You’ve probably tried various Asian appetizers like egg rolls or naan bread at some point—but have you ever made them from scratch?
Asia is home to hundreds of unique cultures.
And when you have varied cultures, you can expect some pretty fascinating cuisine.
So it’s no surprise that Asian cooking is popular around the world!
Or if you’re new to Asian cuisine, you may want to try something a bit more uncommon outside the continent, like Banh Khot or sunomono.
So if you’re looking for some tasty Asian appetizers, you’ll have a lot to choose from.
Because it’s such a massive continent, it’s impossible to include recipes from every corner of Asia.
However, we did our best to include recipes from a wide selection of cultures, ranging from Eastern Japan to Western Turkey.
One of my favorites is Sunomono (psst #35): Hard to say, easy to make….
…Just sliced cucumbers in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar. You can leave out the peanuts if you want.
So whether you’re looking for Asian appetizers to serve with your main course, or simply looking for a tasty snack, there’s a recipe on this list that’ll satisfy your cravings.
If you’ve never made your own egg rolls, the time has come.
Pork & Mushroom Egg Rolls or Lumpiang Shanghai? Yessss.
CookingChew Tip: I’ve done them a lot of different ways and I prefer my ingredients like carrot and cabbage chopped fine in a food processor, but you don’t have to; I just find them easier to roll and eat that way.
If you’re hungry for something deep-fried and crispy, #24 is worth a try.
Or if you’re seeking something a bit lighter, #34 could be just what you need!
If you’re seeking a side dish or appetizer for your stir fry dinner, these pork and mushroom egg rolls are a perfect choice.
These egg rolls have crispy shells full of rice noodles, meat, mushrooms, and much more.
They’re tasty on their own, but egg rolls taste even more delicious when you dip them in some sweet chili or teriyaki sauce.
Add an Asian Soup to your appetizer list too.
This easy wonton soup is the perfect appetizer or light meal.
It has a warm, savory broth, soft chicken wontons, and crisp bok choy!
It’s a great option for when you’re in a hurry—from start to finish, you can have it ready in around 15 minutes.
Dumplings are a popular dish in nearly every culture, and Japan is no exception.
While gyoza typically uses ground pork, this recipe provides a lighter alternative with its ground turkey filling.
Enjoy this gyoza on its own, or serve it with some soy sauce—either way, it’s super yummy.
This one has great steps with pictures.
When it comes to Japanese appetizers, edamame is as simple as they come.
These soybeans come in a tough pod that you don’t eat—instead, you bite the pods to pop out the edible beans inside.
The soy and sesame sauce adds a lot of flavor to this delicious traditional Japanese snack!
India has a reputation for its vegetarian-friendly cuisine.
But whether you’re a vegan or a meat-eater, these lentil patties are worth enjoying at least once.
They’re packed with good stuff and go great with any Indian main course; alternatively, you can eat them as a hearty snack.
Red lentil patties are yummy on their own, but you can top them with your favorite sauces or chutney as well.
This coconut shrimp recipe is the perfect appetizer or side dish for your Thai main course!
The recipe includes a sweet chili sauce that pairs wonderfully with this crispy coconut shrimp.
There’s no deep-frying involved in this recipe, meaning you can enjoy some super crispy shrimp without adding a lot of fat.
If you love peanut salad but need some finger food dishes, these Thai peanut salad cups are a smart compromise.
The wonton wrapper cups mean you can eat this tasty Thai salad in one convenient bite!
Thai peanut salad is the perfect balance of nutty, savory, and refreshing flavors all at once.
Are you craving a vegan alternative to peanut wings?
These peanut cauliflower wings are a delicious plant-based alternative to a popular Thai appetizer.
They have a flavorful peanut and curry paste coating with some panko breading to add a little crunch.
You cook these crispy “wings” in the oven rather than deep-frying them, making them a tad lighter than traditional wings.
Samosas are popular street food in India, Pakistan, and several other South Asian cultures.
If you’ve ever been to an Indian restaurant, you’ve likely enjoyed a samosa or two before your main course arrived.
They have a crispy fried dough and a filling of veggies, potatoes, and a variety of seasonings.
This Persian recipe is a perfect summertime appetizer—it’s refreshing and doesn’t require any cooking.
It has creamy yogurt, raisins, walnuts, plenty of herbs, and fresh cucumbers.
You can enjoy this dish as a salad, or serve it on top of sliced cucumbers to make it more appetizer-friendly.
If you like egg rolls, you may enjoy a similar recipe from the Philippines.
This Filipino appetizer has a crispy spring roll shell and a filling of pork, carrots, onions, and a handful of seasonings.
Lumpiang Shanghai is a pretty simple dish, so it’s a great option for beginner chefs.
This savory pancake can make a delicious appetizer or side dish for a Korean main course.
You’ll want to stock up on breath mints because fresh green onions make up the bulk of this tasty recipe.
To enhance the flavor of your pajeon, you can try it with a drizzle of soy sauce on top.
If you have any experience with Korean cuisine, you’ve likely tried kimchi at least once.
Making this spicy cabbage dish is a very long process, as it can take several weeks to ferment.
But once it’s ready, it will be worth the time and effort!
14. Chicken Satay
While chicken satay is a common snack on the streets of Indonesia and Malaysia, it’ll taste just as delicious on your kitchen table.
This flavorful chicken skewer can make a perfect handheld appetizer for parties.
Turmeric, coriander, cumin, and sweet soy sauce are just a few different components that make up the marinade for chicken satay.
15. Homemade Sushi
When you think of Japanese cuisine, sushi is probably one of the first options that come to mind.
While many enjoy it as a main dish, sushi can make an excellent appetizer as well.
You can easily customize this recipe to suit your preference—fill these sushi rolls with your favorite vegetables or fish!
16. Banh Khot
Savory pancakes are a common appetizer across the Asian continent—here’s Vietnam’s take on this concept.
These bite-sized pancakes come with a topping of fried shrimp and coconut cream, which makes them super flavorful and filling.
You can also top them with squid, mung beans, or even quail eggs if you’re feeling fancy.
Lahori fried fish is popular street food in Pakistan, and it can make an excellent appetizer or snack as well.
Overall, this recipe is fairly simple and not too different from your standard fried fish.
However, it has a combination of spices that make it a bit more unique and representative of Pakistan’s cuisine.
If you’re a fan of American-style popcorn chicken, you’ll probably love this Taiwanese take on this crispy appetizer.
A variety of spices, soy sauce, sweet potato starch, and Thai basil leaves give this popcorn chicken its unique flavor.
This appetizer is flavorful enough to eat on its own, but if you’d like, you can dip it in some sweet chili sauce as well.
19. Bakwan Sayur
Bakwan sayur is a deep-fried Indonesian vegetable fritter.
Shredded carrots, cabbage, and scallions make up the bulk of these yummy appetizers.
They take around an hour to prepare, but overall, bakwan sayur is a fairly simple Asian appetizer.
For the full experience, serve bakwan sayur with a side of chili sauce.
These Mongolian meatballs are an excellent starter for any meal.
They have a delicious sauce with a hint of brown sugar; the sweetness balances well with the salty and savory taste of meatballs.
You can enjoy them on their own, serve them on a bed of rice, or top them with some chopped scallions.
Borek is a soft yet crispy pastry filled with spinach and feta cheese.
It’s a popular appetizer in the Middle East, especially in Turkey.
Borek is pretty similar to spanakopita, so if you’re a fan of that, you’ll likely enjoy this recipe.
22. Kibbeh Balls
Kibbeh balls are a popular appetizer in Lebanon.
They combine ground beef with basil, kamouneh spice, pine nuts, and much more.
Because of their unique football shape, you could make kibbeh balls as an appetizer for a Super Bowl party!
Qatayef is a deep-fried pancake batter dumpling that’s popular in the Middle East around Ramadan.
You can modify the fillings to suit your preferences, but the most common choices are nuts and dried fruit.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can top quatayef with a drizzle of sugary syrup.
24. Crab Rangoon
Crab rangoons are one of the most popular Chinese appetizers around the world.
To make these tasty snacks, you will need to fill a wonton wrapper with a cream cheese and crab meat filling.
Once you deep-fry them, they’ll be super crispy and ready to enjoy on their own or with some sauce!
If you’re craving a meatless version of crab rangoons, cream cheese wontons are the way to go.
With only three ingredients, these cheese wontons are one of the simplest Asian appetizers on this list.
Both kids and adults will love this simple Chinese-inspired recipe.
This miso soup recipe can make a quick and delicious Japanese appetizer!
This recipe is naturally plant-based, so it’s the perfect Asian appetizer for vegans.
Warm miso broth and fresh green veggies make this a perfect appetizer for days when you’re under the weather.
Sfiha is a popular appetizer in Western Asian countries such as Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine.
While the meat can vary depending on the recipe, this particular recipe uses ground beef.
Other toppings on this pizza include tomatoes, garlic, and pine nuts!
Tempura is crispy, flavorful, and super easy to prepare.
This Japanese appetizer coats shrimp and vegetables in a thick batter before deep-frying them in oil.
You can enjoy tempura as-is, dip it in sauce, or even use it as a topping for some sushi.
29. Mango Chutney
Mango chutney is super versatile and refreshing.
This recipe has a sweet and slightly spicy flavor, so it’s best if you pair it with something mild.
You can spread this chutney on top of flatbread or use it as a dip for some naan chips for a delicious Indian appetizer.
30. Corn Pakora
If you’re a fan of tempura or corn fritters, you’ll likely enjoy this recipe for Indian corn pakora.
This unique twist on corn fritters uses spices such as ginger, turmeric, cumin, and garam masala.
They’re tasty on their own but even better with some mango chutney or yogurt sauc
31. Nam Khao
Nam Khao is a crispy, savory salad from Vietnam.
It combines fried rice balls with a homemade nuoc cham dressing as well as several different vegetables and nuts.
Preparing this recipe takes quite a bit of time—it’ll be ready in no less than an hour and forty minutes.
32. Spam Musubi
While its origins lie in the United States, Spam is an incredibly popular component of Japanese cuisine.
This recipe combines fried Spam with sushi rice and a sheet of dried nori.
Pair it with some teriyaki sauce to make this appetizer even more flavorful!
This mango salad from Cambodia is super refreshing and easy to make.
It combines green mangos with shrimp, cashews, and mint.
This recipe only takes around 15 minutes to make, so you can easily prepare it as a last-minute appetizer.
Check out our CookingChew list of Asian Pear Salad recipes too.
Sunomono is a super refreshing salad that works great as an appetizer!
The main component of this salad is sliced cucumbers; other ingredients include roasted peanuts, cilantro, and a handful of different oils and seasonings.
This recipe goes great along with your favorite Japanese dishes such as sushi or ramen.
35. Naan Bread
Naan bread is a staple across South Asia and the Middle East.
If you don’t have an oven, this is the recipe for you—you can easily cook this bread on your stovetop!
Add some garlic, cheese, or butter to make your naan bread even more flavorful.
The bottom line
Whether you like deep-fried snacks, refreshing salads, or warm soups, there are plenty of amazing Asian appetizers to choose from!
Don’t be afraid to try out some unfamiliar recipes—they may be easier than you think, and you might be glad you gave them a shot!
How about some Asian Desserts too? You know you want to!
- Pork & Mushroom Egg Rolls
- Easy 15-Minute Wonton Soup
- Ground Turkey Gyoza
- Edamame With Soy & Sesame Sauce
- Red Lentil Patties
- Coconut Shrimp With Chili Sauce
- Peanut Salad Cups
- Peanut Cauliflower Wings
- Lumpiang Shanghai
- Traditional Kimchi
- Chicken Satay
- Homemade Sushi
- Banh Khot
- Lahori Fried Fish
- Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
- Bakwan Sayur
- Instant Pot Mongolian Meatballs
- Spinach & Feta Cheese Borek
- Kibbeh Balls
- Crab Rangoon
- Cream Cheese Wontons
- Miso Soup With Greens & Tofu
- Mango Chutney
- Corn Pakora
- Nam Khao
- Spam Musubi
- Green Mango Salad
- Naan Bread
- Pick one or more recipes from our list of Asian Appetizers!
- Start creating your new favorite.
- Share and comment! Did you make any changes to make it yours?