2008: The Year of Steamy Kitchen?

I am sooo bad about keeping secrets. It’s just way too stressful to remember what I can say and can’t, to whom and in what situation, you know? I don’t want the responsibility of keeping a secret, as I’d much rather use that energy for doing more useful things, like this.

Cuz here’s the deal. Secrets take up brian space. The thousands upon thousands of secrets that I’ve kept since I was 4 years old are still in my head. Seriously, I’m running out of room in my brain for any more secrets to add to my repertoire. My brain is dangerously close to running out of virtual memory and either I need to reallocate brain cells (just delete my stupid superhuman skills) or get a brain transplant, preferably from someone with an IQ greater than 73 and with social skills higher than an ovulating hyena.

But dear friends and family, DO NOT ask me if I want to hear about a secret. Because my other quirk, called INSANELY CURIOUS, trumps all.

Recently, with all the non-disclosure contracts that I’ve had to sign for possible Steamy Kitchen business deals, my brain has gone into virtual brain dump mode and have been using the blog as my outlet. I’ve had to come online at 3am, write a post, dishing out all the dirty details and publish. Then I quickly delete it.

Urge, fixed.

Until I forget that the rest of the world doesn’t live in my time zone. The ungodly hour of 3am Monday morning is 10am Monday morning somewhere in the world, the ideal time for cyberslacking at work, which, by the way is done by 75% of the American workforce, costing us something like $170 billion annually. I’d be curious what percentage makes up blog-whoring. WOOHOO! Go bloggers!

So, in this coming year, I’m going to play a bit more on this blog, expanding my posts outside of just recipes. Because with this (AHEM) new cookbook deal in the works, I won’t be able to post as many Modern Asian recipes as I’ve had in the past.

OKOKOK!!! I can’t stand it! I’m letting it out.

YES ! I’m working on a Steamy Kitchen Cookbook! Oh, I’ve debated back and forth on whether or not to tell you. Buddha (and the cyberslackers in Istanbul and Ciaro ) only knows how many times I’ve published the announcement and then hit delete. Because it’s not a totally done done deal yet. I was contacted directly by a publishing house, got an offer and they are waiting for my list of recipes that will be attached to The Contract.

But I’m close.


<– heehee! just kidding. Giada’s entire body weighs as much as my left leg.btw, if you must know, that is my Fresh Lemongrass Ginger Ale and a Firecracker Shrimp in Giada’s hands.

Those who are superstitious say that I shouldn’t mention anything at all until the ink is dry, just in case the deal doesn’t go through and I’m left embarrassed, telling all that it’s not going to happen. Weeelllll, yeah, I guess that would be awkward in a Clark Griswold Christmas Vacation kind of way.

But then if I’m not honest and treat you all like my close friends, what’s the point of blogging? Dammit, your boss pays you good money to come visit Steamy Kitchen at work. The least I could do is contibute to society in a n open and meaningful way. And hey, if the book deal doesn’t go through, you will still be my friend, right? hello?? right??!?

2008 will be a fantabulous year for me.

I just know it. As my friend, Jeff, said, “2008 will be the Year of Steamy Kitchen,” and I totally believe him coz 2008 is the Year of the Rat. And guess what….I was born in the Year of the Rat! Plus, my birthday will be 8/8/08 (the number 8 is the most auspicious number for Chinese). See, I’m superstitious when it’s conveniently in my favor!

So, my biggest dilemma is how to keep up blogging AND writing a cookbook? Because, like, I’m wrestling with each new recipe...for the blog…or for the book?

Let me ask you, what kind of recipes would you like to see in a Steamy Kitchen cookbook? Ideas? Thoughts? What kind of cookbook would you want buy? Hurry! I only have a few more days before my recipe list gets submitted!

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Comments 92

  1. Dan

    I’m thinking if you sneak a Spam recipe into the Steamy Kitchen cook book, you would totally rule the universe.

  2. Lilie

    Congrats!! Sounds like 2008 will be a super year for you. I would like to see a nice mix of some traditional Asian receipes and then some with a Western influence. I have a receipe book that has receipes in both Chinese & English but its more like a Chinese book that was translated into English. The receipes have lost something in the translation. I don’t have much time or an Asian store close by so I tend to think about that when I buy a receipe book.

  3. Elaine

    Oh ideas *blushes for not reading the post in its entirety*

    Remember the time when u said you dug out so many family culinary secrets from your multi-ethnic exes? Man, this would be a good time to put all that secrets into a book! πŸ˜€

  4. Frank

    I always jinx myself when I tell people about what’s
    “about to happen.” I hope your luck is better than

    Congrats on the impending book deal, Jaden.


  5. JanG

    I’ll have my name on Amazon’s waiting list as soon as you blog a title. When I can find the ingredients, your recipes work beautifully every time. Put a lot of stuff like Firecracker Shrimp in the book for those of us who try to impress guests with a little something simple but good.

  6. Little Corner of Mine

    Congrats Jaden! 2008 is definitely your year, so many 8, how can you be not “fatt”?

    Some traditional Asian recipes, some modern twist Asian recipes and of course less than 30 minutes easy Asian recipes would be great.

  7. dp


    I can only speak for myself, but I find that I don’t often go searching for past recipes. I mostly get inspiration from current posts. My point is, you could probably still include some recipes from pasts posts and they will probably be new again. Whatever you include, they will surely be inspiring.

  8. Mer

    Congratulations! That’s great.

    I think you should include your best recipes, whether or not they’ve been featured on your blog. My husband and I pay good money for the book format of our favorite online comics… it is just nice sometimes to hold it in your hand nicely bound. :0) And lend it to friends, or give it as a present… you get the idea.

    But if the contract says they can’t have appeared here first, then I don’t know what to tell you. Go with your gut.

    Meanwhile, you could post sourdough recipes here while your preparing all your best asian recipes for print. (Any chance?) ;0)

  9. Lyrical Lemongrass

    Congratulations on your book deal. Yes, I am one of those slackers who reads your blog while charging my client a whole bunch of money based on my hourly rate.

    Happy 2008!!

  10. Melinda

    Frankly, I am not surprised. I saw your talent ages ago! What took them so long?
    I’m happy to have a collection of recipes from the blog and would love to have anything you decide is worthy to make.
    Well done. Here’s to the year of the rat and you Jaden. Cheers!

  11. The Big Guy

    Hi Jaden-
    Greetings from the Frozen North…

    Suggestions for the Cookbook…
    Dim sum… Maybe some shortcuts and adaptations for different fillings, wrappers, etc. Especially shu mai and potstickers…
    Some of your sauces too!
    I have a particular affinity for Hunan cuisine…
    Hunan spareribs? Lots of chilis, cumin ,garlic and other spices? Eggplant too!

    As for 8/8/08…
    Another event for that date- That is the day of opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics.
    (Thus, I shall not be able to attend the big Shindig for your b-day. But I will indulge in some local tastiness in your honor…)

    take care-


  12. Tim Seldin

    I’ll throw myy congratulations in as well. If you can write a cookbook with the style and humor of the blog, tossed in with your terrific recipes, hints, and photos, you’ll be the next barefoot countess.

    There are so many things we would all like to see, but here are two suggestions from my section of the peanut gallery:

    a killer receipe for a terrific Vientnamese style noodle soup, Pho, that would appeal to busy American cooks longing for a variation on Mom’s chicken soup.

    and second, some of your recipes for dim sum.

    I assume the book will be ecclectic – a cross section of many Asian cuisines. If so, I would include some off your wildest and tastiest sushi rolls, some buckwheat soba noodle dishes, one of more of your terrific curries, your hot pot meal, a few of the classic korean bar-b-ques, korean pancake with scallion and seafood, your Indonesian coconut shrimp, the roll ups, some non-curry modern variations on Indian dishes, of course sate with spicy peanut sauce, and some sort of highly flavored crispy (as opposed to drenched in sauce) dished featuring chicken, pork, etc from southern China.

    Truly, I think we all have confidence that you will surprise and delight us with things we never imagine. We will all buy it and tell our friends.

  13. Barbarainnc

    I’d like to see all kinds of appetizers and dim sum/potstickers. Pictures to show how to form the dim sum/potstickers. Fried Rice recipes, your mom’s eggrolls, different types of sauces. Beef and Chicken dishes. I love your site and I would buy your cookbook. I have 15 bookcases full of cookbooks and would be honored to add yours to my collection. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  14. joanne

    Wait, you said your birthday will be… Does that mean you follow the lunar calendar, or were you lucky to have your birthday fall upon this auspicious western date? My dad celebrates his birthday by the lunar calendar. I never know when that date is, and it gets tiring trying to figure it out for a 73 year old man. My mom has an even crazier one. She set her birthdate by western calendar. Otherwise, her birthday is rarer than leap years. She was born on the second July. Going by the lunar calendar she is only 2. Try being a grandmother and driving while only considered a minor! Ha! May you have a fantastic 2008 from one rat to another!

    I can’t wait for the cookbook. I’ll be on the waitlist too!

  15. Suji

    I don’t care. I see a book published by you – i am buying it.. just make sure the title says steamy recipes from steamy kitchen ;);)

    All the simple and delicious dishes you have been posting ill do for me πŸ™‚

  16. TBC

    Congratulations, Jaden!!
    The “Everyday Asian” cover is brilliant! πŸ™‚
    I think 2008 is going to be the year of “the Jaden” πŸ˜‰

  17. Grifola frondosa

    Jaden- Why all the angst?
    In the publishing biz this is called promotion.

    Congratulations on becoming an author.

    We’ve been waiting for the cookbook and I’m wondering if we will see you beating the competition on The Next Food Network Star show in ’08. Why not?

    As far as recipes, I’d like to see anything different from the same-o, same-o asian recipes.

    If it ain’t broke… fast, delicious, approachable recipes works everytime.
    There’s nothing better than a recipe that the reader says “Hey, I can make that” and have it turn out successful.

    We can’t wait to see what unfolds the rest of the year.

    Joyce Chen – move over, there’s a new girl in town !

  18. Pomai

    Congratulations on your “ahem” new cook book deal!

    Jaden, have you ever been to Hawaii? We have TONS of asian-slash-fusion cook books by local celebrity chefs, food columnists and others. In fact, I’ll post that in an upcoming entry over at my Tasty Island blog.

    I’m so stoked you came over to visit me there! Oh, and that Pancake-battered fish ‘n chips really is ono (delicious in Hawaiian), and simple, but make sure you get your oil temperature correct or it will go from “GBD” to burnt quickly.

    And yeah, you should enter for the “Next Food Network Star” competition. Based on those videos, you’re a natural on camera. Attractive, eloquent and spontaneous, and most importanty, REAL. Not fake like so many we’ve seen in that competition. Look out Guy Fieri, here comes Jaden!

  19. Cenk

    Wow! Congratulations! This is so exciting. I am sure you’ll choose a wonderful selection of recipes. My only suggestion would be to include as many photos as possible. Can’t wait to open the cover of yet another fellow blogger’s cookbook! Cheers..

  20. Raquita

    I am sooo proud of you!!!! (the cookbook photoshop made me giggle ) It almost feels like me only its you!!!

    The scallops with the vanilla you just put up – must go in !!!

    I like a cook book that looks fun and doesn’t take its self or food too seriously, – that has a great time cooking. chefs like that rock!!you will totally be great at this! just be yourself in the writing! if you shine through you’ll be on food network with your own show by the end of the year, and this book will be a top seller!

  21. Siri

    Congratulations Jaden..:).. If you ask me, what kind cookbook I am looking for, it must have more of Asian flavor of both sweet and savories – spicy, soothing recipes with some gorgeous pics. Oh, also if you cud add some tidbits about whats the speciality of the dish, cute anecdotes.. hmmm what else.. substitutions for veggie lovers.

    Have fantabulous 2008 dear!

    ~ Siri

  22. Sharon

    I also thought about Food Network competition for you, but.. like someone else mentioned, You may be too wonderful already. Like, no contest.. yanno? About the cookbook, I would STUFF it with wit!! Your recipes are sublime, but lemme tell ya..I rarely buy cookbooks any longer. Why should I? Just being an advocating devil here… If I want a specific recipe, Google is for me. However, if I want INSPIRATION, a fabulous food blog does it! I do still buy books, and I buy them to be entertained. And! I buy them to give to my friends and family. READ THIS! Your style would hook me into paying money for the recipes in your book. Am I making any sense here?

  23. Mary Betz-Saito

    8/8/8!! Good joss!

    Really looking forward to this cookbook. Your recipes are so ‘do-able’ and taste great.

    The other poster’s ideas for Pho and pan-Asian recipes rock too. If not in the cookbook–how about Pho recipe here? Please?

  24. Nate 2.0


    Your cookbook cover really cracked me up. I did a double-take when I saw your face on Giada’s body.

    2008 will be your year, for sure. Sounds like your life will kick into overdrive. Just don’t forget us little people πŸ™‚

    As far as Steamy Kitchen Cookbook recipes, I’d be interested in seeing steamed or grilled fish recipes. Take a catfish or tilapia fillet and give it different treatments from different Asian cuisines.

  25. Kat

    2008 will definitely be delicious for you! Congratulations on the book deal, can’t wait to see the finished product. Happy New Year!

  26. Lisa (Homesick Texan)

    Congrats! I’m running out of space in my apartment, but I think I’ll place your cookbook in the slot currently occupied by the seldom-used (OK, like, never) Tofu Cookbook. I can’t wait to see your book!

  27. Sig

    Steamykitchen cookbook? Where do I sign up? πŸ™‚ I would buy your book just for the beautiful pics and the recipes, but I will pay double if you add your witty anecdotes to preface each recipe…

    Happy 2008 Jaden…

  28. Wicked Good Dinner

    Oh, WOW, Congratulations!!! I’m so beyond THRILLED for you [jumping up and down!!] How absolutely exciting! No wonder you’re up at 3 a.m. I wouldn’t be able to sleep either.

  29. Jacquie

    Oh my gosh! Congratulations!!!! That is wonderful. You’re livin the dream πŸ™‚ Haha.

    I will definitely be on the waitlist for the book as well~

  30. Kitt

    Very cool! Congratulations!

    You haven’t posted a recipe for Eight Treasures Rice, but surely it should be included.

  31. veron

    Congratulations my friend!!! Ha, didn’t I guess it the second time :). Can I be a recipe tester? I suck at cooking Asian Food, so if I can cook your recipe, then you’ll be sure it works ;)!

  32. Lane Johnson


    The best I can say when it comes to what to include in your new cookbook is *trust your instincts*. It is, after all, what got you this far, and will take you much farther.

    It’s all about creating meals that can be made by the rest of us, in a hectic, busy world, filled with kids who need cuddling, evening meetings and everything else that keeps us all from being Martha Stewart.

    Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  33. Zenchef

    Congratulations Jaden! I have no doubt 2008 will be the year of steamy kitchen, you can put recipes for instant ramen in your cookbook and i will still buy it!

    Happy New Year to you! πŸ™‚

    *Will you pose for Playboy in 2009?*

  34. jamie anne

    Happy New Year Jaden!
    May 2008 be full of blessings, SPAM and maybe more babies?!?!? hahahaha!

    as for the cookbook, i’d think some recipes that are inherently Chinese, the ones that we aren’t going to see in B-rated chinese restaurants…
    you know, HOME-COOKED chinese food? ‘cos i’ve realized that “homey” food is never the same as “restaurant” food.

  35. Cynthia


    I have some tips and things about Asian cooking that I would love to know and see in your cookbook. Will email you before the end of the day about them.

    You are my hero(ine) (lol)

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