After Sarah and Kaitlyn left home for college, Bill and Judy temporarily relocated to Beijing. Homesick for home cooking, the sisters frequently called upon their parents via Skype, and on occasional visits, to walk them through favorites like Red-Braised Pork Belly with Eggs and Classic Scallion Pancakes. In 2013, Sarah started a blog to record their recipes while documenting the family’s history, and enlisted the rest of the family to chip in. Described on its home page as “a culinary genealogy,” The Woks of Life is now recognized as the top online resource for Chinese cooking in English.
Like the blog, the book’s chapters are filled with snapshots and heartwarming essays contributed by each family member, along with lusciously photographed recipes for takeout standbys, dim sum classics, quick weeknight stir-fries, and a handful of more ambitious feats accompanied by detailed tutorials, such as one for Cantonese Roast Duck reminiscent of those hanging in Chinatown restaurant windows.
The Chinese New Year on Jan. 22 would be an excellent time to give them a try. But if you can’t grab a copy before then, check out thewoksoflife.com, where you’ll find a collection of holiday favorites in one convenient place.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
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