The Woks of Life (Cookbook by the Leung family)

2 Reviews

It's rare you get four cooks working together on the recipes for one cookbook, but that's always been the super power of The Woks of Life. The most popular Chinese cooking blog in English may have been created by one family, but it has the benefit of four distinct personalities and skill sets. 

You want recipes for regional Chinese food from someone who grew up in Hubei and Shanghai? Mom Judy's got you covered. How about Cantonese and American Chinese food from someone who grew up in and cooked professionally in American Chinese restaurants? That's Dad Bill. Perhaps you're equally interested in weeknight, vegetable-forward recipes, as older daughter Sarah is, or in rule-breaking approaches like the ones younger daughter Kaitlin comes up with. Well, then you're in luck, because that's all here in the Leung family's first cookbook.

Even if, like us, you've been cooking along with their blog for years, this book is a feast. There are new recipes and new takes on older ones, plus the organization of information feels more cohesive and the family stories more intimate than the experience on a website ever can. 

The recipes they are famed for are here, including our favorite char siu (and mini baked char siu bao) and red-braised pork belly. Among the new recipes, salt & pepper fried oyster mushrooms, chicken chow fun and edamame-tofu stir-fry are particularly enticing. Innovations include a vegan version of Sichuan's fuqi feipian and a Cantonese clay pot rice where the clay pot is swapped out for a skillet so you get more crispy rice on the bottom.   

This book uses almost every pantry item in The Mala Market:

  • Build an instant primo Chinese pantry with one click here.
  • Add on the must-have ingredients for Sichuan and other spicy dishes with one click here
      Publisher: Clarkson Potter, 2022
      Format: Hardback, 319 pages
      Price: MSRP $35; $30 when purchased with ingredients