Pot stickers are a kind of Chinese dumpling, fried so that the bottom is perfectly crispy.
This is where the name comes from – they stick to the pot they’re cooked in, browning the bottom to crisp it up.
They can be filled with all kinds of things, from traditional favorites like pork and cabbage to just about anything you can imagine.
While they’re perfectly delicious by themselves, there’s no reason that you can’t serve them with an awesome side dish to enhance the experience even further.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of great Asian side dishes for pot stickers, so you can make your next Asian dinner even better!
Okay, so pot stickers are Chinese and this side dish is Thai. That means it might not be the most traditional or authentic combination out there.
But really, you won’t care about that once you start eating this incredible salad.
You might also be wondering what business papaya has being in a salad, but this is green papaya, and it’s more like a vegetable than a fruit.
With a wonderfully crunchy texture and a tangy flavor, it’s a great ingredient to build a salad around.
It’s backed up with Thai basil and a dressing made from lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, palm sugar, chili, with some dried shrimp to round it off.
As you can see, it’s all about bold, joyous flavors and would probably work best with shrimp pot stickers.
That’s just a suggestion, though, and you can have it with whatever kind of pot stickers you like.
This light, refreshing salad works perfectly as an appetizer or as a side dish.
It blends smashed cucumber chunks with a healthy dose of garlic in a dressing of soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil for an absolutely addictive taste.
Adding chili is optional if you’d like to make it spicy too, but either way, this dish is a brilliant accompaniment to pot stickers or any other Asian delicacy you happen to be making.
This is another Chinese side dish that’s served with just about anything you can imagine, and it’s simple to prepare.
The name comes from the fact that you have to drop a raw egg into the hot soup, which cooks it.
There are many ways to make egg drop soup, with different recipes featuring different ingredients, but this one is a fairly standard version.
Chicken stock provides the main body of the soup, and it’s seasoned with white pepper, sesame oil, and turmeric (the turmeric’s for the color just as much as the flavor, too). Simple and satisfying, this is a great go-to Asian side dish.
If we’re being strict, this one is more “Asian inspired” than Asian, but that’s close enough, right?
Anyway, it’s a great side dish. Everyone loves a good coleslaw, and it’s a dish that’s not hard to adapt with some Asian flavors, as in this recipe.
Soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, and chili combine to make this bold tasting odyssey of flavors, and it’s versatile too!
Aside from pot stickers, you can serve it alongside things like Korean fried chicken, or even put it in burgers and sandwiches.
As you can see, we’re back in Thailand for this next side dish, but Thailand is in Asia, okay?
Pineapple fried rice is such a fun dish – in restaurants it’s often served in a hollowed out pineapple, and you can absolutely do the same if you’re making it for yourself.
It includes chunks of pineapple, soy sauce, and a wonderful chili and garlic seasoning for a side dish that complements all kinds of Asian dishes very well.
Chinese broccoli is a vegetable that’s also known by its Mandarin name, gai lan. It’s available in most Asian grocery stores but if you can’t find it, you might be able to get tenderstem broccoli in a regular grocery store.
Tenderstem broccoli is the result of crossing gai lan with regular broccoli, and is very similar to gai lan, except that it has broccoli florets at the top end rather than leaves.
The dish has a wonderful salty and umami flavor, thanks to the oyster sauce, and you can even add in a little garlic if you crave that garlicky taste and aroma.
Simple to make and easy to eat, this is a great side dish option.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish of fermented vegetables that is eaten with almost every meal in Korea. It’s famous for its spicy flavor, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with this recipe.
It’s not all about heat though – there’s a great balance of flavors with garlic, fish sauce, and salt, among other things, all combining to produce a unique and delicious flavor with a pleasing vegetable crunch to go with it.
This isn’t a five-minute dish, unlike some of the others on this list, so make sure you leave enough time if you want to serve this with dinner.
This simple and delicious bean sprout side dish can be made in more than one way, as shown in this recipe, which gives you a mild version and a spicy version.
The bean sprouts have a pleasing crunch to them. They’re seasoned with garlic, sesame, and, if you like, chili. You can match the version to the meal you’re cooking.
If you’re having a spicy main course, a mild side dish might be best to provide a contrast. If your main has more of a mild flavor, ramp up the heat of the side dish to add piquancy.
This Chinese egg preparation is a bit of an acquired taste, but if you’re looking for something a little more interesting than rice or salad to go along with your pot stickers then you’re in luck!
Century eggs are eggs (usually duck eggs, though chicken and quail eggs are used too) that are preserved in a particular set of ingredients in a way that completely transforms the color, texture, smell, and taste of the egg.
They’re often eaten with slices of pickled ginger or in congee, so if you’re feeling adventurous, this might be the best side dish for you!
This dish is also called Chinese sauerkraut because it’s very similar to the German sauerkraut that’s more commonly known in the Western world.
It has that same delicious sourness that makes sauerkraut such a bold flavored side and for that reason it’s good for offsetting the other flavors that you’ll likely have with your pot stickers.
In case you’re looking at the word “ham” and thinking that this must be a main dish, it isn’t. The ham isn’t the main event here, it’s just there to add a bit of meaty flavor.
Making this dish is a simple matter of stir frying the ingredients together until the fat in the bacon has rendered and the spices are fragrant, something that doesn’t take long to do.
It’s a simple dish but has big flavors and is a great accompaniment to all kinds of Asian main courses.
The recipe calls for Chinese bacon, but if you can’t find that, regular bacon or even something like prosciutto or jamón will do well enough.
These are the Vietnamese interpretation of Chinese spring rolls, and they use rice paper as a wrapping, hence the name.
The most popular filling for these tasty rolls is shrimp and vermicelli noodles, as in this recipe.
It also includes a recipe for a delicious peanut dip for the rolls, which you might even want to use to dip your pot stickers in too!
You can also experiment with other fillings, if you wish. Mushrooms might be a good place to start, and if you like you can make them entirely vegan.
A favorite snack to eat with beer in both China and Japan, these are particularly popular in the summer.
The joy in eating them comes from sucking on the salty pods and savoring the sweet beans inside. They also work well as a small appetizer or side dish for all kinds of Asian dishes.
This version uses only sesame oil and soy sauce, plus some salt as seasoning, but other preparations sometimes include other spices like star anise, so you can try including those if you like.
Either way, they’re an addictive snack that you’ll definitely make more than once.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Asian Cuisine Have Side Dishes?
The short answer is yes – see the 13 pieces of evidence on the list above – but it’s a bit more complicated than that.
In many Asian countries (China for example), dinner isn’t split into main courses and side dishes in the way that it is in the Western world.
Instead, the group of people dining will order several dishes to share together.
Some of these are closer to what we might call a main dish and others are closer to what we might call a side dish, but they’re not really thought of this way by the people who eat them.
Is Asian Food Healthy?
We can’t say that all Asian dishes are healthy, but there are certainly plenty of healthy dishes in the various cuisines to be found in Asia.
Look on this list, and you’ll see lots of healthy dishes with vegetables, eggs, and relatively little meat.
Even the fried foods are eaten as part of a balanced diet in Asia, so they’re not as unhealthy as you might be thinking.
Is Asian Food Easy To Cook?
Again, not all of it is, but nearly all of the dishes on this list are quite straightforward to make.
Some might feature unusual ingredients, but none of them are especially challenging to make once you have the ingredients and know what you’re supposed to do with them.
There you have it, 13 delicious Asian side dishes to give you plenty of ideas for the next time you’re in the mood for Asian food.
As we mentioned above, in many Asian countries, a dining party will share all the dishes on a table, you could make several of these, along with a few more substantial dishes.
Not a bad idea as it’ll give you the chance to try out the maximum amount of all this deliciousness!