Best Subtle Asian Cooking Recipes to Impress Your Subtle Asian Dates

Just shot your shot on a Subtle Asian Dating auction post? Figuring out how to make a good impression on your first date? No worries! Join the sister Facebook group, Subtle Asian Cooking, for recipes that are perfect for showing your significant other that you have what it takes.

I’ve personally tried a bunch of recipes from the group, and these were my top picks. I’ve ranked them in order of preparation needed from easiest to hardest:

1. 10 Minute Garlic Chili Oil Noodles (Elle Hong)

These noodles are delicious, fragrant and oh-so-easy to prepare – hence the name. But be warned, these noodles are definitely not for the faint of heart. By pouring steaming hot oil over a collection of spices topped on any sort of noodles, these garlic chili oil noodles definitely pack a punch. If you know that your date is a fan of ~spice~, this is a surefire way to win them over. 

2. Instant Pot Mochi (Van Fulton

Does your date have a sweet tooth? Want to impress them with delicious mochi that is chewy and soft but not too sticky either? This recipe is hands-down the best mochi recipe I have tried. Although it can seem daunting due to the preparation time of three hours, that’s because the mochi gets steamed in an Instant Pot for one hour and then left to cool for another two. Plus, the recipe is very flexible, allowing you to change the flavor to whatever you desire. I can promise you that this dessert is worth it. Pair it with some leftover coconut milk, sliced mangoes and vanilla ice cream, and you’re set. 

3. Soft-Boiled Marinated Eggs / Mayak gyeran  (Sirena Kim)

This recipe was super popular over quarantine, and it definitely deserves the hype! These creamy soft boiled eggs are marinated overnight in a marinade of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, onions, and more. They can be served for a cute date night dinner over a steaming bowl of rice and green onions or paired with noodles, like I did. As long as you don’t mind peeling soft boiled eggs, this recipe is simple and delicious. 

BONUS: This recipe also has a counterpart called mayak avocado. It is one of my personal favorites, and it can be eaten for multiple meals!

4. Kimchi Carbonara (Lok Man Fan

This recipe elevates your classic carbonara recipe by adding in pieces of kimchi. Surprisingly, the two pair very well! The richness of the carbonara and the tartness of the kimchi allow the dish to taste filling but also fresh. Your tastebuds will be blessed with the perfect combination of salty bacon, creamy cheesy sauce, and the slightly tangy and sour kimchi. This dish shows your date that you are versatile, unique and adaptable!

Just as a note, I would definitely recommend taste testing the kimchi to make sure that you have completely cooked it to get rid of the bitterness. 

5. Green Onion Bread (George Chen)

You know those delicious green onion breads that line the Chinese bakery shelves? Imagine how impressed your date will be when they find out that you can make those from scratch! This recipe creates soft chewy bread rolls topped with a hearty sprinkling of seasoned green onions. The secret to the stretchy and tender dough? Tangzhong. By creating a slurry of cooked flour, milk and water, your resulting dough becomes more moist and less sticky. It is important to NOT skip this step. 

Adding some sliced pieces of ham to the tops of the roll before baking them is one of my favorite ways to make this. 

6. Mochi Donuts (Peiyang Du)

If your date is a fan of anything mochi, these mochi donuts or Pon de Ring donuts are one of my favorites. They’re chewy, not too sweet and taste like mochi. The secret ingredient to the texture is tofu! Although tofu may seem unconventional, I can guarantee that you taste none of the tofu in the final product. Plus, decorating these delicious donuts is a fun activity to do with your significant other. Look how cute!

7. Mango Cream Puffs (Eric Chou

The perfect dessert to bring to a picnic date, these cream puffs are too delicious for their own good. Although making these takes two days – one day to make the cookie crust and one day to put it all together – these cream puffs are sweet, super airy and pair seamlessly with fresh whipped cream. Add in your favorite finishing touches like fruit or chocolate, and these cream puffs are sure to win anyone over. 

The original recipe comes from Emma’s Goodies on Youtube. Just a reminder to not open the oven while these are baking or else you will end up with sad deflated cream puffs.

This list comes just in time for cuffing season, so there’s no better opportunity to put your cooking skills to the test. While there is no guarantee that these recipes will end in your “happily ever after”, at least you now have an array of food to tide you over. 

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