Kitchen Tips

10 Pro Tips to Plan an Asian Meal

Asian meals are almost always a favourite among Aussies. The distinctive flavours, spices and the ingredients used in it makes it special and exotic and can be prepared for any occasion to celebrate.

Planning an Asian meal for your loved ones requires a lot of thought and preparation. Right from gathering all the ingredients from the Asian store to preparing the pastes, dishes and desserts to garnishing them and serving it with love. Quite a tedious process, isn’t it? Here are a 10 tips to plan an Asian meal.

10 Tips to Plan an Asian Meal

Image Courtesy: Andrea Nguyen used under the Creative Commons Licence 

1. Think of the cuisine you would like to make

Asian cuisine is so broad and has an array of dishes to offer. Whether it is Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, anything you fancy. Pick your favourite or the guest’s favourite and get started.

2. Make a trip to the Asian Grocery store

You need to gather the ingredients to make a perfect meal. What better way to get them all under one roof? Go to the Asian grocery stores and pick up all the authentic ingredients to make your special meal. Here’s why an Asian store is perfect for your grocery shopping. 

3. Keep a check on budget

Figure out how much you would like to spend on this meal and accordingly divide your money. Buying items and ingredients at Asian groceries can be a great bargain.

4. Plan your time well

If your dishes require a lot of planning, start a day in advance to avoid confusions later. Suppose you’re making a frozen sweet treat, start early to let it chill perfectly or if you are going to make a marinade, do so early to let the flavours seep in.

5. Storage

Storing your ingredients is important to keep them fresh and how you store them is crucial. Some ingredients need to be put in the deep-freeze while some only need to be kept in a warm place. Read the instructions on bottles clearly to see the longevity of some ingredients you’re using.

6. Consider your guest’s allergic reactions

Asian cuisines use ingredients that might not always suit everyone.Check with your guests before hand if they are allergic to certain ingredients and make sure you prepare meals using substitutes for the same. Look out for allergies like gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance and nut intolerance.

7. Prepare a meal plan

You could make something like a grilled sea bass in banana leaf wrap, or some grilled fish with a delicious nut-sauce or just a simple Vietnamese lunch roll. Decide on the number of dishes much in advance  and put together their recipes for easy accessibility.

vietnamese spring rolls - tips to plan an asian meal

  Image Courtesy: Ernesto Andrade used under the Creative Commons Licence

8. List out the ingredients you will need

Asian cuisines use a plethora of ingredients that require to be carefully added to attain the perfect flavour. Ensure you don’t miss out on the smallest of the ingredients that make all the difference. It may be the pandan leaf, or the coconut milk!

9. Serve in style – Crockery and cutlery

A few Asian countries use chopsticks, so check with your guests if they are comfortable with using chopsticks or would like to use a fork and a knife. Plan your serving bowls, plates and cutlery.

tips to set-up an Asian meal

 Image Courtesy: David Woo used under the Creative Commons Licence

10. You could try this simple three course meal

1. Make a light Indonesian Achar, It is a popular appetiser and it has a tangy taste. Or you could make a sweet and spicy satay, It is a perfect party food and can easily be made and eaten.

Achar - 10 tips to plan an asian meal

2. For the main course, try a Vietnamese style braised pork. This dish is perfect when you have a large number of guests over. You could also try some chicken wings in sweet soy sauce which is also perfect for a large group. It is spicy and sweet and has a distinctive taste because of the sweet soy sauce.

Vietnamese-style Braised Pork - tips to plan an Asian meal

3. For dessert try some steamed custard in a pumpkin shell. This is healthy as well as tasty and it is best to make it a day in advance. Or you could also make a simple 10 minute mango and banana smoothie . You could also try this delicious Thai dessert Mango with sticky rice.

Steamed Custard in a Pumpkin Shell - 10 tips to plan an asian meal

Try-out different meal combinations and make a hearty meal for your guests, friends or dear ones. A grand Asian meal is sure to linger on their taste buds!

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