YUM! Americans use this word a lot, but do we know what the word really means? I didn’t until Chef Jet Tila taught me, “Yum is a Thai word that translates to the perfect balance between spicy, sour, salty, sweet and savory.” How cool is that, and how appropriate, right?
Every dish in Chef’s 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Diewill make you say, “mmmm, Yum! Thank you Chef Jet.” I promise. Chef’s writing style, 101’s layout, fonts, colors, photography, and tips will appeal to men who like to cook in the kitchen and on the grill. Women will like it too, but I just have to focus on the men. After reviewing many cookbooks, this one seems particularly right for guys especially the “Rock the Wok,” and “Grilling, Roasting and More Meat” chapters. And, once the first 2 chapters are conquered, I bet men move on to the sassy food-truck-like Korean Short Rib Tacos and a make platter full of Tandoori Chicken for games and movie night.
If your man, brother, or roommate is playing with cooking, get him this cookbook plus a WOK and reap the rewards. Roll-up your sleeves, prepare the ingredients together, and see how much fun team-cooking Asian food can be. Have kids? Make shopping a treasure-hunt for the special ingredients and chop-sticks, then, have your helpers prepare, clean-up, and enjoy the Yum you make together. Novice chop-stick users can find instructions on-line.
Pad Thai? Love it. Chef says pad Thai is a little tricky but once you make it a few times, you’ll be a happy camper and ready to cook your way through 101’s“My Favorite Noodle Dishes” serving phos, lo mein, glass and yes, even Drunken Noodles (rumor has it these are the cure for a hangover.) Going on to soups and curries you’ll find a special tip on how to utilize those cans of coconut milk. Then there are salads, dumpling recipes, and who doesn’t love crab rangoon’s? You know, those delicious, can’t-get-enough-of-them fried cream cheese crab starish shaped pop-in-your-mouth bites when you get take-out. Well, now you can make as many as you want. And, how about a Homemade Instant Chai Tea Mix? I tell you, this cookbook just doesn’t stop. Did I mention Tempura? Well, it’s a secret recipe, at least it should be — who knew about the ice water and cornstarch?
Imagine having all these proven recipes, 101 to be exact, in a stylish paperback or e-book. And, to complete the Asian experience, Chef includes a chapter covering essential “Sauces and Dippers” — that’s right: Sriracha, Peanut, Teriyaki, even Gochujang which I recently needed and could not find anywhere. With the bazillion recipes on-line, I’m finding I prefer not to waste my time making something that turns out not exactly right. It seems people are tweaking recipes to make them their own without taste testing or verifying their recipe’s measures or ingredients. It’s worth my time and money to get a real-deal professional’s cookbook. My thanks to Chef Jet Tilafor bringing together this collection of delicious recipes, for sharing your expertise and teaching us exactly how to create the Yum.