crunchy noodles – no dressing needed.


  20. Robin

    Here’s what I just finished eating. Very one-bowl, warm, creamy, comfort-foody meal, though you can use brown rice and lots of veggies and be glad you ate this instead of mac and cheese.

    For one serving:

    Stir-fry chopped brussels sprouts, broccoli, or any other veggie you like; maybe add pieces of leftover chicken or other meat at the end, just long enough to warm up. When veggies are done, add a couple tbl of coconut milk and toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste. While that’s cooking, mix cooked rice with several tbl coconut milk, a couple tbl water, and 1 tbl any curry paste or similar strongly flavored thick sauce. Heat rice mixture over the stove or in the microwave for a minute or so to help the rice soak up the liquids. Pour veggies/meat over rice, and that’s it.

    That’s using enough rice and veggies for one serving, though of course you can make however much or little you want with more coconut milk and curry paste; it was just a quick meal so I didn’t bother with leftovers.

  21. Vicki

    Happy Birthday! 8-8-8 has to be lucky, right?

    Weeknight stirfry:
    Marinate protein of choice in soy sauce, ginger, garlic. Wokfry, remove. Wokfry diced or julienned veggies from the fridge. Add back protein. Add sauce made of soy sauce, black vinegar, chili garlic sauce, and whatever else you have, thickened with cornstarch. Simmer until thickened.
    Serve with rice.

  22. courtney

    Glamah’s Pan Fried Hong King Noodles with Pork( serves 2)
    Slice and sear 1 center cut bonless pork chop in oiled Wok. Add half chopped jalepeno pepper, and 1/2 cup chopped long beans. Stir around in Wok. Add 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and let meat and veggies simmer slightly. Take 1/2 lb *ready purchased /pre cooked Pan Fried Hong Kong noodles and add to Wok. Add a few tablespoons of water and more oil if needed, and toss all ingrediants together and cook a minute or two more until mixed. Place noodles in serving dish and top with sliced raw green onion and * ready made purchased fried garlic.
    * found in Asian Stores

  23. Nate

    Hope this one counts:

    Tarako (Cod Roe) Spaghetti
    Get a pot of water boiling. When it boils, add in two servings of spaghetti. Cook according to instructions. When done, drain and divide the spaghetti onto two plates.

    Now, cut open a packet of Japanese Spicy Code Roe sauce. Squirt the cod roe onto the spaghetti and mix together. Sprinkle on some chopped seaweed. Inhale.

    You could serve it with rice too but I like it better as God intended, with spaghetti.


  24. Jeremy

    Sticky chicken wings baked with ginger and soy. This is so simple. make a marinade with soy, ginger that is minced, garlic a bit of corn starch, a drop of chili oil, about a teaspoon or two of ketchup and pour into a bowl with the wings, (about 1/2 lb or more if your hungry!).Set your oven at around 375-400 and bake till tender, 15 minutes? Garnish with some sliced scallions and chow them down with of course some steamed rice and beer!
    Happy Birthday Jaden!

    Could use that camera on my trip to Turkey when I go to cook at a restaurant!

  25. Passionate Eater

    Happy birthday hotness! You will be “forever 21” in the hearts and minds of all men, especially your hubby! You need to give us ladies some tips about how to keep our men engaged and begging for more (food, that is) and how to stay beautiful at any age. I think it is the great food, because you look gorge. Here is to 21 more yrs!

  26. jasmine

    Oyster Sauce Wingettes
    Brown 2 pounds of wingettes in a hot oiled wok. Add 4T oyster sauce, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and a potato, 2 carrots, and an onion cut into 1/2 inch chunks (cut them up while chicken is browning). Let it cook for 10 minutes or so (longer for the meat to be falling off the bones). Sauce should be more saucy than liquidy. Serve with rice, and cool sliced cucumbers. Expect to use your hands a little!

    Ok, so I kind of had to make up the measurements a little, because I usually just throw stuff in. But it’s a nice easy and hearty meal.

  27. Robin

    Dice a block of extra firm tofu (smaller dice = more crunchy skin, larger dice = more creamy insides, pick which you like best). Put a tablespoon or two of oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat, and arrange the tofu in as close to a singer layer as you can. Cook, stirring or turning the tofu as necessary, until the tofu is crispy and browned. In the last minute or so of cooking, you can add a splash of soy sauce, sesame oil, or Jaden’s Sweet Soy Sauce to the tofu. Meanwhile, steam some broccoli, or green beans. Serve the tofu and broccoli in a bowl with steamed rice, or even better, steamed brown rice. Top with peanut sauce (we like the Annie Chung brand the best right now), or more soy sauce.

  28. Mei

    Thai Beef Salad that I can either eat on it’s own or with rice.

    Grill or fry beef fillet to your preference of doneness. When cooled, cut to thin strips. Then toss it with your favorite greens, 2 shallots & half a cucumber – both sliced thinly together with a dressing of 2 garlic cloves sliced thinly, 1 Tbsp of sugar, 5 Tbsp of fish sauce & 5 Tbsp lime juice. Light summery dish that transports you to the beaches of Thailand.

  29. Wendy

    Stir-fry Tofu with Salted Duck’s Egg Yolks

    Slice shallot & deep fry until golden crispy. Drain & put aside. Cut 2 boxes of Tofu into cubes. Steam 10 salted duck’s egg yolks for 10 min & crush with a fork. Heat wok, add oil, add yolks and stir-fry until it bubbles. Add Tofu and 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Add salt & pepper and stir gently. Keep cooking over medium heat until everything is fully combined and form into a thick sauce. Transfer to plate, top Tofu with shallot. Serve with lots of rice.

  30. Fran Magbual

    Beef with Bell Peppers

    Slice one lb. flank steak against the grain and diagonally into manageable pieces. Cut two bell peppers into strips. Use red and/or yellow bell pepper for a more colorful dish. Stir a teaspoon of sugar into 1/3 cup of soy sauce and set it aside. In large skillet or wok, brown meat with a small amount of vegetable oil over high heat, moving the pieces constantly to prevent burning, after a couple of minutes, add the bell pepper and continue to move ingredients around. Cook for just another couple of minutes, you want the bell pepper to still have some crunch and the steak to be about medium rare. Add the sweetened soy sauce, turn off the heat and allow sauce to cook from the residual heat, you don’t want to burn the soy sauce. Stir everything to make sure meat and peppers get coated with the sauce. Add black pepper to taste and serve with lots of hot rice.

  31. Annie

    Simple mochiko chicken. Put 1/2 cup mochiko rice flour in a ziploc bag with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp granulated garlic. Add in 1/2 lb diced chunks of chicken breast (bite sized pieces). Close bag and shake till chicken is coated. In the meantime, heat a small pot of oil (about 1.5 cups worth). Fry chicken in oil, take out, drain, and serve as appetizer. Yum!

  32. Nate

    Sweet-sour tilapia fillets:
    Season four tilapia fillets with salt and pepper. Dust with cornstarch. Fry in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Remove when the fish flakes easily.

    Cut up a bell pepper and an onion into bite-sized chunks. Saute until the vegetables are soft. Add ketchup, soy sauce, and water to form a thick sauce. Spoon over the fish, garnish with chopped green onions.


  33. Kathy Williams

    Happy birthday for 8th Jaden! Wow, no wonder you guys had that lucky break in Las Vegas (8/8/08 and all that). I hope you enjoy an Olympic size bottle of champagne that day!

    Here’s a recipe (my own):

    Asian Style Turkey Burger Wraps:

    Put the following into a food processor and blitz: approx 400g turkey breast (minced), half to 3/4 of an onion, one cup of breadcrumbs, one minced garlic clove, one finely chopped lemon grass stem, 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves, zest of a lime, half a tablespoon of fish sauce and 1 teaspoon caster sugar.

    Form into small patties and fry a few mins each side until both sides are golden and the centre is cooked. Place a couple of burgers in each of either a tortilla wrap or pitta bread with your favourite accompaniments (any combination of salad leaves, sweet chilli dipping sauce, yoghurt, chopped scallions etc)

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