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Need Chinese Cookbook big on technique

My favorite is Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen. I have worn my first copy out and am on my second. It is the book I give for gifts or when I think a person is getting serious about cooking. Besides the great recipes, it taught me many points on technique.

I am currently seeking suggestions for a good Chinese cookbook that teaches a lot of technique. My stuff tends to come out tasty but less than perfect on appearance and texture.

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  1. Byteme55, I don't have any cookbook recommendations for you, but I would suggest that you be more specific in your title, perhaps mentioning that you're looking for a Chinese cookbook with detailed technique.

    Good luck!

      1. BYT, Prudhomme's book is my favorite as well. Mine looks like it's 50 years old from the wear and tear. (I love his recipe for sticky chicken.) The best book on Asian cooking I've found is "Bruce Cost's Guide To Asian Ingredients". It not only has excellent recipes, it offers complete discreptions of Asian produce, fish, meat preparation, etc. (Very handy when you shop at large Asian markets.) While it's currently out of print, it's easily found at www.abebooks.com. The China Moon cookbook is a classic but a little more advanced in technique and preparation. I would master Cost's book before going on to China Moon.

        1. The Key to Chinese Cooking by Irene Kuo. The book is divided into 2 sections. The first teaches technique and the seconds builds on the first.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Candy

            Candy, I just bought the Kuo "..Key.." book! Would you recommend a favorite to start with? I'd love to try something, any course but dessert. I'm medium skilled but very patient. TIA very much!

            1. re: blue room

              There are so many good things in that book. I started with spare ribs when I first started cooking from the book. The hot and sour ribs have always been a favorite, the 5 spice glazed ribs are yummy. If you have any leftover roasted pork around the almond ding is great, Chiang Bo Chicken, Chicken Soong, Vinegar Splashed Chicken, Try the shallow fried noodles on p 441. Really good and a household favorite.

          2. For technique, I really like the late Barbara Tropp's The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. It's an old book, but it's a classic, and it's still available at amazon.com:


            1 Reply
            1. re: Nancy Berry

              That is one of my all time favorite cookbooks, perhaps the very favorite. The instructions are detailed as to what to do and what you expect. There are both simple and complex dishes. I have so many favorites from this book.

            2. chef chu's distinctive cuisine of china

              1. For technique, I am going again with Sunset, I use many of their books to learn the basics and ingredients for cooking. They give wonderful recipes. Once you have the idea down, then expand to other books for more challenging recipes.

                1. I also recommend Irene Kuo's Key to Chinese Cooking, especially for anyone wanting to learn technique. Read through the first sections carefully. She walks you through how to cut and prepare food for cooking (really important), then how to cook over moist heat, dry heat etc. If you get these down, you'll have the basics. I find too many people think they don't need to learn how to cut or stir-fry and don't understand why their dishes don't turn out well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cheryl_h

                    I third the recommendation for Irene Kuo's Key to Chinese Cooking. It's inexpensive and the content is priceless.

                  2. "Ken Hom's Chinese Technique"

                    1. Agreed.

                      I love Barbara Tropp's Classic Chinese (ignore the Moon Cafe book. Definitely NOT user friendly).
                      Irene Kuo's is indeed a classic. Perfect demonstration of each technique.
                      Ken Hom's Chinese technique is very good as well. Really good, straightforward cooking. I reach for it on weeknights.
                      I have not seen it in a while, but always heard great things about a Chinese cookbook Craig Claiborne co-wrote.
                      I have had good luck with Ming Tsai's books, but might be best after you get the techniques down. Blue Ginger is the more straightforward of th two.
                      Hot Breath of a Wok. Great concept, shaky recipes.
                      2 great cookbooks for weekends when you feel more comfortable with technique: Martin Yan's Chinatown, and Susanna Foo Inspiration.

                      Good luck!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Westy

                        Another vote for Barbara Tropp's Classic Chinese. It's the one I always go to for solid information and advice. Every recipe from it has bieen a hit.

                      2. Not exactly on your topic but rent the video of Eat Drink Man Woman (I hope I got the words in order) great chinese kitchen scenes and food! If you like it someone made and American version called Tortilla Soup