Say goodbye to bland, tiresome dinners with our EASY Asian weeknight dinner ideas! Find a Chinese or Vietnamese dish that suits your family, from recipes under 20 minutes to meals using just a handful of ingredients. We even show you our favorite make ahead dinners as well as kid friendly dishes that are perfect for leftover lunches!
I get it. We all know just how busy it gets as soon as you’re home from work. Unlike weekends, where you have a whole day to leisurely cook up a huge pot of noodle soup, weekdays can be INCREDIBLY difficult.
And after a long day, the last thing you want to think about is what to make for dinner!
But then it boils down to that same dilemma you have every night: The family can’t come home to a meal that’s boring and tastes like it was a last minute job.
Nobody deserves that. Not even you.
So here’s the solution. I present our tried-and-true Asian weeknight dinner ideas that continue to be loved by everyone at home. We have our easiest vegetarian, seafood, chicken, pork, noodle and vegetable recipes right here for you!
Table of contents
Why This Guide Is For You
You don’t have to justify anything. There are just some days where you’re zipping through life, while there are others where nothing is going right no matter what you’re doing.
I need you to know that it’s okay. Just remember that we’ve got your back this weeknight and every other weeknight (no judgements at all).
Here are some reasons why you might want to check out our easy Asian weeknight dinner ideas:
- Tired. This is me almost all the time. Maybe you just celebrated a special occasion and making the feast drained every drop of energy from you. Or maybe you just didn’t sleep well because the kids were keeping you up all night.
- Time poor. Balancing work, family, friends and your own health is not an easy thing to do! Sometimes you end up sacrificing one to do another well.
- Bad day. There are some days where even a homemade DIY edible gift won’t cut it. When nothing seems to be going your way, you can rest assured because these easy Asian weeknight dinner recipes will take the stress away.
- New to Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. Never fear, you’ll learn a ton about Asian cuisine here. From heartfelt family memories to pantry favorites like our best oyster sauce substitutes, there’s a recipe (and story) to suit everyone!
Here is our treasure trove of regular side dishes that we know and love. The best way to serve them is with a hearty bowl of hot rice!
Under 20 Minutes
When you’re really running low on time, these quick dishes will save the day. They can all be made in under 20 minutes, prep time included. We’ve made each too many times to count!
Stir Fried Pea Shoots with Garlic
Chinese Steamed Egg (蒸水蛋)
Lemongrass Chili Tofu (Đậu Hũ Chiên Sả Ớt)
E-Fu Noodles with Roast Duck
Black Pepper Beef Stir Fry (黑椒牛柳)
Tomato Tofu with Minced Pork
You won’t need to spend extra time at the shops buying supplies because these side dishes don’t need many, OR you’ll already have the ingredients in the pantry!
Crispy Pork Belly Stir Fry
Steamed Pork Belly with Salted Radish
Fried Fish with Tomato Sauce (Cá Chiên Sốt Cà Chua)
Steamed Fish with Ginger and Shallots
Salted Egg Yolk Prawns (牛油黃金虾)
Stir Fried Water Spinach with Shrimp Paste
Make these dishes in just a few steps and plate them in no time. They’re perfect for when you need more me time!
Steamed Oysters with Ginger and Shallots
Ginger Chicken (Gà Kho Gừng)
Grilled Pork Chops (Sườn Nướng)
Spicy Lemongrass Chicken (Gà Xào Sả Ớt)
Vietnamese Steamed Egg Meatloaf (Chả Trứng Hấp)
Vietnamese Beef Salad
These dishes would be ones that you meal prep in advance. They freeze exceptionally well and just need to be reheated or fried to be enjoyed immediately!
Sugar Cane Shrimp (Chạo Tôm)
Vietnamese Steamed Pork Buns (Bánh Bao)
Creamy Purple Yam Soup (Canh Khoai Mỡ)
Hong Kong Style Baked Pork Chop Rice (焗豬扒飯)
Vegetarian Spring Rolls (Chả Giò Chay)
Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken (鹽酥雞)
These are what I like to call Grandma’s ‘one pot’ or ‘one dish’ meals. You won’t need to juggle multiple woks and pans because they can all be made using the one pot. It’s perfect for saving yourself from extra dishwashing!
Braised Chicken Wings and Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce
Braised Mushrooms and Black Moss in Oyster Sauce
Vietnamese Chicken Ragu (Ga Ragu)
Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce (豉汁蒸排骨)
Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly and Eggs in Coconut Water (Thịt Kho)
Fish Congee (魚片粥)
Some kids can be quite the picky eater, but getting them cooking with you might be just the solution! They’ll love these simple and comforting dishes and happily pack it in their lunchboxes to show off to their school friends.
Xíu Mại (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)
Vietnamese Pork Mince
Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)
Kabocha Squash Soup (Canh Bí Đỏ Thịt Bằm)
Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lan) with Oyster Sauce
Steamed Three Colored Eggs (三色蒸水蛋)
Make them at the same time. This may require a little planning, but you can coordinate your dishes so that while one is cooking or being prepped, another might be starting or finishing.
Definitely! Not only will that save you time since you won’t have to make another dish, but you can put them in reusable containers and reheat them when it’s time to eat.