15 Tantalizing Asian Cooking Spices to Enrich Your Cooking

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Are you ready to learn how to whip up delicious Asian dishes in your new kitchen? Before you get started, it’s important to know what Asian cooking spices you’ll need to have on hand. Having the right ingredients will make cooking a breeze, so make sure to stock up before you get started!

Curious about the must-have spices for Asian cooking in your kitchen? Check out this list!

Essential Asian cooking spices you should stock in your kitchen

1. Red Onions

Red onions are a key ingredient for adding depth and richness to your cooking. You can use them in a wide range of dishes, from soto to soup and beyond. Keep a supply of red onions to take your Asian dishes to the next level

Bag of Bombay onions with various sizes and shapes of reddish-brown bulbs

2. Bombay Onions

In addition to the classic red and white onions, Bombay onions are a must-have in your kitchen. With their subtle, fragrant aroma, they add a touch of sophistication to dishes and snacks like onion rings. Make sure to include Bombay onions in your spice lineup for a versatile and tasty ingredient.

Candlenuts, also known as kemiri

3. Candlenuts

Candlenuts are an essential ingredient in many Asian dishes, including soto and rawon. But did you know that they have other uses as well? These versatile nuts can also be used to darken and thicken hair, making them a multi-purpose addition to your spice cabinet. Don’t forget to include candlenuts in your cooking for a unique and flavorful twist.

4. Chili Peppers

If you love a good fiery kick in your food, make sure to keep a supply of chili peppers in your kitchen. You can choose the level of heat that works best for you and your family. Don’t be afraid to add some heat to your Asian dishes with the help of chili peppers.

5. Galangal

Galangal, also known as laos, has a texture similar to ginger but with a coarser skin and a more subtle aroma. This spice is a key ingredient in many Asian dishes, adding a unique and flavorful twist to your cooking. Don’t be afraid to experiment with galangal in your kitchen and discover all that it has to offer.

6. Ginger

Ginger is not only known for its numerous health benefits, it’s also a key ingredient in many Asian dishes. Its spicy flavor is perfect for adding depth and warmth to coconut milk and sautéed dishes. And, of course, ginger is a classic choice for hot drinks like ginger tea. Keep a supply of fresh ginger in your kitchen to add a unique and flavorful touch to your cooking.

7. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a must-have spice in your kitchen, adding a unique and aromatic flavor to your dishes. And it’s not just for cooking – lemongrass is also used to make traditional drinks that are sure to refresh and delight. Keep some lemongrass to add a new dimension of flavor to your Asian recipes.

8. Bay Leaves

Bay leaves add a distinctive and fragrant touch to dishes like opor and lodeh, as well as other coconut milk-based recipes. But that’s not all – bay leaves can also help eliminate any off odors in seafood dishes, making them a versatile and handy spice to keep in your kitchen. Don’t hesitate to add bay leaves to your Asian dishes for an extra layer of flavor and aroma.

9. Cloves

Cloves are a staple in Asian cooking, adding a unique and aromatic flavor to your dishes. And did you know that they can also be used in perfumes? Keep some cloves on hand in your spice cabinet for a versatile and tasty ingredient that adds depth and fragrance to your cooking.

10. Turmeric

Turmeric is an essential spice in many beloved Indonesian dishes, such as opor and curry. In addition to its unique and aromatic flavor, turmeric also helps eliminate any unwanted odors in meats like beef, chicken, and fish. Keep some turmeric on hand in your kitchen for a versatile and tasty ingredient that adds depth and freshness to your cooking.

11. Coriander

Coriander is a common spice in Asian cooking, and it’s available in both seed and powder form. Both have the same delicious and aromatic flavor, so it’s up to you which form you prefer. If you’re looking for convenience, ground coriander is a great choice. Keep some coriander in your kitchen for a tasty and fragrant addition to your dishes.

12. Salt

Salt is an essential ingredient in any kitchen, and it’s hard to imagine how dull and flavorless food would be without it. Not only does it enhance the taste of your dishes, it also helps the body maintain the balance of fluids and muscle function. Make sure to always have some salt in your kitchen to add a necessary and tasty touch to your cooking.

13. Tamarind

Tamarind is a popular spice in Asian cooking, adding a tart and unique flavor to dishes like soup, stew, and sour vegetables. It’s usually sold in a convenient plastic box, and all you need to do to use it is mix it with warm water to release the sour seeds. Keep some tamarind on hand in your kitchen to add depth and tang to your dishes.

14. Lime

Lime is an excellent spice to have in your kitchen, not only for its ability to remove any unwanted fishy smells in fish-based dishes, but also for its refreshing and fragrant flavor. In addition to these benefits, lime can also have a positive impact on your skin, digestion, immunity, and even weight. Keep some lime in your kitchen for a versatile and tasty ingredient that adds a burst of freshness to your cooking.

15. Citrus Leaves

Citrus leaves, particularly kaffir lime leaves, are a must-have spice in your kitchen due to their ability to enhance the aroma of your dishes. But that’s not all – consuming citrus leaves can also have numerous health benefits, such as preventing bacteria growth, reducing stress, treating the flu, and maintaining healthy skin. Keep some citrus leaves in your kitchen for a fragrant and nutritious addition to your cooking.

These are the essential Asian cooking spices you should have to cook Asian food. I hope this information helpful.

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