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2 Burnside Cooking and Food- Wok and Stirfry
2 Remote Warehouse Cooking and Food- Chinese
10 Remote Warehouse Cooking and Food- General

The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore


The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Grace Young was a child, her father instilled in her a lasting appreciation of andlt;iandgt;wok hay,andlt;/iandgt; the highly prized but elusive taste that food achieves when properly stir-fried in a wok. As an adult, Young aspired to create that taste in her own kitchen.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Grace Young's quest to master wok cooking led her throughout the United States, Hong Kong, and mainland China. Along with award-winning photographer Alan Richardson, Young sought the advice of home cooks, professional chefs, and esteemed culinary teachers like Cecilia Chiang, Florence Lin, and Ken Hom. Their instructions, stories, and recipes, gathered in this richly designed and illustrated volume, offer not only expert lessons in the art of wok cooking, but also capture a beautiful and timeless way of life.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;With its emphasis on cooking with all the senses, andlt;iandgt;The Breath of a Wokandlt;/iandgt; brings the techniques and flavors of old-world wok cooking into today's kitchen, enabling anyone to stir-fry with andlt;iandgt;wok hay.andlt;/iandgt; IACP award-winner Young details the fundamentals of selecting, seasoning, and caring for a wok, as well as the range of the wok's uses; this surprisingly inexpensive utensil serves as the ultimate multipurpose kitchen tool. The 125 recipes are a testament to the versatility of the wok, with stir-fried, smoked, pan-fried, braised, boiled, poached, steamed, and deep-fried dishes that include not only the classics of wok cooking, like Kung Pao Chicken and Moo Shoo Pork, but also unusual dishes like Sizzling Pepper and Salt Shrimp, Three Teacup Chicken, and Scallion and Ginger Lo Mein. Young's elegant prose and Richardson's extraordinary photographs create a unique and unforgettable picture of artisan wok makers in mainland China, street markets in Hong Kong, and a "wok-a-thon" in which Young's family of aunties, uncles, and cousins cooks together in a lively exchange of recipes and stories. A visit with author Amy Tan also becomes a family event when Tan and her sisters prepare New Year's dumplings. Additionally, there are menus for family-style meals and for Chinese New Year festivities, an illustrated glossary, and a source guide to purchasing ingredients, woks, and accessories.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Written with the intimacy of a memoir and the immediacy of a travelogue, this recipe-rich volume is a celebration of cultural and culinary delights.


The prize-winning author of "The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen" returns with a gorgeously illustrated book of stories and 125 recipes that celebrate and demystify the art of wok cooking. 150 photos, 100 in full color.

About the Author

andlt;Bandgt;Alan Richardsonandlt;/Bandgt; is an award-winning photographer and designer whose work has appeared in andlt;Iandgt;Bon Appand#233;tit, Gourmet, Saveur, Food and Wine,andlt;/Iandgt; and andlt;Iandgt;The New York Times Magazine.andlt;/Iandgt; He has done the photography for countless cookbooks and is the co-author of andlt;Iandgt;The Four Seasons of Italian Cooking.andlt;/Iandgt; He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents



One wok runs to the sky's edge

Notes to the Reader

In Search of a Wok


Reverence for a Wok

Acquiring a Virtuous Wok

Wok Buying Guide

Opening a Wok

Recipes for Seasoning a Wok

The Face of a Wok


Wok Hay: The Breath of a Wok

Stir-Frying Poultry

Stir-Frying Meat

The Wok Warriors

Stir-Frying Fish and Shellfish

Stir-Frying Rice and Noodles

The Wok as a Musical Instrument

Stir-Frying Vegetables


The Master Lesson



The Family Wok-a-thon


Amy Tan and the New Year's Dumplings

Boiling and Poaching





New Year's Menus

Seasonal Family-Style Menus


Metric Equivalencies


Selected Bibliography


What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Thomas Godbold, August 21, 2007 (view all comments by Thomas Godbold)
This book is a fountain of wisdom. History, memory, and art combine in this one volume which is equally valuable to the novice as to the old hand.

As a person who has fumbled through wok cookery without a solid knowledge of the "whys" behind the actions, thoughts, and spirit, this tool has been absolutely essential to my growth into the Chinese Culinary realm.

It teaches you from the ground up as to how to choose a wok, how to prepare it for use, how to clean and care for it, and how to foster the "wok hee" that marks a well used and happy wok. It also runs thru other tools needed to complete tasks effectively. Finally, it offers a good number of recipes with Grace's personal memories behind them- it is almost like seeing into her family life thru the food.

Thank you Grace for sharing your love of food, memory and history, for isn't that what sharing a meal with those you love all about?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

Richardson, Alan
Simon & Schuster
Richardson, Alan
Richardson, Alan
New York
Cookery, chinese
Food habits
Wok cookery
Regional & Ethnic - Asian
Regional & Ethnic - Chinese
Methods - Wok
General Cooking
Cooking and Food-Chinese
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
September 2004
Grade Level:
100 color photos, 50 bandw photos
10 x 7.75 in 35.175 oz

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Appliances » Wok and Stirfry
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » Asian
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » Chinese

The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$37.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743238274 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The prize-winning author of "The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen" returns with a gorgeously illustrated book of stories and 125 recipes that celebrate and demystify the art of wok cooking. 150 photos, 100 in full color.
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