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liao

I'm looking for a good all-purpose Chinese cookbook in Chinese. Is there such a thing. I see many cookbooks (thousands probably) but I'm not familiar with any of the authors or publishers so I'm not sure whether I'm buying a decent book or not.

I know Taiwan has/had Fu Pei Mei who some called the Julia Child of Chinese cooking. Is there someone like her whom I should look for in the cookbook aisles?

I want to cook from the book, but I also want something that could be used as a reference (although maybe a limited one) if I hear of a new (to me) dish and want to look it up.

I realize that with the great diversity of regional cooking a "one stop" cookbook for China may not be possible. So, feel free to recommend good books for regions as well.

Thanks.

Edited by liao
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yonglin

For Sichuan and Hunan cooking, I really like Fuchsia Dunlop's books (in North America, they're called Land of Plenty and Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, respectively). If you browse through the reviews on Amazon, you might be able to find some alternatives as well.

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liao

Thanks. I really appreciate the tips. I actually meant cookbooks in Chinese.

I have both of Dunlop's books and really like them as well as her autobiography.

Charles

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rcloud19

Charles-

Sorry, didn't realize you were looking for cookbooks written in Chinese.

I'm afraid I won't be of much help with that, the only ones that I have are from the Wei-Chuan cookbook series, which are written in both english and chinese, but I wouldn't consider them great cookbooks.

Hopefully someone else can provide better assistance as I, too, would love to find a great cookbook written in Chinese.

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msittig

I've looked cursorily at local bookstores here in Shanghai and I can't recommend anything in particular. There are hundreds of junky cookbooks that are not worth the paper they're printed on. The only thing that would be worth mentioning is anything under the 《贝太厨房》(Betty's kitchen) banner, which are passable and occasionally show flashes of inspiration. We actually subscribed to their magazine for a while.

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liao

Thanks, that helps. I look at the cookbook section every time I go to Xinhua here in Dalian and I've just never been impressed. But, I'm totally ignorant of these matters and I'm sure its a case of just not knowing what to look for.

Now, I can look for 贝太厨房.

I'll be happy to hear more recommendations.

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zhxlier

If you just want to cook (instead of admiring a nice printed cookbook), I suggest you read some Chinese cooking blogs. The one I refer to the most is http://blog.wenxuecity.com/myblog.php?blogID=9747 . However this website is probably blocked in China.

For an all purpose and classic cookbook, I have this one: http://www.langlang.cc/1366283.htm . Mine is probably the 1st edition, costs under 5 yuan. I took it with me when I came to the US. It's nothing fancy and you won't find any "new" dishes in it (at least in my version). But it has some classic dishes from all regions, and I find I reach back to it more often than others. My old edition is paperback and has only two color pages with crappy photos. Hopefully the new edition makes some improvements.

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rcloud19

Thanks for the link to that blog. It looks absolutely amazing, definitely the best Chinese food blog I have seen.

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Jellyfish

I'm going to resurrect this thread because I had the same question (Chinese cookbooks in Chinese) and was delighted when I found these two recommendations but both links are broken and no details are given beyond the links. Can anyone help me out? Same brief, would love a cookbook for the "classics" (Julia Child style), nice pictures welcome but by no means mandatory.

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abcdefg

My pager just went off @大块头。Thanks for the question. @Jellyfish -- I have some suggestions, though no single, all-round authoritative reference on a par with Julia Child. I have asked your question to half a dozen Chinese friends over the years in Kunming, and every single one of them has pointed me to a video channel or blog. None of my "cooking friends" has ever said, "You need to get a copy of such-and-such cookbook." 

 

When I have worked up recipes to bring to this forum, I have usually started with "oral tradition" -- what several trustworthy people have told me about how to make this or that classic dish. The way mom did it. Then I've analyzed and tested methods from several on-line Chinese sources. Take a little from this one, a little from that one, and shape them into my own reliable version. 

 

When I come back from the gym in a couple of hours, I will put together a list of some on-line chefs that I have found to be consistently reliable and will compile some other resources for you.

 

Meanwhile, if you are searching for a specific recipe, you might take a look at some of the ones I've posted here on these forums. They are in alphabetical order for easy reference and they all include photos plus explanations. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/52430-alphabetical-index-of-food-articles/

 

I had hoped to put them together into a small book during the "stay-at-home" down time mandated by this Covid epidemic, but my "US test kitchen" here in Texas isn't up to the task of trying out refinements and working up the polishing touches. It's partly a lack of proper equipment and partly a lack of proper ingredients. 

 

Will return to this subject in a couple of hours, I promise. 

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Jellyfish

Thank you so much for these resources, they're amazing! I'd mainly been hoping for a book because my reading skills are still so far behind my speaking and listening skills, and trying to read novels in Chinese is so so slow and such a chore, so I thought it'd be nice to read something bite-sized (sorry not sorry) and something that I can use and apply immediately in real life. I suppose whatever reading skills and vocab I would gain from this would be very niche anyway so it may have been a failed project from the beginning haha.

Anyway, your resources look fantastic and I'll be sure to check them out! Sorry to just slap your name at the end there, I'm on mobile and this tag/comments window is playing up.

@abcdefg

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abcdefg
8 hours ago, Jellyfish said:

I suppose whatever reading skills and vocab I would gain from this would be very niche anyway so it may have been a failed project from the beginning haha.

 

I thought the same thing for a while, but found that when living in China talking about food was actually a pretty useful skill. I always made a point of reading menus, taking a copy home when possible, trying to work out items that were not immediately clear. Would look some dishes up to see how they were made. Often this led to a "Oh, I want to try that at home."

 

I also collected the weekly grocery store advertising flyers. I would use them to informally quiz myself. Look a picture and ask "what is that?" If I didn't know, then read the text. Also do it the other way around, reading the description first while holding my thumb over the illustration. 

 

Common words are encountered a lot and become second nature pretty fast. Rare things take longer and may never actually "take root." I don't worry much about them absent special circumstances. 

 

Low-tech learning of this type doesn't require large blocks of time or a heroic intellectual investment. Little pieces of knowledge just trickle in daily, never overwhelming the system or causing the least bit of stress. Gradually one comes to acquire a more-or-less native level of understanding and can converse intelligently on the subject.  Helps in finding common ground; helps in making friends. 

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Jellyfish
1 minute ago, abcdefg said:

Low-tech learning of this type doesn't require large blocks of time or a heroic intellectual investment. Little pieces of knowledge just trickle in daily, never overwhelming the system or causing the least bit of stress. Gradually one comes to acquire a more-or-less native level of understanding and can converse intelligently on the subject.  

 

Thank you so much for this, that's exactly what I'd been hoping for too! Obviously reading recipes will never replace my flashcards and reading practice but it's going to be a lot more fun and may have more real life applications so will feel more rewarding. This has motivated me to continue!

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Prawn1999

zhxlier this link to the blog is so helpful, appreciate that

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