Favorite Cookbooks

I have a large collection of cookbooks (pictured to the left is a portion of it). Most of my book collection is listed on Eat Your Books. I like cookbooks that are information-heavy, ethnic cookbooks that teach about ingredients, or ones that inspire me to try a new ingredient. I tend to like cookbooks which are written by home cooks and don’t mind whether or not they have pictures. Below is a short list of cookbooks that I adore — the ones that I have enjoyed reading and usually have cooked from many times.

  • General
    • Time-Life “Foods of the world” series: The books in the series are a great way to learn about global cuisines from the historical perspective of the 1960s and early 1970s. These are my favorite cookbooks to read, but I don’t usually cook from them.
  • Western (American and European influenced or California Cuisine)
    • The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers: Insightful, observant, and thoughtful.
    • A Boat, a Whale, a Walrus by Renee Erickson
  • Japanese
    • Washoku: Traditional Japanese food
      • “Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen” by Elizabeth Andoh: I love all the informative details in this book and especially the frugal tips on how to use side products or little odds and ends to make other dishes.
      • “Everyday Harumi: Simple Japanese Food for Family and Friends” by Harumi Kurihara
      • “Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook” by Mark Robinson
    • Sushi
      • “The Sushi Experience” by Hiroko Shimbo. This is a great primer on sushi. The ingredient section is especially useful. For example, it tells you exactly what sort of nori, variety of Japanese rice, rice vinegar, etc that you should look for.
    • Yōshoku: Western-influenced Japanese comfort food
      • “Japanese Soul Cooking” by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat: This book is a lot of fun to cook from, and it makes very satisfying meals.
  • Chinese
    • “Asian Dumplings” by Andrea Nguyen and her accompanying website Asian Dumpling Tips: This is perhaps the best English language source for dumpling recipes and techniques (e.g. folding technique, flour choices).
  • Southern Louisiana
    • “Real Cajun” by Donald Link


Below are some photogenic meals that I’ve made from my cookbook collection:

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