Regional breakdown of Phaidon's China the Cookbook

Phaidon’s China the Cookbook, by Kei Lum Chan and Diora Fong Chan, contains 695 Chinese recipes, each listed with the dish’s regional origin and the name in English and Chinese characters.

The tome goes for breadth compared to the depth found in Carolyn Phillips’ regional All Under Heaven, which is fine, but I was disappointed that they didn’t include a regional index in the back. Phaidon yet again squeezes in a few extra recipes at the cost of usability.

So, I made a regional index (h/t for a list of recipe titles). The regional representation is biased toward Cantonese speaking areas-- 30% of recipes are from Guangdong and Hong Kong.

Regions with ten or more recipes include the following(frequency/region)

  1. 129 Hong Kong
  2. 78 Guangdong
  3. 52 Sichuan
  4. 37 Chaozhao
  5. 29 Hakka
  6. 28 Jiangsu
  7. 27 Zhejiang
  8. 27 Shunde
  9. 26 Anhui
  10. 25 Buddhist Vegetarian
  11. 24 Shanghai
  12. 24 Shandong
  13. 22 Beijing
  14. 20 Hunan
  15. 19 Taiwan
  16. 19 Fujian
  17. 16 Yunnan
  18. 12 Hubei

I’m happy to see Anhui and Shandong covered well. The remaining 70 or so recipes belong to 19 other regions-- I wish there were more representation for some of these since there are already English language books devoted toward the key players.

Regional index is as follows:


  • Beef broth
  • Chicken broth
  • Pork broth
  • Fish broth
  • Shrimp broth
  • Vegetable broth
  • Steamed rice

American Chinese

  • Almond cookies


  • Stuffed jujube dates
  • Lamb-stuffed fish
  • Deep-fried carp
  • Steamed daikon radish with dried scallop
  • Chicken with olives
  • Crispy chicken bundles
  • Fuliji braised chicken
  • Aromatic meatballs
  • Pork and spiced rice rolls over tofu skin
  • Pork and cabbage rolls
  • Crispy pork rolls
  • Pork and walnut rolls in a sweet and sour sauce
  • Anhui-style braised meats
  • Jixi pork
  • Beef with spicy sauce
  • Deep-fried lamb
  • Stewed goat
  • Mushroom sandwiches
  • Chop suey
  • Bagongshan tofu
  • Tofu with salted toona shoots
  • Zhu Hongwu tofu
  • Taro in honeyed sauce
  • Kiwi fruit in honeyed sauce
  • Walnuts in wine sauce
  • Green tea and water chestnut dessert


  • Pancakes
  • Deep-fried chicken patties
  • Pork liver soup
  • Fish in spicy vinegar sauce
  • Pan-fried mandarin fish
  • Chicken with snow fungus
  • Chicken with tuberose
  • Sautéed duck
  • Stir-fried pork tenderloin
  • Pork tenderloin with cilantro
  • Pork with Beijing sauce
  • Beef in egg's clothing
  • Goat with tianmianjiang
  • Sautéed lamb in vinegar
  • Tofu and mushrooms
  • Deep-fried tofu
  • Noodles with pork and gravy
  • Noodles with spicy brown sauce
  • Smoked plum soup
  • Split pea pudding
  • Pancakes stuffed with red bean paste
  • Walnut soup

Beijing & Northwest

  • Lamb dumplings

Buddhist Vegetarian

  • Winter melon and kelp soup
  • Snow fungus soup
  • Young cabbage over lotus leaf
  • Eggplants in fragrant sauce
  • Eggplants in sweet and sour sauce
  • Oyster mushrooms with spiced salt
  • Vegetables over vermicelli
  • Sautéed black mushrooms
  • Crispy mushrooms
  • Mock crab meat
  • Vegetables with red bean curd
  • Soybeans with tofu and preserved mustard greens
  • Wheat gluten with chestnuts
  • Crispy taro roll
  • Potato and carrot mash
  • Vegetarian congee with corn and sweet potato
  • Ginkgo nuts with bamboo shoots
  • Asparagus and tofu
  • Preserved mustard greens with bamboo shoots
  • Bamboo shoots in chili oil
  • Beans in fragrant sauce
  • Tofu in brown sauce
  • Braised tofu sheets
  • Mashed tofu stew
  • Preserved mustard hearts with tofu


  • Deep-fried shrimp balls
  • Glutinous rice rolls
  • Patriotic soup
  • Water spinach soup
  • Tripe and ginkgo soup
  • Chaozhou-style pomfret
  • Fish rice
  • Chaozhou pan-fried fish
  • Pan-fried ribbonfish
  • Fish maw with cabbage
  • Sea bream with radish
  • Grey mullet with preserved lemons
  • Wok-smoked pomfret
  • Noodlefish pancake
  • Shrimp with Chinese olive vegetables
  • Shrimp and cucumber
  • Crab in Puning bean paste
  • Chilled crab with ginger sauce
  • Clams with chives
  • Mussels with basil
  • Oyster pancake
  • Squid with Chinese chives
  • Chicken wings in bean sauce
  • Pork with crispy ginger
  • Pork with chili sauce
  • Plum spareribs
  • Beef in sha cha sauce
  • Chinese broccoli with fish sauce
  • Sweet luffa pancake
  • Water spinach with shrimp paste
  • Head mustard with mushrooms
  • Rice with oysters and pork
  • Congee with oysters and pork
  • Char kway teow
  • Chaozhou-style noodles
  • Sugared tidbits
  • Taro paste with ginkgo nuts


  • Beef jelly
  • Braised chicken with mushrooms
  • Pickled vegetable and sparerib casserole
  • Muxu pork
  • Potatoes, eggplants, and peppers
  • Black fungus and cilantro salad
  • Mushrooms with peach kernels


  • Pickled radishes in soy sauce
  • Tofu dumplings
  • Clams and black moss soup
  • Clams in broth
  • Crab meat and winter melon soup
  • Tile fish with preserved mustard greens
  • Fish in red distilled grain sauce
  • Steamed crab over glutinous rice
  • Sautéed clams
  • Spareribs with red distilled grain sauce
  • Fuzhou lychee meatballs
  • Pork with anchovies
  • Sautéed pork liver
  • Stuffed bitter melon
  • Mushrooms and bamboo shoots
  • Ninghua tofu balls
  • Fujian-style fried rice
  • Fujian-style vermicelli
  • Shrimp noodles


  • Braised lamb


  • Bitter melon salad
  • Eggplant salad with sesame sauce
  • Deep-fried wontons
  • Barbecue chicken livers
  • Egg flower soup
  • Pork and watercress soup
  • Winter melon soup
  • Shrimp wonton soup
  • Pig's tail and peanut soup
  • Grouper with black mushrooms and scallions
  • Sautéed pomfret
  • Golden thread with tomatoes
  • Dace with daikon radish
  • Catfish with garlic
  • Shrimp-stuffed mushrooms
  • Crab with ginger and scallions
  • Guifei chicken
  • Chicken with fish maw
  • Steamed chicken
  • Chicken with orange daylily
  • Chicken with sweet mustard greens
  • Chicken with cashew nuts
  • Chicken with chestnuts
  • Deep-fried squab
  • Steamed pork with salted duck eggs
  • Pork jowls with shrimp paste
  • Spareribs with salted plums
  • Eggplant with roast pork
  • Pork with preserved mustard
  • Pickled pig's trotter
  • Sweet and sour spareribs
  • Ginger and vinegar trotters
  • Barbecue pork
  • Beef in oyster sauce
  • Beef shin with ginger and scallions
  • Sautéed beef with jicama
  • Tripe with sweet pickled mustard greens
  • Beef with Chinese broccoli
  • Braised ribs and tendon
  • Goat and tofu casserole
  • Crab meat over broccoli
  • Fuzzy melon with dried scallops
  • Tomatoes with scrambled eggs
  • Bitter melon with black bean paste
  • Mushroom and bamboo fungus
  • Soybean sprouts with ground pork
  • Steamed ham and winter melon sandwiches
  • Taro with cured meats
  • Taro pudding
  • Stir-fried pea shoots
  • Tofu with spiced salt
  • Scrambled eggs with shrimp
  • Steamed eggs with dried shrimp and vermicelli
  • Vermicelli with eggs
  • Rice in a lotus leaf
  • Stir-fried glutinous rice
  • Plain congee
  • Congee with fish balls
  • Congee with dried bok choy and spareribs
  • Laiwan-style congee
  • Congee with frog legs
  • Congee with tuna and peanuts
  • Congee with beef
  • Congee with pork and preserved duck eggs
  • Congee with glutinous rice and wheat
  • Congee with pork liver and fish
  • Congee with fish belly
  • Stir-fried noodles with pork and bean sprouts
  • Noodles with pork knuckle
  • Fried noodles with beef
  • Rice noodles with beef and black bean sauce
  • Steamed sesame cake
  • Fried milk custards
  • Mung bean soup
  • Black sesame soup
  • Almond tea with egg whites
  • Tofu pudding
  • Red bean soup


  • Chicken in an aromatic sauce
  • Pork belly with taro
  • Pork belly with arrowroot
  • Stuffed pumpkin flowers
  • Water chestnut soup with osmanthus sugar


  • Catfish in pickled soup
  • Pork with spiced salt


  • Hainanese chicken with coconut milk
  • Goat in a casserole
  • Hainan chicken rice


  • Hakka dumplings
  • Pork and bok choy soup
  • Pork lungs and apricot kernel soup
  • Sweet and sour fish belly
  • Dried oysters wrapped in pork
  • Chicken in wine
  • Chicken with jicama
  • Salt-baked chicken
  • Duck with taro
  • Steamed salted goose
  • Pork with preserved mustard greens
  • Steamed pork with preserved kohlrabi
  • Pork with fermented bean curd
  • Stir-fried pig's tongue
  • Pork liver with cured meat and chives
  • Pork with Chinese leeks
  • Pig's tail with white-back wood ears
  • Hakka stewed pork
  • Beef and pork meatballs
  • Peppers with dried shrimp
  • Bitter melon with salted egg
  • Hakka-style stir fry
  • Stir-fried abacus beads
  • Steamed radish balls
  • Hakka-style tofu casserole
  • Omelet with preserved turnips and chives
  • Hakka rice pudding
  • Noodles with shallot oil
  • Peanut mochi


  • Chicken with shrimp
  • Daokou-style stewed chicken
  • Crispy pork knuckle
  • Viceroy tofu


  • Egg rolls
  • Pan-fried fish in wine
  • Chicken with wild yams
  • Crispy pork belly
  • Luoyang pork
  • Scrambled egg whites with shrimp
  • Rich egg custard

Hong Kong

  • Chicken salad with wasabi
  • Jellyfish and cucumber salad
  • Soybean crisps
  • Vegetarian mock duck
  • Snails in chili sauce
  • Golden meatballs
  • Hasma and chicken soup
  • Fish maw and corn soup
  • Grass carp and tofu soup
  • Pork shank and hairy fig soup
  • Pork, lotus root, and dried octopus soup
  • Barramundi with black bean sauce
  • Cod with soybean crisps
  • Steamed salted fish
  • Steamed grouper
  • Turbot with preserved cabbage
  • Fish maw with black mushrooms
  • Sautéed red snapper
  • Braised grouper tail
  • Sea bass with tomatoes
  • Pomfret with crispy bones
  • Salmon fish head with black beans and preserved olives
  • Grey mullet with lemon
  • Sea bream with preserved black olives
  • Catfish in black bean sauce
  • Stuffed tofu puffs with winter melon
  • Eel with bean sauce
  • Eel in black bean sauce
  • Shrimp with vermicelli
  • Shrimp with soy sauce
  • Shrimp on toast
  • Golden prawns
  • Shrimp with spiced salt
  • Shrimp with black pepper and basil
  • Pan-fried shrimp in sauce
  • Crabs baked in salt
  • Crab and mung bean vermicelli casserole
  • Crab in spicy garlic sauce
  • Lobster in black bean sauce
  • Razor clams in black bean sauce
  • Razor clams with garlic sauce
  • Clams in black sauce
  • Clams with vermicelli
  • Clams with eggs and Shaoxing wine
  • Semi-dried oysters in sauce
  • Lettuce wraps with dried oysters
  • Deep-fried oysters
  • Steamed scallops with garlic
  • Scallops and asparagus
  • Steamed abalones
  • Abalones with spiced salt
  • Squid with spiced salt
  • Chicken with Chinese ham
  • Chicken with walnuts
  • Chicken with red bean curd sauce
  • Deep-fried chicken cartilage
  • Chicken and abalone casserole
  • Soy sauce chicken
  • Chicken and pork casserole
  • Chicken, scallion, and shallot casserole
  • Duck with spring ginger and pineapple
  • Stir-fried duck
  • Squab and rose wine casserole
  • Steamed pork with salted fish
  • Steamed pork with dried squid
  • Pork with preserved olives and dried shrimp
  • Pork with dried turnips and pumpkin
  • Pork jowls with plum sauce
  • Jingdu spareribs
  • Chitterlings with soybean sprouts
  • Pork belly with dried bamboo shoots
  • Roast pork with gluten and fuzzy melon
  • Spareribs in a sweet sauce
  • Steamed beef with Tianjin preserved cabbage
  • Chinese beef tenderloin
  • Braised beef brisket with red wine
  • Beef in a clear broth
  • Lamb chops and chiles
  • Pumpkin and taro casserole
  • Ridged luffa with pork
  • Straw mushrooms in oyster sauce
  • Stir-fried yam leaves
  • Stuffed black mushrooms
  • Lotus root with pork
  • Green beans with barbecue pork
  • Pork with peas and corn
  • Egg foo yung
  • Egg tofu with black truffle sauce
  • Steamed eggs with preserved mustard and pork floss
  • Steamed rice with cured meat and seafood
  • Steamed rice with shrimp
  • Chicken fried rice with dried octopus
  • Rice with salmon and asparagus
  • Hong Kong fried rice
  • Baked pork chops over rice
  • Fried rice with beef and shrimp paste
  • Honeymoon fried rice
  • Chicken and pineapple fried rice
  • Rice with chicken and sausage in a casserole
  • Rice with pork and salted fish in a casserole
  • Egg and beef rice casserole
  • Rice with eel and black bean sauce in a casserole
  • Rice and spareribs in a casserole
  • Chicken congee
  • Crab meat soup with crsipy wonton wrappers
  • Noodle soup with tomato and eggs
  • Vegetarian noodle soup
  • Vermicelli with roast duck in soup
  • Noodle soup with shrimp
  • Yi-noodles with mushrooms and Chinese bacon
  • Braised yi-noodles
  • Braised noodles with shrimp roe
  • Chilled noodles with chicken
  • Pan-fried egg noodles
  • Pan-fried rie vermicelli
  • Noodles with special soy sauce
  • Scrambled eggs and shrimp over vermicelli
  • Vermicelli with beef and preserved mustard greens
  • Rice rolls with chili sauce
  • Coconut pudding
  • Coconut and red bean mochi
  • Mango, pomelo, and sago dessert
  • Baked tapioca pudding
  • Baked glutinous rice pudding with coconut milk
  • Sweet tart pastry
  • Hong Kong-style egg tarts
  • Coconut tarts
  • Walnut cookies
  • Peanut crisp cookies


  • Lotus root and sparerib soup
  • Fish with Chinese celery and bamboo shoots
  • Braised catfish
  • Dried scallops with eggs
  • Chicken stuffed with glutinous rice
  • Stewed chicken and corn
  • Pork belly with crushed rice
  • Meatballs with glutinous rice
  • Purple brassica with cured pork
  • Pork belly with crispy walnuts
  • Steamed pork belly with salted pork
  • Braised beef in a casserole


  • Pork with mustard sauce
  • Fish head in chili sauce
  • Shrimp in a nest
  • Andong chicken
  • Chicken with black poplar mushrooms
  • General Tso's chicken
  • Duck casserole
  • Gingko nuts with ham
  • Liuyang-style meatballs
  • Chinese cured bacon with semi-dried tofu
  • Hunan-style pork belly
  • Braised beef
  • Hot and sour lamb
  • Rabbit in chile sauce
  • Luffa with dried scallops
  • Deep-fried spinach
  • Pickled beans with pork
  • Fava beans with ham
  • Xiangtan-style tofu
  • Deep-fried tofu balls in sauce

Inner Mongolia

  • Mutton ribs
  • Millet congee


  • Pork dumplings
  • Deep-fried eel
  • Wensi tofu soup
  • Braised fish with soup
  • Chicken soup in a casserole
  • Spiced smoke fish
  • Crucian carp in soup
  • Braised perch
  • Stuffed crucian carp
  • Braised fish belly
  • Sautéed eel
  • Fan-tailed shrimp
  • Crab cakes
  • Duck with mushrooms and ham
  • Duck with onions
  • Nanjing duck
  • Braised duck with wontons
  • Stir-fried pigeon
  • Lion's head meatballs
  • Braised cherry-colored pork
  • Wuxi-style spareribs
  • Semi-dried tofu with chicken and ham
  • Tofu with crab meat and crab roe
  • Yangzhou tofu salad
  • Yangzhou fried rice
  • Honeyed lotus roots in sweet osmanthus
  • Lotus seed with longan
  • Wensi tofu pumpkin soup


  • Fish with vermicelli
  • Braised carp
  • Sautéed fish rolls
  • Jiangxi-style duck
  • Duck with cloves
  • Pork with yams
  • Pork with sesame seeds
  • Spareribs and dried turnip casserole
  • Stir-fried tofu and pork


  • Pork knuckle with cloves
  • Noodle soup with mutton


  • Crispy lamb with spiced salt


  • Eel soup
  • Mutton soup
  • Pork with spring ginger
  • Pork with vinegar sauce
  • Oxtail casserole
  • Lamb pies
  • Sautéed cabbage
  • Tofu in fragrant sauce


  • Beef dumplings
  • Lotus root with ginger
  • Fish in sweet and sour sauce
  • Tiger prawns in vinegar
  • Sautéed abalones
  • Sea cucumbers with Beijing scallions
  • Softshell turtle with chicken
  • Chicken in tianmianjiang
  • Chicken with mushrooms and bamboo
  • Shandong roast chicken
  • Pork with Beijing scallions
  • Pork wrapped in lotus leaves
  • Pork and cabbage meatballs
  • Pork belly with preserved cabbage
  • Spareribs in tea
  • Sautéed pork with tea leaves
  • Pan-fried meatballs
  • Shandong pork
  • Stir-fried pork kidneys
  • Wild yam rolls
  • Spinach pouches
  • Braised tofu
  • Deep-fried tofu balls
  • Tofu mash


  • Pickled soybeans
  • Kalimeris and tofu salad
  • Drunken chicken
  • Pork and vegetable wontons
  • Deep-fried shrimp
  • Pot stickers
  • Deep-fried anchovies
  • Morel mushrooms and kaofu
  • Kaofu with black fungus
  • Fish in distilled grain sauce
  • Corvina with scallions
  • Shrimp and wolfberries in wine sauce
  • Braised red meatballs
  • Cauliflower and peppers
  • Vegetarian 'crab meat' with tofu
  • Mushrooms with bell peppers
  • Tofu roll in chicken broth
  • Shanghai pork and vegetable rice
  • Shanghai pork chop noodle soup
  • Shanghai chicken noodle soup
  • Noodle soup with corvina
  • Noodles with eel
  • Glutinous rice cakes with pork and Beijing scallions
  • Stir-fried Shanghai noodles
  • Jujube dates stuffed with glutinous rice flour


  • Peanuts in vinegar sauce
  • Chinese herbal lamb soup
  • Pork with apricot kernels
  • Braised lamb with tofu
  • Lamb with wild yam
  • Beijing scallions with chestnuts
  • Baiqi tofu


  • Shunde-style fish puffs
  • Turnip pudding
  • Fish and tofu soup
  • Steamed flounder
  • Mushrooms with fish puffs
  • Carp belly over tofu
  • Stuffed dace
  • Dace balls with taro
  • Frog legs with snow peas and celery
  • Chicken in lotus leaf
  • Chicken in black bean sauce
  • Chicken in zhuhou sauce
  • Pork lettuce wraps
  • Trotters with salted plums
  • Pork belly with lotus root
  • Beef shin with jujube dates
  • Choy sum with preserved mustard
  • Shunde mixed salad
  • Shunde stir-fry
  • Pan-fried lotus root patties
  • Potato pancake with beef
  • Steamed lotus roots
  • Daliang battered shrimp
  • Pork omelet
  • Spareribs with glutinous rice
  • Laughing donut holes
  • Milk custard with egg whites


  • Pickled vegetables
  • Pickled lotus roots
  • Flatbread
  • Bang bang chicken
  • Chicken salad with bean sprouts
  • Chicken wingettes with pepper sauce
  • Pork with garlic sauce
  • Sichuan-style wontons in red oil
  • Shrimp egg rolls in tofu sheets
  • Pig's ears in chili sauce
  • Beef offal in chili sauce
  • Hot and sour soup
  • Carp with sweet and sour sauce
  • Carp with black beans
  • Fish in chili sauce
  • Steamed shrimp in a fragrant sauce
  • Shrimp patties
  • Gongbao-style shrimp in chili sauce
  • Sweet and sour shrimp
  • Shrimp with peas
  • Shrimp with spicy sauce
  • Spicy chicken with Sichuan peppercorns
  • Steamed chicken with spicy sauce
  • Chicken in spicy sauce
  • Chicken wings in wine sauce
  • Gongbao chicken
  • Chicken and ginger casserole
  • Chicken "tofu"
  • Roast chicken with preserved mustard
  • Sliced crispy duck
  • Duck with soybean chips
  • Sichuan-syle braised duck
  • Duck with preserved mustard hearts
  • Smoked pigeon
  • Braised quail
  • Pork in garlic sauce
  • Pork with garlic sprouts
  • Beef and dried tangerine peel stir-fry
  • Beef in chili broth
  • Stir-fried beef
  • Beef with pickled chiles
  • Braised oxtail in clear broth
  • Lamb with Chinese celery
  • Crispy lamb with spicy dip
  • Cabbage hearts in broth
  • Eggplant in garlic sauce
  • Mushroom sauce over sizzling crispy rice
  • Shrimp with sugar peas
  • Stir-fried green beans
  • Gongbao tofu
  • Mapo tofu
  • Dan dan noodles


  • Oyster rolls
  • Bitter melon soup with pineapple sauce
  • Baby clams marinated in garlic sauce
  • Oysters with black beans
  • Squid with chiles and cilantro
  • Chicken with sesame oil, soy sauce, and wine
  • Roast chicken in red distilled grain sauce
  • Duck with angelica root
  • Goose intestines in soy sauce
  • Cold pork liver
  • Pork belly with red distilled grain sauce
  • Pig's heart with scallions
  • Pork belly with mushrooms
  • Pork belly in soy sauce
  • Ridged luffa with clams
  • Tofu with preserved mustard greens
  • Vegetable roll
  • Taiwan-style beef noodles
  • Vermicelli with tuna


  • Celtuce salad
  • Chicken salad with noodles
  • Flounder with mushrooms and bamboo shoots
  • Shrimp with tuberose
  • Caramelized walnuts


  • Honeyed lamb


  • Xinjiang-style chicken
  • Crispy leg of lamb
  • Lamb kebabs
  • Rice and lamb casserole
  • Hand-pulled noodles


  • Black chicken and mushroom soup
  • Steamed fish in lotus leaves
  • Xizhou-style braised fish
  • Dried scallops with quail eggs
  • Chicken in a steam casserole
  • Drumsticks in sauce
  • Chicken with papaya
  • Dai chicken with coconut
  • Yunnan ham in honeyed sauce
  • Roast lamb with cloves
  • Bitter melon with ham
  • Chanterelle with tuberose
  • Sautéed porcini mushrooms
  • Stir-fried ganba fungus
  • Fried rice with ganba
  • Honey locust seed dessert


  • Water shield soup
  • Fish and egg white soup
  • Songsao-style fish soup
  • Corvina soup
  • Yan Du Xian soup
  • West Lake beef soup
  • Ribbonfish with vinegar
  • Stewed fish head
  • Sweet and sour fish
  • West Lake-style fish
  • Braised river eel
  • Shrimp with Longjing tea
  • Clams with ham, mushrooms, and peppers
  • Drunken trotters
  • Steamed pork with shrimp paste
  • Pork belly with red bean curd
  • Pork tenderloin with sweet and sour pork
  • Dongpo pork
  • Double-boiled cured ham
  • Pork belly in tiger stripes
  • Water bamboo with shrimp roe
  • Braised bamboo shoots
  • Bamboo shoots with shrimp roe
  • Tea eggs
  • Glutinous rice balls with black sesame filling
  • Chestnut soup with osmanthus flower
  • Hasma with lotus seeds and jujube dates

What an amazing labor of love you have generously given us and EYB! Thank you so much for doing this. I may never cook any of it but had fun reading through the titles – some looked great, some too funky for me (I want all the duck dishes right now, would try eel soup but not goose intestines) – and now I am very hungry.

This sounds like a very useful cookbook, thank you! And you did an amazing job indexing. Much appreciated.

The bias is more pronounced:
If you count Hong Kong, Guangdong, Chaozhao, Hakka (even though some of the population are in other provinces), Shunde, then 49% of the recipe comes from the Guangdong province. So I got curious about the authors and found this piece about them:

So that explains the predominance of Cantonese recipes. Nothing particularly wrong about a HK couple writing more about food they are most familiar with, and I am happy to eat Cantonese all day.
Though I’d argue that if they name the book China the cookbook, the regional split can be a bit more balanced to do the various cuisines justice.


Wow! Thanks.

Isn’t Guangzhou the Chinese equivalent of Lyon or Bologna?

NO! NON! It’s an important region, as Shanghai and Zhejiang region, as Beijing, as Sichuan as…
The book has left out Singapore.

I think Hong Kong is over represented with 129 dishes in a cook book that is dedicated to Chinese cooking. Recipe like Vegetarian mock duck, com’on ! Is it that important in Chinese cuisine?

They should have named the book Cantonese home cookbook with other regions.

A big thanks to @hyperbowler for the big index that helps to put things in perspective.
Did you own the book, what’s your impression on the actual recipes?

Personally, I agree with you. It’s important to include a regional index.

But for an audience aiming at general public, I think it is not that important. I saw one of the complaint in Amazon of All Under Heaven, that it was arranged by region and not by courses or ingredients.

It may be a while before I cook much from this either! My main goal was to use it as a resource to understand what goes into the dishes at restaurants— if I have a very rainy day, I may edit the original post to include Chinese names to enhance correspondence between the book and menus.

@sck I’m finding the Hong Kong / Cantonese / Shunde / Hakka recipes very informative since it’s not always been clear to me what the distinctions are. And even just considering the Cantonese related recipes, 300 recipes would make a worthwhile cookbook to own.

@naf I’ve only tried one recipe, a celtuse salad in an aromatic warm dressing. . I liked the flavors, but found some of the directions vague (e.g. After cutting into 1 1/2" lengths, it says to “…Cut into strips”, the width/height of which is unspecified and the julienne I assumed wound up too thin to shake off the Sichuan peppercorns).

It was my understanding that the people in Guangzhou are kind of obsessed with food and that it has the most restaurants per capital of anyplace in China.

Also people there eat more different types of things than other places in China.

I am aware that saying you like Chinese food is like saying you like European food or you like Indian food as there are vast regional differences in China. The difference between Sichuan and Guangzhou is such that dim sum is considered exotic in Chengdu.

That said, I thought Guangzhou still has a rather special reputation with other Chinese for food as is evidenced by the saying “Eating in Guangzhou (食在广州).” Or is this just tourist dept. propaganda?

From wikitravel.


Cantonese cuisine is well-known for its blend of color, fragrance, taste and presentation, and it is ranked among the top four in the country. In particular, dim sum, a delicate pastry, is famous for being simple yet delicious. Local customs, as well as a long history of contact with the West compared to other regions in China, have played a major role in the development and diversity of Cantonese cuisine. Chinese food served in Western countries is usually Cantonese food, albeit slightly adapted to Western tastes, meaning that most Western visitors from large cities will be familiar with Cantonese food to a certain extent. That being said, authentic Cantonese cuisine is also famous throughout China for another reason - Cantonese people eat absolutely anything, and it is often said that Cantonese people eat anything that has four legs other than a table, anything that flies other than an airplane, and anything that swims other than a submarine. In addition to that, various internal organs of animals are regularly eaten, such as the liver, kidneys, heart and even brain. This means that Cantonese cuisine is one of, if not the most adventurous in China due to their expansive use of exotic ingredients, and their extremely broad definition of what is considered edible. This is how Guangzhou earned the distinct name of “Eating in Guangzhou (食在广州).” "


I should point out that the Chans have a nice section on regional cooking (it emphasis the ‘eight’ cuisines) at the beginning, and point to a few corresponding recipes. Their intro is important background information, and I agree with you that most readers prefer this type of information to be in the background and want traditional organization. For the percent of people that care about regionality, or some way of parsing the 695 recipes, the lack of an index could be a deal breaker.

I think Phaidon is more interested in their books staying pretty on bookshelves ( or as doorstops ) rather than use— the book lacks the charts, menu ideas, etc. that would transform the authors hard work from an encyclopedic reference to a day to day cookbook.

For longer books, I hope others, chinese oriented or not, follow Phillip’s model of organizing by region, then by course (Claudia Roden and Ada Boni’a regional Italian cookbooks are arranged by region, so it’s not without precedent).

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I apologize if this doesn’t post to the correct response. I’ve cooked from a couple of other Phaidon cookbooks and found the instructions lacking as well. I feel like they are publishing Joy of Cooking like books for different cuisines (i.e., I find JOC useful, but I know US cooking vernacular). The ingredient lists and rough measurements are correct, but I’ve never thought that these were rigorously tested recipes. I don’t mean this negatively, but I’ve always enjoyed these publications more as cultural overviews, than learning to cook said cuisine.


I see this thread that was largely not complimentary. Has anyone had any additional or recent experience comparing this book to All Under Heaven? I borrowed All Under Heaven from the library a while ago, cooked a couple of recipes, and thought it was overall a very strong book. Thinking of purchasing it, but haven’t had a chance to look at Phaidon’s book yet. Any input welcomed.