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Asian Technique and Method Cookbooks


Chris Amirault
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Over in this topic, we've been discussing books that can support a member's interest in developing technique and method. There are lots of books out there that fit the bill -- the CIA's Professional Chef, Julia Child's The Way to Cook, Anne Willan's Varenne Practique, and Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques, among others.

But those books really are about western techniques, even French. That prompts the question: what are some books that focus on Asian techniques? The two that pop to my mind are Barbara Tropp's Modern Art of Chinese Cooking and Shizuo Tsuji's Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, both of which include great sections on technical stuff.

Do folks have other non-western go-to cookbooks for technique and method? I'm not wondering about recipes here; there are lots of great books out there for that. I'm talking about equivalents to Willan and Pepin for Asian techniques.

Chris Amirault

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I'd add Elizabeth Andoh's Washoku and her earlier, out-of-print At Home with Japanese Cooking to the list, along with pictorial series such as those from Graph-Sha publishers in Japan (Japanese Homestyle Cooking, etc.) and Wei-Chuan in Taiwan (Chinese Cooking Made Easy, etc.) that feature step-by-step photos.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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It has some translation weaknesses and probably some apocryphal information, but Gaku Homma's Japanese Country Cooking is excellent for understanding the origins and reasons behind common Japanese ingredients and techniques. The author was a folklore museum curator and currently lives in Denver.

Growing Up In a Korean Kitchen is the best Korean foundational cookbook I've seen, though the Dok Suni book is also interesting.

Jason Truesdell

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It has some translation weaknesses and probably some apocryphal information, but Gaku Homma's Japanese Country Cooking is excellent for understanding the origins and reasons behind common Japanese ingredients and techniques. The author was a folklore museum curator and currently lives in Denver.

That's one I hadn't come across! Ordered through Amazon.com. Thanks for the recommendation! :biggrin:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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  • 5 months later...

I have two favorites both unfortuately out of print:

1. Chinese Technique, An Illustrated Guide to the Fundamental Techniques of Chinese Cooking , Ken Hom (1981)

2. Chinese Gastronomy, Hsiang Ju Lin and Tsui Feng Lin (1969)

The first covers basic techniques and ingredients used in Chinese cooking and the second covers the essence of Chinese cuisine delving into textures and flavour. Of the more then fifty books concerning chinese cuisine these two I always have close at hand. Both instruct and inspire me to take my cooking to the next higher level.

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