Jimmy O. Yang brings his cooking creativity to his HelloFresh Meal, interview

Jimmy O. Yang for HelloFresh, photo provided by HelloFresh
Jimmy O. Yang for HelloFresh, photo provided by HelloFresh /

For some, stepping behind the stove is no laughing matter. Even if the meal seems easy to prepare, the pressure to perform might be a little overwhelming. For Jimmy O. Yang, he has developed a love of food and cooking. Through his partnership with HelloFresh, his two Asian inspired meals will bring good times both in and out of the kitchen.

Recently, HelloFresh launched “Eats by T-Pain and Jimmy O. Yang” recipe series. The various dishes feature some unexpected ingredients, bold seasonings, and a sprinkling of humor along the way. While Jimmy might impress people with his cooking skills on social media, the entertainer does not want anyone to feel intimidated when grabbing that pan. Flavor, food, and fun are the three keys to any good meal.

Jimmy’s recipes in partnership with HelloFresh are Jimmy O. Yang’s Hoisin Chicken Flatbread with Sizzling Scallion Ginger Oil & Cucumber and Jimmy O. Yang’s Pork Meatball Curry over Rice with Pickled Carrots & Curley Scallions. While some home cooks might not grab the hoisin from the grocery shelf or are a little nervous about curry, these recipes are the flavorful foray into a bigger, bolder culinary world.

During a recent conversation with Jimmy O. Yang, he graciously answered some questions about his HelloFresh partnership, his approach to cooking, and an easy to apply cooking hack.

Cristine Struble/FoodSided: You once mentioned that you “eyeball” ingredients instead of measuring, how has that method helped you in discovering an appreciation for creativity and flavor?

Jimmy O. Yang: It makes cooking more interesting, dynamic and alive for me. To me, cooking should be creative instead of scientific, and every time it should be a little different. It’s alive like standup comedy, every set is going to be different, even if you’re doing the same material.

CS: Some people discover new foods and flavors while traveling. How big of an influence do you think that travel and culture are and how are they getting people to push themselves outside of their food comfort zone?

Jimmy: It’s very important to learn and discover the amazing cuisines and ingredients around the world. I’ve never liked tomatoes until I went to Italy, where the tomatoes are so flavorful I ate thick slices for breakfast. To be a good cook, you have to know what good food tastes like.

CS: This campaign is focusing on unexpected pairings, how do your two dishes bring together the familiar and the different? What was your inspiration behind your two dishes being featured with HelloFresh?

Jimmy: For the Hoisin Chicken Flatbread, I added my favorite ginger scallion sauce from my childhood in Hong Kong onto a fan favorite chicken flatbread. And for the Meatball Curry, it’s combining my two favorite things, spaghetti meatballs, and a Thai flavor inspired curry, and it’s absolutely great.

CS: One of your dishes features a curry, for the person who might be wary of trying curry, why would this choice be a great introduction?

Jimmy: Who is wary of trying curry? A five year old child? I definitely wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who is wary of trying curry. Would that person be wary of trying a super delicious, flavor-filled gravy? I think not. Not all curry has to be super spicy. It’s a broad term that covers so many different types of cuisines and techniques.

CS: How would you encourage someone to pick up the pan and try to cook a dish, especially if they are afraid to do so? Is there a simple hack that can help them overcover that cooking fear?

Jimmy: I’ve learned a lot of my cooking through YouTube, because I’m a visual learner and I find it relaxing to watch cooking shows. But honestly, HelloFresh is a great way to learn how to cook and make hundreds of delicious dishes with simple techniques.

CS: What’s your best dish to cook to impress someone? Is there a dish that you really want to master but have yet to do so?

Jimmy: Clearly, the Meatball Curry! I would love to learn how to make some classic Shanghainese dishes from my parents, but my Dad has a very high bar when it comes to food, so a part of me is really afraid to fail.

For anyone who is ready to pick up that pan and get cooking, the Jimmy O. Yang dishes are available to order on HelloFresh. They are available August 20 through the week September 16.

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