Asian Side Dishes: Discover the Best Chinese, Japanese, Filipino & Korean Recipes

We may earn a commission on qualified purchases made through one of our links. Learn more

Side dishes are the unsung heroes of any meal. They’re the ones that add flavor, texture, and nutrition to the plate. 

The typical Asian side dish is rice, vegetables, and marinated meats. Usually served alongside the main course, these dishes typically contain little seasoning and rely on the main course for flavor. 

In this guide, I’ll share the most common side dishes from each region and how to best pair them with your main course.

Typical asian side dishes

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Side Dishes: The Ultimate Complement to Your Meal

Side dishes are the unsung heroes of any meal. They are the perfect complement to your main dish, adding flavor, texture, and nutrition to your plate. Side dishes are typically served alongside the main course and can be anything from rice to vegetables to marinated meats. They can be sweet, spicy, or savory, and are often served with a sauce or dressing to enhance their flavor.

How to Create Impressive Side Dishes

Creating impressive side dishes doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Mix it up: Don’t be afraid to combine different ingredients and flavors to create a unique side dish.
  • Dress it up: A simple dressing or sauce can take a plain side dish to the next level.
  • Keep it fresh: Fresh ingredients are always a good choice for side dishes. Try to incorporate plenty of vegetables and herbs.
  • Be inspired: Look to new cuisines and cultures for inspiration. You might discover a new favorite side dish.

Discover the Mouth-Watering World of Typical Chinese Side Dishes

Chinese cuisine is known for its staple dish, rice, but it’s the side dishes that bring the meal to the next level. Here are some of the most popular traditional Chinese side dishes:

  • Stir-fried vegetables: A quick and easy dish that combines a mixture of fresh vegetables with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. It’s a great way to add some extra protein to your meal.
  • Egg drop soup: A simple yet impressive soup that includes a mixture of beaten eggs, chicken broth, and a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it up. It’s a great way to cool down on a hot day.
  • Marinated pork: A fan favorite that originated in China and has since become a regular at Chinese restaurants around the world. The pork is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and ginger, then boiled and served with white rice.

Exploring the Delicious World of Japanese Side Dishes

If you’re looking for some quick and easy Japanese side dishes to add to your dinner, here are some options:

  • Steamed rice: A quintessential Japanese side dish that compliments any meal.
  • Nimono: A simmered dish made with vegetables like kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) or potatoes, and protein like clam or pork.
  • Tamagoyaki: A seasoned and rolled omelette that can be made on the stovetop or in a rice cooker.
  • Agedashi tofu: Deep-fried tofu served in a light broth with green onions and grated daikon radish.
  • Tebasaki: Fried chicken wings seasoned with soy sauce and ginger.

Delicious Filipino Side Dishes to Spice Up Your Meal

If you’re in a rush and need a quick and easy side dish, try these Filipino favorites:

  • Garlic Fried Rice- a simple and quick dish made with garlic and rice. It’s a popular side dish that’s usually served with any meat dish.
  • Glazed Kalabasa Fritters- a dish made with mashed potatoes and kalabasa (squash). It’s a colorful and crunchy side dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
  • Colorful Vegetable Salad- a dish made with a mix of vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It’s a refreshing and healthy side dish that’s perfect for any meal.

My Views on Filipino Side Dishes

Filipino side dishes are a must-try for anyone who loves flavorful and colorful dishes. They’re easy to make and pair well with any meal. As someone who loves cooking, I find Filipino side dishes to be a great way to add a little extra to my meals. Whether it’s a traditional dish or a quick and easy one, Filipino side dishes are always a hit with people who love good food. So, let’s set aside some time to find the right recipe and make the best Filipino side dishes for our next meal!

The Best Korean Side Dishes to Pair with Your Main Dish

Korean cuisine is known for its delicious and healthy side dishes, also known as banchan. These dishes are served in small portions and are meant to be shared among the table. Korean side dishes are typically savory and flavored with soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili paste. They are easy to make and can be served warm or cold, making them the perfect addition to any meal.

Typical Korean Side Dishes

Here are some of the most popular Korean side dishes that you can easily make at home:

  • Kimchi: This is a staple in Korean cuisine and is a spicy fermented cabbage dish. It takes a few days to make, but you can easily find it at any Korean grocery store or larger supermarket.
  • Cucumber Salad: This is a simple and refreshing dish that takes only a few minutes to make. Thinly slice cucumbers and toss them in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds for extra flavor.
  • Potato Salad: This Korean version of potato salad is filled with fluffy and soft potatoes tossed in a savory and sweet dressing. It’s a great side dish for any BBQ or cookout.
  • Bulgogi Rolls: These rolls are filled with thin slices of beef marinated in a sweet and savory sauce called bulgogi. They pair perfectly with any main dish and are a total crowd-pleaser.
  • Spinach Salad: This salad is filled with healthy and delicious ingredients like spinach, green onions, and sesame seeds. It’s tossed in a flavorful dressing made with soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili paste.


So there you have it- some of the most popular side dishes in Asian cuisine. They’re not the most exciting dishes, but they’re certainly essential to a complete meal. They’re great for adding some extra flavor and texture to your plate, and they’re perfect for complementing your main dish. So don’t be afraid to try some new ones!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.