About The Hakka Cookbook

The Hakka Cookbook (med)Veteran food writer Linda Lau Anusasananan opens the world of Hakka cooking to Western audiences in this fascinating chronicle that traces the rustic cuisine to its roots in a history of multiple migrations. Beginning in her grandmother’s kitchen in California, Anusasananan travels to her family’s home in China, and from there fans out to embrace Hakka cooking across the globe—including  Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Peru, and beyond. More than thirty home cooks and chefs share their experiences of the Hakka diaspora as they contribute over 140 recipes for everyday Chinese comfort food as well as more elaborate festive specialties.

This book likens Hakka cooking to a nomadic type of “soul food,” or a hearty cooking tradition that responds to a shared history of hardship and oppression. Earthy, honest, and robust, it reflects the diversity of the estimated 75 million Hakka living in China and greater Asia, and in growing communities around the world—yet still retains a core flavor and technique. Anusasananan’s deep personal connection to the tradition, together with her extensive experience testing and developing recipes, make this book both an intimate journey of discovery and an exciting introduction to a vibrant cuisine.

Art by her brother, Alan Lau, gracefully guides the reader throughout the book.

The Hakka Cookbook, published by University of California Press, was released October 2012.

10 thoughts on “About The Hakka Cookbook

  1. This is great book. The only problem is there are no images to support the writing! Also will you one day produce a Chinese version?


    • Thanks for your compliment. In addition to my brother’s art, it would be wonderful to have color photographs in the book. I would have also preferred to have my brother’s art in 4 color. However, since photographs and color are expensive to produce and print it is based on the publisher’s budget. It is very difficult to get a book published and I was happy that University California Press agreed to do so. However, it is a non profit organization and has limited budgets. If the book was a big seller, perhaps it might be reprinted with photographs. If a publisher bought the foreign rights, perhaps it might be printed in Chinese. I would be happy if The Hakka Cookbook sells enough to warrant staying in print. Publishing is a business.
      To read more about why I and my publisher chose my brother’s art over photography read this post: http://thehakkacookbook.com/category/writing-a-cookbook/

  2. Hi! This book is awesome! Love it so much! 🙂 I was just wondering, is the traditional lui cha made with white rice? or is it brown rice?

    • Audrey, Thanks for your compliment. The woman who shared the recipe for the lui cha fan in Malaysia used white rice. I also ate it elsewhere with white rice. Since it is a health dish, I would think you could also use brown rice. I have not tested the recipe on pg. 119 with brown rice. You may need to add more water or cook longer. Enjoy!

  3. I just got my copy of the book – thank you so much!

    My beautiful girlfriend is Hakka – hailing from Luhe in Guangdong. She makes the most wonderful Hakka Lei Cha (although not as tasty as her mum makes hahahaha)

    I bought the book to learn more about her history and culture, as well as to potentially open our own Lei Cha restaurant to bring it to the World!

    I would love to see more photos in the book and maybe even links on your website to things like what kind of stacked steamer to buy, etc., but all in all I’m really pleased with the book, so thank you!

    • @Mark Clulow. Glad you liked the book. If you scroll through my past posts you will find a few on lei cha. I use mostly a big stacked metal steamer and sometimes a bamboo steamer. Make sure you buy steamers wide enough to accommodate a 9 inch wide dish which is often used to steam food. You probably want a steamer at least 12 in. Wide. Check the section on equipment in back on book for more details.

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