Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Regional Chinese Cookbooks - advice please!


heylow
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm on a mission to find the best cookbooks, in English (I know it's a limiting factor), on regional Chinese cooking and techniques :) I have these so far:

  • Land of Plenty - Fuchsia Dunlop (Sichuan)
  • Land of Fish and Rice - Fuchsia Dunlop (Zhejiang)
  • Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook - Fuchsia Dunlop (Hunan)
  • Cooking South of the Clouds - Georgia Freedman (Yunnan)
  • Xi'an Famous Foods - Jason Wang (Western China by way of NYC)
  • All Under Heaven - Carolyn Phillips (All 35(?) regions and my favourite)
  • Beyond the Great Wall - Naiomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford (Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Western China, Yunnan, Guizhou)

 

What are your thoughts on these additions? :

  • Breath of a Wok/Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge/The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen - Grace Young
  • The Food of Taiwan - Cathy Erway
  • Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees - Kian Lam Kho
  • Mooncakes and Milk Bread - Kristina Cho
  • A Tradition of Soup: Flavours from China's Pearl River Delta - Teresa M. Chen

 

Any recommendations for Fujian/Guangdong/Guangxi focused books? Hainan also seems to have a very unique cuisine...

 

Thanks in advance :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, heylow said:

I'm on a mission to find the best cookbooks, in English (I know it's a limiting factor), on regional Chinese cooking and techniques :) I have these so far:

  • Land of Plenty - Fuchsia Dunlop (Sichuan)
  • Land of Fish and Rice - Fuchsia Dunlop (Zhejiang)
  • Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook - Fuchsia Dunlop (Hunan)
  • Cooking South of the Clouds - Georgia Freedman (Yunnan)
  • Xi'an Famous Foods - Jason Wang (Western China by way of NYC)
  • All Under Heaven - Carolyn Phillips (All 35(?) regions and my favourite)
  • Beyond the Great Wall - Naiomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford (Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Western China, Yunnan, Guizhou)

 

What are your thoughts on these additions? :

  • Breath of a Wok/Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge/The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen - Grace Young
  • The Food of Taiwan - Cathy Erway
  • Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees - Kian Lam Kho
  • Mooncakes and Milk Bread - Kristina Cho
  • A Tradition of Soup: Flavours from China's Pearl River Delta - Teresa M. Chen

 

Any recommendations for Fujian/Guangdong/Guangxi focused books? Hainan also seems to have a very unique cuisine...

 

Thanks in advance :) 

 

There are literally hundreds of books on Guangdong cooking. Cantonese is by far the most popular style outside China. Not my favourite,though, so no particular recommendations

 

Guangxi, as noted in All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips because I told her so*, has no distinctive cuisine, but instead leans towards Cantonese in the south and east, but more to Hunan and Guizhou in the north and west. We also get a lot of thecuisine of the DOng, Miao and Yao etc ethnic minorities.

 

I have never found a book on Guangxi food, even in Chinese. I live in the centre where we get both.

 

*She was kind enough to mention me in the acknowledgements.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 2

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

There are literally hundreds of books on Guangdong cooking. Cantonese is by far the most popular style outside China. Not my favourite,though, so no particular recommendations

 

Guangxi, as noted in All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips because I told her so*, has no distinctive cuisine, but instead leans towards Cantonese in the south and east, but more to Hunan and Guizhou in the north and west. We also get a lot of thecuisine of the DOng, Miao and Yao etc ethnic minorities.

 

I have never found a book on Guangxi food, even in Chinese. I live in the centre where we get both.

 

*She was kind enough to mention me in the acknowledgements.

 

I am so impressed with All Under Heaven and am facinated with your involvement! Fuchsia Dunlop and Carolyn Phillips have done so much to reveal the cooking of China to English speakers. I've seen several of your posts that are wonderfully detailed and illuminating as well. 

 

It seems that one will always have a very limited understanding of Chinese cuisine, as long as you are limited to reading about it in English. Are there Chinese language cookbooks you would recommend?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, heylow said:

I am so impressed with All Under Heaven and am facinated with your involvement! Fuchsia Dunlop and Carolyn Phillips have done so much to reveal the cooking of China to English speakers

 

Carolyn is a member here @Carolyn Phillips, but hasn't been active for over four years. She knew me from here and contacted me privately when she was researching her book, to ask some questions about  Guangxi cuisine. We had a few conversations then and have done since. The book is a good introduction, but with only a half dozen or so dishes from each of 35 cuisines, is necessarily limited.

 

1 hour ago, heylow said:

I've seen several of your posts that are wonderfully detailed and illuminating as well. 

 

Thank you!

 

1 hour ago, heylow said:

It seems that one will always have a very limited understanding of Chinese cuisine, as long as you are limited to reading about it in English. Are there Chinese language cookbooks you would recommend?

 

I would say more that to fully understand Chinese cuisine (no one ever will) you have to eat it in China. Chinese language cookbooks are very different from western cookbooks. They often assume a lot of prior knowledge and suggest things like

 

"Add the correct amount of ..."
"Cook until cooked"
"Serve in the usual way"

etc.

 

I have a few, but I couldn't really recommend any of them. Several of my friends were amazed by Fuchsia's Sichuan book. It has been translated into Chinese and they have all bought it!

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 2

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, heylow said:

Mooncakes and Milk Bread - Kristina Cho

 

I very much like the book. The stories of Cho's own background and Chinese bakeries across the US and beyond are interesting to read but it's very much filtered through a Chinese American lens so I'd put the book in that niche rather than saying that it defines a style of regional Chinese cooking.  There's a section on buying Chinese ingredients and a lighthearted calendar of Chinese celebrations that those much more familiar with the culture might find unnecessary and incomplete but make the book and the recipes accessible to those lacking that knowledge.

 

Kristina Cho grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, spending much time in the restaurant her grandparents started after they emigrated to the US.  Some recipes are quite authentic, I think, to what you would find in Hong Kong bakeries, where her grandparents were from.  In others, she takes the traditional methods but puts her own spin on them, treading well into fusion territory in some recipes.   She's had a food blog, Eat Cho Food, for quite some time and the book is filled with excellent step-by-step photos and descriptions. You can see how her recipes are written and get a sense of her photography on her blog.

 

You can see a list of the recipes from the book here on Eat Your Books and if cooking those dishes piques your interest, I'd recommend checking out the book.  

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...