Pan Asian cooking is an offering of diverse cultural foods from different nations and regions throughout Asia. Each includes unique spices, cooking methods, long-held traditions, and fresh regionally grown ingredients.  

Whether you’re cooking up Indian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, or Vietnamese foods, having the right ingredients on hand will take your Asian meal to a whole new level of authenticity and excellence.

To get you started, we have provided a short list of must-have ingredients for successful Pan Asian cooking. Keeping these simple Asian spices on hand will allow you to confidently venture into a multitude of authentic, and delicious recipes. 

Here is the list of 8 Pan-Asian cooking ingredients:

    • Chilies 

Commonly used as an Asian cooking ingredient, hillies can be purchased fresh (either red or green) or they can be purchased dried from the grocer for personal convenience. 

They are a wonderful addition to stir fry and remarkable when added to sauces. Chilies can even be made into a paste and served on the side to liven up virtually any Asian dish. 

    • Cinnamon 

Commonly used when cooking Asian food like Indian, Chinese, and Vietnamese dishes, cinnamon brings a distinct flavor to both desserts as well as main entrees. 

Try it with braised lamb served over rice for an unexpected fragrant and flavorful kick to your next meal. 

    • Ginger

You’re sure to find pickled ginger with any sushi dish, but it’s also great in teas, baked in cookies, or added to main dishes like braised pork served over rice. 

Ginger is also a healthy choice, so feel free to use it liberally. Fresh Ginger is always best. (Don’t worry: it keeps well). However. you can also purchase it dried if you prefer to have it on hand—long term— in the cupboard. 

    • Star Anise 

You will find Star Anise in Chinese cuisine and often in premixed Chinese spice blends.  It has a slight licorice flavor and is excellent when added to soup, or even as a surprise ingredient in baked sweets.  

However, be sure to use it with a light touch, Star Anise has an intense flavor, and if you are not careful, it can easily overpower other ingredients in your dish. 

    • Cumin 

Especially popular in Indian cuisine, Cumin has both a robust aroma and flavor.  Try rubbing it on lamb before roasting, or including it in a spicy chicken curry over rice dish. It’s fragrant, flavorful, and an essential ingredient to authentic Indian cuisine.

    • Thai Ginger 

This is officially known as Galangal Root and often used in Thai cooking. Its flavor is more intense than common ginger and is particularly delicious when making popular comfort food recipes like chicken coconut soup. 

    • Turmeric 

When making curry, turmeric is a must-have ingredient. If you are using pre-mixed curry powder, turmeric will always be found front and center. Fragrant and spicy, it’s also great for your health—acting as a powerful antioxidant.  

    • Saffron

Saffron is valued worldwide, adding both flavor and beautiful color to foods. It’s particularly wonderful when incorporated into rice dishes. Saffron is fragrant, colorful, and immensely flavorful. Just a little bit will raise the level of your next home-cooked exotic meal from simply good to beyond excellent.  

If you have a craving for delicious, authentic, Pan Asian Fusion cuisine, served in a scenic waterfront environment, join us at Casa Sensei for lunch or dinner. We promise to impress you with our chef-inspired food and cocktails, served on our spectacular waterfront patio. 

We are conveniently located at 1200 East Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale. For reservations, give us a call at 954.994.1668.

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