Chinese Cookbooks for Gifting

Whether it’s a gift for yourself as you plan a Chinese new year’s feast, or gifting the food lover, there are some wonderful books to choose from. Although many cookbooks cover Asian food in general, if you’re looking for a trusted resource on Chinese cooking, it’s best to hunt for one focusing on China or its regional cuisine.
Suggestions here may not be new this year, but many are timeless classics that impart education and authentic recipes around the different regions and their specialties. They are all great additions to the kitchen library.
The Seventh Daughter: My Culinary Journey from Beijing to San Francisco by Cecilia Chiang
Cecilia Chiang has greatly influenced Chinese cuisine in this country, having boldly introduced authentic dishes in her San Francisco restaurant The Mandarin during the 60’s and 70’s, when the country was most familiar with the likes of chop suey and egg foo young. In “The Seventh Daughter”, Chiang shares recipes interspersed with colorful narrative of her journey from China to San Francisco, becoming an entrepreneur and one of the most respected authorities on Chinese cooking.
Every Grain of Rice by Fuschia Dunlop
The first westerner to receive training at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine in Sichuan, Dunlop has written several cookbooks mostly focused on Chinese cookery, and is considered an authority on the subject. Although some of her other books have focused on specific regions, this particular one plays on everyday dishes with an emphasis on southern China and includes many vegetarian-friendly recipes.
Breath of A Wok by Grace Young
A San Francisco native and accomplished food writer and lecturer, Young’s specialty is wok cooking and stir-frying. This book is her tribute to this style of cooking, explaining how to season a wok, creating great flavors with it, and sharing her respect for its art and place in culinary tradition.
Mastering The Art of Chinese Cooking by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo
Lo has been cooking since she was a child growing up Canton, learning techniques and traditions from her grandmother. She has written over ten cookbooks and began teaching Chinese cooking in the 70’s. This comprehensive volume is filled with gorgeous imagery of markets in China to steaming bowls of noodles. Each section is broken down into lessons like a textbook from navigating a Chinese market to barbecue to creating a menu, as if you were in her classroom.
Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant by Anthony Myint
For the rebel, this cheeky cookbook shares recipes from the wildly popular San Francisco Mission Chinese Food restaurant, taking classic Chinese dishes and turning them upside down, like Kung Pao Pastrami. It entertains with comic book elements and the unlikely story of the restaurant’s beginnings. From a food truck to sharing the space of a divey Chinese take-out place, Mission Chinese led the way during a rogue restaurant movement in the city.
Chinese Cookery by Ken Hom
For a tour of food around the different regions of China, Hom spends the first third of the book guiding the reader through staple ingredients, equipment and cooking techniques. He shares familiar restaurant recipes like Peking duck and stir-fried beef with ginger, and simplifies them while teaching the specific techniques involved as well as what regions the dishes come from.

Where To Find These Cookbooks:
Omnivore Books
3885a Cesar Chavez Street
(415) 282-4712
Green Apple Books
506 Clement Street (@6th Ave.)
(415) 387-2272
1644 Haight Street (between Belvedere St. and Clayton St.)
(415) 863-8688
City Lights
1644 Haight Street (between Belvedere St. and Clayton St.)
(415) 863-8688