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Feb 2, 2007 08:12 AM

Sichuanese cookbook rec?

I've read a couple of threads on Sichuan peppercorns here where people recommend Dunlop "Land of Plenty". We were in Sichuan last year and have started cooking more and more Sichuanese at home. Would like to buy hubby a book for his Bday. Any comments on this book or other recs?

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  1. Dunlop is fine. It's written for the modern Western kitchen so just about everything is readily available and techniques are simple to follow. I prefer Mrs. Chiang's Szechuan Cooking which is probably out of print. I have no idea if Amazon or some other vendor has copies. I find the recipes more authentic than Dunlop but they're written in a very irritating way. Ingredients are written along a narrow column along the edge of the page, the recipe is in the middle of the page. If you're making something with a long list of ingredients, you keep having to turn back and forth to get everything organized. If this doesn't annoy you, you'll probably love the book.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheryl_h

      Yes, yes, Mdm. Chiang. My favorite, though, is Robt. Delfs's The Good Food of Szechwan (Kodansha; 1974). Check Alibris and the like. To my (simple) mind, Dunlop's running a ways behind these two.

    2. I'm not sure if Weichuan publishes a Szechuan book, but I think they do. They might have it on Amazon. Weichuan is the best Chinese bilingual recipe book, in my opinion, and they have nice pictures for each dish.

      1. I second the rec for Mrs Chiang's. I have been cooking out it for over 20 years now and have never had anything but success with it. Many of the recipes have become weeknight staples on my dinner table.

        1. Wei Chuan does publish one and it's good.

          1. I like Land of Plenty for the content beyond the recipes - explanations of ingredients, and background of local cooking and eating strategies. I am in Sichuan right now and wish I had brought that book with me.