5 Asian Recipes for Western Holidays


Birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, graduation, well, you name them all. They are obviously special days in our lives. But there are some days that are very distinctive that only Westerners celebrate them. There is the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. During holidays like these, it is not merely to have Western foods. You can always be unique and untraditional by opting for some Asian cuisines. And if that is what you just plan for the next holiday, here are five easy and quick recipes that originated in Asia that you can try.

Asian Recipe 1: Chicken Lettuce Wrap

What to Prepare:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup mushroom (minced)
1 cup water chestnut (minced)
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
3 tablespoons onions (chopped)
3 tablespoons oil
4 -5 leaves lettuce (preferably iceberg; thoroughly washed)

For the Special Sauce:
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 -2 teaspoon garlic and red chili paste
1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon hot mustard

For Stir Fry Sauce:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

How to Cook:

1. Create the special sauce first. Dissolve sugar in cup of water and transfer in a bowl before adding ingredients. Stir and refrigerate. Combine hot water and mustard, and then set aside.

2. Prepare the pan and bring oil to heat. Sauté the chicken breasts in a pan in medium to high heat for 5 minutes max (or until golden brown) per side. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, mix soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar.

4. Slice the chicken into bits. Prepare water chestnuts and mushrooms.

5. Back in the pan, pour the minced chicken, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Add the stir fry sauce and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Spoon some chicken mixture onto the leaves. Add special sauce all over. You can add more mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce if necessary.

Asian Recipe 2: Thai Peanut Chicken Wrap

What to Prepare:

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter (divided)
1 10-ounce package slaw broccoli
1 cup carrot (shredded)
1 teaspoon fresh garlic (finely chopped)
1 14-ounce package boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders (seasoned with salt and pepper)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
4 10-inch flour tortillas (warmed)
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)

How to Cook:

1. In a pan under low-medium heat, mix all the sauce ingredients for 10 minutes maximum. These are honey, soy sauce, lime juice, and water

2. In another pan, melt butter, about 2 tablespoons only. Add broccoli slaws and carrots to stir. Remove from the pan and set aside after cooking.

3. Melt another batch of 2 tablespoons of butter in the same pan. Sauté garlic, and then chicken tenders until golden brown. Add peanut sauce of half cup and stir.

4. Prepare tortilla wraps. Spoon broccoli and carrot mixture on the wrap, and then chicken mixture. Top cilantro and peanuts before folding or rolling. Serve with some more peanut sauce.

Asian Recipe 3: Filipino Lumpia Rolls

What to Prepare:

1 pound lean pork (grinded)
1 medium carrot (finely chopped)
2 potatoes (finely chopped)
1/2 cabbage (chopped)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts (drained and chopped)
1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots (drained and chopped)
8 garlic cloves
grated cheese
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
wonton wrapper
1 large egg (beaten)
1 250-ml bottle of olive or vegetable oil

For the Dipping Sauce (optional):

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with the water)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons water
2 -3 teaspoons ginger (freshly grated)

How to Cook:

1. Mix pork, carrot, potatoes, cabbage, garlic, onion, water chestnut, bamboo shoots, ginger, pepper and soy sauce in a bowl. Stir well and sauté in a pan for about 5 minutes.

2. Remove the mixture from the pan, add cheese and set aside. It is recommended to refrigerate it for several hours, or overnight.

3. Prepare the wonton wrappers. Spoon some mixture of meat and vegetable on the wrapper. Roll and by the end of the wrapper, brush with the beaten egg and finish rolling.

4. Heat the pan with oil for a minute or two. In low heat, place the rolls in the pan, one at a time. Flip from one side to the other until the wonton wrapper becomes golden brown.

5. Mix brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Mix water and cornstarch. Add to the sugar mixture, and stir well. Remove from heat and add ginger. Stir again.

6. Serve with the sauce.

Asian Recipe 4: Vietnamese Honey Ginger Glazed Chicken

What to Prepare:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion (cut into wedges)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 2 inch pieces)
6 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
fresh cilantro stem (finely chopped)

How to Cook:

1. Heat a pan, and add oil. After a minute, stir fry onion. Add chicken to stir fry until each side is golden brown.

2. Sprinkle with ginger and garlic. Add fish sauce, soy sauce, honey, and five-spice powder. Stir well and cook until chicken is glazed. Add more honey, fish or soy sauce if needed.

3. Remove the chicken and place on a bowl or platter. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Asian Recipe 5: Japanese Sake Sunrise

This is for a nice, refreshing drink.

What to Prepare:

1 and 1/2 ounces sake
1 cup orange juice
1/4 ounce grenadine
3 to 5 ice cubes

How to Make:

1. In each tall glass, pour ice and then sake.

2. Add orange juice.

3. Finish with grenadine.

With these recipes, you can make any Western traditional holidays more unique!

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