Photo of vegetable and shrimp tempura
Cookbook Reviews

101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die

Cookbook by: Jet Tila

Photo of the cover of 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die

“My goal is to get you as close as possible to the authentic and delicious. But more, I want you to understand the mechanics of these ethnic cuisines. If you want to cook authentic, delicious food, just follow my directions using the right ingredients,” Jet Tila.

Growing up I was exposed to a lot of different cuisines as my Dad travelled the world while he was in the Navy and he liked to eat a variety of things. In regards to Asian food I remember my Mom making pepper steak and us ordering Chinese food for dinner.

I’m not really sure when the first time was that I tried Thai food, but I fell in love immediately. Still to this day Thai food is one of my favorites but something that I haven’t experimented with a bunch at home. 

101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die is a fantastic resource to expand your cooking knowledge of Asian dishes. The cookbook offers great recipes and tips to make amazing Asian meals at home. 

Photo of Thai BBQ Chicken on a white plate

Thai BBQ Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce

On first glance this recipe scared me – I am not a big fan of curry and didn’t want to make something I was going to hate. My sister thought it sounded really good so I decided to try it. (I’m always making myself try new things cause our tastes change over time).

I had trouble finding the lemongrass at first but finally found it already prepped in our local grocery store produce section. A great tip to see if your store has something is to download the shopping app and search there, if you see it then you know they carry it and what it looks like – so helpful! All of the rest of the ingredients were easy to find and I had some in my own pantry. 

The hardest part of this recipe in my opinion is cutting the chicken in half – make sure your knife is sharp before you start. I marinated my chicken overnight in the fridge. The next night it was very simple to just put the chicken on the sheet pan and put it in the oven. I was thrilled with the results the chicken was super moist and so delicious. While it had a curry taste it wasn’t overpowering. The success of the recipe just makes me want to try other things that scare me. 

Photo of Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura on a white plate

Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura

One of my favorite things to order at an Asian restaurant is anything tempura. I love vegetable tempura. The recipe was really simple to follow. I didn’t make the dipping sauce as I never eat my tempura with any dipping sauce. I did search for the ingredients for the dipping sauce and I was able to get everything except the dried bonito flakes at the grocery store, but don’t worry you can order them on Amazon.  

All of the vegetables: onions, mushrooms, sweet potato and zucchini came out really good. The shrimp was some of the best shrimp I have ever had, and trust me I eat shrimp a lot. I will definitely make this again. I wonder how broccoli would be in the tempura?

Cookbook Ratings: Recipe directions easy to follow: yes, Ingredients easy to find: yes, Specialty ingredients needed: yes, Specialty equipment needed: yes, Accurate time estimates: yes, Best for home chef skill level: novice, Taste/flavor: spicy, Family friendly: yes, specialty diet: none, How many recipes are unique: most, overall cookbook rating: love it

If you think that Asian dishes are too hard to make than you need to get a copy of 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die. Jet Tila makes all of the recipes accessible and understandable. Plus with the wide availability of Asian ingredients in our grocery stores today you don’t have to go hunting for the ingredients.

I plan to cook a lot more of the dishes including the Korean BBQ Short Ribs on Coke, Buddha’s Delight-Vegetable Feast, and Street Vendor Pork Satay. What do you want to try first? 

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