The Woks of Life
Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family: A Cookbook
JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEE • NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY STARRED REVIEW • “The Woks of Life did something miraculous: It reconnected me to my love of Chinese food and showed me how simple it is to make my favorite dishes myself.”—KEVIN KWAN, author of Crazy Rich Asians
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, Simply Recipes
ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, Food & Wine, NPR, Smithsonian Magazine, Delish, Epicurious
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.
"Food is never just about the recipe; it's also about how you enjoy it, share it, and pass it on," according to the heartfelt debut cookbook from the Leung family, creators of the Woks of Life\t blog. Inspired by modern convenience and the family's Chinese heritage, the recipes draw on parents Judy and Bill's restaurant experience, as well as sisters Sarah and Kaitlin's ability to devise shortcuts and quick meals. Readers will appreciate the hacks to simplify prep work; for example, dan dan noodles can be made with a premixed sauce, while the key to creamy Old Shanghai potato salad lies in adding vanilla ice cream, one tablespoon at a time. The family's homemade chili oil—a recipe also featured in the book—adds a kick to numerous dishes, including a tender Hong Kong beef brisket in a rich, clear broth, and a "sour spicy" Napa cabbage salad. QR codes link to demonstration videos, and the guide to necessary cooking tools will help those with less experience cooking Chinese dishes. This enlightening guide will have home cooks eager to test their skills and share their efforts with loved ones.