Live Better

Speedy Asian cooking with Marion Grasby

Devoted food traveller Marion Grasby dishes up some advice on creating delicious meals - fast.

Foodie favourite Marion Grasby’s new cookbook Asia Express shares how to whip up tasty Asian classics in under 30 minutes. Perfect for weeknight dinners, these brilliant no-fuss recipes are inspired by places Marion has travelled to and foods she has grown up eating – from char siu pork to Hainanese chicken rice.

With only the tastiest recipes making the cut, these 100 fast favourites will have the most time-poor home cook serving up fresh Asian-inspired dishes night after night. Handy weekly meal planners with simple time saving tips also help you get a head start on the next night’s meal, with a little clever forward thinking.

In Asia Express you focus on 30-minute recipes. What tips do you have for people to achieve this?

Preparation is the key to getting dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. I like to collect all the fresh and pantry items I need for a recipe before I start cooking so that everything is in easy reach once I get going.

What difference does a well-seasoned wok make on flavour?

A well-seasoned wok will make even the simplest of stir-fries a work of art. The seasoning of your wok will give each dish that characteristic smoky ‘wok’ flavour. I love my wok!

What advice do you have for people to get the most out of your book?

I’m a self-trained home cook so I’m always looking to learn as much as possible from each cookbook I read. I try to look at different processes within a recipe and learn from them.

Which recipes from your book will be warming for winter?

I adore a curry when the weather is chilly so my pick would be the Panang Chicken Curry.

Five pantry essentials?

I always have fish sauce, light soy sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, rice vinegar and dried chilli flakes in my pantry.

What are some less common dishes people should add to their repertoire?

I love Chinese food from the Sichuan province. A noodle stir-fry spiked with Sichuan peppercorns is my favourite at the moment.

What recipes will also work well the next day for lunch?

Curries are the best for this! The Thai Green Seafood Curry recipe in my book is perfect.

Secret to the perfect bowl of rice?

My biggest tip for producing fluffy rice that isn’t soggy is to leave your rice covered (either in a saucepan or rice cooker) and off the heat for a good 10 minutes after it’s finished cooking. The extra time helps to dry out and fluff up the rice.

What have been the most memorable restaurant experiences you have had?

My favourite eating experiences actually come from my favourite street stall vendors in Bangkok. You can’t go past their fried chicken!

If you could eat at any restaurants around the world what would be your top picks?

The Fat Duck, Mugaritz and Nahm.

What dish do you feel you haven’t mastered yet?

I’m a terrible cake baker. One day I’ll master it I hope!

For more ideas and recipes from Marion, visit

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