And if that didn’t scream, “freaky-fan-stalker!” then maybe he got a clue when I got a little so close trying to videotape Yan carving a chicken in 15 seconds that I almost got my bangs thwacked off. But nope, because that same evening, when I mentioned I was writing a cookbook, he actually said, “Send me a copy to review, I’ll write a quote for the back of the book.”
There was a chance that Chef Yan was just sayin’ that to be nice. I mean, he’s a celebrity chef who meets hundreds of people every day, he couldn’t possibly have remembered what he said to whom? So, two months ago, when my book was complete, I prayed that he really, really meant what he said and sent him a copy of the book galley with a kind note.
He remembered. And Martin graciously penned, “Jaden Hair delivers beautiful, simple and delicious food that will bring famly and friends to your table. She is the real deal who learned from the best, her mom. – Martin Yan.”
My publisher slapped that endorsement on the back cover of the book…and then I nearly fainted. The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook hits the shelves in mid-October, and I think the moment I see the real book at a real bookstore, I’m going to personally kiss the back of each book, right where Martin’s quote is.
A couple of weeks ago, Martin came back to town for a class…of course I attended and I gave Martin a big hug and thanked him profusely, freaky-fan-stalker style.
Martin Yan China Cookbook Giveaway
He wanted to send a little message to you, as he autographed these two books:
I’ll randomly choose 2 winners on July 31st. Just comment below with a nice little note for Martin Yan! What do you want to say to him? I promise he’ll read it.
If Yan Can…
carve a chicken in 19 seconds…SO CAN YOU!
This is the second time I’ve seen him do this – just simply amazing. Hear that camera-clicking? That’s me, multi-tasking. Camcorder in left hand, heavy camera in right hand. Hold still….don’t get too close to that cleaver!
Thai Basil Chicken with Cashews Recipe
FOR THE MARINADE:
- 2 tablespoons lager-style beer, like Tsingtao
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper)
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon lager-style beer, like Tsingtao
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or add an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable, canola or peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 4 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
- 1 fresh chili pepper of your choice, thinly sliced into rings (optional)
- 1/4 cup lightly packed Thai basil or sweet basil leaves
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place a wok or wide saute pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the chicken, asparagus, bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly until the chicken is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Add the sauce and bring to boil. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in chili, basil leaves and cashews.