7 Best Chinese Cookbook Of All Time For Beginners (A Must Read)

With the vast regional cuisines and countless dishes unknown to many westerners, Chinese cuisine is a combination of rich tradition and complicated techniques. More and more people like to make Chinese food at home for health benefits and convenience.

If you are one of them, finding the right cookbook is a crucial part. We have compiled a list of the best authentic Chinese cookbooks. A good cookbook can save you tons of time for researching and scrolling down the web pages. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced cook, you would not go wrong with any of these!  

#1. Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories 

Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories


Rating: 9.5/10
Why we love it? With more than 100 classic stir-fry recipes that make every wok users runs “to the sky’s edge”, this cookbook is a must-have for any stir-fry lovers. You’ll enjoy making the vast variety of stir-fry dishes from the great Cantonese stir-fry masters to the culinary customs of Sichuan, Hunan, Shanghai, Beijing, Fujian and so many more! This is by far the most useful book in the list in terms of regional cuisine.

The author, Grace Young, has successfully created the authoritative guide to stir-frying, from the selection and use of a wok, to how to marinate and slice meat, to time-saving preparation techniques. It not only teaches how to stir-fry, but it also teaches how to cook in general. A great resource for any cook!

Pros:
– Intimate and storytelling style
– Great for the first-time wok cooking
– An extra resource list of stores and websites
– Teach the concept of cooking in general

Cons:
– The print is a little small
– You may need access to Asian stores to find some ingredients

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#2. Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking 

Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking

Rating: 9/10
Why we love it? Written by the first Westerner to train as a chef at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine, Fuchsia Dunlop shared her true passion for Chinese cuisine in this wonderful cookbook. The recipes are definitely not westernized for comfort. The book translates Sichuanese cooking not only into English but into Western cooking terminology. 

You may also love this book if you are not into meat-centric meals because it privileges vegetables over meat. Meat is part of her recipes, but not an essential one. With its concise language, interesting background information and wonderful pictures to get the juices flowing, it’s a must-have for Sichuanese food lover! 

Pros:
– Widely available ingredients
– A wide variety of food
– Excellent glossary and introduction
– Lots of vegetarian adaptation

Cons:
– Some recipes use weight measurement only

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#3.The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: Quick and Easy Dishes to Prepare at Home 

Cookbook: Quick and Easy Dishes to Prepare at Home

Rating: 8.8/10
Why we love it? Maybe you are like us, tired of ordering Chinese takeout and throwing money out the window. Plus it’s not healthy! If you feel this way, this cookbook by Diana Kuan will be the best investment for your health and…wallet!

This cookbook is useful for anyone interested in cooking Chinese food, especially for beginners, as it introduces the spices and other ingredients necessary to cook an average Chinese meal. This is all about the Chinese food that westerns love!

Pros:
– Recipes with Vegetarian variations
– Simple and on point
– Include dessert recipes
– Interesting anecdotal and historical facts

Cons:
– Serving size and number of servings are not included with each recipe

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#4. Easy Chinese Recipes: Family Favorites From Dim Sum to Kung Pao 

Easy Chinese Recipes: Family Favorites From Dim Sum to Kung Pao

Rating:  8.5/10
Why we love it? A great book for simplified Chinese recipes and authentic taste! Bee, the author herself lives in a modern western world but keeps exploring her passion with ingredients found in local supermarkets. You don’t need a fancy kitchen or access to an Asian grocery store to follow the instructions. 

This book covers all the basics of Chinese cooking, which begins with a complete breakdown of tools and utensils used and a beautifully photographed section on Chinese ingredients. From the beginning to the end, you’ll love Bee’s approach and passion in Chinese cooking! 

Pros:
– Easy to follow recipes
– Comparable to restaurant version
– Separate recipe for sauce
– Use highly accessible ingredients
– Beautiful illustration of the dishes
– Bonus cooking tips

Cons:
– Minor editing problems
– Limited vegetarian recipes

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#5.101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: Discover a New World of Flavors in Authentic Recipes

Rating: 8/10
Why we love it? The book title!! And of course, the killer recipes Jet Tila, the author will share with you in his cookbook. It’s easier than you think to make Asian takeout staples and be ready to discover some more adventurous dishes.

Fun to read through! This cookbook reads like a magazine, not a traditional cookbook style. With gorgeous pictures and substitution options, you will feel confident about getting started. The peanut sauce recipe alone is worth a read!

Pros: 
– A wide variety of Asian food recipes
– Brief history and clear instructions
– Down to earth approach
– Simple instructions
– Recommendation for ingredient substitution
– Separate section for sauce 

Cons:
– You may need access to Asian stores to find some ingredients

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#6. Essential Wok Cookbook: A Simple Chinese Cookbook for Stir-Fry, Dim Sum, and Other Restaurant Favorites 

Rating: 7.6/10
Why we love it? With a focus on making a healthier version of Chinese food at home, this cookbook includes in-depth knowledge of some cooking basics, such as woks and how to choose which is best for you. We also love the fun stories behind American reinventions of foods such as egg drop soup and fortune cookies.

Great book for beginners as it has good explanations and easy techniques. The recipes are for flavor-packed “American Chinese” food. The book explains the difference between authentic Chinese food and what Americans think it’s supposed to be. These all come from the perspective of editor-in-chief in LA, the author Naomi Imatome-Yun. You’ll find it an interesting read! 

Pros: 
– Unique recipe labels
– Budget-friendly recipes
– A healthier version of takeout staples
– Fun “Origin Stories” section

Cons:
– Not enough pictures
– Not authentic Chinese food recipes

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#7. Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking

Rating: 7/10
Why we love it?
This cookbook provides a great foundation for home cooks, outlining the basics in different cooking styles, which also serve as the organizing criteria. With 158 recipes and more than 200 photographs, including step-by-step images, it empowers us to master and even to re-create our favorite dishes. This is a great resource for advanced cooks trying to improve any specific cooking skill.

You may be surprised to find recipes for rabbit, squab, carp, eel, pig stomach or kidney. Don’t freak out! It’s part of authentic Chinese cuisine. This is what makes this book stand out. Even if you will never try these recipes, it’s a nice resource to have!

Pros:
– Unique layout based on cooking style
– Teach “how” and “why” behind everything
– Step-by-step images for complicated recipes

Cons:
– You may need access to Asian stores to find some ingredients
– Some recipes may need extra tweaking

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