Why Everyone Should Learn How to Cook Asian Food

I’m disabled. In 2017 I started a job at an Asian restaurant, and have managed to build some semblance of a life thanks to that. One of the advantages of working at an Asian restaurant was that I got a free meal with each shift. I soon was eating Asian food every day, even on my days off, and have discovered it’s an excellent cuisine for Penny Hoarders.

Trying to lose weight? Eat Asian food. Did you know China’s obesity rate is only 3 percent? I didn’t lose a lot of weight but I did lose several inches despite being on meds notorious for weight gain–now many of my clothes no longer fit so it’s off to Clothes Mentor. This could also translate into money if you’re using a weight-loss app like HealthyWage or Pact.

Asian food has a lot of vegetables and if you add TVP (textured vegetable protein) to rice it’s a complete plant-based protein. It’s also filling and gives you plenty of energy–I’m 40 and I keep up with people half my age. Asian food makes a lot with a little (I once ended up with about 100 crab rangoon from one recipe with 5 ounces cream cheese and 8 ounces imitation crab), and you can make enough hot and sour soup to feed four people with 4 cups of stock. Also, most of the ingredients are cheap–especially if you buy in bulk. It’s also highly customize-able.

Let’s face it–we all eat and love takeout, even if we don’t enjoy the takeout price. Learning to cook Asian food at home can save you the takeout money and taste better than the restaurant (free advice–put sambaal oleek in your hot and sour soup). Most Asian dishes are super simple and about the most exotic equipment you need is a wok–I got mine for free through a cashback app called ShopYourWay. Some ingredients can be hard to find, but that’s what Amazon is for. I’m lucky enough to live in Indianapolis which has a large international grocery store, but Amazon has many of the more exotic ingredients such as the afore-mentioned sambaal oleek. You can save money by using apps such as QuickThoughts, which gives you Amazon gift cards in exchange for filling out short surveys, or S’more, which gives you gift cards for letting it advertise on your cell phone’s lock screen.

It’s easy to learn how to cook Asian food, especially with the Internet. However, I firmly believe a book is the best way to learn. I recommend the “Everything” series which covers a wide variety of ethnic foods. Some cookbooks are dedicated to the wok, and that’s how I got my favorite hot and sour soup recipe. You’re really only limited by your effort.

So that’s my unsolicited bit of advice. What cuisines do you find best for your wallets?


I’ve recently learned to make stir-fry and it’s incredibly easy.


Fried rice is a weeknight go-to for me. It’s a great way to use up leftover rice, and you can make it on the cheap with a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and a couple eggs.


I got lucky, my wife is from the Philippines!

Thumbs up for all the tasty dishes she makes! thumb