Our Favorite Bar Snacks and Drinking Food From Korea, Japan, China, and Beyond

Spicy, saucy, and booze-soaking recipes from chef Dan Holzman and writer Matt Rodbard

For a few months now, Meatball Shop chef-owner Dan Holzman and Koreatown cookbook author Matt Rodbard have been exploring the best of drinking food from all over Asia in their Asian Food Adventures column on SAVEUR. And last night, at the Meatball shop's Underballs in New York, they brought their spirit of adventure—and recipes—to life for a hungry crowd of SAVEUR friends.

In countries across Asia, food specifically made to pair with drinking often gets elevated to an art form—way more than just bar nuts and pickles. Here are recipes for everything from sardine salads to char-grilled skewers, to transport you right to a snack shack in Japan or a back-alley bar on the streets of Thailand.

tsukune

JAPANESE GRILLED CHICKEN MEATBALLS (TSUKUNE)

Full-flavored chicken meatballs dressed with a sweet and salty glaze.Matt Taylor-Gross

Adobo Chicken Wings

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.Matt Taylor-Gross
Water boiled fish

SPICY SICHUAN "WATER BOILED" FISH AND CELERY (SHUI ZHU YU)

Give mild fish a serious lick of heat with homemade chile oil and fermented black soy beans. You can serve the fish and vegetables with just a little broth, as shown here, or as a soup.Matt Taylor-Gross

Spicy Cashew-Peanut Bar Mix

Spicy Peanuts
Toss cashews and peanuts in caramelized sugar, fish sauce, garlic, and chile for a powerful, can’t-stop-eating bar snack.Matt Taylor-Gross
Korean Clam Soup

Korean Spicy Clam Soup

A simple, light soup not short on heat or spice.Matt Taylor-Gross
Salmon Foil Yaki

SALMON, SCALLION, AND ENOKI MUSHROOM FOIL YAKI

Your new favorite way to cook salmon: with Asian sauces, scallions, and enoki mushrooms, all wrapped up in a foil pouch.Matt Taylor-Gross
Korean Soba Salad

KOREAN COLD BUCKWHEAT NOODLES (JAENGBAN GUKSU)

Don't be fooled by the vegetable-heavy spread; this dish is sure to fill you up. A medley of thinly sliced vegetables is piled up with a mound of cold buckwheat noodles.Matt Taylor-Gross

SWEET POTATOES WITH MISO BUTTER AND CHIVES

Steamed sweet potatoes
Red miso adds a savory twist to sweet potatoes.Matt Taylor-Gross
Twice cooked pork

SICHUAN TWICE-COOKED PORK BELLY (HUI GUO ROU)

A classic Chinese dish made with boiled-then-stir-fried pork and plenty of leeks and fermented black soy beans. Boiling the pork (the first "cooked") renders some of the fat and makes it easier to slice and crisp up later in a blazing-hot wok.Matt Taylor-Gross
Leek and Clam Foil Yaki

Clam, Leek, and King Oyster Mushroom Foil Yaki

Clams, leeks, and king oyster mushrooms get cooked in a foil pouch that resembles a Jiffy Pop.Matt Taylor-Gross
Stir-Fried Shrimp and Long Beans with XO Sauce

Stir-Fried Shrimp and Long Beans with XO Sauce

A simple stir fry of fat, juicy shrimp and meaty long beans loaded with smoky, meaty, and funky flavor thanks to a bacon XO sauce. Use shell- and head-on shrimp for the most flavorful stir-fry.Matt Taylor-Gross
XO sauce

Bacon XO Sauce

Use this spicy, meaty, addictively funky condiment with everything from stir-fried dishes to soups.Matt Taylor-Gross
Korean Rice Cakes

KOREAN RICE CAKES (DDUKBOKKI) WITH PORK BELLY AND CHEDDAR

Arang takes a Korean classic—ddukbokki, or spicy rice cakes—and adds on an oh-so-American layer of melted cheddar for a stroke of fusion brilliance that recalls nachos as much as Korean cooking.Matt Taylor-Gross
Mushroom Foil Yaki

Mixed Mushroom Foil Yaki

Mushrooms get cooked in a foil pouch with Asian sauces in this effortless "one-foil" dish.Matt Taylor-Gross

SARDINE AND LEMONGRASS SALAD

Sardine and Lemongrass Salad
Combining sardines with Thai spices moves the flavor away from purely fishy in this sweet and spicy salad.Farideh Sadeghin
Spicy Cucumber Salad

Spicy Cucumber Salad

This salad makes for perfect drinking food, best with sips of lightweight Asian lager or a gin and tonic.Matt Taylor-Gross
Mentaiko Spaghetti

Mentaiko Spaghetti (Tokyo-Style Fish Roe Pasta)

This classic Tokyo pasta dish, adapted from a recipe by chef Tadashi Ono, gets pungent flavor from the spicy marinated pollock roe called mentaiko.Ingalls Photography