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Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,452 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Fuchsia Dunlop trained as a chef at China's leading cooking school and is internationally renowned for her delicious recipes and brilliant writing about Chinese food. Every Grain of Rice is inspired by the healthy and vibrant home cooking of southern China, in which meat and fish are enjoyed in moderation, but vegetables play the starring role.

Try your hand at blanched
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury UK
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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 ·  1,452 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm a Chinese living abroad and was never allowed in the kitchen while in China. When I get home-food sick, I find most recipe books, especially those written in Chinese, unpractical for beginners like me who already know what authentic food should taste like, until I found out "Every Grain of Rice"! Not only the title reminds me of the Tang dynasty poem I was forced to recite whenever I have left even one grain of rice in the bowl,the food in it are exactly what my family cook at home. It has a ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks, food
I've been recommending this book even since before it came out, and overall, it's really good. The illustrations and glossary are great (some really appetizing photos!), and she includes lots of handy reference pictures, which should really help people who are trying to find the right ingredients, or who want a reference of how certain cuts should look.

As a vegetarian, I love how vegetarian friendly the book is, and also the fact that she includes so many home cooking style recipes where meat is
Lee Broderick
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
I get the impression that if this had been written by a TV chef then it would have been called 'How to Cook Chinese' or, perhaps, 'Easy Chinese Cooking'. It wasn't though and the title is one of the best I've seen for a cookbook in recent years - The Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook was another great title and that, too, was by Fuchsia Dunlop. That book focussed on Hunan cuisine, just as her first, the far more simply titled Sichuan Cookery had also focussed on a region she knew well. Highly ...more
Eddie Watkins
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
Found my way to this book this summer after looking for a recipe for eggplant and happening upon fish-fragrant eggplant. The name so intrigued me I read up on it and found out that fish-fragrant derives not from the inclusion of fish in the recipe, but rather from one of the seven categories of flavor in Sichuan cooking. The idea of categories of flavor made my mouth water and I decided then and there I needed to learn more about Chinese cooking and its extensive list of sauces and various ...more
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic look into Chinese cooking. This book provides clear and concise instructions on Chinese style meals. However, not only though does it provide the recipes, it lists the tools, cutting styles and even basic stock recipes to keep a full Chinese kitchen in your house.

I have a Chinese girlfriend and normally she views Western Chinese books as too simple or full of western style recipes. I showed her this and she has read it from cover to cover (quite a feat for a cookbook!). She remarks
Deborah Pickstone
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really excellent and works in practice.
Pablo V
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Horace Derwent
this british culinairie knows everything about chinese cuisine
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I never buy cookbooks--recipes are readily available online and a survey can usually give you a number of ideas as to how you might prepare any given dish--but this is a singular exception (outside of the staples).

The visuals are very helpful, esp for learning or reviewing the variety of cuts or ingredient reference. This might be unfair, but it might have been nice to provide substitutions or alternatives to the hard to find food stuffs. Otherwise a tremendous introduction to Sichuan cooking!
drool.....drool....drool... Trying the short rib and one of the noodle recipes this weekend. Can't wait! ....tried about 5 recipes... All keepers....instructions are very easy to follow and quick to make... Some of the ingredients are hard to source so I just used alternatives... The red braised pork belly was amazing and I was so glad to find a radish recipe that converted my family of radish haters to radish lovers.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my already favorite cookbook, and I've made only a small share of the recipes in the book. Delicious recipes, great tips, many different styles of Chinese cuisine and beautiful photos to show me what my dishes were supposed to look like...
Michelle Ardillo
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book on Chinese cooking - recipes you can actually tackle at home. The recipe for sizzling greens is alone worth the purchase price.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a *serious* cookbook collector, there is a serious gap in my collection - I have no books on Chinese cooking, simply because good ones are strangely rare. I live in a North American city with a huge Chinese influence and have grown up eating not just old fashioned, westernized dishes like chow mein and fried rice but more "authentic" dishes like duck eggs and rice cooked in earthen pots and gratuitous amounts of congee.

But whenever I get back from the Chinese supermarket and try to recreate
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
This is the other cookbook that I read, literally, from cover to cover. I'm not sure that I've ever done that with a cookbook before.

I've read other books about Chinese cooking, my culinary school curriculum included a class on China and I've read various things about Chinese cooking online. None were even close to this book. I used to think that the learning curve for cooking Chinese food was sky high; now I know I can do this.

Part of the latter, of course, is because Dunlop focuses on Sichuan
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks, reviewed
Dunlop's first love, if I can be so bold to claim, is Sichuanese cuisine, and the recipes in this cookbook have a fair bit of overlap with her excellent Sichuan cookbook, but there's also enough new dishes to keep it interesting. I have all three of her cookbooks, and I love them all, but if I was going to give just one to a friend it would be this one. Her Sichuan cookbook is a close second, but with fewer photos it's perhaps not as welcoming to less experienced cooks.

It's a great introduction
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Having now stocked up my kitchen with a few basics, and cooked several recipes from this book I'm very happy with it.

I've always been wary of Chinese cooking after ending up with dishes that don't really resemble the textures or flavours of food I've had in more authentic restaurants. I think my problem was overthinking it.

Yes the recipes in this book are often quite simple but that was not a bad thing in my view as it helped me move past the idea that authentic flavours demand complex
Lindsey Duncan
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A knowledgeable, inviting and passionate book of Chinese cuisine, this tome offers recipes from the simplest to the more complex, and explains the context both historical and specific for each. It's an educational and entertaining cookbook. Two things struck me in the negative: one, there were more overly basic recipes than I would have liked; and two, like so many of the books I've investigated for Asian region cuisines, it overestimates the ease of finding rare specialty ingredients. Still, ...more
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wannabe Chinese cooks
This is the simpler Chinese cooking that you would eat at home or in a cafeteria setting and not as elaborate as earlier cookbooks tended to be. Very good basic instructions and ingredients list. Includes some modern fusion recipes. I need to check and see what other books are out there but this might replace my copy of Encyclopedia of Chinese Food and Cooking, which a mere 40 years old or so.

I also have another issue, recipes are not included in the table of contents which makes them difficult
Kate Cronin
Dec 23, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a great cookbook for anyone who has the time, money and energy to become a serious at-home Chinese cook. I enjoyed reading it and would make one or two of the recipes, but at this point, this wouldn't be a cookbook that I use regularly. At first I thought this was by the same author as Why the Chinese Don't Count Calories: 15 Secrets from a 6,000-Year-Old Food Culture, but it is not. I would recommend this cookbook over that book, this author also takes Chinese food very seriously, but ...more
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Having lived in Shanghai for a year doesn't make me an expert on Chinese food, but it does mean I have a taste memory for the food I ate on a daily basis (not banquet food), how it was presented to me, etc. This book hits those memories perfectly.

I usually keep library cookbooks for a while, cook from them, see how they will work into my regular eating repertoire. I've had this book out of the library for a week. It took me one day to decide to buy it.

Happy, happy, happy eating with this book.
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-cooking
I've gained so much from all of Dunlop's books including this one, so I won't even attempt pretending a neutral review stance.

In additional to expanding my knowledge of Chinese regional cooking, the techniques I've picked-up working through her recipes have unexpectedly improved my overall skills in preparing unrelated cuisines.

I tend to use "Every Grain of Rice" together with her Hunan and Sichuan books, typically starting a recipe from one of the three, then reading through the others for
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
While others may gravitate to her region-specific cookbooks, this book, while taking a more "casual" approach on the surface, has a superior guide to ingredients and knife-skills (with plentiful, clear photos) and more carefully tested and honed recipes. While many of the dishes are the same or slight variants on those present in her other work, this book has made me more confident in my execution of those recipes and in my approach to improvising my own Chinese dishes and menus.
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
Fantastic! Terrific, much more do-able at home than many Chinese cookbooks, beautiful photography, fascinating and well written reminiscences of where the author ate the recipes. No nutritional info (sigh) but I have to forgive her because of the variability she gives for ingredients (substitutes for what we might not be able to find, etc.) Definitely planning to make a few of these right away, and even more if I can only find smoked tofu. :-)
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, asia
Like many others, I borrow recipe books from the library on a trial basis. I will definitely be buying this one. This is exactly what I was looking for in a Chinese cookbook: something below the restaurant-level recipes with 20+ ingredients - just the stuff home cooks make and serve.

There was a bit of head-scratching in the Asian supermarket involved on my part, but Dunlop provides plenty of information to help those of us who are shopping in a foreign language.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Crystal
Shelves: feast
This book is fantastic. I am so grateful to any cookbook author who tells you how to shop for the ingredients and SHOWS you what the veggies, labels, and spices look like. I may not have to buy dumplings for my emergency weeknight soup ever again!
I cannot wait to make more dishes from this book!
Lots of great vegetable recipes that have me eating greens, greens, greens!
Scott Cave
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Occasionally you read a cookbook that really revolutionizes how you think about cooking, and helps you understand a kind of food on a level you hadnt conceived of before. Im still toddling through the recipes, but just reading Dunlops clear and evocative prose has taught me a lot. A great starting point for people interested in Chinese cooking. ...more
Whit Mattson
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
A beautiful cookbook for those wanting to push their Chinese-inspired cooking into something genuine. The cuisine here is predominately Sichuan, as the author lived in Chengdu, so it's heavy on the heat. The standout piece though is the illustrated pantry, essential for helping the naive try to navigate new ingredients.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, cookbooks, nf
This book gives me faith in Chinese food as I have never had faith in what I've consumed thus far. Not only are smaller portions possible, they are often served that way. There is variety, ART in the preparation & serving, and it is very much a 'make do with what you've got' sort of cooking. Simple & delicious but can seem very extravagant nonetheless!
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic recipes, easy to follow, excellent glossaries and descriptions for sourcing ingredients/tools, and all-around amazing. The Chinese food this book allows me to cook is top-notch, and tastes far better than any Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood. I can't recommend this highly enough.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-drink
I wanted to believe this book would contain easy methods of preparing Chinese food that remained unique and wholesome, then I randomly, just now opened the book to a recipe for "Purple Amaranth with Red Fermented Tofu," and that's all I need to say.
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Fuchsia Dunlop is a cook and food-writer specialising in Chinese cuisine. She is the author of Sharks Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China, an account of her adventures in exploring Chinese food culture, and two critically-acclaimed Chinese cookery books, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, and Sichuan Cookery (published in the US as Land of Plenty).

Fuchsia writes for

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