EAST COUNTY — East County food blogger Jaden Hair is at it again.
Six years and 120,000 Twitter followers after creating SteamyKitchen.com, Hair is releasing her second book, “Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites,” Feb. 5. The 240-page book includes 100 recipes will full-color photographs. Featured recipes include tofu-mushroom miso soup, Thai larb chicken lettuce cups and mango brulee. Books can be pre-ordered through her website.
“This book really is meant to be refreshing and light,” Hair says, noting recipes are designed to showcase the flavor of the ingredients.
Hair says healthy eating comes in four parts: using less meat, using less gluten, improving cooking techniques and minimizing sauces.
“This is how we normally cook authentic (Asian cuisine),” Hair says. “(For the traditional American dinner), a family of four, each person would have a grilled chicken breast. In Asia, one chicken breast can feed four people. You cut it thin. You still get all the flavor, but the meat is not the focus.”
Hair says her book also focuses on Asian family-style dining, in which family members and friends cook together or make several larger dishes to share with one another.
“The act of sharing all the food around the table — that’s part of the experience for you,” she says. “It’s all communal eating, communal cooking. You lay out all the ingredients (and cook together). It’s so much more fun.
“There’s a big difference between sharing a meal and just eating,” she says. “That’s what I try to highlight in the book.”
Desserts are downplayed in “Healthy Asian Favorites.” Sweets, in the Asian culture, typically are enjoyed during an afternoon tea. Families enjoy tea or fruit together after dinner, and those items are the “desserts” of choice in her new cookbook.
Hair spent about one year developing the new book, which features all new recipes.
The homegrown chef has also been working on her blog, SteamyKitchen.com, which has reached about
6 million page views. Hair has begun posting videos about each new recipe she shares on her website, to help aspiring chefs not only want to make the recipe, but for them to better understand how to make it. Each video is less than three minutes and includes tips for making that particular recipe.
“People want to find the best recipe for a dish,” Hair says. “My job is to create the very best recipes.”
Contact Pam Eubanks at peubanks at yourobserver.com.
‘Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites’
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Available at: Random House, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore and Google Books
On sale: Starting Feb. 5
+ Cooking up self-sufficiency
At her East County home, Jaden Hair and her family have a desire to become self-sufficient when it comes to food. Besides having a garden, Hair and her husband, Scott, are currently working on building an aquaponics system. The raised-bed garden system connects a garden bed with a working fish tank. Nutrients from the fish waste fertilize the plants; in turn, the plants filter the water in the fish tank.
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