Here are some recommendations for cookbooks that are both authoritative and accessible to those new to cooking authentic Chinese at home.
Key to Chinese Cooking, by Irene Kuo, devotes its first half to teaching technique, and the second to recipes which build on the techniques.
The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking: Techniques and Recipes, by Barbara Tropp, is strong on technique and philosophy, very thorough, and the recipes come out great.
Yan-Kit’s Classic Chinese Cookbook, by Yan-Kit So, has a comprehensive ingredient guide with pictures and detailed instructions.
Land of Plenty, by Fuschia Dunlop, is chowhounds’ new English-language bible for authentic Sichuanese cooking, with clear explanations and terrific recipes.
The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen, by Grace Young and Alan Richardson, focuses on Cantonese cuisine, with background information on techniques and ingredients, and adds some interesting history.
Suggestions on great Chinese cookbooks?