Asian Cooking Staples That Are Most Necessary

asian cooking equipment

Asian cuisine largely relies on certain sauces, ingredients and tools to make their dishes. Here is a list of Asian cooking staples you must have in your kitchen if you love making Asian food.

Soy Sauce and/or Tamari

A pan filled with food

Soy sauce or Tamari is a basic ingredient of Asian cuisine. Soy sauce is used in soups, dressings, dipping sauces or fried rice. As it already contains salt, additional salt is not required. You also get gluten-free tamari sauce to cook gluten-free Asian dishes.

Rice Vinegar

A bowl of food on a plate

Rice vinegar is a mild white vinegar generally used in Asian cuisines to give a tangy flavor to dipping sauces, marinades or vinaigrettes.

Fish Sauce

A fish sauce is an important sauce used in Vietnamese and Thai food. It is mostly used to flavor stir-fry sauces, dipping sauces and dressings. 

Oyster Sauce

This one is a sweet and tangy sauce that adds richness and flavor to vegetable stir-fry dishes. You can even make a vegan Oyster sauce using mushrooms instead of oysters.

Chili Sauce – Sriracha or Chili Garlic Sauce

This one is a bottle chili sauce that is an easy flavoring agent to add to any dish right from soups, noodles, rice or Manchurians.

Coconut Milk

Asians love coconut milk and coconut flavoring in many of their dishes. Adding coconut milk to dishes imparts a very smooth and silky texture to marinades, soups and curries.

Miso Paste

This one is a versatile paste added to the classic miso soup. It is mainly used in Japanese dishes as a marinade for meat and fish. It is even added to Japanese recipes to give a bit of flavor.

Curry Paste

This one is a spicy paste made with some very striking and spicy spices. It gives depth to any dish and is mostly used in Thai dishes.

Toasted Sesame Oil

A toasted sesame oil is not only flavorful, but also very delicious. It is used for dipping sauces, marinades and dressings. You can use this in a variety of dishes.


Each cuisine has a traditional rice type used as the main food which is eaten with stews, soups, salads, fries and other such side dishes. Asian rice has many types. Some are short, some are long, some are sticky and some are flavored with Jasmine and other such herbs.

Rice Wine

Sake is a famous rice wine used in French cooking. You can even add rice wine to many other dishes such as soups, marinades, simmering sauces and such others. Japanese cooking uses rice wine in many dishes.


Just like rice, noodles are an important part of Japanese cuisine. You should stock many kinds of noodles varieties for Chinese soup recipes and Japanese dishes. 

Here are some of the main Asian food staples that you will need to stock up in your Asian kitchens.

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