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8 Asian Christmas Recipes Inspired by Christmas Movies and Music

8 Asian Christmas Recipes Inspired by Christmas Movies and Music

Nothing sparks the festive holiday spirit more than enjoying a good plate of Christmas food while your favorite Christmas movie or Christmas carols play in the background. But why watch and sing about good food when you can have these on your dinner table? I've curated simple Asian Christmas menu ideas inspired by classic holiday carols and films that will make you feel the holiday cheer even more.

In Japan, Christmas is typically a day for couples to spend time together and exchange gifts. Fried chicken is also a traditional Japanese Christmas dish due to a successful Christmas campaign from KFC back in the 70s. But as The Christmas Song goes "chestnuts roasting on an open fire", it's only proper to enjoy a chestnut dish for the season!

Kuri Gohan or Japanese Chestnut Rice is a nutty and aromatic side dish best enjoyed during winter. The recipe from Coriander and Lace teaches you how to boil and clean your chestnuts, and cook Japanese rice grain. Mirin, sake, salt, and hondashi are must-have ingredients for seasoning the rice. Once out of the rice cooker or rice pot, the result is a fluffy rice that's infused with the nutty taste of chestnuts. Stir, top with black sesame seeds, and serve. Once you've had a taste, it won't be a surprise if you crave this during other seasons!

Christmas is too special of a day to be enjoying regular buttered popcorn. When it snows, don't miss out on making the Hip Foodie Mom's Hurricane Popcorn with Furikake recipe. The recipe features furikake, a Japanese rice topping made with sesame seeds, seaweed flakes (nori), salt and sugar. Finish off with a drizzle of sesame oil to bring all the flavors together into a salty, nutty, and savory popcorn--perfect for watching Christmas movies! You can also use wasabi furikake for added spice!

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The song Christmas Is a-Comin' goes like "How about a turkey leg for dear old me? If you haven't got a turkey leg, a turkey wing will do." With this Kung Pao Turkey Drumstick recipe from Food and Wine, settling for just a wing just won't do. It has a sticky, finger-licking glaze that's made with a mix of Asian cooking essentials, namely mirin, a mix of both low sodium and dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sambal oelek. The sweet, spicy, and savory combo of flavors makes this Asian chicken recipe a strong contender for next year's Christmas menu.

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In the Philippines, a grand Christmas feast is served during Noche Buena, which means "evening of goodness". The tradition has inspired the song Noche Buena which paints the picture of what's served during this special feast: tinolang manok (chicken and papaya soup) and lechon, a roasted suckling pig.

Allrecipes has an easy-to-follow one-pot tinolang manok recipe that will warm the tummies of your holiday guests. Apart from the chicken, papaya, veggies, and aromatics like ginger and onion to flavor the chicken broth, fish sauce is key to adding depth to the chicken soup. This nostalgic dish is super easy to make, allowing you to focus on merry-making and singing Christmas carols with family.

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a classic holiday movie that features a classic holiday drink: eggnog. Cousin Eddie's eggnog may be spiked but I have a non-alcoholic eggnog recipe that features instant coffee instead of booze. This caffeinated Christmas beverage is a quick, simple, and equally delicious way to dial up the festive mood. Plus, in the true spirit of sharing, kids and adults can have a taste!

Just like in Japan, Korea is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in Asia for couples! The season is filled with couple activities like ice skating, gift-giving, and of course, eating great food.

Whether you're celebrating with family or friends, you wouldn't want any Grinch to steal Christmas away from you if it means not having this slow cooker Korean Beef recipe from Damn Delicious. To make this dish, the most important ingredients are soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, basic spices and seasonings, and a whole lot of patience. It may take 8 hours to cook but the result is a super tender beef with incredible Asian flavors seeping through the meat that's worth the wait.

Watching Will Ferrell's character in the movie Elf eat a special breakfast dessert spaghetti might have awakened your spaghetti cravings. While the sweet spaghetti looks intriguing, I don't want you to get a tooth and tummy ache as a present. Instead, let me gift you with a Korean Meatball recipe that's sure to make you jolly. I use premium gochujang, rice vinegar, and soy sauce to make a Korean-style glaze that will literally spice up your usual meatballs. Top it over your cooked pasta and enjoy a finger-licking dish!

There were a handful of food moments in The Holiday. There's a Christmas fettuccine, iced cold coffee, cocktails and canapes, but the scene where Miles and Iris share a cup of tea while playing the piano summarizes the warmth you'll feel while watching the whole movie. It's simple, it's romantic, and best viewed with a cup of tea for yourself. Cozy up for more Christmas movies with Prince of Peace teas. Add a splash of soy milk for extra comfort.

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I hope these Asian Christmas recipes help you have a holiday celebration that feels just like a festive movie or a song. Can't prepare all of them? You'll have all year to make and enjoy these, because good food is meant to be enjoyed no matter what the occasion. For all your Asian grocery needs for all types of holidays, shop at Karman Foods!

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