Top positive review
Throw out all your other Asian cookbooks! This is the only one you need!!
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2017
*I've updated my review since I originally published it. I first wrote the review 3 days after I received the book and had only made a few recipes. Now I've cooked my way 1/3 of the way through! My glowing 5-star review remains the same.*
I’m a major Asian food snob (or at least I like to think I am) – I used to live in South Korea and spent a year travelling Asia. I also own so many cookbooks that I have to hide Amazon packages from my boyfriend so he won’t see I bought another cookbook. :) I pre-ordered this book because I just love Jet Tila! I watch him on Cutthroat Kitchen, I follow him on Instagram, and I watch his AWESOME Facebook Live cooking demos. This book basically covers most of Asia (Thai food, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, India, etc) – and Jet is one of the few chefs I trust to be able to pull off a whole continent. I did not need another cookbook (especially Asian food.. I own every Korean cookbook written in the last 15 years & about 25 other Asian cookbooks..), but this book is just stellar & we’ve had Jet’s recipes for dinner 3 nights in a row now!
The typical cookbook has only a couple recipes that sound good & I may make 1 or 2 things out of the entire book. Looking through this book, EVERY SINGLE recipe sounds delicious! “Oh, I should make that! Oh, I bet we have the ingredients for that. Ohhh, maybe I’ll make that! Oh, that looks good!!” I’ve read the book cover-to-cover, and I just love Jet’s comments and pointers on each recipe & the abundance of pictures.
So far, I’ve made Korean spicy grilled chicken, Pad Thai, and panang chicken curry. All 3 recipes turned out spectacularly! The Korean chicken was perfectly balanced sweet & spicy, just as I remember from Korea. I’ve made pad thai twice in the past, and it’s SUCH a hassle & mine always has turned out a little mushy and oddly thick. This recipe is written in a far more approachable way vs. the unnecessarily complicated recipes I’ve attempted to follow in the past. Jet’s tips on when you the noodles are done with their soak, when they’re done being stir-fried, and when you add the sauce to finish were all key for making the perfect dish. I was so impressed! Neat to read Jet’s family was one of the first to bring Pad Thai to America 40 years ago.
I received this book in the mail on a work day, so I’m looking forward grocery shopping this weekend to stock my pantry, so I can make things other than just the chicken recipes. I love that there are no wacky, impossible-to-find ingredients in this book. No special trips to Asia required to find some sauce they only make it a little village in the middle of nowhere.. I live in the boonies of Northern California & every ingredient is wildly available in our grocery store or the little Asian market.
I’m obsessed with Thai sticky rice, so I’m excited about the straight-forward instructions on how to make it! I’ve looked online in the past & it always seemed too complicated. Can’t wait to make the sticky rice & then to Jet’s mango sticky rice. YUM. The coconut chicken soup sounds delicious, Jet’s famous drunken noodles, as well as miso roasted cod – I always buy cod and never know what to do with it. I could go on & on about which recipes I'm excited to make, but then I will have listed everything in the book...
This is a very non-intimidating, yet wonderfully authentic cookbook everyone should own. I’m going to see how many nights in a row I can make dinner out of this book, but I don’t think I’ll have a problem trying every recipe. 3 nights down, maybe 60 more to go! Go buy this book, it’s awesome!