A Taste of Asia: The Best Asian Cookbooks for Your Kitchen

If you want to know how to cook some great Asian food at home, but don’t know where to begin, AGI is here to help. There are so many cookbooks out there already that it can be hard to know which ones to choose. But have no fear, because we have done the legwork for you. Get ready to have your taste buds tantalized!

General Asian
Asian Tofu: Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook It at Home by Andrea Nguyen
If you love tofu, look no further than this to satisfy your appetite.

The Complete Asian Cookbook
by Charmaine Solomon
The most comprehensive and best overall cookbook on Asian cuisine, covering countries from the entire pan-Asian region.

Culinary Tea: More Than 150 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World
by Cynthia Gold
Tea originated in China but is now produced in many Asian countries, which has led to a great number of dishes that include tea as a primary ingredient.

Seductions of Rice
by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid
Look out for these authors’ names because you will be seeing them often. They are simply two of the best writers on Asian food.  This particular book is all about that most essential staple of Asian cuisine – rice. Recipes from numerous countries including some in the Western world.

Chinese
Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford
This book looks to the Silk Road and less-travelled Western China for its inspiration.

The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore by Grace Young and Alan Richardson
If you have a wok and want to get the most out of it, or if you want to buy one but know nothing about the subject, then this is the book for you.

Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop
Dunlop is perhaps best known for her memoir of falling in love with food from China’s Sichuan province, Shark’s Fin and Pepper Soup, but she has also written several cookbooks, and this is her most recent one.

Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo
A classic textbook if you want to go beyond the basics.

Japanese
Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook by Mark Robinson
Add a glass of Asahi or sake to any of the dishes included here, and you’re all set. Some of the recipes include yakitori, tempura, and many you might not have heard of before.

Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions by Elizabeth Andoh
Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen by Elizabeth Andoh
This woman knows her stuff. Beautiful photos combined with a healthy, home-cooked style make these two of the best books for an aspiring Japanese chef.

Korean
The Kimchi Cookbook: 60 Traditional and Modern Ways to Make and Eat Kimchi by Lauryn Chun
The essential guide for all Kimchi lovers.

The Korean Table: From Barbeque to Bibimbap, 100 Easy-to-Prepare Recipes by Taekyung Chung and Debra Samuels
Authentic and tasty recipes covering all the Korean favorites.

South Asian
India: The Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant
Really the only Indian cookbook you’ll ever need. It’s that good (and that big-over 900 pages!).

Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid
In case you need one more. Covers India as well as Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Southeast Asian
Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid
Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia
by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
Two more from the masters of the Asian cookbook genre, they cover almost all the bases and take you on a grand tour of exotic locales while doing it.

Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan
A lesser-known regional cuisine, but one that should have a better reputation. This excellent book should help to remedy that situation.

The Songs of Sapa
by Luke Nguyen
A beautiful journey through Vietnam by the owner of the renowned Red Lantern restaurant in Sydney.

Thai Street Food
by David Thompson
Vietnamese Street Food by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl
Thompson knows Thai food and this is his bible of street food from Thailand (it’s also one of the largest cookbooks every made). Vietnamese Street Food doesn’t quite reach the heights of Thai Street Food, but it’s a more manageable size and is an attractive look at more great street eats. Get your pho fix here.
-By Tim Holm

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