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Jan 4, 2012 06:56 AM

Chinese Cuisine: Shanghai Style

Does anyone know where I can get a copy of this book from? I have seen it on amazon but it is a crazy price.

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  1. I have it (I love Wei-Chuan books) and had no idea what it was going for. It's very expensive even on ABEbooks. Yikes!

    7 Replies
    1. re: buttertart

      Man, the Wei-Chuan Four Chinese cuisines cookbooks prices are all over the price on the internet. Bejing style is only $19.00 which I believe is its intended price ($15-19). The Cantonese style is $150. Holy crap.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Wei-Chuan books at those prices? Wow, why?

        1. re: qianning

          Those prices can only mean the books are out of print with no expectation of being back in print any time soon.

          I think I'm taking my copy of "Chinese Cuisine: Wei-Chuan's Cook Book" to the bank and putting it in the vault with my diamonds.

          1. re: JoanN

            Golly, I've got a dozen of so Wei-chuan books, maybe they'll fund my retirement!

          2. re: qianning

            I am pretty sure JoanN is correct. The books are out of print, yet at the same time its reputation gain over time -- among a small segment of people. If you take a closer look, the $150 for Catnonese style cookbook is the lowest offer of a used book. Two other sellers are selling at $282 and $293.

            So yes, you can definitely sell them for your retirement.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              if you plan on retiring in micronesia, that is.

              1. re: alkapal

                Nah, I don't mean the money will be enough for the entirety of the retirement fund, but rather just a portion of it. Kinda of like how people say "We are eating out less to save money for our kid's college fund". This act alone will not save enough, but it help.

      2. I went to the Wei-Chuan Publishing site and the Cookbooks link is broken :( Has anyone tried contacting them to see if the book could be put on a demand publishing site?

        14 Replies
        1. re: travelerjjm

          Are the books even good in the big picture? They went out of print because they did not sell.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            My ex-sister-in-law, Chinese born and raised in Taiwan, bought me the "Chinese Cuisine: Wei-Chuan's Cook Book" maybe 12 years ago because that was the book she and her mother used most often. If my dinners at her house are any indication, that book is very good indeed.

            It's entirely possible that the cost of reprinting these books, which are four-color throughout and printed on heavy glossy paper, is prohibitive. The books might have sold well at their original price, but would not at the price that would have to be charged if they were reprinted.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              how do you figure?
              the recipes Ive used are very good. with techniques not in cookbooks made for the western market.
              wondering if anyone has looked in Chinatown for these books. I bought some of mine in NY Chinatown in the past.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Thanks JoanN and Jen,

                Just a wild guess really. I know publishers make business decision to see if the books worth printing. The book may be good for some people, but a very small segment of people.

                I can drop by Philly Chinatown to see if they still have any. Another thing is that the English version may be out of print, but not the Chinese version. Sometime, some books sell well in their original language version, but poor in other languages.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Mine is bilingual. I just assumed they all were. Not so?

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Maybe you are right. I have bad memory.

                    I thought I have seen this series in a Chinese bookstore before with 4 Chinese major cuisine (later they add Dim Sum and Tawianese cuisine). Yeah, I remember they were in color picture and in glossy paper. Come to think of it, I remember them being like ~$25 a piece.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      I have some that are all in English, some that are bi-lingual, and some that are all in Chinese. Some were purchased in Taiwan, some in the States, some in HK, but I don't remember which was bought where, so can't say if that relates to language/edition.

                      Wei-Chuan's. the food company, web sites, US or Taiwan version, no longer list the book as available. However Wei-Chuan Cultural Education Foundation (ie: Wei-Chuan's charitable/educational foundation, and the original sponsor of the cooking school and publisher of the cook books) still lists the books as available (not clear to me if it is only the Chinese editions or the also the bi-lingual editions.

                      Here's the link:

                      Prices are in New Taiwan Dollars, one US$ buys approx. 30 NTDollars.

                      1. re: qianning

                        Since mine is bilingual, I assumed all were. As a colleague of mine was wont to say, "There's an 'ass' in 'assume.'

                      2. re: JoanN

                        Did some further clicking on the wei-chuan org web site, looks like most of the books are offered in bi-lingual editions. don't know if they will ship, but at the prices listed, its worth sending an e-mail to find out. this is the link to the Shanghai-nese book.


                        1. re: qianning

                          I'm guessing that's a good find, quianning, but I can't read a word of it. If you can, I nominate you to follow up.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            posted the links mostly for the OP, dryrain, who seemed to really want "Shanghai Cuisine".....

                            there's an e-mail address for the foundation: buried somewhere in there, and if you click through on the books, you get views of the bi-lingual pages.

                          2. re: qianning

                            $300 Taiwanese new dollar, so it should be like $10 in US. I doubt it is more than $20 even if you account for inflation.

                            Here is the things. There are tons of Chinese cookbooks. Is Wei-Chuan really head and shoulder above others? Is it really worth hunting one down? Are we really hunting for it because we need it, or are we hunting for the sake of hunting? :D

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              I got Chinese Cuisine and Chinese Cuisine 2, and Chinese Snacks, in Taipei in the 80's. Bilingual editions (how I parlayed UC Berkeley Mandarin courses basic language into an understanding of culinary terms). All are excellent and Snacks is a real treasure. They are the books that Nina Simonds translated while in Taiwan. Very useful and at the time unparallelled in the west. That being said, the regional cuisine books of theirs I have have been interesting and educational to read but I haven't cooked from any of them. The recipes tend to be very hardcore (I'm happy to eat intestines from time to time but I have no intention of preparing them at home). Haven't looked through the Shanghai one lately but did look through the Hunan one recently, and it ain't no Revolutionary Chinese Cooking, let me tell you. I think by and large if you have the Dunlops and the Irene Kuo, you're fairly well covered in recipes the average (emphasize average) amateur Chinese cook needs or would be likely to use. With Dunlop's new pan-Chinese book coming out, Bob will indeed be your uncle. If you come across the Wei-Chuans by all means pounce. And somebody please PLEASE bring out a book on Huaiyang and/or Jiangzhe cuisines that does them justice.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Totally agree with BT that the Wei-chuan books aren't in the same class as Dunlop's books. For Sichuanese or Hunanese food, the Dunlop's for sure. For the food of Eastern China , Irene Kuo or Florence Lin's books are the best, imo, but unfortunately they also are out of print and expensive.

                                I do use some Wei Chuan books often, especially "Chinese Cooking:Favorite Home Dishes", "Chinese Seafood" and "Chinese Herb Cooking". However, I also have several Wei Chuan books that I almost never use; and this from someone whose family eats Chinese food for dinner at least two or three evenings and one or two mornings a week, which I'm pretty sure for US households out on the long tail of the curve.

                                As for "wish lists", totally agree with BT that a well written book on Huaiyang or Jiangzhe cuisines would be a real event. In my personal dream world, the same could be said for strong books covering Tanjiacai and separately another on the food of the Great Northeast. Even in Chinese I find the cookbooks covering regional cooking, ex-Canton and Sichuan, just aren't very good.

                2. It looks like these books maybe still avaiable if you look hard enough or are willing to pay for shipping from an offshore vendor. alho I note that this one seems to be out of stock


                  2 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      it may be permanently out of stock....i didnt look for more vendors after I found this item