Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees by Kian Lam Kho – Book Review

Phoneix Claws and Jade Trees

Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees – Book Review

I have been looking for a really good cookbook to help me understand the mysteries and intricacies of authentic Chinese cooking for the longest time. Although I’ve purchased a few volumes over the years, I have yet to have found the book that speaks to my heart.

I think that Kian Lam Kho’s cookbook, Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees – Essential Techniques Of Authentic Chinese Cooking, is about to change all of that.

The title Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees metaphorically represents chicken feet and Chinese broccoli – familiar terminology to Chinese diners. The author’s goal is to demystify Chinese cooking and make authentic Chinese cuisine accessible to the Western World. To do this, Kian takes a unique approach to Chinese cooking in his cookbook. He writes:

I believe that the cuisine is easiest to learn by technique. A dry stir-fry is more difficult to prepare than a moist one; the key is to know which technique to use for which ingredient and for which final result. Armed with this knowledge, you cannot only re-create dishes from all over China and many East Asian countries, but you can cook almost any ingredient in any fashion you’d like. If you discover you love dry stir-fry with leeks and you are wild about duck, you can combine the two to make a successful Chinese dish all your own.

Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees is a well-written, beautifully photographed cookbook that teaches essential techniques and delivers delectable recipes and authentic delicacies from an amazing chef – but it’s more than that.

This book also provides a historical window into fascinating influences that shaped each regions distinctive cuisine – shows you the tools, herbs and spices you need to set up a working Chinese kitchen and pantry –teaches you how to prepare basic ingredients based on Chinese philosophy – and shows you how to make the stocks and sauces that are essential in many recipes.

There are certain cookbooks that – once you’ve partaken of them – you can’t imagine not having them in your kitchen. Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees is one of those books.

If you are looking for a book that will teach you the secrets of authentic Chinese cooking, I highly recommend Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees to you!

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

About Kian Lam Kho

Kian Lam Kho

Kian Lam Kho is a private chef, food writer, teacher and food consultant specializing in Chinese cuisine. He is the creator of the James Beard Foundation Awards nominated Chinese home cooking blog Red Cook and one of the authors of Knack Chinese Cooking: A Step-by-step Guide to Authentic Favorites Made Easy.

Kian lives in New York City and teaches Chinese cooking at the Institute of Culinary Education and the Brooklyn Kitchen. He appears regularly as speaker and discussion panelist on Chinese cuisine and its history.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. However, the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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14 Responses to “Phoenix Claws And Jade Trees by Kian Lam Kho – Book Review”

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  1. Oh it’s a wonderful book! I reviewed it recently too. The cover is so striking I couldn’t pass it by. And I like how it’s written too.
    Aren’t you in love with the quality of the pages? They are so thick and nice to the touch

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      I’m so glad you had a chance to review this book too Eva! Yes, the physical quality of this cookbook was outstanding as well!
      Would love to read your review – feel free to share the link, I’m sure others who are interested in Kian’s cookbook would enjoy your perspective as well! 🙂

      P.S. I will be bringing back The Book Nook in January so watch for that and be sure to join us! 🙂

  2. Noel says:

    I haven’t looked at this book yet, but I will be now! Thanks for this in depth review!

    I recently reviewed Giada’s new cookbook … love these books! They feel so super “rich” in my hands.

    Chinese food has always intimidated me from a cooking approach – maybe this book will help me get over that!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thanks for visiting Noel – it’s so nice to meet you!
      Yes, authentic Chinese cooking can be intimidating – but this is an awesome educational book! 🙂

  3. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    I love the cover! This sounds like a great resource to have in your kitchen. I love cookbooks that teach technique along with providing recipes. I’ll have to see if my library has a copy.

  4. Tina says:

    Nice review, I will look for this one at Blogging for Books. They send done great cookbooks!

  5. Laurie C says:

    This book sounds good! My husband has been experimenting with Vietnamese cooking and got Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham for Christmas, which looks good. I have a Chinese cookbook but have been too intimidated to try any of the recipes!

  6. Heather says:

    If you are reviewing any other cook books this year I’d love to have you link up with Foodies Read. Any book about food in any genre is welcome! Go to my website and the link for each month is in the sidebar.

  7. Mary Hill
    Twitter: MaryHill16

    Hi, sounds like a fascinating read and great cook book too. Thanks for sharing on Literacy Musing Mondays.

  8. Tina at Mommynificent
    Twitter: mommynificent

    I love this kind of cookbook! I might just have to buy this one! I’m so glad you shared this at Booknificent Thursday on this week!

  9. Mrs. AOK says:

    Thanks for sharing with us at #MMBH!
    The cover of this book is gorgeous, and I’m sure it’s filled with delicious recipes. I’ll be on the lookout.

  10. Miz Helen says:

    What a great review! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great day!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

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