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Recommedation for a good Chinese cookbook

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
As the title says I am looking for a good chinese cookbook.
post #2 of 13
Lots of options. Bruce Cost's books are good but hard to find. You can get his Big Bowl on the used market easily at a good price right now. I like that one a lot, but it's not a very deep book into the cuisine.

And though it's harder to find, I like Jeff Smith's "Frugal Gourmet cooks Three Ancient Cuisines". I've had good luck with most of those recipes too.

post #3 of 13
You might try poking around Martin Yan's different sites for some freebies. I enjoy his cooking though he simplifies things I think for the the US audience.

These change every few weeks and are from his current series: Selected Recipes - Yan Can Cook

This next link takes you to a weekly menu that lasts about a year. Normally, you don't see this link but the server isn't configured to keep you out so you can see the directory for the whole year at once. Click a week's number, then find the "recipe.htm" link and click that. Some fun food there, enough for a cookbook and all free. Index of /menus

post #4 of 13
I recently got Stuart Chang Berman's "Potsticker Chronicles" from the library. I am enjoying it very much.
post #5 of 13
This old thread lists lots of interesting sounding chinese cookbooks.

post #6 of 13
u can buy kylie kwong book, even though not 100% chine cuisine , try book from eileen yin fei lo( if i not wrong), she created a lot good Chinese cooking book, also most of them taste really good taste and look almost the same like eating in china.
i think her family came from guang zhou,china.
a lot Chinese great food i think came from guang zhou , like sweet and sour pork. :):):)
post #7 of 13
I gave away a book called China Moon. I liked it, but didn't use it. Wish I had it now.
post #8 of 13
your wish can be granted <g>

China Moon Cookbook
by Barbara Tropp

QuickBuy: Click for the lowest-cost copy in very good condition or better from our most reliable sellers.
The chef/owner of one of San Francisco's most popular restaurants returns with her second cookbook devoted to "Chinese bistro" cooking--a style unlike any other.
see all copies from $1.99!
new only from $2.94!

alibris.com - good source - I've dealt with many of their vendors.
post #9 of 13
Hey, thanks a lot! I'll check it out- for $1.99, I'd be a fool not ot. And besides, everyone needs a new cookbook now and again, don't they?
post #10 of 13
Just a tip: A lot of Chinese cooks and restaurant kitchens use a product made by Nestle called "Maggi." It's a seasoning with no soy, that's sort of like soy ... It's complicated. Just pick up a bottle for the pantry.

You'll find as you become better at cooking Chinese food, that a splash of Maggi is often the "missing" ingredient.

post #11 of 13
If you are new to Chinese cooking, you should definitely buy Barbara Tropp, The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. It's the book that established Tropp as sort of the Marcella Hazan or Diana Kennedy of Chinese cuisine. China Moon was a restaurant venture launched by this book. Unfortunately Tropp died young and only did these two cookbooks.

For a deeper understanding, and some idiosyncratic recipes well worth thinking about and experimenting with, look for Lin Hsiang-ru, The Art of Chinese Cooking. The recipes and testing were done by Lin Hsiang-ru, but most of the lovely graceful prose is really by Lin Yutang, the grand old man of modern Chinese letters, and it is his epicurean sensibilities that guide the book. The recipe for duck braised in wine is worth the price of admission -- which is cheap.

Ming Tsai can generally be counted on, but his main focus is Chinese-Western fusion.

Martin Yan is, in my opinion, much better seen than read. His recipes are just fine, and there are a lot of them. But what you really learn from Yan is how to cut, and to learn this you have to watch him.
post #12 of 13
Martin Yan clearly loves what he is doing. I agree, watching him is educational.

I've always enjoyed those sorts of people. Jeff Smith was the same way. There is a local weatherman who recently retired who was in love with weather and devoted his life to weather. Was always fun to watch though he tended to over-predict storms.

I recently read two Eileen Yin Fei Lo cookbooks. They were pretty good. The Chinese Kitchen and My Chinese Grandmother's Kitchen. There is some word for word reproduction between these two books, but the overlap is trivial.

I preferred Grace Young's Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen. The book has a recommendation by Ken Hom. This struck me a bit. Years ago, I read Ken Hom's cookbook about growing up in a Chinese American household and the food he ate. He grew up without much and the cooking in the book is highly hybridized and make-do. I rather disliked the cooking in it, but it was good reading about his life and food. Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen is about the food Grace Young grew up with in her Chinese American world. Very different from Ken Hom's experience and much more authentic and better food.

Eilieen Yin Fei Lo's book In my Grandmother's Kitchen is about how she learned to cook as a girl in China, but also as she fled the rise of Communism and her learning from cousins and aunts along the way.

Between these three books of eating as a child, I like Grace Young's the best for the food and understanding of the food she brings to a Western sensibility like mine.
post #13 of 13
Yeah, but watch his hands when he cuts. The guy is very, very skilled. Ming Tsai calls him the fastest knife in the West. Bar taking classes with a top Chinese chef, there is no better way to learn to use a Chinese cleaver than to get the basics from Tropp's descriptions and then watch Yan again and again, closely, preferably in slow-motion alternating with fast.
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