Named a Best Cookbook of 2023 by The New York Times and Serious Eats
James Beard Award winner Kevin Pang and his dad Jeffrey, hosts of the hit America’s Test Kitchen series Hunger Pangs, show you the way to delicious Chinese cooking in this accessible, funny, heartfelt cookbook.
From American Chinese classics (General Tso’s Chicken) to Sichuan street foods (Dan Dan Mian) and Hong Kong dim sum favorites (Shu Mai), A Very Chinese Cookbook is ideal for both the Chinese food-curious and experienced cooks seeking a weekend soup dumpling project.
Chock full of tips, techniques, stories, and friendly ingredient guides, with over 100 of ATK’s trademark rigorous recipes—and even a magic trick with fortune cookies—the cookbook in your hands is very practical, very personal, and very Chinese indeed.
Two Generations of Storytelling: Jeffrey recounts a lifelong love of cooking that began in childhood, growing up in Hong Kong, cooking at his mother’s side, and exploring the street vendors and markets. Kevin dispenses practical wisdom that brings the recipes to life—why Beef Ho Fun is the mark of a great Cantonese chef; why Shu Mai is the world heavyweight champion of dumplings.
Test Kitchen Techniques: From the basics of successful stir-frying to folding methods for Shanghai Soup Dumplings, careful instructions and abundant photos teach key steps.
Chinatown Shopping Guide: From choosing the right soy sauce or vinegar to buying fresh noodles and seeking out superlative Buddhist-style chickens, let the Pangs be your trusted guides.
About the Author
America's Test Kitchen publishes best-selling and award-winning cookbooks, including The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, Boards, and Best Mexican Recipes. It also publishes Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines and produces public television's top-rated shows, America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country.
Kevin Pang is a James Beard Award-winning food writer. At America's Test Kitchen, Kevin is Editorial Director for Digital and host of the podcast, Proof. Kevin was previously a restaurant critic at the Chicago Tribune, founder of the website The Takeout, and his documentary For Grace premiered at the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival and later streamed on Netflix.
Jeffrey Pang is a retired businessman in the import-export industry. He's also an amateur YouTube chef whose Chinese cooking channel was featured in The New York Times Magazine in 2016. Jeffrey is the co-star of Hunger Pangs with his son Kevin, a video series for America's Test Kitchen. He lives in Seattle with his wife Catherine.
"What’s special about “A Very Chinese Cookbook” (America’s Test Kitchen) is seeing all the recipe-testing rigor and nerdy food science of America’s Test Kitchen applied to classic dishes from all over China, Hong Kong especially, and the canon of American Chinese cooking. Even though the recipes are true to their roots — which can mean complex techniques and many ingredients — they’re doable for any cook, given the clear instructions, helpful photos and detailed tips. As a bonus, the charming father-son pair Jeffrey Pang and Kevin Pang write about culinary history and share their personal stories without self-seriousness, which makes the recipes feel less intimidating and the reading a pleasure." — The New York Times, "The Best Cookbooks of 2023"
"A Very Chinese Cookbook isn’t just a new cookbook. It’s a multigenerational journey that explores identity, memories, and the information we choose to preserve for future generations. Food helped bridge the divide between a Chinese man raising an American son."— Eater, Chicago
“I’ve been a Kevin Pang fan for years. I’m crazy about his writing and his clever, quirky way of coming at everything from XO Sauce (which he says delivers a ‘knuckle sandwich of umami’) to the primer on ingredients, which is a marvel. Now I’m in love with his father, his mother and the food they cook. Their book is an original—generous, wise, funny and chockablock with smart information and irresistible, meticulously tested recipes. If you can’t decide what to make first—there are just so many gems—I’ll understand: That’s just how it was with me.” — Dorie Greenspan New York Times best-selling cookbook author
“Kevin Pang and his father make a wonderful team—a dynamic duo in their kitchens and in their lives. This book is filled with traditional Chinese home-cooked recipes unknown to many. It’s for everyone who has fond memories of cooking and sharing their lives with their parents. Way to go, Kevin, and, of course, Dad, too!” — Martin Yan Host of Yan Can Cook on public television, chef-restaurateur, author
“I love this father and son exploration of Chinese cuisine especially because it focuses so much on their Hong Kong heritage. The handing down of recipes is so rare and a powerful way to keep our culinary culture rich and vibrant. This work is an important addition for every Chinese cookbook library.” — Grace Young Author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge and The Breath of a Wok
"A heartwarming collaboration between an unlikely social media star, Jeffrey Pang, and his son, renowned food writer Kevin Pang, which not only fizzes with flavour but promises to be a steadfast companion in the kitchen. The mouthwatering recipes, ranging from American Chinese classics to homestyle comfort foods and delicious specialities from all over China, are clearly explained and rigorously tested, and the photographs of Pangs senior and junior will definitely make you smile! With the added bonus of shopping guides complete with Chinese characters, A Very Chinese Cookbook makes a valuable addition to any cookbook shelf." — Fuchsia Dunlop Author of Invitation to a Banquet and The Food of Sichuan
“A gloriously accessible guide to the most delicious cuisine ever devised. Then—at no extra charge!—the moving reconciliation of a father and son. Try the Dry Chili Chicken!” — Will Tracy Co-writer of The Menu, executive producer of Succession and The Regime
“A Very Chinese Cookbook is the rare cookbook that is as joyous as it is instructional. Kevin and Jeffrey Pang are skilled and spirited guides into the world of not only Chinese food, but delicious meals, full stop. What a gift this book is: rich, enlightening, and just plain delightful.” — Rachel Khong Author of Goodbye, Vitamin and editor of All About Eggs
“I love this book! And I adore this incredible food from Kevin and Jeffrey, and their very fun but no-nonsense approach to cooking Chinese food together. The love of sharing food doesn’t start at the table; it starts in the kitchen, when we shop, when we meal-plan. This book is a joy to read and cook from and reminds us why family and food are inexorably linked.” — Andrew Zimmern James Beard Award–winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher
“A big-hearted, accessible guide to Chinese cooking in America rooted in a father and son’s immigrant experiences, A Very Chinese Cookbook presents a broad range of incredible recipes with the Pangs’ trademark passion, expertise, and goofball antics.” — Dan Pashman James Beard Award–winning host of The Sporkful podcast, inventor of the cascatelli pasta shape
“This is the Chinese cookbook I didn’t know I was waiting for all my life. I have multiple shelves of cookbooks, but none capture the joy of Chinese cooking like this one. More than a compilation of recipes, Kevin and Jeffrey fill each page with helpful information and unbridled joy.” — Larry Fong Cinematographer of 300, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Watchmen, Lost
"Kevin and Jeffrey nailed this! Such a beautiful book with incredible recipes. My house will be permanently smelling like these dumplings from now on if anyone needs me. Love the authenticity and accessibility!” — Renée Paquette Author of Messy In The Kitchen, All Elite Wrestling on-air personality
“I’m a sucker for collections of recipes that mean something. And—this may sound contradictory—I’m drawn to cookbooks that confidently present technical prowess. A Very Chinese Cookbook has both, which is a rare find. Plus, it’s as much fun to read as it is to cook from. The Smashed Cucumbers and Sesame Noodles became instant go-tos in my house, and now I’m set on a path to mastering the Master Dumpling System. With its chapter on demystifying the Chinese grocery and its brilliantly curated collection of recipes, I’m thinking this may be the only Chinese cookbook I need.” — Rick Bayless Best-selling cookbook author, host of public television’s Mexico: One Plate at a Time, chef-owner of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago
“Kevin and Jeffrey Pang’s story is a recipe of its own, and one that features ingredients you’ll probably find in your kitchen: family members arguing, cultures clashing, fights ending strictly because everyone just wants to eat, etc. In the Pangs’ case, the final dish is this magnificent tome, one that has already made me both a better cook and a happier person. This is a cookbook made by people who love food so much because they love each other so much.” — Drew Magary Author of The Hike, co-founder of Defector
“Smart. Funny. Delicious. Kevin and Jeffrey Pang’s beautifully shot deep dive into Chinese food makes you want to step into the kitchen and get cooking.” — Omar Mamoon Writer and contributor for Esquire, San Francisco Chronicle
“Kevin and Jeffrey Pang—and America’s Test Kitchen—have a knack for making complex topics approachable and fun. No better example than A Very Chinese Cookbook, which is thoughtful, funny, and, above all else, delicious.” — Abra Berens Chef at Granor Farm and author of the cookbooks Pulp, Ruffage, and Grist
“In the era of influencers, educating food lovers and guiding people to delicious food is almost a lost art. My buddy Kevin Pang is the last of a dying breed, and I’ve been trusting his knowledge and palate for years. I’m here to tell you, you should too! A Very Chinese Cookbook is Kevin and Jeffrey Pang’s guide to understanding the wonderful world of Chinese cuisine. Through their expert eyes, experienced taste buds and thoughtful techniques, our horizons will expand and our bellies win!” — Alvin Cailan Chef, author of Amboy: Recipes from the Filipino-American Dream, host of The Burger Show
“I judge a cookbook by what I end up doing after looking through it. Usually I smile at the impossibly perfect photos and put it back on the shelf. Sometimes, I mark a few pages, thinking I’ll try one of those recipes, someday. With A Very Chinese Cookbook from Kevin and Jeffrey Pang, I immediately started researching where I could get ingredients and tools, not to mention a very expensive rice cooker I suddenly realized I needed. My only frustration with this funny, useful, and heartwarming book of food and life is that I can’t order up a father like Jeffrey to argue with, cook with, and learn from. Get on it, Etsy.” — Peter Sagal Host of NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!