15 Essential Asian Ingredients that Every Kitchen Needs

Light Soy Sauce

This is an absolute staple in every East and Southeast Asian dish! It's light in colour with a delightful salty taste.

Person Pouring Soy Sauce into Small Ceramic Sauce Dish

 

Dark Soy Sauce

In contrast to Light Soy Sauce, Dark Soy Sauce is rich in colour, perfect for adding that beautiful dark brown colour to your noodle dishes.

 

Rice Noodles 

These simple noodles are made from rice flour and water. Containing a subtle flavour and a slightly chewy & springy texture, they are very versatile and can be used for stir-fries, soups, curries and even salads.

Two bowls of Rice Noodles with Vegetables, One Bowl of Plain Boiled Rice, A Few Dipping Sauces on the Side, Chopsticks

 

Chilli Paste 

An ingredient for adding a kick to your dishes, whether you want to simply add spice to your stir-fries or to marinade meat.

 

Rice 

No surprises here! Rice is a staple in every Asian household. What's your favourite rice dish to make?

Close up Image of Grains of Rice

 

Oyster Sauce 

A rich, syrup-like sauce that is important in Chinese cuisine. It is made from oyster extract, but it doesn’t taste fishy at all. Instead, oyster sauce has an earthy, slightly sweet, and salty taste.

 

Shiitake Mushrooms 

A popular ingredient in East Asian countries which can be added in pretty much any dish!

Bowl of Soup Ramen Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms, Enoki Mushrooms and Bak Choi or Pak Choi

 

Coconut Milk 

An extremely versatile ingredient, coconut milk can be used to add flavour, richness and creaminess to soups, curries and much more!

 

Rice Wine Vinegar

It's great as a delicious dipping sauce, and you also can use it in noodles, soups, and seafood dishes.

 

Sriracha 

Add some spice to your life with this delicious Thai hot sauce! It is made of chilli peppers, sugar, garlic, distilled vinegar, and salt. Have you tried the many different flavours we stock?

Seven bottles of Thai Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce in Different Flavours

 

Fish Sauce 

Fish sauce is typically produced from fermenting dried small fish such as anchovies. It is used to amplify the flavours of your dishes and by adding other ingredients like lime juice can balance its flavour. Great for marinades, as a dipping sauce, and stir-fries.

 

Tamarind Paste 

Tamarind paste is made from a sour, dark, sticky fruit that grows in a pod on a tamarind tree. While some cuisines use tamarind paste to make desserts, in Thai cooking it is used mostly in savoury dishes. The classic Pad Thai is made with tamarind, as well as some Thai curries and seafood dishes. It is also a common ingredient in Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Latin, and Caribbean cooking.

 

Ginger 

Ginger is used in a wide range of preparations including marinades, soups, and curries. It's hard to make a good stir-fry without it!

Fresh Ginger Root

 

Garam Masala 

A blend of fragrant and flavourful herbs and spices mostly used in Indian and Pakistani cooking. Garam masala adds warmth, sweetness, floral notes, and a touch of heat to your dishes. Typically includes cloves, peppercorns, star anise, coriander, nutmeg, cumin, cardamom, mace, garlic, ginger, turmeric, fennel, chili peppers and malibar leaves.

 

Coriander

Bringing a citrus flavour and floral aroma to your dishes, it is widely used in all types of Asian cuisines. Add fresh coriander to your hot dishes just before serving. Alternatively, ground coriander can be used in soups, stews, and vegetable and meat dishes.

Rice dish in Saucepan with Coriander, Lemon wedges, and forks