10 of The Best Chinese Cookbooks To Make Homemade Chinese Food

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These best Chinese cookbooks showcase the richness and multiple layers found in one of the oldest and most diverse cuisines.

There are regional differences and ingredients each laden with unique flavors and textures. 

The rich Chinese cuisine that is much loved around the world can be easily recreated at home following simple recipes.

The 10 best Chinese cookbooks in this list covers a range of regional foods and cooking styles. There are cookbooks that teach you to master takeout or favorite Chinese restaurant dishes.

Others cover regional cuisines like Sichuan cooking. And, for those getting started with Chinese cooking, the best Chinese cookbooks for beginners will be your guide.

With a mind-blowing variety of cooking styles, this rich cuisine is a culinary treasure box with something for cooks of all skill levels.

Based on your interests and cooking preferences, get started with any one of these Chinese cookbooks.

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Best Chinese Cookbook For Beginners

Chris Toy – Easy Chinese Cookbook: Restaurant Favorites Made Simple

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While the winner of this top ten list is based on wok style restaurant cooking, this book scores dumpling points for easy and varied recipes it offers.

Best Chinese Cookbook For Popular Chinese Recipes

Kowlyn Wan – Chinese Takeout Cookbook: From Chop Suey to Sweet ‘n’ Sour, Over 70 Recipes to Re-create Your Favorites

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Take outs are often the first meeting with Chinese cuisine for many. When you have a cookbook with your sumptuous favorites, what more is needed to make your weekend special?

10 Best Chinese Cookbooks

1- The Essential Wok Cookbook: A Simple Chinese Cookbook for Stir-Fry, Dim Sum, and Other Restaurant Favorites

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Do you love your stir fries and enjoy wok style cooking above all? This cookbook should be in your shopping cart right now.  

Let’s admit it! Restaurant meals are great for the palette but can be unhealthy and a stress to your wallet as well. 

With The Essential Wok Cookbook, author Naomi Imatome-Yun reveals healthier and cheaper ways to enjoy authentic Chinese food.

With 100+ recipes including stir frying, meat pots and dumplings, this cookbook will keep you thrilled and experimenting for weeks.

What we liked about Naomi’s cookbook? The essential techniques on wrapper folding along with ingredient swaps and budget food options.

In this cookbook, Naomi Imatome-Yun sprinkles funny anecdotes on the American reimagination of authentic Chinese cuisine.

And, the glossy and mouth-watering food images along with clear instructions make cooking Chinese food a joy.

Chinese food lovers of all skill levels will enjoy the easy techniques and delicious recipes to confidently make Chinese food at home.

+ Who is It For? This cookbook is a great resource for those who want to master Chinese wok style dishes.

– Not For? Someone looking for a complete Chinese cookbook featuring the country’s vast regional cuisines.

2- Pei Mei’s Chinese Cookbook

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Why is an out-of-print cookbook published 50 years ago on our list? For starters, the author is considered the Julia Child of Taiwan and hosted the country’s first cooking show.

Fu Pei Mei’s three-volume cookbooks on Chinese cuisine are considered culinary gems by immigrants and Chinese food lovers alike.

This Cantonese cookbook is a gorgeous picturebook in hardcover with each recipe written both in Chinese and English. 

In addition to classic and delicious recipes, Pei Mei’s Chinese Cookbook offers glimpses of regional history and culinary traditions from the four corners of China. 

Authentic Chinese foods from Canton, Shanghai, Szechuan and Peking are featured. There are 25 recipes for each of the regional cuisines including snacks and desserts. 

The authentic yet simple recipes, along with heavy doses of Chinese culture will transport you across the country.

For those looking to master traditional Chinese cooking, this authoritative cookbook is the perfect resource for your kitchen.

+ Who is It For? For cooks who have experience with Chinese cooking and are ready to dive deeper.

– Not For? Someone who is discovering Chinese cuisine or seeking recipes adapted to western tastes.

3- Easy Chinese Cookbook: Restaurant Favorites Made Simple

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When you have a cooking instructor creating a book of recipes, you know it’s worth a look. Chris Toy, an expert in Asian cooking, has been arming his students with essential skills for over three decades.

He is guided by the principle that food doesn’t simply sustain you but feeds the spirit of your friends and family.

His Easy Chinese Cookbook, based on restaurant style cooking, features popular and delicious Chinese dishes that are quick to make.

From Kung Pao Beef to Orange Chicken, this Chinese cookery book offers delectable copycat recipes with detailed sauce and dessert options.

Chris provides clear and amusing instructions interspersed with detailed pantry notes. Gorgeous photos of plated dishes add to this well-structured Chinese cookbook.

+ Who is It For?  Anyone who loves Chinese dine out recipes with a western world touch. 

– Not For? Cooks who are looking for a book with authentic Chinese recipes or regional Chinese cooking techniques.

RELATED: Top 15 of The Best Asian Cookbooks To Spice Up Your Cooking

4- Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking

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Like every other deep-rooted and advanced cuisine, Chinese cooking has many layers to it. 

Every Grain of Rice takes you on a journey to discover everyday traditional Chinese dishes from southern China.

Author, Fuchsia Dunlop, the only foreigner to train as a chef at the Sichuan Institute makes the cuisine accessible with simple recipes. 

Featuring 150 recipes from Dan Dan noodles to Gong Bao Chicken, they all come with mouth-watering color images and clear instructions. 

If you’ve been confused about various Chinese ingredients, sauces, spices and techniques, Fuchsia has you covered. 

This book teaches you overall principles of Chinese cooking and techniques delivered in an engaging manner.

We agree with Fuchsia, when she says “authentic Chinese cooking doesn’t need to be complicated.” 

With this cookbook, you’ll learn the proper ingredients and right techniques and easily cook Chinese food at home. 

+ Who is It For? Best for home cooks who love both Sichuan and Chinese cuisine.

– Not For? Those who prefer a comprehensive Chinese cookbook with dishes from all over the country.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: As you dive into Chinese cooking, you want to have the right dinnerware to go with your meals. Adorn your dinner table with these beautiful porcelain blue and white rice bowls.

5- The Food of Sichuan

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A four-time James Beard Award Winner, Fuchsia Dunlop showcases foods from the Sichuan region famous for its hot and bold flavors. 

Another book that covers the world-famous cuisine, it is considered as an updated version of her landmark book, Land of Plenty.

Considered a love letter to Sichuan, The Food of Sichuan features 200 recipes accompanied by stunning food images and travel photography.

The author takes a fresh look at the textures, flavors and techniques of Sichuan cuisine. Considered one of the greatest cuisines, not only in China but in the world, 

The fiery flavors and abundant use of red chilis and Sichuan pepper come to life in favorites like  mapo tofu or dan dan mian recipes.

This engaging Szechuan cookbook is filled with stories and evocative descriptions of tasting meals that make you drool. 

For those looking to expand their knowledge of Sichuan cooking this is one of the best Chinese cookbooks on the subject. 

+ Who is It For? Best for those looking to learn more about Sichuanese cuisine.

– Not For?  For those intimidated by Chinese cooking. Familiarity with cooking Chinese helps.

6- Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food: Deliciously Doable Ways to Cook Greens, Tofu, and Other Plant-Based Ingredients

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Many Asian cuisines, including Chinese, are known for their use of vegetables and grains in everyday dishes. 

Author, Hsiao-Ching Chou, has gone one step further creating an entire cookbook centered around plant food. 

Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food indeed shows you how to prepare delicious meals without meat or seafood. 

This vegetarian Chinese cookbook includes 75 recipes that are perfect for weekday meals

True to its name, Chou’s cookbook brings classic soul food into your kitchen. 

The recipe list includes delicious dumplings, stir fry, soups, desserts, rice and noodle dishes. There is even a chapter dedicated to tofu and eggs. 

Based in Seattle, the author is aware of the challenges of finding authentic ingredients. 

As such, she offers useful notes on ingredients and substitutions, cookware and other practical tips to make the most of cooking at home.

Fabulous photography along with wonderfully written recipes makes this one of the best cookbooks for vegetarians,

+ Who is It For? For vegetarians seeking a Chinese plant based cookbook or anyone keen on reducing meat from their diet.

– Not For? Those who prefer meat-based recipes. Not 100% plant based for vegan cooks.

7- Chinese Takeout Cookbook: From Chop Suey to Sweet ‘n’ Sour, Over 70 Recipes to Re-create Your Favorites

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With Chinese takeout being the favorite comfort food for many, our list brings you another wonderful Chinese cookery book. 

Kwoklyn Wan’s cookbook entices you to create your favorite Chinese restaurant dishes  in the comfort of your kitchen.

Along with 70 crowd favorites from Shredded Crispy Chicken to Wonton Soup, Chinese Takeout Cookbook also reveals restaurants secrets and techniques for making tasty meals.

Kwoklyn’s expertise as a professional chef and restaurateur shines through these quick fix dishes that come with detailed instructions, practical tips and appetizing images.

Those getting started with Chinese cooking will appreciate the simplicity and accessibility of the recipes in this simple Chinese cookbook.

Who Is It For? Best for someone who loves takeout. For those looking to recreate restaurant favorites.

– Not For? Not for cooks interested in traditional or region-specific Chinese recipes.

RELATED: 10 of the Best Cookbook Holders To Equip Your Kitchen

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

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If you’re familiar with Malaysia or Malaysian foods, the author’s name is sure to ring a bell.

Bee Yinn Low is the face behind the popular food blog on Asian cooking – RasaMalaysia.

A Malaysian of Chinese descent, Bee grew up enjoying authentic Chinese foods and culture, and her book reflects her appreciation for it.

With Easy Chinese Recipes, she provides a tantalizing glimpse to everyday family foods, but now adapted to a modern lifestyle in Southern California.

Her cookbook serves as a bridge between traditional Chinese cuisine and modern foods, with locally available ingredients.

The book includes uncomplicated family recipes like Chow Mein Noodles, Mongolian Beef, Sweet-and-Sour Pork and more.

Accompanied by gorgeous photos and detailed instructions, this cookbook simplifies and makes Chinese cooking accessible for all.

Modified versions of popular restaurant foods across Asia with easy to find ingredients are a wonderful bonus.

+ Who Is It For? Home cooks looking to add everyday Chinese foods to their repertoire.

– Not For? Not for experienced cooks who are looking for advanced Chinese cooking techniques.

RELATED: 9 Reasons You Should Feast on Penang Food, Malaysia

9- Xi’an Famous Foods: The Cuisine of Western China, from New York’s Favorite Noodle Shop

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The title says it all. This cookbook features iconic dishes from New York’s popular Chinese restaurant, Xi’an. 

Owner and author, Jason Wang shares anecdotes about the multi-location restaurant’s journey along with detailed recipes. 

It is also a cultural chronicle of an immigrant’s journey to creating a new place called home.

In Xi’an Famous Foods, Jason shares delicious and exclusive recipes with a simplified list of ingredients for cooks of all skill levels.

This book teaches you to make popular recipes like biang biang noodles, liang pi noodles, chili oil, and cumin lamb.

Basic recipes for braised dishes, bread, sweets, salads, dumplings, hot-pot, skewers and more are covered. The detailed pantry notes and lessons on cooking techniques are a welcome addition.

Fans of Xi’an Famous Foods restaurants will love this Chinese cookbook.

+ Who is It For? For cooks who are actively seeking restaurant recipes and fans of Xi’an.

– Not For? Those who prefer cookbooks on conventional and traditional Chinese cooking.

10- Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakeries

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If you thought Chinese cooking is all noodles and dumplings, Kristina Cho reveals an exciting culinary world of Chinese baking.

Just like visiting a Chinese bakery, Mooncakes and Milk Bread brings you delectable tastes from Chinese bakeries. 

Architect, turned food blogger,  Kristina provides readers with her own modern interpretation of classic Chinese bakes – savory and sweet. 

This is one of the first cookbooks to focus solely on Chinese bakery and cafe foods. 

From classics like steam pork buns and milk bread to chocolate Swiss rolls and moon cakes, the book has something for every baker. 

The gorgeous food images in this cookbook will make you want to start cooking right away. 

Along with valuable suggestions, detailed instructions and troubleshooting tips, you’ll feel confident to make Chinese baked goods.

+ Who is It For? Best for anyone who loves baking and enjoys new flavors and techniques.

– Not For? Not for those interested in a cookbook of standard Chinese fare.

RELATED: Chicago Chinatown Food Tour- How to Taste the Best of Chinatown

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What one of these is your best Chinese cookbook? Please let us know in the comments below!

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2 Comments on “10 of The Best Chinese Cookbooks To Make Homemade Chinese Food”

  1. Take a look at “The Key to Chinese Cooking” by Irene Kuo. From 1977, long out of print, but comprehensive and much more authentic than you would expect from the time.


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