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The Most Popular Asian Spices

Nadia Galinova
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Nadia Galinova
Asian Spices

Asian cuisine is a blend of aromas and flavors that can rarely be found anywhere else in the world. There is hardly a person who has not tried the Japanese specialty sushi, Chinese rice or the delicacies of Indian cuisine. The unique taste of Asian cuisine is mainly due to the skillful use of its spices. Here are some of the most common:

Ginger - mostly fresh root of this spice is used both for fish and meat dishes as well as for salads. Pickled ginger is also common.

Basil - there are several varieties that differ in flavor and use. The most used type of basil has a much stronger aroma than that which grows in European countries.

Cardamom - used for sweeter or spicy dishes. It adds an intrusive aroma to what is cooked with it.

Lemongrass - an indispensable part of Asian cuisine, which is already very common in Europe. It is mostly used for making sweet and sour soups.

Coriander - all its parts are used to season various dishes - from the leaves to the roots. Unlike European countries, where it can be found more often as a dry spice, in Asian markets it is sold fresh.

Mint - used for the preparation of various fresh salads.


Turmeric - Until recently only used for coloring by Buddhist monks, this yellowish spice has been widely used in Asian cuisine for years.

Curry paste - it can be green, red, yellow or orange in color and is used as a base for many dishes.

Wasabi - the characteristic Japanese hot spice that is prepared from a horseradish-like plant. Sushi and sashimi are garnished with it.

Soy sauce - made from soybeans and wheat grains along with salt and is especially common in Chinese cuisine. It is also a main condiment in Japanese culinary traditions, but there it is known as Shoyu sauce.

Mirin - is a sweet sake that is only used in cooking.

Rice Vinegar - has a mild and pleasantly sweet taste and is a staple condiment in Japan and China.