Need Chinese Cookbook Recommendations

Joined Jul 3, 2002
We have a few Chinese cookbooks, but they're not all that great, and we end up making the same few dishes over and over again. So if you had to pick one (or, OK, two) which would you say is/are must-have for all-around home Chinese cooking?
Joined Sep 22, 2000
Here are a few cook books for you to look at;

- The Thousand recipe cookbook by Gloria Bley Miller.
This book is a no frills book , but the recipes are very good and close to authentic

- The food of China by Deh - Ta Hsiung and Nina Simonds.
This book has a lot of pretty pictures, good reading, and great simple recipes.

-The food of China authentic recipes from the Middle Kingdom.
This is a great book not a lot of recipes but good reading, recipes, and pictures.

- The cooking of China By Time Life books.
This book is a part of a series that Time Life Printed in the 70's Great everything. Make sure you also get the recipe booklet that also accompanys it. The recipe booklet is not really nessary becausethere are a lot of recipes in the main book. however, there is nothing more frustrating when you just want a little recipe to complete the total meal.

There are a few suggestion for to spend hours in barnes and noble.



Joined Apr 4, 2000
For a few years I stopped making Chinese at home, I had decided to explore other culinary horizons. But you always get back to your first love. At Jock’s I borrowed China Moon by Barbara Tropp. I enjoyed it so much I ended up buying it. I’d say it’s my favourite Chinese cookbook.

Close second is Land of Plenty by Fuschia Dunlop, on Sichuan cooking. It’s writing by a Brit who while in China to study literature I think gave it all up to learn Sichuan cooking.

If you want more suggestion let me know.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
My favorite is not strictly a Chinese cookbook. It's Jeff Smith's The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines He cooks Chinese, Roman and Greek. I love this book, probably my most used cookbook and the one that really launched me into cooking. You can tell from the stains.

It's a good thick paperback and a great deal at full price. It's seems to be out of print now, but used paperback copies are readily available for $2.00 plus shipping. (

For so little money you get so much. No fancy pictures, just great food. I own two copies as one disappeared on loan for a while and I bought a replacement. ;Then the loaner came back. It's great to have a backup of a favorite.

It's surpassed all other chinese cookbooks I've tried, though I haven't tried those mentioned by others here. It's so cheap now you really must try it.

Joined Jul 3, 2002
Thank you all! These sound like great recommendations. Looks like I have some reading (and cooking) to do. :D And Phil, I remember Smith doing shows out of that cookbook that looked wonderful. I am going to have to buy it.
Joined Oct 27, 1999
I also like the 1000 Chinese recipe cookbook for a good general reference cookbook.

For some fancier foods, The Heritage of Chinese Cooking, by Elizabeth Chong is good. In addition to nice pictures, there are interesting write-ups.

For simple food, the Easy Family Recipes from a Chinese-American Childhhod, by Ken Hom is good. A few of the recipes I tried ended up too salty, but that is an easy adjustment to make the second time around.

An Asian cookbook, though not exclusively Chinese, is Essentials of Asian Cuisine by Corinne Trang. There is a good explanation of differing ingredients as well as informative write-ups of each recipe. She includes recipes for a variety of sauces, so you don't have to rely on store-bought sauces unless you want to. It is a thick book -- lots of recipes. The Chinese recipes I have tried, the Asian cuisine I know most about, tasted authentic.
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