An Asian-inspired Summer Picnic with Light and Savory Flavors

With summer in full swing, hosting a picnic party is a no-brainer. But, ever consider an Asian-inspired picnic? You’ll be surprised at the unique and savory flavors of an Asian menu that you’ll definitely be cooking them up for your picnic basket by the end of this post! Let’s begin!

Pack a Light and Savory Picnic with Asian-inspired Flavors!

Asian inspired summer picnic with light and savory flavors

1 – Asian noodles in a jar via Foxes Love Lemons. Such an easy recipe using soba noodles, edamame, carrots, red peppers, and fried noodles with a spicy peanut dressing!

2 – Onigiri rice balls with sesame seeds, cucumber, tuna, seaweed, and avocado from
Hint: these are almost always available as ready made items at many Japanese groceries.

3 – Vietnamese spring rolls with crispy tofu from Minimalist Baker. The accompanying dipping sauce that uses almond butter as a base brings a nice mix of savory and sweet flavors.

4 – Chinese almond cookies as seen on Land O’ Lakes.
Hint: if you are too lazy to make them, you can also buy them ready made at the grocery. See the Asian food aisle!

5 – Jasmine green iced tea limeade with honey as seen on Jessica Gavin’s blog. What a refreshing summer drink using jasmine and green tea!

What to Pack in Your Picnic Basket?

When packing your picnic basket for an Asian-inspired picnic, think light and easy clean-up after the picnic. Here are a couple of items to bring:

  1. Disposable chopsticks
  2. Chinese takeout boxes
  3. Napkins
  4. Soy sauce packets
  5. Limes


p>We’re back with an updated post for the summer of 2020! While we are all trying to stay safe right now, why not plan a fun backyard picnic or head off to your local park (if, it’s open)? Or, plan a trunk picnic with your besties and meet in your old school’s parking lot.

Here are our suggestions for what to bring:

Asian summer picnic with easy recipes

  1. Baked Thai Peanut Chicken Egg Rolls via The Creative Bite
  2. Teriyaki Potstickers via Land O’ Lakes
  3. Spam Onigirazu via Just One Cookbook
  4. Chinese Egg Custard Tarts via Real California Milk
  5. Organic Japanese Iced Tea via Amazon

Don’t forget you can always include iced coffee or tea with boba! Make your favorite lychee slushie or chilled teas like oolong, jasmine, or barley.


Feel that heat? It’s definitely summer again! So we just had to revisit this popular post, and add even more creative picnic food ideas with Asian flavors and ingredients. Choose a recipe—or two or three—to wow family and friends at your next summer picnic! (*this post update contains affiliate links)

Asian "Wraps and Rolls"

Easy to make and handy to serve, these fun twists on Japanese sushi are sure to be a hit with the picnic crowd. Plus their colors are so pretty, too!

1 – Poke Seaweed Wraps (recipe from Lee Kum Kee) – A tasty combo of salmon, tuna, carrots, and cucumber, spread onto a layer of sushi rice on seaweed sheets, then rolled up burrito-style, and topped with sriracha mayo.

2 – Chicken and Leek Rice Roll (recipe from Kikkoman) – This time it’s chicken breast meat and leeks, seasoned with teriyaki barbecue sauce with honey, spread atop rice on nori sheets, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

3 – Spicy Salmon Nori Wraps (recipe from Wild Planet Foods) – Canned salmon flakes rolled in nori sheets get pops of color from purple cabbage, carrots, avocado, and cucumber; then kicks of flavor from sriracha hot sauce, cilantro, and fresh lime juice.

4 – Spam® Musubi (recipe from Zojirushi) – Popular in Hawaii, this "cheat" recipe features sliced grilled Spam® and layers of cooked white rice wrapped with nori (seaweed) sheets. Variations to choose from: one with cooked egg slices, another teriyaki-style.

Asian-inspired Sweets and Desserts

Want to reserve the Asian surprise for last at your picnic? Here are some tempting treats to choose from!

1 – Mango and Coconut Sago Puddings (recipe from Healthy Food) – How inviting are these single-serve pudding cups—layers of sago with caster sugar and light coconut milk, topped with ripe mango, raspberries, and toasted coconut flakes. So good served chilled!

2 – Coconut Lychee Jello (recipe from Mochi Mommy) – A twist on the popular Chinese almond jello dessert, this uses lychee syrup and coconut/whole milk in gelatin. Just add your choice of toppings, like lychee pieces, coconut meat, or canned fruit cocktail.

3 – Chinese Egg Tart (recipe from Pete and Gerry’s) – Pop-in-your-mouth cups of flaky crust with a rich custard filling, drizzled with a honey and fresh orange juice mixture.

4 – Matcha Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries (recipe from Zen Spirit Foods) – Sure to bring a festive touch to your picnic spread, this fancy treat gets its Asian spin from matcha green tea marbled into melted white chocolate.

Asian-flavored Iced Teas and Juices

Take your pick from these thirst-quenching concoctions, featuring flavors that are refreshingly Asian!

1 – Lychee Iced Green Tea (recipe from Torani) – Just 2 ingredients—lychee syrup and brewed green tea—plus lots of ice, and this summer drink is good to go!

2 – Sanzo Sparkling Water Fruit Calamansi (available on Amazon, in 12 pack) – Made with real fruit, this canned carbonated drink adds that fun fizz to the zesty citrus flavor of the "golden lime" native to the Philippines.

3 – Tea Drops Authentic Thai Tea Mix (available on Amazon, in 25 pack) – Loose leaf tea in single-serve packs, so you can brew individual glasses at the picnic site. Then just pop in ice cubes for a refreshing summer cooler.

4 – Iced Bubble Tea (recipe from Instant Pot) – For fans of the boba tea craze, this is a sure winner—made with black boba pearls, black tea, evaporated milk, and granulated sugar or sweetener. Pour over lots of ice!

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