I’m really loving all of the popularity that Asian food has gained over the years. Not only is Asian food kind of in now but it’s gone way beyond Panda Express and other questionable MSG heavy Chinese take-out. And it’s not just chefs getting creative with Asian food. It’s home cooks, regular people like you and me, and people turning their lives around starting freaking Asian fusion food revolutions. Two words: Kogi Tacos.
And it’s not just Chinese food, it’s Japanese, it’s Korean and Vietnamese. I love it.
I’m Korean and so growing up, we always had kimchi in the fridge, our house would usually smell like fish or garlic after my mom cooked and I remember being a little embarrassed when friends would come over and see a container of dry seaweed, some Ginseng drink sitting around or – God forbid- anything non-American sitting out in our kitchen. I was a young, silly kid who just wanted to fit in. (All throughout elementary all the way through high school, I attended schools with maybe 2-3% (if even that) of Asian kids and probably less than 5% of other ethnicities.) Both of my parents worked full-time so fortunately, I remember always buying my lunch and I have no recollection of bringing my lunch, which, for me back then, may have caused additional stress and worry for me and my mother. I think about my friends now who have young kids who are embarrassed to take their lunch to school because they don’t want to be teased for having something other than a ham, turkey or PB&J sandwich in their lunch bag.
But times are a changin’ my friends.
The Asian section at the grocery store has gotten a little bigger. My friend told me there’s an Asian food section at Target. Asian markets are growing in popularity and familiarity. I think people are getting more adventurous in what they eat out at Asian restaurants and what they cook at home. I think this is so fantastic. Even within the food blogging community, I’ve been seeing more and more people incorporating kimchi or other Asian-specific ingredients into their recipes and some people are even making kimchi at home. I freaking love this. And as for packing school lunches, I pack my daughter kimbap for lunch at least once a week; but the really simple kind. Literally just brown rice wrapped in dried seaweed. She loves it.
When the notification came out within our Sunday Supper group that we were going to be doing an event with Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen to help promote and give away copies of her new cookbook, Healthy Asian Favorites, I was totally excited. Because I love Asian food and I follow a lot of the popular food blogs out there and Jaden’s is- of course- one of them.
This cookbook is legit. If you love Asian food, this cookbook is for you. From staples like Asian sauce recipes to some of your Asian favorites like Kung Pao Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, Fried Rice, Singapore Rice Noodles, Pot Stickers and Vietnamese Summer Rolls, it’s all in here. And I personally love that the Korean Beef Bites made it on the cover of her book. Woot woot! I think this cookbook makes Asian food and cooking approachable and non-intimidating, especially for those who might be new to the idea of Asian food.
We had a list of recipes we could choose from, which was helpful because I want to make like 30 recipes in this cookbook. I ended up with Mapo Tofu, which for me, is a staple in Asian food. A really good Mapo Tofu dish is a wonderful combination of flavorful and spicy. And Jaden’s recipe does not disappoint. When I made this, I made a spicy and a non-spicy version (for the kids). The non-spicy version is photographed in this post.
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- ½ onion, diced
- ¼ pound ground turkey, chicken lean ground beef or pork
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 14 oz firm tofu, diced
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or other thickener of your choice)
- 1 green onion, chopped
- Hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha Sauce or Jaden's Sriracha Sauce (pg 42 in cookbook)
- Heat a saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl in the oil, add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until onion is softened and translucent. Add the meat and use your spatula to stir and break up.
- When the meat begins to lose its pink color, add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and oyster sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the tofu and peas and carrots. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Stir this mixture into the pan and let cook for 2 minutes longer. Stir in the green onions and season with the hot sauce, to taste. Serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites by Jaden Hair, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
Join the Sunday Supper Team along with Jaden Hair today, Sunday, at 7pm EST on Twitter, just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag. We are giving away 20 copies of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook. You don’t want to miss today’s #SundaySupper Event!
Here is the list of #SundaySupper Contributors who will be giving away a copy of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook and the recipes they are sharing from Jaden’s cookbook:
Tofu-Mushroom Miso Soup
Crispy Rice Patties
Thai Larb Lettuce Chicken Cups
Sake Steamed Mussels
Salmon Honey Teriyaki
Korean Beef Bites
We are sharing more Steamy Kitchen inspired recipes. The following Sunday Supper Contributors are joining us with some of their favorite recipes from the Steamy Kitchen website:
- Kung Pao Chicken by Cravings of a Lunatic
- Prime Rib Roast with Miso au jus by The Urban Mrs.
- Kickin’ Tequila Shrimp by Gourmet Drizzles
- Korean Beef Rice Bowl by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Pan Fried Shrimp and Pork Fried Potstickers by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Shrimp Curry by Ninja Baking
To Enter the Giveaway!
You must do both, #1 and #2, to have an eligible entry:
1. Tell me what your favorite Asian dish is in a comment below – AND – with your Twitter handle in the comment. Your comment must be posted by 8pm Eastern time today (Sunday, March 10, 2013).
2. Join in the conversation during the live #SundaySupper chat on Twitter from 7 to 8pm EST today (Sunday, March 10, 2013). Your tweet(s) must contain the #SundaySupper hashtag.
The winner will be chosen randomly from the eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email. Note: Giveaway open for United States residents only. Contest ends on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 8pm EST.
I was provided with a copy of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites cookbook for my review. All opinions are my own.