By Eileen Yin-Fei Lo
Chronicle Books, $50
Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, chef, educator, and author of more than 10 Chinese cookbooks, has worked a miracle here, taking a vast, great, and complicated cuisine and breaking it down into approachable lessons. Starting at the market, Lo walks you through the aisles, so to speak, pointing out essential ingredients (from bamboo shoots to rice wine) and equipment (from woks to chopsticks). Plus, she provides the Chinese characters for every item, so you can find what you need when you shop on your own. Then, she teaches you basic cooking techniques, like stir-frying, steaming, poaching, barbecuing, and preparing noodles. Lo doesn’t overwhelm with too many recipes, offering just a handful for you to practice and perfect before you progress to the next technique. Lo wants you to master Chinese cooking, and this book makes it fully possible.