• Top 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in the UK 2021 (Ken Hom, Gok Wan and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in the UK 2021 (Ken Hom, Gok Wan and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in the UK 2021 (Ken Hom, Gok Wan and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in the UK 2021 (Ken Hom, Gok Wan and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in the UK 2021 (Ken Hom, Gok Wan and More) 5

Top 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in the UK 2021 (Ken Hom, Gok Wan and More)

Love Chinese food but not confident enough to replicate your favourite takeaway and restaurant dishes at home? That won't be a problem with our selection of cookbooks! Forget about egg fried rice or chow mein, why not challenge yourself to make authentic Cantonese dim sum, baos, dumplings or even regional Chinese dishes? 


Even if you have special dietary requirements such as being vegan or vegetarian, you're still invited to this Chinese banquet! In this article, we've included an introduction to the cuisine, a detailed buying guide and a list of our favourite modern and classic Chinese cookbooks available from Amazon and eBay. Be ready to have a whole new world opened up to you! 

  • Last updated: 09-04-2021
  • 191 views
Table of Contents

An Introduction to the Chinese Cuisine

An Introduction to the Chinese Cuisine

You might be very familiar with the menu of your favourite Chinese restaurant or takeaway, but did you know the dishes on the menu originates from different regions of China? We're going to give you a quick lecture on the different schools of Chinese cuisines.


To begin with, Chinese cuisine can be divided into northern cuisine and southern cuisine. The northern diet is wheat-based, with staple foods such as dumplings, noodles and pancakes. Due to the geographic location, historically the northern cuisine contains more meat dishes and only a small variety of vegetable dishes. 


With more resources in the south of China, the southern diet consists of rice and a variety of vegetables, meat and seafood. The flavours of southern cuisine are usually sweet and light while the northern diet prefers salty, heavier flavours. 

Get to Know the Chinese Culinary Regions

Get to Know the Chinese Culinary Regions

Chinese cuisine can also be divided into eight culinary cuisines as each has its own distinctive flavours and cooking style. Seven of the culinary cuisines are southern and only one is northern. Here's quick introduction to each of them:

 

  • Cantonese: The most widely known Chinese cuisine in the world, Cantonese cuisine highlights the original flavours of the ingredients and is accompanied by very few condiments. The flavours are usually sweet and mild.

  • Jiangsu: A very refined gourmet cuisine that's often served at government banquets. Dishes are usually rich in aroma and colourful in visual presentation. Sweet and sour ribs is a very famous Jiangsu dish.

  • Sichuan: Well known for the hot, spicy and mouth-numbing flavours, dishes often consists of a large amount of chilli, ginger, and, of course, Sichuan peppercorns.

  • Hunan: Though similar to the hot and spicy Sichuan cuisine, mouth-numbing chillis aren't used. Hunan cuisine is generally sour and salty.

  • Shandong: The only northern cuisine, Shandong cuisine was served as court food during the Ming and Qing dynasty. Dishes are cooked under high temperatures to retain the original flavour of the ingredients and are often accompanied by condiments such as garlic and onion.

  • Zhejiang: Historically known as the richest province in China, Zhejiang cuisine is typically refined and focuses on retaining the original flavours through steaming or stewing the dishes. Shaoxing wine is often used to increase the aroma and flavour of the dishes.

  • Fujian: With milder flavours of sweetness and sourness, Fujian cuisines often uses lees (red residual yeast) for its slight acidic and aromatic properties. Both seafood and wild foods are prevalent. 

  • Anhui: The least-known Chinese cuisine, due to the location within the inland provinces, Anhui food is known for incorporating wild delicacies such as herbs, fungi and vegetables into its dishes. Cooking time and temperature varies according to the ingredients to maximise the flavour. 

How to Choose a Chinese Cookbook in the UK – Buying Guide

Now that you're clued up on Chinese cuisine and its regional differences, it's time to choose a cookbook. Our detailed buying guide will help you do just that by considering the type of cuisine, the number of recipes, whether there are any photographs and more. 

Decide What Type of Chinese Cuisine You Want to Cook

The first decision to make when choosing your cookbook is what type, or types, of cuisine you'd like to make. Do you want a book that shows you how to make Chinese takeaway dishes or are you looking to challenge yourself with new flavours and techniques? Choose from the styles below. 

Have a Taste of Everything With 'General' Chinese Cookbooks

Have a Taste of Everything With 'General' Chinese Cookbooks

If you think of which Chinese meals you'd like to recreate at home, chances are that these dishes belong to various culinary cuisines. For example, sweet and sour ribs are from Jiangsu while Kung Pao chicken originates in Sichuan.


So, unless you're very fond of a specific type of Chinese cuisine, we think a 'general' cookbook will be the best choice as it'll include popular recipes that originate from different parts of China. You'll find dishes that are familiar to you as well as some unknown ones that are guaranteed to sound just as appetising!


Sometimes, you'll even find cookbooks that go beyond 'general' and introduce dishes from every single region of China, including those that are lesser-known to the world. These are great for those wanting to expand their horizons a bit. 

Look to Cantonese or Hong Kong Food for Easily Acceptable Flavours

Look to Cantonese or Hong Kong Food for Easily Acceptable Flavours

If you can confidently say dim sum is your favourite Chinese food, you'll probably love Cantonese cuisine! With dishes like char siu (sweet roasted pork), siu mai (a popular dim sum), noodles and clay pot rice, Cantonese cuisine has a magical appeal that attracts the curiosity of Westerners and makes them fall in love with the easily acceptable mild and sweet flavours.

 
That's not the only reason Cantonese cuisine is the most well-known Chinese cuisine in the world, though. Historically, most Chinese immigrants are from the Canton region and, as they settled down in various parts of the world, they brought their cuisine with them. Hence, you'll always find Cantonese food in whichever country you're in.


You might also like Hong Kong food as this type of cuisine is literally the combination of the best bits of Cantonese and Western food. Think egg waffles, egg tarts, wonton soup, milk tea and more – we've never met anyone who dislikes these delicacies! 

Recreate Your Favourite Takeaways Quickly and Easily

Recreate Your Favourite Takeaways Quickly and Easily

It is true that Chinese takeaways are the quickest way to fill your cravings for Chinese food, but with takeaway-style cookbooks, you'll be able to cook all your usual orders at home. From starters like prawn toast to popular rice and noodle dishes, you'll basically have the menu of a takeaway shop in your hands!


Typically easy and quick to make, you won't need complicated ingredients to produce these delicious and comforting dishes. Some can even take as little as 20 minutes to recreate, making this type of cookbook perfect for less experienced cooks. 

Challenge Your Cooking Skills With Dim Sum or Dumpling Cookbooks

Challenge Your Cooking Skills With Dim Sum or Dumpling Cookbooks

Do you enjoy challenging yourself in the kitchen? You might enjoy cookbooks that specifically focus on dim sum or dumplings. These cookbooks will include all the recipes and instructions, so all that's left for you to do is to have a little patience and believe in your skills of wrapping them nicely.


We've featured two cookbooks on our ranking list that will be of interest to dumpling lovers. Do not worry about the content being repetitious, though, as they also include some other recipes for dishes like bao buns and noodles! 

A Manageable Amount of Recipes Will Motivate You to Cook

A Manageable Amount of Recipes Will Motivate You to Cook

We've all been there: we want a cookbook containing the most recipes so we get our money's worth! There is absolutely nothing wrong with this mentality if you're extremely eager to learn how to cook Chinese food. 


Books with over 250 recipes will more than satisfy your curiosity about the various Chinese dishes that are not known by too many people in the west. You'll never run out of things to make! 


But if your main goal is to cook a few of your favourite Chinese dishes (and do it well), a cookbook with approximately 75+ recipes will be perfectly sufficient for you to regularly rotate the menu while continuously pleasing your taste buds with Chinese flavours. 

Photography Helps to Visualise the Dishes You're About to Make

Photography Helps to Visualise the Dishes You're About to Make

It's always nice to have some visual reference when cooking, especially if you're trying to master a new recipe. It provides a better guide of how you should be preparing and cooking the dish, plus, it's also a successful marketing strategy that encourages you to buy the book and get even more excited to try your hand at recreating everything yourself. 


Even though most cookbooks nowadays come with plenty of photographs, we'd like to remind you to always ensure the book comes with a sufficient amount, especially if you're a visual learner or a beginner. You can do this by looking online or consulting previous buyers' reviews and descriptions. 

Choose a Book Format That You're Comfortable Cooking With

Choose a Book Format That You're Comfortable Cooking With

It's totally understandable that some people prefer eBooks over hardcover books: sometimes the e-version is cheaper or you simply enjoy having all your books on one device. Other people, meanwhile, would much prefer cooking with an actual book and having the opportunity to add it to their collection or gift it to a loved one. 


Either version will not affect your cooking experience as the hardcover and Kindle version has identical content, though we'd like to remind you that the digital version only contains black and white images!

Top 10 Best Chinese Cookbooks in the UK

You've finally made it to this part, so it's time to reveal the top 10 Chinese cookbooks that all of us have been waiting for. Spoiler alert: you'll definitely want some Chinese food after reading this ranking list!

10

Wilson Tang and Joshua David SteinThe Nom Wah Cookbook

£25.33

Cuisine StyleDim sum (baos and noodles)
Number of Recipes75
Visual AidsPhotography, illustrations
FormatsHardcover, audio CD
Pages272
9

Ken HomComplete Chinese Cookbook

£19.12

Cuisine StyleGeneral
Number of Recipes250+
Visual AidsPhotography
FormatsHardcover, paperback, eBook
Pages332
8

Terry TanChina: A Cookbook

£20.00

Cuisine StyleAll regions
Number of Recipes300
Visual AidsPhotography (every recipe)
FormatsHardcover
Pages624
7

Jeremy PangHong Kong Diner

£6.80

Cuisine StyleHong Kong
Number of Recipes70+
Visual AidsPhotography, illustrations
FormatseBook
Pages265
6

Kwoklyn WanThe Veggie Chinese Takeaway Cookbook

£10.94

Cuisine StyleChinese takeaway
Number of Recipes70+
Visual AidsPhotography (every recipe)
FormatsHardcover, eBook
Pages160
5

Brendan PangThis Is a Book About Dumplings

£12.99

Cuisine StyleDumplings (includes baos and noodles)
Number of Recipes-
Visual AidsPhotography (every recipe)
FormatsHardcover, eBook
Pages160
4

The Dumpling SistersThe Dumpling Sisters Cookbook: Over 100 Favourite Recipes From A Chinese Family Kitchen

£14.78

Cuisine StyleCantonese
Number of Recipes100
Visual AidsPhotography (recipes and techniques)
FormatsHardcover, eBook
Pages272
3
Cuisine StyleGeneral
Number of Recipes80+
Visual AidsPhotography (every recipe), illustrations
FormatsHardcover, eBook
Pages240
2

Kowklyn WanChinese Takeaway in 5

£10.38

Cuisine StyleChinese takeaway
Number of Recipes80
Visual AidsPhotography (every recipe)
FormatsHardcover, eBook
Pages160
1

Fuchsia DunlopEvery Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking

£17.39

Cuisine StyleGeneral
Number of Recipes-
Visual AidsPhotography (every recipe)
FormatsHardcover, eBook
Pages352

Compare the Best Chinese Cookbooks

Image
1
Fuchsia Dunlop Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking 1

Fuchsia Dunlop

2
Kowklyn Wan Chinese Takeaway in 5 1

Kowklyn Wan

3
Gok Wan Gok Cooks Chinese 1

Gok Wan

4
The Dumpling Sisters The Dumpling Sisters Cookbook: Over 100 Favourite Recipes From A Chinese Family Kitchen 1

The Dumpling Sisters

5
Brendan Pang This Is a Book About Dumplings 1

Brendan Pang

6
Kwoklyn Wan The Veggie Chinese Takeaway Cookbook 1

Kwoklyn Wan

7
Jeremy Pang Hong Kong Diner 1

Jeremy Pang

8
Terry Tan China: A Cookbook 1

Terry Tan

9
Ken Hom Complete Chinese Cookbook 1

Ken Hom

10
Wilson Tang and Joshua David Stein The Nom Wah Cookbook 1

Wilson Tang and Joshua David Stein

Name

Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking

Chinese Takeaway in 5

Gok Cooks Chinese

The Dumpling Sisters Cookbook: Over 100 Favourite Recipes From A Chinese Family Kitchen

This Is a Book About Dumplings

The Veggie Chinese Takeaway Cookbook

Hong Kong Diner

China: A Cookbook

Complete Chinese Cookbook

The Nom Wah Cookbook

Features

Cook Confidently With Authentic Ingredients

Takeaway Classics Made Easy With Only 5 Ingredients

Passionate Recipes to Suit All Occasions and Moods

Comforting Cantonese Home Dishes

Enjoy Both Traditional and Fusion Dumplings

Veggie Versions of Your Favourite Chinese Dishes

Where East Meets West

Exploring Dishes From Big Cities to Remote Rural Landscapes

Simple Recipes That'll Never Fail to Impress

Dim Sum and the History of Cantonese Food in New York

Price£17.39£10.38£17.99£14.78£12.99£10.94£6.80£20.00£19.12£25.33
Cuisine StyleGeneral Chinese takeawayGeneralCantoneseDumplings (includes baos and noodles)Chinese takeawayHong KongAll regionsGeneralDim sum (baos and noodles)
Number of Recipes-8080+100-70+70+300250+75
Visual AidsPhotography (every recipe)Photography (every recipe)Photography (every recipe), illustrationsPhotography (recipes and techniques)Photography (every recipe)Photography (every recipe)Photography, illustrationsPhotography (every recipe)PhotographyPhotography, illustrations
FormatsHardcover, eBookHardcover, eBookHardcover, eBookHardcover, eBookHardcover, eBookHardcover, eBookeBookHardcoverHardcover, paperback, eBookHardcover, audio CD
Pages352160240272160160265624332272
Link

Essentials for Cooking a Chinese Meal

Essentials for Cooking a Chinese Meal

We're not saying you must have these items in your kitchen to whip up a Chinese meal, but if you want to cook and season your dish properly and authentically, we highly recommend buying the following products. You'll thank us later!

Summary

What were the Chinese dishes you were thinking of making while reading this article? Always remember a suitable cookbook will motivate you to cook a cuisine that you're unfamiliar with while being able to (physically) have a taste of the successful results!

Author: Angina Chow

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