China: The Cookbook

Phaidon is known for their dedication to publishing epic tomes focusing on international cuisine for the cookbook loving public. One of their latest releases, China: The Cookbook, presented a daunting task for its authors.

The authors, Chan Kei-lum, 75, and his wife, Diora Fong Hui-lan, 65, initially declined Phaidon’s offer to write this title. They felt that attempting to define the cuisine of China in only 650 recipes would not do justice to that immense culinary history. 

The couple’s initial list of 1,200 recipes had to be whittled down and it proved to be a difficult job. To accomplish this they removed recipes that required special equipment or weren’t particularly tasty. Testing 1,200 recipes, while certainly overwhelming for the authors, proved delightful for Fong and Chan’s friends who were the beneficiaries of the leftovers of the trial dishes. “We ask our friends to come and take it. We tell them to come at 5pm and bring their own boxes,” Chan stated. You can read the full article on the Phaidon website.

China: The Cookbook focuses on the eight regional cooking styles of China including remote areas such as Xinjiang and Tibet, which are lesser known to those outside the area. I was able to take a look at a few of the recipes and photographs and am anxious to have this volume in my hands. 

This title promises delicious and authentic Chinese dishes for the home kitchen and showcases the culinary diversity of the world’s richest and oldest cuisines with recipes from the 33 regions and sub-regions.

Interesting snippet from our indexer – 60 new ingredients had to be added to the database for the recipes in this book. You would think after 7 years and 34,000+ ingredients that we would have every ingredient already listed. But no – we didn’t have grass carp belly, osmanthus sugar, salted toon shoots, ganba fungus and 56 others.

The book is published today. Phaidon has a special deal for EYB members – 30% off every cookbook in their online store.


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