The Breath of a Wok

by Grace Young and Alan Richardson

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Original Publisher
Simon & Schuster
Date of publication

Recommended by

Hsiao-Ching Chou

Food journalist

The title alone is everything. Proper wok cooking requires high heat and the “breath” of the wok is the telltale flavor note in a stir fry that you want to achieve. Young has been an authority on sharing cooking methods and stories from Chinese cooks around the world. She helped pave the way for another generation of Chinese-cookbook authors, including me. This book also introduced me to artisan, hand-hammered woks. Were it not for Young’s work to document this tradition, some of the names of artisans might have been lost to gentrification.

Karen Anderson

Writer and Blogger of Savour It All

This book is exemplary in every way. I read it cover to cover and if I could only own one kitchen device it would be my carbon steel wok with its glorious patina of locked in flavour memories.

Elizabeth Andoh


Elegantly written yet utterly practical cookbook; the import role of the wok in Chinese cookery.

Robyn Eckhardt

Food and travel journalist and author

Hamish Ingham

Executive Chef Bar H Surry Hills

Diane Morgan

Cooking teacher and cookbook author