Calling for Cookbook Recipe Testers!

Vietnamese Pulled Pork Sliders

Vietnamese Pulled Pork Sliders (one of the recipes in my cookbook)

The Steamy Kitchen cookbook is well under way. I’ve been working hard refining my photography skills, such as food styling, composition, lighting and learning how to use my camera beyond just the “automatic” settings. You guys want to hear more about my cookbook?

Periplus/Tuttle is my publisher, they’re responsible for at least 35% of my annual cookbook budget, meaning I already own A LOT of their cookbooks:

Asian Appetizers

Cambodian Cooking Japanese Homestyle Dishes


Interested in recipe testing?

Update: **Hey guys! I’m done with the Steamy Kitchen Cookbook! I’ll be looking for recipe testers when I start book #2….stay tuned…I’ll post when recipe testing begins.**

So anyways, I’m looking for a few recipe testers to help out with….um….recipe testing. The cookbook will be “Modern Asian: fast, fresh and simple enough for tonight’s supper” (yup! just like what my blog header says! It includes 100 recipes + 160 color photographs in a beautiful hardcover book. Nearly every single recipe will include one of my luscious photos! Because I have so many photos, the book won’t be released until next year.

Why so many photos? I don’t know about you, but when I flip through a cookbook and if it doesn’t have photos, I put it back. I’m a very visual person and my brain just naturally gravitates towards eye candy. Which is why I must be blindfolded whenever entering a Sur La Table store. My mind just goes bezerk with sensory overload!

Here’s what recipe testing involves:

  • Testing 3 recipes and providing honest feedback on specifics of the recipe and final dish
  • Submitting a photo of the dish – so that we can all see if it looks even remotely like my version that I had concocted in my kitchen
  • I’m also looking for one organized, sane individual to help manage all the testers and testing feedback

What do you get? Hmmm….how about your name in bright lights in my book? A big hug? An invite to a big massive launch party with lots of famous people and champagne? Ok, still working on the famous people bit, but I AM one degree from Justin Timberlake, one degree from David Beckham and just discovered last week that I’m one degree from Mario Batali!!! My one degree is heading to NY to visit cousin Mario and get this…she’s promised me that she would give him a big, wet kiss on the cheek for me.

WOOHOO! It’s only a matter of time!

Seriously, your help would be most appreciated and yes, your name will be in the book! As for the organized, sane individual who would like to manage the testing, you will be showered with lavish gifts, my next Chia Pet will be named after you and who knows what awesome opportunities will arise from being the First Mate of a new cookbook?

If you’re interested in recipe testing, comment below or just email me at [email protected] Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

edit: holy fish sauce! over 250 testers. LOVE IT. The more, the merrier. Let’s make this a fun cookbook testing group. You guys rock. To answer some of your questions:

1) no, your photos will not be published in the book. It’s for our group reference only.

2) yes, your name will REALLY be in the book!

3) you’ll test 3 diff recipes, each one time.

4) no, I haven’ t personally grabbed Beckham’s ass yet. But I WILL one day….and I will have photos for you when that day comes.

5) no word from Mario, whether or not the kiss on the cheek got him to come to my site. When he comes, you’ll be the first to know.

Dang….that sounded sorta kinky.

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Comments 240

  1. andreea

    oh … 100 is already given away πŸ™‚
    if you are looking for an across the ocean (one of them at least) tester count me in, would love to

  2. Irene

    I would love to test your recipes. And I absolutely agree with your mindset about pictures in books. They really add to the appeal.

  3. Naomi

    I noticed you had a few Canadian volunteers, an Aussie volunteer, even a French volunteer… but have you had any British volunteers? I live in the Midlands of the UK, and some Asian ingredients can be hard to come by, but I’ve managed to track stuff down. I’d be thrilled to test some recipes for you, I’m always trying something new in the kitchen. Did I mention that photography is my favourite hobby and hopefully my career someday? Good luck choosing between all hundred and one of us (and more to come, I’m sure)!

  4. courtney

    Jaden, In addition to testing recipes, I would like to assist with the testers, feedback,etc. Can this be done if I live in a diffrent state than yours?So Im game for all!

  5. Mizorin

    Hi Jaden. This is for me!!!
    I’m foodie, I love cooking, I love taking a pictures of food.
    I guarantee you I can help you!!!

  6. Lexi

    I would love to be a tester for you. This would be a dream come true for me. I helped edit and taste for an Italian cookbook many years ago and it was a blast! My passion right now is studying and cooking Asian food. Please consider me.

  7. John J. O'Sullivan

    I’m probably late-on in the volunteer department, but I’d love to test out some recipes. I do enough of my own OCD-style recipe testing on my coworkers (as well as being one of the obsessed weirdos who do testing for Cook’s Illustrated). And if the recipes look as amazing as something as simple as those sliders…I need to do this.


    -John J. O’Sullivan™ (alias LOLDAD)
    Parents magazine

  8. Todd

    I’d be happy to do a test on your recipes! Count me in amongst the hundreds of others beating a weathered path to your door.

    Does ass-kissing help my chances here?

  9. ayelet

    Dear J

    I hope the volunteers list isn’t closed yet, please let me join the testers! I’m a faithful reader, and admit I’d tried only a bunch of recipes so far, but promise to give detail, honest, photograpged feedback.

    Thanks for the inspiring ideas, the funny stories and the delightful photos!


  10. Valerie, CA

    Hey Jaden…Souvlaki Woman here. I am an avid reviewer on travel, restaurants, and recipes–call it my snobby hobby. I work from home, so I have plenty-o-time to dabble in the kitchen and whip up some Steamy Dreamys. Love to cook, love to write, love to grocery shop for specialty items, and love to take pictures…that is a lot of steamy love going on there. And…the drum roll…I have a picture of me and Anthony Bourdain (ahhhhhh,). Now, wouldn’t that make me a one degree of separation for you and the Tone-ster?!?! Seriously, my life is almost fulfilled now. = )

  11. Alicia

    I would love to test some recipes! Everything from your site I’ve made has been a big hit with the fam… especially my little man (ok, the big one too!).
    New recipes = good.

  12. Rebecca

    Count me in! I would like to try one of your adapted “korean” recipes if I can so that I can give an unbiased feedback πŸ™‚

  13. Betsy B

    I love your website and I would love to be a recipe tester. I am currently a volunteer tester for Cook’s Illustrated. I also am a graduate of the Part Time Professional Program from L’Academie de Cuisine and once owned a catering business. I have been exploring Asian cuisine for years and know every Asian supplier in the Philadelphia area. I make a mean dtom yam gung (my husband calls it “liquid heroin”) and bun bo Hue. Thank you for your consideration.

  14. Kelley Smith

    I’d love to test a recipe or two…or twenty. I’m thinking about a cookbook myself and I do my own pictures. Just started photographing food, been photographing people for years!
    I understand the stress you are under. And the fun you are having. Congrads on the book!

  15. stephL


    Can I can I can I PLEASE? I’ve already made so many of your lovely lovely recipes and would love nothing more than to have an excuse to make more!

    Ooo, ooo, pick me! =)

  16. meeso

    Wow, your blog is so interactive πŸ˜€ I can’t wait to get my hands on your cookbook…I LOVE lots of pictures in my cookbooks too!

  17. Cris

    How is it that I check your site everyday and yet I’m still #122 in line to say, “yes, please! May I test some recipes?” Probably because everyone else checks at work while I have to wait until the kids have locked themselves in the bathroom in order to get some peace.

    Would love to test some recipes (have used several on your site already). Totally agree with you on the pictures in cookbooks – I need visual stimulation to get motivated. I’m happy to send pictures of the completed dishes back. So fun!

    Congrats on the whole cookbook thing!

  18. veron

    Darn! Am I too late to sign up for recipe testing? I was on a plane all day today and did not have time to check blogs. those pulled pork sliders look utterly delectable!

  19. Columbus Foodie

    Would love to help test your recipes – I’ve been wanting to explore cooking Asian food at home, and this would be the perfect way to do it. Count me in if you still need testers. πŸ™‚

  20. Samantha

    I’m down to test recipes. I am also up for testing recipes. Funnily enough, I’d like you to count me in, too. Also interested in helping organize.

  21. Katie

    I’d love to test out some of your recipes…we’ve loved all the ones we’ve tried in the past! I’m with you on being a visual person…photo packed cookbooks grab me too.

  22. Nightfall

    I would also love to be a tester, but I’m not a foodie, not an expert, and not Asian, though I did work in a Cantonese restaurant for a while in another life… So more of a newbie perspective? I have a picky 10 year old, and a not so picky 35 year old here to be guinea pigs.

  23. Smiddlemore

    It seems as if you have a plethora of people wanting to test your recipes. How will you decided? I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and volunteer for the job. My qualifications- I can boil an egg and toast bread to perfection, I try every recipe twice just to make sure that I did it right the first time, my totally biased friends say I make killer Guacamole and Spanish Rice and finally I will be honest in my assessment of your recipes and have the best of intentions to help you put out only the best possible recipe.
    In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing what your recipes will be.

  24. Megan Renee

    I would very much like to test some of your recipes. My boyfriend grew up in Malaysia and I want to learn some simple Asian recipes to remind him of home. The Vietnamese Pulled Pork Sliders look divine and if that is any indication of what the rest of your cookbooks are like then I am going to have to order one to try. Please check my website for sample photographs of recipes I have tried.

    Thanks so much for your consideration!

  25. Nicisme

    I would love to add myself here if you still need testers.

    I’m with you on the photos in a recipe book, I have to have that drool factor!

  26. Helen

    After being such a fan of your blog for so long I would be honoured to be one of your recipe testers. There’s nothing I enjoy more than getting down to the nitty gritty of a recipe and discussing the details of it. I’m so excited for you about your book, it’s fantastic and I totally agree about the photos, I need the food porn otherwise I get bored!

  27. Tia

    I whole-heartedly agree–every recipe must have a photo!!! I’m so getting your cookbook when it arrives. πŸ™‚ Looks like you’re not lacking volunteers here, but add me to the list. <3

  28. Trish

    I would love to help recipe test! I love trying new recipes and my dh is a great photographer. Also, if you want to run the gamut of kid testers I have a 5 year old who is a total foodie and an 20-month-old who only eats carbs.

    I’ve been doing some unprompted testing anyway with the no-knead bread recipes on your site trying to work out if they could be frozen, par-cooked and frozen or were best used fresh out of the bowl.

    Pick me! Pick me!

  29. Tommy

    Dang… I’d love to test a few of the recipes, but looks like 136 people beat me to the punch. If you need another person, I’m willing to help. =D

    Best of luck with the cookbook!

  30. Christine Anderson

    Love to test you recipes. Sound absolutely divine. Have some dinner friends who I can try recipes out on. Thanks for the opportunity.

  31. Dawn K

    Hi Jaden,

    I would love to help! Testing new recipes. Maybe, in the process, I could provide suggestions since the headings are fast and simple. If it works for fuss free person like me, I think it rocks!


  32. Sofie

    Hi Jaden,

    count me in! :). I’m living in Germany but still would love to try your recipes.

  33. Regina

    Well I see I am a bit late to the game but I am a big time foodie (is there a better word for that PLEASE) and have no food aversions, none! I have already tested a few of your recipes so far so good! I am also very organized, some may say “anal”and would be up for that as well. What ever you need, truth be told I just want my name anywhere in a cookbook! πŸ˜€

  34. Courtney

    If you haven’t reached your quota of recipe testers, sign me up! I’m constantly photographing what I’ve made for dinner, so taking photos of the finished recipes aren’t a problem.
    More importantly I have a horde of constantly hungry friends and family that I cook for…so your creations would be gobbled up and receive lots of feedback πŸ™‚

  35. Suzie

    Hi Jaden,

    I love your blog and have already used some of your recipes with great results, I would love to help you test some of your recipes, I am currently attending Culinary School part time in CA. I would love to test out any of your Indian recipes as that is my passion.
    Let me know.Suzie

  36. Jeff

    Hi Jaden,
    I would love to be one of your recipe testers! I’m a proper amateur cook so if I can do them they’ll meet the test…!


  37. brozy

    Because you don’t have enough volunteers already. . . I would also love to test recipes for you. : ) The only credential I have to offer are a love of cooking and a willingness to spend days at a time in the kitchen.

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