The Woks of Life: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family: A Cookbook Hardcover – 1 November 2022
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The family behind the acclaimed blog The Woks of Life shares 100 of their favorite home-cooked and restaurant-style Chinese recipes in "a very special book" (J. Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab and The Wok)
ONE OF THE TEN BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: San Francisco Chronicle
ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: NPR, Smithsonian magazine
This is the story of a family as told through food. Judy, the mom, speaks to traditional Chinese dishes and cultural backstory. Bill, the dad, worked in his family's Chinese restaurants and will walk you through how to make a glorious Cantonese Roast Duck. Daughters Sarah and Kaitlin have your vegetable-forward and one-dish recipes covered--put them all together and you have the first cookbook from the funny and poignant family behind the popular blog The Woks of Life.
In addition to recipes for Mini Char Siu Bao, Spicy Beef Biang Biang Noodles, Cantonese Pork Belly Fried Rice, and Salt-and-Pepper Fried Oyster Mushrooms, there are also helpful tips and tricks throughout, including an elaborate rundown of the Chinese pantry, explanations of essential tools (including the all-important wok), and insight on game-changing Chinese cooking secrets like how to "velvet" meat to make it extra tender and juicy.
Whether you're new to Chinese cooking or if your pantry is always stocked with bean paste and chili oil, you'll find lots of inspiration and trustworthy recipes that will become a part of your family story, too.
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"For years, Bill, Judy, Sarah, and Kaitlin have been my go-to source for recipes and techniques that have roots firmly planted in Chinese tradition but with a uniquely American experience and voice. Their intergenerational approach makes The Woks of Life unique in its ability to inspire and educate, with an eye toward practicality and usefulness. This is a very special book."--J. Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab and The Wok
"The Woks of Life blog has been one of my absolute favorites for years--these recipes are not only delicious, but they make me excited to try new dishes and flavors. The Leungs help home cooks by explaining everything from cooking tools to pantry staples, and even providing QR codes to reference techniques you may not be familiar with. I cannot wait to cook through this book with my family!"--Alex Snodgrass, New York Times bestselling author of The Defined Dish and The Comfortable Kitchen
"This book allows everyone to get in the kitchen and effortlessly start cooking well-researched and delicious recipes while enjoying the personalities and tastes of Judy, Bill, Sarah, and Kaitlin. The Woks of Life cookbook is a must for any food lover."--Andrew Zimmern
"The Woks of Life is one of the first places I go when I need a recipe that I know will be as knowledgeable as it is usable. Having a whole book of recipes to cook through at last is such a gift--I cannot find a single recipe that doesn't entice me to cancel all of my plans and spend my evening cooking instead."--Deb Perelman, author of Smitten Kitchen Keepers
"The Leung family have been my go-to source when I want to make everything from fried rice and scallion pancakes to spicy chili wontons and sesame-slicked Shanghai noodles. I'm thrilled to have all their best recipes in one beautiful book!"--David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen & Drinking French
"The Woks of Life became a staple resource for our family when we moved away from home and embarked on re-creating the flavorful memories of our childhood."--Lena and Mei Lum, Wing on Wo & Co
"I've been following The Woks of Life on Instagram for years, and I'm so excited for their first cookbook! Every recipe feels like an invitation to the table."--Emma Christensen, Simply Recipes
"The Leung family shares their favorite restaurant-worthy, family-friendly, and forward-thinking Chinese recipes, plus tips on how to approach essential cooking tools and pantry items with confidence."--Epicurious
"For years, home cooks have turned to food blog The Woks of Life as a trusted source of Chinese and Chinese-American recipes and cooking tips....here, just as they do online, the Leungs dive thoroughly into all the essential techniques, must-have tools and pantry staples that you'll need."--Vetted by Forbes
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The book features 100 recipes, each with a full page photo, along with stories of the Leung family and what makes each of the recipes special. It also has information on the tools and equipment needed, Chinese pantry items, and cooking techniques, as well as QR codes linking to additional information.
The only things I would change/add are all quite minor:
• an extended table of contents with each recipe listed in page order would be nice (there is only a table of contents listing the main divisions of the book, along with an index);
• a dust jacket may be helpful to avoid getting the book dirty;
• some ribbon bookmarks would be nice to mark recipes;
• the bottom corners of the book came torn as it was not packaged very well
All in all though, I feel that this book will become a staple for me, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out.