• 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in 2022 (Katie Chin, Fuchsia Dunlop, and More) 1
  • 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in 2022 (Katie Chin, Fuchsia Dunlop, and More) 2
  • 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in 2022 (Katie Chin, Fuchsia Dunlop, and More) 3
  • 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in 2022 (Katie Chin, Fuchsia Dunlop, and More) 4
  • 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in 2022 (Katie Chin, Fuchsia Dunlop, and More) 5

10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in 2022 (Katie Chin, Fuchsia Dunlop, and More)

Chinese cuisine is vast. There are so many regional cooking styles and, in America, we've got something else entirely—Chinese-American food. But have you ever wanted to cook orange chicken at home? Or better yet, wanted to make authentic, flavorful Chinese food by hand? If so, then we recommend getting a cookbook.


However, maybe you don’t know how to find a cookbook that’s authentic (but easy!), and you don’t know if you want to focus on dishes from a single region or from all over China. Well, we've covered what to consider when finding a book in our top 10 list and buying guide, so keep on reading! For the easiest, most authentic cookbook, however, take a look at Katie Chin's Everyday Chinese.

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mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-16-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Chinese Cookbook – Buying Guide

There are a lot of things to think about before purchasing a Chinese cookbook that suits your purposes. So, below, we've prepared a handy buying guide that we hope answers some of your questions about what to consider!

Look for Simple Cookbooks If You're Busy or a Beginner

Authentic Chinese cooking can be difficult in technique and in what ingredients need to be gathered. An advanced cookbook is good if you already have a basic foundation for Chinese cuisine and you’re looking for new inspiration. 


However, if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands or are new to cooking, you’ll want a cookbook tailored to beginners.

Make Sure the Cookbook is Meant for Home Cooks in America

Make Sure the Cookbook is Meant for Home Cooks in America

The average commercial burner used for Chinese stir-fry can produce temperatures nearly 10 times as high as the standard burner in your kitchen can. So if you aren’t careful when you pick up a Chinese cookbook, you could end up with limp, leaky veggies and chewy, characterless meat because you don't have the right tools for the job.

Some cookbooks give you the option to use American-styled skillets, making them more convenient. But other times, they'll ask you to use woks, knives, or other gear you don’t have or otherwise aren’t willing to buy, so it's important to look for important keywords like “Simple” and “Home Cooking” when it comes to Chinese cookbooks.

Make Sure the Cookbook is Meant for Home Cooks in America

You also want to check how many spices the cookbook utilizes. Since we now have e-commerce sites selling pantry items, and more and more grocery stores are stocking rarer Chinese condiments and spices, cookbook-required items like chili bean sauce can be more easily found near you.


However, this isn't always the case. So if you're too far from your nearest Chinese supermarket or you don't want to pay for shipping from online retailers, then look for a book that calls for as few rare spices as possible.

Look for One-Dish Meals that are Fast and Nutritionally Balanced

Look for One-Dish Meals that are Fast and Nutritionally Balanced

Chinese side dishes usually have just one main ingredient—so you have just a pork dish or just a vegetable dish. That means that, for a complete meal, you’d have to make at least two side dishes, as well as get the rice going in the cooker. And who has the time or energy for that on a busy weekday night after work?

So if you’re looking to cut down on prep time, see if the cookbook offers one-dish meals that also ensure you meet your daily dietary requirements.

Find a Book That Explains the Spices and Cooking Methods and Offers More Inspiration

Find a Book That Explains the Spices and Cooking Methods and Offers More Inspiration

If you do decide to go for a book that uses a bunch of different spices, see if it includes explanations of them–aroma, taste, about methods of use, or more. That way, when you’re ready to start experimenting in the kitchen, either crafting your own Chinese dishes or dreaming up fusion-cuisine, you can incorporate these spices in novel ways.

Likewise, books that offer general how-tos for Chinese cooking methods and tools will be invaluable to beginners who are just learning how to cook and leave you with the freedom to use those tools and methods in different ways.

Pick a Region or Go for All Cuisine Styles

China is huge, and each of the regions has a different taste to offer. Here, we'll go over the “Eight Great Cuisines”—made up of eight regions famous for their distinctive tastes—so that you can pick and choose what you want included in your cookbook.

Sichuan and Hunan: The Two Spicy Ones

Sichuan and Hunan: The Two Spicy Ones

You’ve probably heard of Sichuan cuisine (also known as Szechuan). It’s known for its biting hot chili and pungent, refreshing peppercorns. The taste, in Chinese, is often described as “mala“–or numbing and spicy


A lot of Sichuan dishes will also have a sweet or sour component playing underneath, perfect for people who like complex, layered flavors. A famous representative of Sichuan cuisine is mapo tofu.

Sichuan and Hunan: The Two Spicy Ones

Hunan is another bright and spicy region, but it doesn’t use copious amounts of peppercorn, so you don’t get that distinct tingling sensation. Instead, the aroma of garlic and the savoriness of meat give Hunan dishes their bold flavor profile. 


Hunan is known for its “dry pot” dishes—stir-fries with very little moisture, which leaves the meat crunchy without, the vegetables crisp, and spices fragrant.

Guangdong or Cantonese: Lighter and Easier on the Stomach

Guangdong or Cantonese: Lighter and Easier on the Stomach

All the spice and oil in a Sichuan dish could lead to potential indigestion if you aren’t careful. So if you’re looking for something lighter and more refreshing, perhaps pick out a Cantonese cookbook. 


The Cantonese are famous for dim sum–or “morning tea”–which often consists of steamed dishes light enough for a morning meal. Their rice noodle rolls are a particular highlight.

Cantonese congee is the ultimate comfort food, too. The most popular variety is Century Egg-Lean Pork Porridge, which infuses rice with the umami of meat and preserved egg.

Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang: Seaside Regions with Savory-Sweet, Braised Dishes

Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang: Seaside Regions with Savory-Sweet, Braised Dishes

Tender and savory-sweet isn’t, of course, all these regions have to offer, but it’s one of their main tastes. Shangdong has rich, nourishing flavors featuring clear broths that have bubbled for hours, deep, milky soups, sweet and sour carp, and the creaminess of sea cucumbers.

Jiangsu offers more balanced flavors. Jiangsu chefs stress the use of fresh ingredients, and sugar is a popular seasoning, so you get sweet and mellow undertones. It makes good use of the hong shao method, where you braise pork in soy sauce and rice wine. 

Jiangsu is also famous for salted duck and sweet and sour Mandarin fish (pictured in the photo above), which you will not be able to make at home.

Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang: Seaside Regions with Savory-Sweet, Braised Dishes
Zhejiang is directly south of Jiangsu, and it utilizes the same savory-sweet approch and attention to fresh ingredients and seafood. Its dishes are quite dainty and not quite as greasy and overpowering as other Chinese dishes. 

It’s also home to the city of Shaoxing, famous for its wine, so its braised dishes–such as the tender and succulent Dongpo pork–are both clear and flavorful.

Fujian and Anhui: Hearty, Nourishing Fare

Fujian and Anhui: Hearty, Nourishing Fare
Fujian is another seaside province, and its dishes are rich, with a number of thick broths, stews, and soups known as “geng.” This region also loves to pickle its food and use Chinese rice wine, giving dishes a slightly sweet, crystallized, heady taste.
Anhui is further insland, neighboring Jiangsu, so their fare can be quite similar at times. However, Anhui is a mountainous–and not a coast-side–region, so their dishes utilize a lot of wild herbs, plants, and animals. There is less emphasis on stir-frying and more on stewing–think of the famous and multifarious Li Hongzhang Hotchpotch.

Make Sure It’s Easy to Read

Make Sure It’s Easy to Read
There can be a lot of recipes in one book, so you need to make sure they’re laid out in a way that makes sense to you. Check first if the index is extensive and easy to follow.

After that, see how the recipes are arranged. Is it by the type of main ingredient? That style is good if you’re looking for nutritional balance and a variety of side dishes. Is it by cooking method? If so, then it'll be good for if you’re looking to budget your time.

Make Sure It’s Easy to Read
Then look at the recipes themselves—are they written out in a way that’s easy to read, or is there a lot of text that obscures the instructions? Are there icons and visual cues? Is there cook time and serving size and, if you need it, nutritional information listed out? 

Amazon has a LOOK INSIDE! for a lot of its books, which will come in handy if you want to quickly look at the layout.

10 Best Chinese Cookbooks

Here are 10 of our favorite cookbooks that will have you working magic in your kitchen.

Image
Kei Lum Chan, Diora Fong Chan China: The Cookbook 1

Kei Lum Chan, Diora Fong Chan

1
Katie Chin Everyday Chinese Cookbook 1

Katie Chin

2
Bee Yinn Low Easy Chinese Recipes 1

Bee Yinn Low

3
Fuchsia Dunlop Every Grain of Rice 1

Fuchsia Dunlop

4
Charmaine Ferrara The Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook 1

Charmaine Ferrara

6
Naomi Imatome-Yun The Essential Wok Cookbook 1

Naomi Imatome-Yun

7
Grace Young Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge 1

Grace Young

8
Carolyn Phillips All Under Heaven 1

Carolyn Phillips

9
Irene Kuo The Key to Chinese Cooking 1

Irene Kuo

10
Jung-Feng Chiang, Ellen Schrecker, John Schrecker Szechwan Cookbook 1

Jung-Feng Chiang, Ellen Schrecker, John Schrecker

Name

China: The Cookbook

Everyday Chinese Cookbook

Easy Chinese Recipes

Every Grain of Rice

The Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook

The Essential Wok Cookbook

Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge

All Under Heaven

The Key to Chinese Cooking

Szechwan Cookbook

Features

650+ Recipes from All Over China

Authentic Recipes and Fresh Spins From Two Renowned Chefs

Best if You Don’t Know What You’re Doing in the Kitchen: Has All the Basic Tips and Tricks

Includes a Comprehensive Introduction to Ingredients, Equipment, and Methods

Teaches You How to Choose Healthier Ingredients for Healthier Dishes

Includes Authentic Recipes and Americanized Favorites

Learn Everything About Stir-frying Techniques and Delicious Recipes

Detailed Recipes and Eloquent Descriptions of Culinary Culture

The Primer of Chinese Cooking from the 70s

A Classic Cookbook from 1976 Full of Spicy Dishes

Price$33.77$15.99$21.68$25.02$15.19$14.39$23.99$31.74$10.69$20.83
eBook price-$17.91$25.29$26.26$10.29$9.16$17.99$17.04--
Difficulty levelAdvancedBeginnerBeginnersBeginner, intermediateBeginnerBeginnerBeginner, intermediateAdvancedIntermediateIntermediate
Pages720160144352192150336528532359
Formats availableHardcovereBook, hardcovereBook, hardcovereBook, hardcovereBook, paperbackeBook, paperback, spiral-boundeBook, hardcovereBook, hardcoverHardcover, paperbackHardcover
Highlights30+ regions of Chinese recipes coveredSalad section, Chinese-inspired dessertsSimple and easy tipsLow-sodium, low-sugar, lean meat, less oils recipesCrossover recipesTraditional recipesSpicy recipes
Link
1

Katie ChinEveryday Chinese Cookbook

$15.99

eBook price$17.91
Difficulty levelBeginner
Pages160
Formats availableeBook, hardcover
HighlightsSalad section, Chinese-inspired desserts
2

Bee Yinn LowEasy Chinese Recipes

$21.68

eBook price$25.29
Difficulty levelBeginners
Pages144
Formats availableeBook, hardcover
HighlightsSimple and easy tips
3

Fuchsia DunlopEvery Grain of Rice

$25.02

eBook price$26.26
Difficulty levelBeginner, intermediate
Pages352
Formats availableeBook, hardcover
Highlights
4

Charmaine FerraraThe Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook

$15.19

eBook price$10.29
Difficulty levelBeginner
Pages192
Formats availableeBook, paperback
HighlightsLow-sodium, low-sugar, lean meat, less oils recipes

Kei Lum Chan, Diora Fong ChanChina: The Cookbook

$33.77

eBook price-
Difficulty levelAdvanced
Pages720
Formats availableHardcover
Highlights30+ regions of Chinese recipes covered
6

Naomi Imatome-YunThe Essential Wok Cookbook

$14.39

eBook price$9.16
Difficulty levelBeginner
Pages150
Formats availableeBook, paperback, spiral-bound
Highlights
7

Grace YoungStir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge

$23.99

eBook price$17.99
Difficulty levelBeginner, intermediate
Pages336
Formats availableeBook, hardcover
HighlightsCrossover recipes
8

Carolyn PhillipsAll Under Heaven

$31.74

eBook price$17.04
Difficulty levelAdvanced
Pages528
Formats availableeBook, hardcover
Highlights
9

Irene KuoThe Key to Chinese Cooking

Hardcover

$10.69

eBook price-
Difficulty levelIntermediate
Pages532
Formats availableHardcover, paperback
HighlightsTraditional recipes
10

Jung-Feng Chiang, Ellen Schrecker, John SchreckerSzechwan Cookbook

$20.83

eBook price-
Difficulty levelIntermediate
Pages359
Formats availableHardcover
HighlightsSpicy recipes

Expand Your Culinary Profile

Now that you've got your Chinese cookbook, you might want to get some new kitchen utensils and condiments to help you create authentic dishes! Don't worry, we've got you covered with more buying guides below.

  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more mybest recommendations! For questions or comments, leave us feedback via a Google Form on our Contact Us page.

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