Vegetarian Asian Appetizers & Snacks Recipes | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Asian Appetizers & Snacks

Delish appetizers and snacks that are simple to make!

Soy-Sesame Bok Choy Rolls

If you can’t find large, firm bok choy leaves to use as wrappers for this recipe, use smaller ones as “cups,” and serve the filling alongside. Choose a bold-flavored prepared teriyaki sauce or add sriracha or chile-garlic sauce for extra kick.

Crispy Kimchi Noodle Pancake

Turn this Korean street-food snack into a full meal by serving the pancake wedge on a bed of sautéed spinach and topping it with a freshly poached egg and squirt of sriracha.

Tempeh Avocado Sushi

Steamed tempeh stands in as a protein-rich rice alternative in these small sushi rolls. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

Mini Sesame-Cucumber Hand Rolls

Mini Sesame-Cucumber Hand Rolls

Easy to make and eat, hand rolls, or temaki, make a party-friendly sushi option. These are seasoned with gomashio (a Japanese condiment made with toasted sesame seeds and salt) and sushi seasoning (a mix of vinegar, sugar, and salt). Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

Tomato and Tofu Soup

Tomato and Tofu Soup

This warming soup leaves the pleasant tang of cilantro and garlic chives on the tongue. If you can’t find garlic chives, substitute green onions.



Onigiri—small, filled rice balls or triangles—are a popular snack and bento box staple in Japan. Here, they’re made with cooled sushi rice and decorated with scissor-cut nori shapes. Extras can be saved for lunch boxes the next day. If your kids are open to something salty and tart, add three pickled umeboshi plums (pitted and halved) to the mix. They’re a traditional onigiri filling that Japanese kids love.

curried puff pastry bites

Curried Puff Pastry Bites

In Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, it is common to find curry-stuffed turnovers in bakeries. They’re an easy make-ahead appetizer because they can be frozen once assembled and prepared straight from the freezer—just bake them 5 to 10 minutes more than specified below.

Pseudo Satay Celery Sticks

Pseudo Satay Celery Sticks

The peanutty satay sauces of Southeast Asia inspired the sweet-and-spicy filling for this delicious appetizer or snack.

kimchi healing foods


This mildly spiced kimchi can be made hotter by adding more ground chiles. It will get more sour with time; if it becomes too sour to enjoy on its own, use it to make Kimchi Stew.

Black Soybean and Hoisin Lettuce Wraps

Black Soybean and 
Hoisin Lettuce Wraps

In Japan, black soybeans cooked in a sweet syrup (kuromame) are eaten as part of osechi ryori, the customary New Year’s meal. Black soybeans can be found at Asian markets and some specialty health food stores; if you can’t find them, substitute regular black beans.