Frugal Asian Feasts to Make at Home

Cooking a delicious Asian meal on a budget can be quite the challenge. Luckily, with some savvy grocery shopping and basic kitchen know-how, anyone can enjoy great Asian cuisine at home. Here are three great recipes that use basic, inexpensive ingredients so you can bring a delicious Asian feast right to your home, without spending an arm and a leg.

Kung-Pao Tofu

Coming from the Szechuan province of China, Kung-Pao Tofu is a healthy, authentic Asian dish packed full of flavor.
  • 14 oz. tofu
  • Five spice powder
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 T. oyster sauce
  • ½ tsp. cornstarch
  • 12 oz. broccoli
  • 2 bell peppers: one yellow, one red -- diced
  • 1 T. powdered ginger
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 2 T. chopped roasted peanuts

Dry tofu and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Combine with ¼ tsp five-spice powder in a medium bowl.

Add tofu and cook in oil over medium-high heat, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown then remove.

Whisk water, oyster sauce, cornstarch and the remaining 1/4-teaspoon five-spice powder.

Add broccoli and bell peppers to the pan until they soften. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant.

Reduce heat to low, add oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened. Return the tofu to the pan along with peanuts and stir to coat with sauce.

Serve.

Orange Broccoli, Beef, and Mushrooms

With a sharp knife and plenty of cooking space, this orange broccoli, beef, and mushrooms dish only takes about 30 minutes to make.
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 5 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger and a 2 ½ inch piece of peeled ginger
  • 4 T. oil -- vegetable or olive
  • 1 bunch of broccoli
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ½ lb. flank steak
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large shallot -- chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves -- minced
  • 3 ounces mushrooms -- stems removed, caps quartered
  • Steamed rice

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok over high heat. Season flank steak with salt and pepper and cook for 1 ½ minutes on each side. Remove steak and place on cutting board and rest for 3 minutes. Cut into ¼ inch slices.

Wipe the wok and heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Cook shallot and garlic for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, salt, broccoli and increase the heat to high.

Cook for about 1-2 minutes, add flank steak.

Remove from heat and serve.

Honey Glazed Grilled Pineapple

For dessert, this honey glazed grilled pineapple will be sure to compliment most Asian foods.
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 limes
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ a pineapple
  • ¾ cup vanilla ice cream

Marinate ¾ inch thick of pineapple rings in the honey, lime juice, and cinnamon for 2 hours.

Grill the marinated pineapple for 2 minutes per side.

Serve with ice cream and the remaining honey.

Eating authentic Asian cuisine doesn’t have to be expensive. With these three recipes and some attention to deals at the supermarket, anyone can enjoy a frugal but exotic meal at home.

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