101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: Discover a New World of Flavors in Authentic Recipes

101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: Discover a New World of Flavors in Authentic Recipes

by Jet Tila

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Named one of the Top 10 Cookbooks of 2017 by the Los Angeles Times!

Authentic Asian Cooking Made Simple for Everyone

Jet Tila knows a thing or two about authentic Asian cuisine. From a kid growing up in LA in a Thai and Chinese family to a prominent chef, restaurant owner and judge on Cutthroat Kitchen, he brings his years of experience and hard-earned knowledge together in this breakthrough book. Step inside Jet’s kitchen and learn the secrets to making your favorite Asian dishes taste better than takeout. Here are some of the recipes you’ll learn to master:

-Korean BBQ Short Ribs on Coke
-Jet’s Famous Drunken Noodles
-Beef Pho
-Miso Roasted Black Cod
-Panang Beef Curry
-Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich
-Sweet Chili Sriracha Hot Wings

And if you haven’t made your own Sriracha yet, Jet’s killer recipe will change your life. All in all, you get Jet’s 101 best Asian recipes to impress your friends and family, not to mention all sorts of chef-y tips on flavor, technique, history and ingredients that will make you a better cook. Time to kick ass with your wok, Jet Tila–style!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624144035
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 57,898
File size: 239 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Jet Tila is a chef and media personality who has combined his unique and diverse upbringing with formal culinary school training to get to the roots of the most iconic Asian dishes in the Western world. He is Chef Partner of three Thai restaurants. As far as TV goes, he has competed on Iron Chef America, he’s appeared on Chopped and The Best Thing I Ever Ate and he’s currently a judge on Cutthroat Kitchen. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Read an Excerpt




Yo, don't let that wok scare you into thinking you can't kick its ass! It's a pan, same as the skillet that you've cooked in a thousand times. The only difference is its shape. It's a little deeper, with a rounded bottom sometimes, but that's it. All the principles are the same. You cut your meat and veggies, you prep your seasonings, you get it hot, you add oil and you cook everything until cooked through. And you don't really even need an Asian wok! You have plenty of pans that can do everything a wok can. So cook every recipe in this chapter with a skillet, a fry pan or even a Dutch oven. Actually, a Dutch oven is my favorite wok substitute for the home kitchen. It's heavy with high sides, holds heat amazingly and is flat-bottomed to sit on the stove perfectly.

Remember your yum! Each country tackles the balance of flavor just a little differently. The Chinese all-purpose stir-fry sauce isn't soy sauce, it's oyster sauce. So with Chinese dishes like lo mein, your base sauce will always be oyster sauce. Then add a "plus one" like chili garlic sauce, and you've made Kung Pao. With Thai and Vietnamese dishes like pad Thai and Shaking Beef, your base sauce will always be fish sauce. With Japanese and Korean dishes, your base sauce will be soy sauce. If you know your seasoning starting points with each cuisine, you are on your way to authentic flavors.

Besides seasoning, your other fundamentals are prep and heat control. I'll give you tips in each recipe that will make that recipe awesome. And picking up each tip and practicing will soon make you a black belt in wok cooking. Think about each recipe with its tricks like Daniel-son learning a task from Mr. Miyagi, and soon you'll realize your wok kung fu will start to get amazing. Wok cooking is just like martial arts; anyone can throw a punch or a kick, but the more you do it and understand the nuances, the more your cooking and knowledge improve. And soon you will be beating the shit out of any wok recipes that come your way!


This is one of the most popular street food dishes in Thailand. It's also a technique, kind of like calling something an omelet. An omelet is always egg-based, but you can change the fillings. The base of this dish is always Thai basil, garlic, chilies, bell peppers and onions, but you can switch out the proteins as desired.


3 tbsp (45 ml) sweet soy sauce
Combine the sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and chili paste in a small bowl and reserve.

Heat your wok or large skillet over high heat and add the vegetable oil. When wisps of white smoke appear, add the garlic and chilies. Cook them until the garlic starts to brown, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the ground beef, flatten against the pan and cook undisturbed for about 45 seconds. The beef will start to brown; turn over once, press flat against the pan and cook for another 30 seconds. Break up the meat into gravel-sized pieces and drain any excess liquid.

Stir in the onion and bell pepper and stir-fry for about a minute. Add the reserved sauce to the wok and combine the ingredients thoroughly for about 1 minute. Add the Thai basil and cook until the beef is thoroughly cooked and onions are slightly tender. Finish with white pepper.


This is a recipe my family has been serving for 40 years and I've put on every menu I've ever written. I think fried rice is the perfect food. In one plate you get rice, protein, veg and aromatics. What else could you wish for? This is a perfect example of Thai fried rice versus Chinese. Fish sauce is the primary salt, no eggs are used and it's a more wet style of fried rice.


1 large pineapple
Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise and carve out the middle to create a bowl. Cut about 1 cup (165 g) of pineapple pieces into medium dice and reserve for making the fried rice.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil for about a minute or until wisps of white smoke appear. Add the dried shrimp, garlic, shallots, ginger and Chinese sausage and cook, stirring constantly, until the sausage starts to crisp, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp and cook until the shrimp starts to turn pink, about 1 minute. Fold in the rice, making sure not to break the rice grains. Stir pushing down with the flat side of the spatula in small circular motions. This will separate the grains without breaking them. Cook for an additional minute until the rice starts to get hot.

Stir in the fish sauce, soybean sauce, sugar and curry powder. Continue to stir it for another minute until well combined. Fold in the reserved pineapple and incorporate it well for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Fold in the green onions and white pepper. Transfer the fried rice into the halved pineapple. Garnish with some fresh cilantro.


Fried rice will always be one of my favorite dishes. It was the first dish that my grandmother taught me to make. It's deceptively simple, one of the toughest dishes to make well. Also known as Yangzhou fried rice, from the province of the same name, there are two classic versions. "Silver-covered Gold" technique is cooking the egg first until cooked then tossing in the rice and ingredients after. This is how my grandmother made it when I was a kid. As my career blossomed and I cooked with some masters while in Vegas, I learned the "Gold-covered Silver" technique, where you surround the rice in wet egg and cook it together. I realized this makes the rice light, fluffy and amazing. This dish is the perfect metaphor for my career.


2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil
In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over high heat until a wisp of white smoke appears. Pour in the eggs and add the rice immediately. Using a wide silicone spatula or wooden spatula, work the rice into the egg in circular motions, making sure not to break the rice grains.

After about 30 seconds, the egg will start to coagulate and surround the rice. Add the pork and shrimp and cook until shrimp are almost cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Keep scraping the pan and folding the rice back into the middle.

Add the salt, soy sauce, bouillon, oyster sauce and sugar. Work all the seasonings into the rice until the color is uniform, about 1 minute. Don't be afraid to scrape egg or rice bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the rice absorbs the sauces and egg but is still fluffy and moist, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle on green onions and white pepper and work them gently into the fried rice. Serve immediately.


The perfect Asian pub night is multiple rounds of beers, some great dumplings or pork belly buns and a giant plate of Kimchi Fried Rice. The sour and savory flavors of this rich rice are perfect to pair with cold beer. I like using short-grain rice for this because it's extra chewy and pillowy. Short-grain rice is what sushi rice is made from. You'll find kimchi rice in a lot of Japanese pubs, also known as Izakaya.


2 tbsp (30 ml) cooking oil
In a large skillet, heat the oils until a wisp of white smoke appears. Add the eggs and lightly scramble them until just set, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook until the onion is translucent, about 1 minute. Fold in the rice and kimchi, pressing down in small circles to separate the rice grains.

Add the salt, soy sauce and sugar. Continue to fold the rice for about 1 to 2 minutes. Don't be afraid to scrape the rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook it for about 1 more minute until the rice absorbs the sauces and is slightly crisp on the edges.

Fold in the green onions and white pepper, cook for an additional minute. Serve immediately.


Kung Pao originated from southwest China and is pretty popular in the States. The classic version has peanuts, but I like substituting cashews for their crunch and flavor. A pinch of ground Szechuan peppercorn powder is traditional. Add it if you have it, but you'll be fine without it! Also, you can substitute any meat, seafood or tofu for the shrimp.


2 tbsp (30 ml) Chinese chili garlic sauce, more if you like it hot
In a small bowl, combine the chili garlic sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, chicken stock and cornstarch slurry and set aside.

Heat a large sauté pan or wok over high heat for about a minute. When you see the first wisps of white smoke, swirl in the oil, garlic and chilies. Stir and scrape until the garlic is light brown, about 30 seconds.

Toss the shrimp into the pan and stir constantly until the shrimp just starts to turn pink and everything starts to smell amazing, about 1 more minute. Stir in the vegetables and nuts, and cook for about a minute, until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add the sauce, Szechuan peppercorn powder, pinch of pepper, and stir everything in the pan together until the sauce coats the shrimp and thickens. Cook for an additional minute or until the shrimp are cooked through.

Sprinkle in the green onions, give it a good stir, and enjoy.


This is another American-born Chinese dish that is part of our wok vocabulary. I will always firmly believe that dishes, like Mongolian beef and California roll, that were born in the States are authentic dishes. The secret to tender meat in the wok is the marinade. You will see this in many of my recipes. Baking soda tenderizes the meat, cornstarch and water create a slurry that brings in the baking soda and oil pre-lubricates the meat and keeps us from using too much oil in the wok.



1 ½ lb (750 g) flank steak, trimmed

1 tsp minced garlic

3 tbsp (45 ml) vegetable oil
Slice the flank steak across the grain into ¾-inch (19 mm)-thick slices on an angle to make planks then cut the planks into ¾-inch (19 mm) cubes. Place the steak in a shallow bowl and add the baking soda, salt, cornstarch, water and vegetable oil. Massage all the ingredients into the meat. Set it aside until ready to use, or you can cover and refrigerate for a few days.

Combine all sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat the oil to medium high in a wok or medium sauté pan, and sauté the garlic until light brown. Stir in the beef and allow to cook undisturbed for about 30 seconds. Stir and scrape the pan and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir in all the vegetables and let them cook for about 2 minutes, until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add the sauce, stir constantly and let it cook for about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Stir in the sliced green onions and serve.


This is my version of the classic Vietnamese dish. The shaking is what you are doing to the pan while cooking. It's the motion of moving the pan back and forth to marry the beef with the sticky, sweet, salty sauce. Maggi is a branded sauce that's widely available. It's basically a soy sauce fortified with sugar and other seasonings. If you can't find it, you can use any soy sauce.


2 lb (900 g) boneless beef sirloin, tenderloin or rib eye, cut into 1" (2.5-cm) cubes
In a bowl, combine the beef, half of the garlic, fish sauce, Maggi and sugar. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for about half an hour. It's a good idea to turn your hood fan on as this dish will smoke a bit.

Preheat a wok or large skillet over high heat for about 2 minutes. When hot, pour in the vegetable oil. The pan will start to smoke, immediately pour in the marinade and beef AWAY from you to avoid oil splatter. Start to move the pan back and forth to keep the beef searing and moving. Add the remaining half of the minced garlic and keep moving until the beef is seared on all sides but still medium rare, about 1 minute. Drop in the butter and shake for another minute to finish. The butter will melt and combine with all the delicious juices in the pan and make a phenomenal pan sauce!

Platter the beef and all the pan sauce, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Serve with crusty bread to sop up all that deliciousness.


Excerpted from "101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die"
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Copyright © 2017 Jet Tila.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
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Table of Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Foreword by Alton Brown,
Intro: A Kid from LA,
What Is Yum: Breaking Down the Yum Philosophy of Asian Kitchens,
Some Notes on Shopping and Ingredients,
About the Author,

Customer Reviews