Teriyaki Rib-Eye Steak with Garlic Fried Rice on the side. Scott Suchman for The Washington Post

With his latest cookbook, “Simple Family Feasts,” Jeremy Pang wants to help home cooks grasp not only Asian recipes and cooking techniques but also the skill of cooking multiple dishes at once – each ready at precisely the right time and each contributing a balance of color, texture and flavor.

“It’s daunting for people who don’t cook as Asians cook. We cook feasts. That is how Asian cuisine is meant to be eaten,” he said in a phone interview from the United Kingdom, where he lives. He likes to start several shareable dishes at once and have each be ready, hot or cold, at just the right time.

“In Asian cuisine, we aim to reach every part of the palate,” he said, with fried foods served beside something fresh and crunchy as well as something soft and luscious.

This style of cooking comes naturally to Pang, who comes from three generations of Chinese chefs, and because he is something of a master multitasker in his everyday life.

Pang owns School of Wok, an Asian cooking school and retail shop in London; maintains a popular YouTube channel; occasionally appears on television cooking shows; and, most recently, began Curious Crab, a video production agency that focuses on food and travel.

In this cookbook, his fourth, each chapter is dedicated to a different cuisine – Chinese, Thai, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Pinoy, Korean and Japanese – all of which are among the styles of cooking taught at School of Wok.


The cookbook lays out the technique of using a “feasting wheel,” with icons next to each recipe to help home cooks ensure the meal will provide variety. Once the recipes are selected, Pang advises prepping all the ingredients and then laying them out using his “wok clock” – that is, arranging them clockwise in the order they will be used, beginning at 12 o’clock.

Pang generally maxes out at four or five dishes at once. (I made two, picking Garlic Fried Rice, a “gentle bite” from the Pinoy chapter, and the scrumptious Teriyaki Rib-Eye Steak, a “juicy, succulent” dish from Japan, and then added my own sliced and lightly dressed chilled cucumbers for a “crunchy” addition. Baby steps.)

Pang’s goal is to help home cooks train themselves to think this way whenever and whatever they are cooking. No more stopping to refer to the recipe or forgetting to add an ingredient, he said.

“It’s an educational tool for not just Chinese cooking, but all cuisines,” he said. “You know what to do next – visually – in an instant. … It gives you order without too much explanation.”

Cookbook authors and chefs often tell heartwarming stories of learning to cook at a parent’s knee. For Pang, it took the family moving from the United Kingdom to Singapore in 1994 when he was 10 to awaken his taste buds and pique his interest in cooking.

The family eventually returned to the U.K., but his time in that island nation opened Pang’s eyes to varied Southeast Asian cuisines being hawked by street vendors, as well as foods from around the world brought for lunch by his classmates at an international school.


And he credits his father, a pharmaceutical engineer who died in 2009, with helping him develop his palate. Rather than teaching him to cook, per se, his father taught him to taste by asking Pang and his sisters to identify flavors and foods as they ate the meals he prepared at home.

Though Pang was fascinated by food and cooking, he didn’t initially pursue it as a career, because his parents had other plans.

“It was a very Asian-parent-led path,” he said. “If you had three kids, you wanted one to be a lawyer, one a doctor, and the third an accountant or engineer.”

They told him he could choose his own way if, at first, he trained in a profession. So he honored their wishes, earning a master’s degree in biochemical engineering from the University of Bath in England in 2006, then hunted and pecked for a career that would feed his family and his soul.

At 25, however, he found himself laid off from a job, married and a bit at sea. So he decided to pursue his own dream. With financial help from his older sister – one sister is a doctor and the other a lawyer – he trained at Le Cordon Bleu school and embarked on this career.

“I had always wanted to start my own food business,” he said, noting that it took him six years to pay his sister back after he opened a mobile School of Wok in 2009, traveling from house to house with his knives, woks and recipes. He opened the bricks-and-mortar location in Covent Garden, near London’s Chinatown, in 2012.


With his expanding business, you’re less likely to find Pang behind the stove at his cooking school, but he still makes time to prepare feasts at home for his wife and two young children. He hopes the tips and techniques in his cookbook can help other busy home cooks do the same.


Teriyaki Rib-Eye Steak

4 servings

Total time: 20 mins

Where to buy: Shoyu, a light Japanese-style soy sauce; Chinese dark soy sauce; and mirin can be found in Asian markets or online. Sake can be found at well-stocked liquor stores.


Storage: Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Adapted from “School of Wok: Simple Family Feasts” by Jeremy Pang (Hamlyn, 2023).


4 tablespoons low-sodium shoyu (light Japanese-style soy sauce) or soy sauce

4 tablespoons mirin

4 tablespoons sake


1 tablespoon Chinese dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 boneless rib-eye steak, about 1 1/2 inches thick (1 pound)

Neutral oil, such as vegetable, for cooking

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks

2 scallions, sliced into 2-inch pieces



In a large bowl, whisk together the shoyu, mirin, sake, dark soy sauce and sugar until well combined. Add the steak and massage the marinade into the meat.

Heat a medium skillet over high heat until very hot. Brush the pan with oil, and then add the steak, reserving the marinade. Sear until well charred and caramelized on both sides, adjusting the heat as needed, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

About 1 minute before your steak is cooked to your liking, add the ginger and scallions to the pan and briefly sear, then pour in the marinade and allow to boil vigorously for 30 to 60 seconds, or longer, depending on how well done you want your steak. (An instant-read thermometer inserted from the side into the thickest part of the meat should register 130 to 135 degrees for medium-rare.)

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes, then slice against the grain into thin strips. Transfer the steak to a serving platter. Heat the marinade for about 1 minute, then pour it over the steak and serve.

Nutrition | Per serving (4 ounces): 271 calories, 14g carbohydrates, 65mg cholesterol, 10g fat, 0g fiber, 25g protein, 5g saturated fat, 943mg sodium, 6g sugar


Garlic Fried Rice. Scott Suchman for The Washington Post

Garlic-Fried Rice

4 servings (Makes about 4 cups)

Total time: 20 mins

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 4 days. If you do not plan to eat the rice in one sitting, refrigerate the fried garlic separately; reheat the rice and add the crisp garlic just before serving.

Adapted from “School of Wok: Simple Family Feasts” by Jeremy Pang (Hamlyn, 2023).



2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as vegetable

10 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 scallions, finely chopped, plus more for serving

4 cups cooked white rice, chilled or at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



Set a fine-mesh sieve over a small heatproof bowl, and place it near the stove.

In a wok or medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil for about 1 minute. Add the garlic and stir-fry until it is evenly light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the oil and garlic through the sieve, allowing the excess oil to drain from the garlic. Set the fried garlic aside.

Return the oil to the wok or skillet, using a silicone spatula to scrape every drop from the bowl. Set over medium-high heat and heat until smoking hot. Add the scallions, quickly followed by the cooked rice, and stir-fry until the grains have separated and are piping-hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Transfer the rice to a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle with the fried garlic and additional scallions and serve.

Note: If you don’t have cooked rice on hand, the amount of uncooked rice you’ll need to yield 4 cups will vary depending on the chosen rice. For long-grain white rice, place 1 3/4 cups of rice in a medium, lidded saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and stir to coat the rice. Add 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt, if desired, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Let it cool in the pot, uncovered, for 5 minutes, then spread it out on a large sheet pan and refrigerate, uncovered, until it is completely cool, about 30 minutes.

Nutrition | Per serving (1 cup): 281 calories, 48g carbohydrates, 0mg cholesterol, 8g fat, 1g fiber, 5g protein, 1g saturated fat, 152mg sodium, 0g sugar

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