Bite this Book: Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites

thai chicken

Welcome to Bite This Book! Each month, I feature a cookbook of my choosing, host a Q & A with the author, and then give you a chance to win a copy or two. It’s Bite This Book, good reads on Simple Bites.

When it comes to ethnic foods I am happy to step back and take a few leads from the experts. Jaden Hair is one such individual, and she’s on a mission to make Asian cooking possible for real home cooks.

Her latest cookbook, Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites: 100 Recipes That Are Fast, Fresh, and Simple Enough for Tonight’s Supper, is one I know you will appreciate for its simple techniques and family focused dishes.

Jaden won my family over with her recipe for Healing Chicken Ginger Soup last month when we were on the mend from colds. Then my kids tucked into heaping plates of her Dan Dan Mien – egg noodles with ground turkey, napa cabbage and a killer sauce  – and never looked up until it was finished.

This cookbook in guaranteed to be sticky with fish sauce in no time, and we’ll be all the more versed in our Asian-style dinners. Next up is kimchi!

Read on for an interview with Jaden and a chance to win a copy of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites.

Steamy Kitche's Healthy Asian Favorites

Q & A with Jaden of  Steamy Kitchen

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your cooking style/philosophy.
I am all about keepin’ it simple! One of my general rules about creating recipes is that it has to be easy enough for anyone to follow it at home. My 8 & 9 year old kids are in the kitchen with me all the time, sometimes I’m just the conductor and they’ll take over cooking. I guess if they can do it, anyone can!

2. With this new book you really make Asian food accessible to home cooks and families. Can you suggest a few recipes for the novice to warm up with?

The Asian slaw makes a crunchy salad with a tangy dressing and will change the way you think about slaw forever! I also love the Korean Beef Bites – a simple marinade, quick grill and serve on top of rice crackers. For super-simple, the 5-minute Tofu Miso Soup is a warming way to start or end any meal.

3. What does cooking healthy mean in the Steamy Kitchen?

It means four things:

  • Holding back the high calorie, dense sauces and instead focusing on fresh herbs, fragrant spices.
  • Learning cooking techniques that cut down the use of oils and fats – correct stir frying technique only uses a couple teaspoons of oil to feed four!
  • Using meats sparingly, as in the Asian tradition.
  • Focusing on recipes that are gluten-light or gluten-free.

4. You have a homestead (like us!) where your children name the chickens and pick produce from the garden. How important is it for children to know where real food comes from? What’s next for your homestead?
I always have my kids bring fresh eggs, vegetables, herbs to their classroom to share with their friends. I so wish that schools would offer “Nutrition and Home Ec” classes for their students.

We’ve just started an aquaponics garden with 3 grow beds and 120 koi fish. The system is amazing. Scott is working on automating the aquaponics monitoring – to get it to text him if the temperature or some other factor changes drastically. I love that he’s a geek!
Our next project is to build a greenhouse for the aquaponics garden!

Editor’s note: Thank you Jaden! That aquaponics garden sounds so cool! Thanks for sharing with us. Readers, be sure to watch Jaden’s SUPER cute cookbook trailer starring her sweet family – and the chickens.

korean beef bites

All photos by Jaden Hair.


Thanks to the publishers at Ten Speed Press, we have a copy of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites to giveaway to a lucky reader.

To enter:

To enter this giveaway leave a comment on this post and,  just for fun, tell me an Asian ingredient you have in your kitchen right now!

Remember: If you are reading this post via email, please note that you must enter on the blog post, NOT by replying to the email.

Giveaway ends Sunday, April 7, at 8:00 AM EST. Good luck to all!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Definitely adding this book to my ever growing wishlist! I love Asian food! I always have rice vinegar, sriracha, curry paste and coconut milk on hand.

  2. Wow, where to start? I’ve got furikake, rice vinegar, sticky rice, and recently picked up a bottle of shao hsing wine.

  3. I love Asian food as well! Jaden’s new cookbook sounds awesome and healthy too! I have dried Shitake mushrooms, agar agar and fermented black beans (for making bb sauce). Yumalicious……

  4. Miso paste, curry paste, and soy sauce! Would love to win this!

  5. Amaryllis Right says

    Sesame oil. Rice wine vinegar. Thanks so much!

  6. We use a lot of sesame oil and tamari around here!

  7. Sesame oil, soy sauce, gingerroot, hoisin & fish sauc.e

  8. I have rice vinegar, sriracha, coconut milk and szechuan spicy stir-fry suace.

  9. Amanda Thompson says

    Rice Wine Vinegar, Sesame Oil, Sweet Chili Sauce, Togarashi, and of course, Soy Sauce!

  10. Soy sauce.

  11. Meredith McCloud says

    I stock a lot of Asian ingredients around here but my new favorite are palm sugar balls – pre measured into 1 Tb lumps

  12. Lisa Joy says

    I always have hoisin sauce, hot mustard, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame seed oil in the kitchen. But always looking for new ways to use them with less meat!

  13. This book looks awesome! I have oyster sauce, hoisin, fish sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar currently in my pantry (along with a number of Thai ingredients).

  14. This looks so fabulous! Wow… I have the usual suspects… fish, oyster, soy, sesame sauce, um… kimchee… oh! gochujang!!!!

  15. Hmm, I have a bunch of asian ingredients, but I a really addicted to Sriracha on my scrambled eggs in the morning!

  16. Stephanie says

    We like to add Douchi to our stir-frys.

  17. I have tons of ingredients in my kitchen. Two of the newer additions are kimchi & sweet chilli sauce. The cookbook looks terrific!

  18. My hubby and I love Asian food and this would be such a great help for week nights! I have a random stash of Asian ingredients from a lovely Asian grocery store in Charleston and would love more ideas on how to use them!

  19. Martinique says

    I have rice vinegar in my cabinet along with a few other ingredients, left over from making the delicious dressing served in Japanese restaurants that my husband loves so much. 🙂

  20. Sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce….just waiting to cook some yummy Asian dishes.

  21. Christine says

    Yay thanks! I always have oyster sauce in my fridge for spur of the moment stir fries! It adds great depth to the flavor!

  22. That sounds like such a fabulous cookbook! An Asian ingredient currently in my kitchen: soy sauce. (Standard, I know, but I really lack Asian ingredients!)

  23. This cookbook looks fantastic! My newest acquisitions are kimchi and gochujang, for making bibimbap.

  24. Soy sauce, ginger, frozen edamame, and rice vinegar. The new cookbook sounds yummy!

  25. Christine H says

    Fresh ginger! Just used up my teriyaki sauce, though!….love the idea of this book!

  26. ooh, this looks yummy! Definitely adding this to my amazon wishlist.

    I currently have fish sauce in my fridge so that I can make vietnamese salmon and rice soup! 🙂

  27. Oh, I love Asian cuisine! Looks like a fantastic book 🙂