The Woks of Life: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family
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The Leungs are the authors of a blog that calls itself “a culinary genealogy,” an effort to capture historical Chinese and Chinese-American cooking traditions, as well as contemporary home cooking.
Incorporating recipes from mom Judy’s native Shanghai, the food the dad Bill’s own immigrant parents served in their Hudson Valley restaurant, and the ideas and expectations of their two daughters, the Leungs write insightfully about history and adaptation.
You’ll find traditional Hong Kong egg tarts, scallion pancakes, and chicken congree as well on-the-fly adaptations such as lazy veggie noodles (you can use spaghetti). The classic Sichuan dish fuqi feipan, in which shredded tripe, heart, and tongue are served doused in a spicy, mouth-numbing Sichuan pepper sauce, becomes a vegan dish incorporating bean curd and mushrooms.
The Leungs are open throughout the book about their effort to preserve traditional methods and ingredients while cooking a long way from China. Their individual voices are distinct and appealing, and it’s easy to admire their commitment to culture without making it static.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.