Wok This Way: The Top Wok Cookbooks You Need in Your Kitchen

Wok Cookbooks

Cookbooks are more than just a collection of recipes. They’re a window into a culture, a history, and a way of life.

As a food lover, I’ve always been fascinated by the stories behind the dishes we prepare.

And when it comes to wok cookery, there’s a rich and diverse world to explore. From traditional stir-fries to modern fusion dishes, the wok has been a staple in kitchens around the world for centuries. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the top wok cookbooks you need in your kitchen.

These books not only offer delicious recipes but also provide a glimpse into the cultures and histories that live in the dishes we prepare. So let’s dive in and explore the world of wok cookery together!

Wok Wisely

Wok Wisely

by Katie Chin

Katie Chin, daughter of famed chef Leeann Chin, shares her favorite wok recipes in this cookbook. The recipes are healthy, flavorful, and easy to make. With tips on wok cooking techniques and ingredient substitutions, this cookbook is perfect for both beginners and experienced cooks.

Wok Wisely is more than just a cookbook. It offers a way of life for the body, mind, and spirit. Originally created by the Dharma Realm Cookbook Team for a Buddhist monastery, this English version is guided by American Buddhist nun, Jin Rou Shi.

The book includes nourishing recipes, tips for keeping the body in balance, nutrition facts, vegetarian guidelines for children, and quotes from notable figures about vegetarianism. Additionally, the book provides information on natural cleaning products to maintain a safe home.

Find a copy here.

Wok Every Day

Wok Every Day

by Barbara Grunes

Grunes and Van Vynckt, two veteran food writers, have revolutionized wok cookery with their unique approach.

The wok, a versatile pan capable of cooking everything from stir-fries to chocolate cake, is the only pan you’ll ever need.

With Wok Every Day, you’ll learn how to create delicious dishes like Swordfish Margarita with Papaya Salsa, Curried Beef with Basmati Pilaf, and even homemade jelly doughnuts! The book includes traditional stir-fry recipes, advice on choosing the right wok and accessories, and tips on proper wok upkeep.

So why not try your hand at Chiles Rellenos con Queso, Cincinnati-Style Turkey Chili, or Beignets? With Wok Every Day, you’ll be wokking like a gourmet in no time!

Find a copy here.

Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge

Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge

by Grace Young

Stir-frying is more than just a cooking technique; it’s a way of life. For centuries, the Chinese have carried their woks to all corners of the earth, re-creating stir-fry dishes using local and sometimes nontraditional ingredients.

The old expression “One wok runs to the sky’s edge” means “one who uses the wok becomes master of the cooking world” (source: Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge). And in Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, James Beard Award-winning author Grace Young shares over 100 classic stir-fry recipes that sizzle with heat and pop with flavor.

With more than 80 stunning full-color photographs, Young’s definitive work illustrates the innumerable, easy-to-learn possibilities of stir-frying. She weaves the insights of Chinese cooking philosophy into the preparation of beloved dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken, Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli, Chicken Lo Mein with Ginger Mushrooms, and Dry-Fried Sichuan Beans. This book is not just a collection of recipes; it’s a celebration of the rich culture behind stir-fry.

Expert home cooks and professional chefs alike will find everything they need to know about stir-fry mastery in the modern kitchen. Young covers everything from how to choose, season, and care for a wok to the importance of marinades and the proper technique for slicing meat and poultry for optimum tenderness. She even includes tips on how to select and handle Asian vegetables, ways to shortcut labor-intensive preparations, and advice on how to control heat and choose the best cooking oil.

With fascinating personal portraits, Grace Young honors the traditions of her cultural ancestors who traveled the globe and offers delectable crossover recipes for Chinese Jamaican Jerk Chicken Fried Rice, Chinese Trinidadian Stir-Fried Shrimp with Rum, Chinese Burmese Chili Chicken, and Chinese American Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.

Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge is the authoritative guide to stir-frying, a work that is at once rewarding and beautiful, much like the technique of stir-frying itself.

Find a copy here.

The Breath of a Wok

The Breath of a Wok

by Grace Young and Alan Richardson

As a child, Grace Young’s father instilled in her a lasting appreciation of wok hay, the highly prized but elusive taste that food achieves when properly stir-fried in a wok. As an adult, Young was determined to create that taste in her own kitchen.

Her quest to master wok cooking took her across the United States, Hong Kong, and mainland China, where she sought the advice of home cooks, professional chefs, and esteemed culinary teachers like Cecilia Chiang, Florence Lin, and Ken Hom. Their instructions, stories, and recipes, gathered in The Breath of a Wok, offer not only expert lessons in the art of wok cooking but also capture a beautiful and timeless way of life.

Wok hay is a Cantonese phrase used to describe a particular essence and aroma that is created in a dish when authentic stir-frying is performed.

With its emphasis on cooking with all the senses, The Breath of a Wok brings the techniques and flavors of old-world wok cooking into today’s kitchen, enabling anyone to stir-fry with wok hay. Young details the fundamentals of selecting, seasoning, and caring for a wok, as well as the range of the wok’s uses; this surprisingly inexpensive utensil serves as the ultimate multipurpose kitchen tool. The 125 recipes are a testament to the versatility of the wok, with stir-fried, smoked, pan-fried, braised, boiled, poached, steamed, and deep-fried dishes that include not only the classics of wok cooking, like Kung Pao Chicken and Moo Shoo Pork, but also unusual dishes like Sizzling Pepper and Salt Shrimp, Three Teacup Chicken, and Scallion and Ginger Lo Mein.

Young’s elegant prose and Richardson’s extraordinary photographs create a unique and unforgettable picture of artisan wok makers in mainland China, street markets in Hong Kong, and a “wok-a-thon” in which Young’s family of aunties, uncles, and cousins cooks together in a lively exchange of recipes and stories. A visit with author Amy Tan also becomes a family event when Tan and her sisters prepare New Year’s dumplings.

Additionally, there are menus for family-style meals and for Chinese New Year festivities, an illustrated glossary, and a source guide to purchasing ingredients, woks, and accessories.

Written with the intimacy of a memoir and the immediacy of a travelogue, this recipe-rich volume is a celebration of cultural and culinary delights.

Find a copy here.

The Essential Wok Cookbook

The Essential Wok Cookbook

by Naomi Imatome-Yun

Wok cooking is more than a culinary technique; it’s an art form rooted in tradition and timeless flavors. From the bustling streets of Beijing to modern kitchens worldwide, the wok has been a symbol of rich culinary narratives and evolving dishes that cater to diverse palates.

In “The Essential Wok Cookbook,” esteemed author Naomi Imatome-Yun meticulously curates a collection of over 150 enticing recipes, each capturing the essence of wok-cooked delights. With an array of vibrant photographs accompanying the dishes, Imatome-Yun’s work paints a vivid picture of the limitless potential of wok cooking.

More than just recipes, this cookbook delves deep into the philosophy and nuances of wok-centric dishes. Naomi guides readers on the journey of understanding the significance of each ingredient, the balance of flavors, and the intricate dance of heat and timing. From classics like Beef with Broccoli to innovative fusions like Kimchi Fried Rice, the recipes come alive with her insights and anecdotes.

Beyond the dishes, Naomi offers a comprehensive guide to mastering the wok in contemporary kitchens. She touches upon the history of the wok, the importance of seasoning, selecting the right kind of oil, and even the art of stir-frying vegetables to retain their crunch and color.

Adding a personal touch, Naomi pays tribute to the cross-cultural influences on wok cooking, introducing readers to fusion dishes that bridge culinary traditions, such as Thai Basil Chicken or Korean Vegetable Pancakes.

The Essential Wok Cookbook is not just a culinary guide but a testament to the rich tapestry of flavors, techniques, and stories that the wok holds within its curved walls. It’s an invitation to experience, experiment, and excel in the world of wok cooking.

Find a copy here.

The Chinese Takeout Cookbook

The Chinese Takeout Cookbook

by Diana Kuan

This cookbook is perfect for those who love Chinese takeout but want to make it at home.

Diana Kuan shares her favorite Chinese takeout recipes, including stir-fry dishes that are perfect for cooking in a wok.

With tips on wok cooking techniques and ingredient substitutions, this cookbook is perfect for both beginners and experienced cooks.

Find a copy here.

Simple Chinese Cooking

Simple Chinese Cooking

by Kylie Kwong

In Simple Chinese Cooking, Kylie Kwong masterfully bridges the gap between traditional Cantonese flavors and contemporary culinary techniques.

Drawing inspiration from her mother’s classic dishes, Kwong introduces readers to the art of Chinese cooking in its most authentic yet accessible form.

The book stands out not just for its tantalizing recipes, but also for its commitment to simplicity – ensuring that even the most novice of chefs can recreate the magic of Chinese cuisine in their kitchens. From the comforting soy sauce chicken to the festive prawn wonton soup, each dish is a testament to Kwong’s philosophy of using fresh ingredients and straightforward methods to achieve incredible flavor.

Accompanied by vivid photographs and step-by-step instructions, this book is a must-have for anyone looking to embark on a culinary journey through the rich tapestry of Chinese gastronomy.

Highly recommended for both everyday meals and special occasions!

Find a copy here.

The Complete Asian Cookbook

The Complete Asian Cookbook

Charmaine Solomon

Dive deep into the rich tapestry of Asian cuisines with Charmaine Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook.

Solomon, with her vast culinary expertise, curates a collection that spans from the sizzling stir-fries of the East to the aromatic curries of the South. What makes this cookbook truly stand out is its comprehensive approach, ensuring that no flavor or technique is left unexplored.

Whether you’re a novice just starting out or a seasoned chef looking to expand your repertoire, Solomon’s detailed guidance, coupled with invaluable tips on wok cooking and ingredient alternatives, ensures a seamless culinary experience.

Embark on this gastronomic journey and discover the multifaceted world of Asian cooking, all from the comfort of your kitchen.

An essential addition to every food lover’s collection!

Find a copy here.

Jeremy Pang's School of Wok

Jeremy Pang’s School of Wok

Jeremy Pang

Dive into the rich tapestry of Chinese cuisine with Jeremy Pang’s School of Wok.

Pang, a culinary maestro from London’s renowned School of Wok, curates a collection of delectable dishes that showcase the versatility of the wok.

From sizzling stir-fries to intricate dishes that tantalize the taste buds, this cookbook is a treasure trove for both novices and seasoned chefs. Pang’s insightful tips and ingredient alternatives ensure that every dish is accessible, making the art of Chinese cooking a delightful experience for all.

A must-have for those eager to embark on an authentic Chinese culinary adventure!

Find a copy here.