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Easy Asian recipes

Jennifer Perillo is a mom of two and the food editor at Working Mother. For a peek in her kitchen, visit InJenniesKitchen.com.

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

Jaden Hair, author of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, named after her very popular food blog, has made Asian cooking an accessible endeavor for home cooks who crave the ability to serve authentic Asian dishes. The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook is rich with Asian recipes that highlight the cuisine's ingredients and flavors without the popular fusion twist of many other cookbooks and dishes on Asian restaurant menus. Here are two of Hair's delectable Asian dishes that are easy enough to make for dinner tonight!

Asian Pear Frozen Yogurt

The Steamy Kitchen excites

Hair's approach to cooking has allowed her to preserve her mother's family recipes for a generation of cooks to come…not to mention many Twitter followers (21,000 and counting!). With every Asian recipe and mouthwatering photo, Hair's personality really pops off the page. The home-cook-turned-food-writer makes you hungry and excited to get cooking.

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook covers the essentials, including what tools and ingredients you need to get started in the kitchen cooking delicious yet easy Asian recipes. It whets your appetite without being overwhelming or boring like some other comprehensive books on Asian cooking. On the contrary, Hair's book is approachable, unintimidating and inspires you to get in the kitchen.

Be sure to visit SteamyKitchen.com for Hair's growing archive of easy Asian recipes.

Easy Asian recipes

Sweet and Sour Lychee Meatballs

Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal

The Steamy Kitchen CookbookRecipe adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing (2009).

Sweet and sour sauce:
1/4 cup juice from canned lychees
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 teaspoon salt

For meatballs:
1 pound ground pork
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

For preparation:
1 to 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable cooking oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 green bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 (14-ounce) can lychees, drained (juice reserved for the sauce), halved

Directions:
1. Bring the sweet and sour sauce ingredients to a boil in a saucepan, then let simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

2. Using a big spoon, combine the meatballs ingredients in a bowl. The mixture should be thick and very sticky. If not, add an additional 1 teaspoon of flour. To form the meatballs, put a good handful of the meat onto the palm of your hand and squeeze a ball of meat through your index finger and thumb. You may have to repeat this motion two or three times to shape the ball into a tight, compact and round meatball. Use a small spoon to scrape the meatball off your hand and place on a plate. Try to keep all the meatballs 1-1/2 inches in diameter to make sure they cook evenly.

3. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add just enough cooking oil to thinly coat the pan. When hot, add the meatballs, making sure they do not touch each other. Fry 2 to 3 minutes, rotating the balls so that they become evenly browned. The middle of the meatballs should still be uncooked, as they will finish cooking in the sauce.

4, Add the red and green bell peppers and sliced lychees to the pan. Pour in the sweet and sour sauce and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let simmer over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. You may want to cut into one of the meatballs to check for doneness.

Asian Pear Frozen Yogurt

Makes 1-1/2 pints

Recipe adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing (2009).

Ingredients:
2 large Asian pears
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1-1/2 cups Greek-style plain yogurt,
1/2 cup sugar
Generous pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon crushed pink peppercorns

Directions:
1. Peel and chop the pears into small 1/2-inch chunks. Toss with the lemon juice to prevent browning.

2. In a blender, combine the pears and ginger and puree until smooth. You may have to use a tablespoon of water to get the pears moving.

3. In a large bowl, combine the pear-ginger puree with the yogurt, sugar and salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Churn according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer instructions.

3. Top the frozen yogurt with the crushed pink peppercorns before serving.

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