Cover to Pei Mei's Chinese Cookbook Volume I
Pei-Mei’s Chinese Cookbook

The publication of the three volumes of “Pei Mei’s Chinese Cookbook,” in 1969, 1974, and 1979 were the first to teach authentic regional style Chinese cooking to the public. They were among the first to have full color pictures of the finished dish. It was easy to follow the recipes due to clear and concise instructions and being well laid out. Each recipe is met with enthusiasm by guests.

“Pei-Mei’s Cookbooks” demystified Chinese cooking techniques. They taught the proper use of the cleaver, that the degree of heat is always critical, and that thickness and ingredient size contribute to texture, taste, and visual delight.

The three volumes became de rigueur for every bride, and copies, often with hand-written notes in the margins, have been passed down from mother to daughter to granddaughter in both China and the United States for years.

Cover to Pei Mei's Chinese Cookbook Volume II
The first volume begins with a basic introduction to Chinese ingredients. It than divides its recipes regionally by China’s North, East, South, and West (Shanghai, Canton, Szechuan and Peking) with 25 recipes for each group and an additional twenty snacks and desserts. This provides an excellent introduction to the incredible variety of Chinese recipes.

In the second volume, recipes are arranged according to their main ingredients, starting with chicken, moving through duck, pork, beef, fish, seafood, eggs and bean curd and vegetables, with separate chapters for soups, noodles and desserts. Each recipe is illustrated with a full-color photograph, explanatory notes, and illustrations on Chinese ingredients and techniques.

Cover to Pei Mei's Chinese Cookbook Volume III
The third volume is organized regionally, specific to specific provinces such as Kiang-Che, Canton, Szu-Chuan, Pei-Ping, Hu-Nam, Fu-Kien, and Taiwan. It describes dishes for formal dinners and banquets, along with instructions on how to present and conduct a formal dinner.

New to the 2010 Editions

The original editions of Pei-Mei’s Chinese Cookbook Volume I, II and III had alternate Chinese and English pages. These electronic books contain only the English portion of the text since Apple’s implementation of ePub as of July 2010 does not support having both English and Chinese characters in the same document. Electronic books have no page numbers, instead the recipes in the index have bi-directional hypertext links, as do the sample menus. References to specific recipes within the text also have uni-directional hypertext links. The original books had all of their illustrations grouped together — in these ePub books, each illustration has been moved to the appropriate recipe. The usage of abbreviations has been minimized.

Examination of the vegetable photographs and the Chinese text revealed many incorrect translations, e.g. turnip instead of daikon radish, green lettuce instead of bok choy. There were also many instances where the Chinese version of the recipe differed from the English version. Through the efforts of Martha Dahlen (annotations) and Paul Eng (translations), the English text of these ePub books has been updated to be more consistent with the original Chinese text.

Volume III suggests many recipes in Volume I and II as alternatives for banquet dishes. A new index has been added to facilitate accessing these recipes in volumes I and II.

These three Pei-Mei cookbooks are available on the Apple iBookstore

ISBN: 978-1-935842-04-0 Pei-Mei’s Chinese Cookbook Volume I (ePub) (United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom), Google Books (United States)
ISBN: 978-1-935842-05-7 Pei-Mei’s Chinese Cookbook Volume II (ePub) (United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom) Google Books (United States)
ISBN: 978-1-935842-06-4 Pei-Mei’s Chinese Cookbook Volume III (ePub) (United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom) Google Books (United States)

and Google as ePub books.