Our 33 Best Asian-Inspired Finger Food Recipes | SAVEUR

Our 33 Best Asian-Inspired Finger Food Recipes

Finger-friendly snacks inspired by Asian flavors

From spring rolls to sushi and satay, Asia is full of finger-friendly snacks. Fried chicken wings are American finger food recipe staples, but Asian versions like adobo wings or Japanese karaage are just as finger-lickin' good. The secret? Potato starch gives these fried bites a deliciously crispy crust. Our Indonesian chicken wings are also cooked in coconut water before frying, creating a subtle sweetness. For a more saucy chicken reminiscent of Buffalo wings, try making a Thai-inspired hot sauce with ketchup, Sriracha, and soy sauce.

There's perhaps no snack more satisfying than meat on a stick, and satay—the classic Javanese dish of skewered and grilled meat—is one of the best versions. It's also endlessly variable: a typical Indonesian version can be made with lamb in a sweet-and-sour marinade, but you'll find different recipes across Southeast Asia. Thai muu satay use pork marinated with sweet coconut milk, citrusy lemongrass, and pungent galangal. Satay udang is a Singapore-style shrimp satay with lime juice, brown sugar, and ground macadamia nuts. For a full collection of Asian finger food party snack, check out our favorite Asian-inspired finger food recipes. For even more inspiration, look to our guide to global finger food recipes.

Spicy Peanuts

Toss cashews and peanuts in caramelized sugar, fish sauce, garlic, and chile for a powerful, can’t-stop-eating bar snack. Add the lime, shallot, and basil right before serving so the nuts stay crispy. Get the recipe for Spicy Cashew-Peanuts »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Beef Kimbap

Korean kimbap is similar to Japanese sushi, but typically uses cooked or pickled ingredients. In this version, bulgogi (marinated beef) is paired with vegetables and egg.

Farideh Sadeghin

steamed pork buns

Cornstarch adds a silkiness to bao dough, mimicking the bleached, low-protein flour commonly used in Chinese bakeries (but harder to find in supermarkets). Lard adds tenderness, richness, and a subtle porky finish. Get the recipe for Chinese Steamed Pork Buns »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Uyghur Flatbread (Nángbĭng)

The Uyghurs of the western regions of China refer to these flatbread as nang, which have existed for centuries as a staple at every meal. Punctured with a nail-studded tool, they're scattered with any variety of seeds and spices and vary in diameter from a few inches across to a foot or more. Though they're usually cooked in tandoors, an oven with a pizza stone will do. Get the recipe for Uyghur Flatbread (Nángbĭng) »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Japanese Rice Balls (Onigiri)

There are two different styles of onigiri: those that are stuffed and those that have seasonings mixed in. For the filled variety, umeboshi (pickled plums), cubes of salt-cured salmon, or tarako (cod roe) are often encased in the warm rice, and then eaten as is or wrapped in nori (dried seaweed). For others, seasonings like toasted black sesame seeds, yukari (red shiso powder), or sakebushi (dried salmon flakes) are simply mixed with the rice and then shaped into the typical triangle, ball, or cylinder shapes. Most importantly, when shaping the rice for onigiri, take care not to compact the rice too firmly. Press until the grains just hold together.

Andrea Fazzari

cumin kebabs

The staple meats of Western China, lamb and mutton can be found folded into everything from pilafs to buns to noodles. Of course, they're also the focal point of the region's iconic kebabs. Seasoned with freshly ground cumin (zira in Farsi and zīrán in Chinese), which was probably introduced to Xinjiang from Persia, the kebabs get an extra kick from minced garlic cloves and ground chile powder. Get the recipe for Chile and Cumin Lamb Kebabs (Yángròu chuàn) »

Matt Taylor-Gross


Best known in their deep-fried iteration, lumpia often crackle beneath the teeth. But not always; some come wrapped in fresh egg crepes, while others are wrapper-less. Connoisseurs pine for a version made with shrimp, pork, and shredded coconut palm. The freshly fried version is a marvel, the wrapper crisp, the filling's texture delicate and yielding. Instead of the common sweet-sour dipping sauce, chef Dale Talde opts for the condiment he used growing up—a mixture of vinegar and soy sauce spiked with raw garlic and fiery chiles—which he likens to the salt and pepper of Filipino food. Get the recipe for Deep-Fried Pork Spring Rolls (Lumpia) »

William Hereford

Crab Spring Rolls

For making spring rolls, most Vietnamese-American home cooks use the spongy, wheat-based wrappers called TYJ Spring Roll Pastry, which are made by the Spring Home company. They're available frozen at most Asian food stores.

André Baranowski

Tito's Filipino-Style Chicken Wings

These are chicken wings, Filipino-style, marinated in rice vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, and garlic. Serve them with a creamy ginger-enriched dipping sauce and chile-dusted apple slices for a full bar snack. Get the recipe for Adobo Chicken Wings »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Pineapple and Pork Teriyaki Skewers

Sweet grilled onion and pineapple stand up against rich marinated pork in these easy, Hawaiian-inspired skewers. Get the recipe for Pineapple and Pork Teriyaki Skewers »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Angel Cruz Beef Skewers

Named for a park in Central Valley, California—a popular meeting place for the large Cambodian community there—these kebabs are slathered in an aromatic and pungent paste of lemongrass, kaffir lime, and fish sauce before meeting the heat of a charcoal grill. Get the recipe for Angel Cruz Beef Skewers »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Korean Rice Cake (Songpyeon)

Korean rice cakes, known as songpyeon, are half moon-shaped dumplings that are stuffed with fillings like sweet potatoes, chestnuts, red beans, or nuts, and then steamed and served with honey. Get the recipe for Korean Rice Cake »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Pork and Kimchi Potstickers

Homemade dumplings take some work, but they're worth the effort for a rich pork filling livened up with funky kimchi. Get the recipe for Pork and Kimchi Potstickers »

Farideh Sadeghin

Lobster Ceviche with Limestone Lettuce

This recipe, which came from noted chef Nobu Matsuhisa, is typical of the cross-cultural innovations that made him such a success. Get the recipe for Lobster Ceviche with Limestone Lettuce »

Nicole Franzen

Fried Tofu and Bacon Fritters (Tofu Wanzi)

China meets the American South in these tofu, bacon, and scallion fritters. Get the recipe for Fried Tofu and Bacon Fritters (Tofu Wanzi) »

Todd Coleman

Japanese Fried Chicken

Sansho, the Japanese equivalent of Sichuan pepper, adds kick to these sake-and-mirin-marinated wings. A fresh squeeze of lemon brightens them up for serving. Get the recipe for Japanese-Style Chicken Wings »

Nicole Franzen

Indonesian-Style Chicken Wings

Marinated in tamarind and aromatic spices, these chicken wings are cooked in coconut water before frying. Get the recipe for Indonesian-Style Chicken Wings »

Andé Baranowski

Spicy Thai Chicken Wings (Peek Gai Nam Daeng)

These sweet-spicy wings, bathed in a ketchup-soy hot sauce, are a specialty of the cart Nong's. Get the recipe for Spicy Thai Chicken Wings (Peek Gai Nam Daeng) »

Todd Coleman

Padang-Style Mashed Potato Fritters (Perkedel Kenteng)

To make these crisp-crusted fritters, mashed potatoes blended with pan-fried shallots and freshly grated nutmeg are dipped in beaten egg and fried. Get the recipe for Padang-Style Mashed Potato Fritters (Perkedel Kenteng) »

Ingalls Photography

Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps

A fragrant and satisfying appetizer (as well as an excellent use for leftover roast pork and poached or steamed shrimp), these flavorful bundles are great dipped in nuoc cham, a sweet and spicy Vietnamese sauce. Get the recipe for Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps »

Maxime Iattoni

Lemongrass Pork Satay

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten uses pork shoulder for this umami-packed satay. Get the recipe for Lemongrass Pork Satay »

Todd Coleman

Beef Satay

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten created this intensely flavorful contemporary satay. Get the recipe for Beef Satay »

Todd Coleman

Shrimp Satay (Satay Udang)

Ground macadamia nuts enrich this spicy Singaporean-style shrimp satay. Get the recipe for Shrimp Satay (Satay Udang) »

Todd Coleman

Balinese Tuna Satay (Satay Lilit)

This Balinese-style tuna satay is adapted from Janet De Neefe's Fragrant Rice. Get the recipe for Balinese Tuna Satay (Satay Lilit) »

Todd Coleman

Chicken Satay (Satay Ayam)

These fragrant chicken skewers are infused with traditional Indonesian spices like lemongrass, garlic, and ginger. Get the recipe for Chicken Satay (Satay Ayam) »

Todd Coleman

Lamb Satay (Satay Kambing)

A sweet-and-sour marinade gives this west Javanese-style satay its distinct flavor. Get the recipe for Lamb Satay (Satay Kambing) »

Todd Coleman

Nori Maki (Nori Rolls with Japanese Omelette, Shiitake Mushroom, and Halibut)

Perfect for special occasions, these rolls are stuffed with flaky fish, sweet Japanese omelette, plump shiitake mushrooms, tender kampyo, or dried squash, and blanched carrots and mizuna. Get the recipe for Nori Maki (Nori Rolls with Japanese Omelette, Shiitake Mushroom, and Halibut) »

Farideh Sadeghin

Chicken and Scallion Skewers with Yakitori Sauce (Negima Yakitori)

These simple chicken and scallion skewers gain loads of flavor from a basting of homemade yakitori sauce, a versatile marinade for most any meat or vegetable. Get the recipe for Chicken and Scallion Skewers with Yakitori Sauce (Negima Yakitori) »

Todd Coleman

Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)

Scallion pancakes are as widely popular in China as muffins are in America. The basic recipe for a simple scallion pancake—served with soy milk or rice porridge for breakfast—is just a guide. Some like it firmer, some fluffier.

Todd Coleman

Banh Mi Sandwich

According to Andrea Nguyen, author of Into the Vietnamese Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2006), the baguette for this iconic Vietnamese sandwich "should be light and airy, with a very delicate crumb that does not fight you, but just frames the sandwich."

Todd Coleman

Sushi Bar Tuna Sandwich

Sriracha, rice wine vinegar, and a liberal dash of sesame seeds bring the flavors of the sushi bar to these creative sliders.

André Baranowski

Edamame-Miso Tuna Sandwich

White miso and sesame chile oil add umami flavor and a spicy kick to this spin on the classic tuna sandwich.

André Baranowski