Kitchen Tips

Pantry Pro: 10 Essential Asian Ingredients

Being a pro home cook begins with having the right ingredients, utensils and recipes. As part of our Masterclass Series, we’ve trawled the supermarket shelves for 10 Asian pastes and sauces that are essential in your pantry, along with recipe suggestions on how to use them.

Miso paste

We love the sweet, nutty, savoury notes of miso (Japanese soybean paste) in everything from a classic miso soup to a hearty miso ramen recipe. Try these five recipes using miso paste, or find creative ways to use miso here.

Miso Soup Recipe

Sambal paste

A must-have in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, sambal paste adds chilli heat and depth of flavour to a range of Asian dishes, including this delicious Malaysian sambal chicken recipe.

01 Malaysian Sambal Chicken_Yeo's

Satay sauce

For a family-friendly dinner, take a jar of good-quality satay sauce and whip up these Malaysian satay beef skewers. The paste doubles as a marinade and dipping sauce.

01 Malaysian Satay Beef_Yeo's


Korean food is one of the hottest cuisines at the moment, gochujang making  (hot Korean chilli paste) an essential ingredient in your pantry. Use its fiery heat in this tteokbokki rice cake recipe, or discover the top five dishes using gochujang this winter.


Fish sauce

No home pantry is complete without a bottle of fish sauce, used to season Thai curries, create Vietnamese nuoc cham dipping sauce, or to add depth of flavour to this tom yum soup recipe.

Tom Yum Soup with Prawns Recipe

Soy sauce

You’d be hard pressed to find an Australian pantry that didn’t contain a bottle of soy sauce. Learn more about the different types of soy sauce here, or add its ‘umami’ (savoury) characters to this wintry braise of beef with soy and star anise.

Braise of Beef with Soy and Star Anise Recipe

Oyster sauce

Another Chinese essential, oyster sauce is like soy sauce’s thicker, sweeter cousin. Simply drizzle it over steamed Asian greens for a healthy side dish, or use it to season stir-fries like this beef and Chinese broccoli with rice noodles.

Beef and Chinese Broccoli with Rice Noodles and Oyster Sauce

Black bean sauce

For a bigger flavour hit, reach for a jar of black bean sauce. This salty, pungent paste has been a fixture on local Chinese menus for decades in retro classics such as this black bean chicken recipe.

Black Bean Chicken

Curry pastes

Australian cooks have a whole rainbow of curry pastes at their disposal, from the red, yellow and green curries of Thailand to the aromatic curries of Malaysia, mild curries in Japan and sweet curries of Indonesia. Keep your pantry stocked with an array of flavours for quick and delicious dinners.

Thai Fried Fish in Red Curry

Wasabi paste

Keep a tube of wasabi paste on hand to add instant heat and authentic flavour to a range of Japanese dishes, such as this salmon steak with wasabi sauce. Or, discover inspiring new ways to cook with wasabi here.

Salmon Steak with Wasabi Sauce and Soba Noodles Recipe

For more on authentic Asian pastes and sauces, read about the new range of Yeo’s Pastes and Sauces, or the Authentic Taste of Malaysia from Lingham’s.

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