At Wickedfood Cooking School, Asian cooking classes are our most popular genre. We get numerous requests for recommendations of good Asian cookbooks.  Below is a list of our most favourite Asian cookbooks.

General Asia

The essential Asian cookbook. Published by Murdoch books, who brought us the Food Of series, this book looks at the colourful Cooking of Asia including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, India and Sri Lanka . It has a really good glossary of the Asian ingredients, with photographs, and the majority of recipes are accompanied by a photograph of the finished dish as well as step-by-step photographs in many instances. Best of all this 300-plus page book sells at under R150, a real bargain.

Neil Perry – Simply Asian. If there’s only one Asian cookbook I could have, this would be it. Neil is a renowned Australian chef and TV personality. In this book he has taken a modern light approach to the cooking and food styles of South East Asia and China, creating recipes that underlie the freshness of the cuisine. Dishes are easy to prepare , have a strong flavour and are big on impact, many supported by delicious mouthwatering photographs.

If you have a passion for Asian cooking, or are looking for a really special birthday present for someone who loves Asian food, then Neil Perry’s latest offering, Balance & Harmony, Asian Food has to be a serious contender. It is nearly 600 pages jam packed with scrumptious recipes of dishes inspired from all over Asia, with a strong leaning towards Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food.

In 2003 Alastair Handy was voted the world’s best food journalist and food photographer at the World Media Food Awards for his book Food and travels – Asia. This stunning book, part travelogue, part recipe book, part photographic essay, documents his travels through India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore and Bali. It documents his quest for the best of home cooking in each of the countries.

Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey is an epic culinary journey along rivers, through jungles and around coastlines in South East Asia. Along the way, Rick visits traditional family-run restaurants, street vendors, floating markets, night markets, fishing villages, and the local cinnamon and rice farmers to learn about the authentic food of the Far East, and to sample the delicious spectrum of exotic flavours.


Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible. Regarded by many as the world authority on Indian food Madhur Jaffrey has published numerous books on Indian food. With over 200 mouthwatering recipes , this book looks at the very best curry recipes from India and around the world . Included is a yellow lobster curry from Thailand, lamb shanks in yoghurt from Pakistan, red beef curry from Sri Lanka and South Africa’s very own red bean curry, the basis of bunny chow. Apart from the curries there are also great recipes for soups, breads, chutneys and vegetables, as well as a very extensively-researched section on the history of curries from around the world .

The Food of India – part of The Food Of series, this is a spectacular coffee-table book, full of authentic recipes, each accompanied by a beautiful photograph of the finished dish. If you have even the slightest interest in Indian foods, this is a must-have book.

In Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape: 100 of My Favourite Indian Recipes, Gordon embarks on a culinary journey around India, discovering the breadth and depth of cooking of the country. This new cookbook from him is packed with the best recipes from his travels to India, where he had never been to until now.


David Thompson – Thai Street Food. David is one of Australia’s foremost chefs, restaurateurs and food writers, and widely acclaimed as the western world’s authority on Thai food. His latest offering, Thai Street Food, takes the reader into the busy food streets of Thailand, with stunning location photography, as well as a wide selection of authentic recipes of this unique cuisine that is amazingly complex, spicy and yet humble.  It translates what Thai vendors produce from rickety carts on the side of  busy thoroughfares.

A Passion for Thai Cooking. At Wickedfood Cooking School we think this is one of the best books on Thai cooking and we have specially imported this book, available from  Wickedfood at R150 each. It is filled with over 100 easy-to-follow, authentic recipes, compiled by Sompon Nabnian, internationally recognized TV chef personality and owner of the Chiang Mai Thai Cooking School.  Any student attending a Thai cooking class or interested in Thai food should have a copy of this book.

The Food of Thailand – part of The Food Of series, see above.

Vietnamese and Laos

Ant egg soup – the adventures of the food tourist in Laos by Natacha Du Pont De Brie – although not strictly a recipe book, this delightful travel adventure looks at Laos from a food perspective. The author recounts her travels, the people she meets, the places she visits and above all, the food she tastes along the way. The book does also contain a number of recipes typical of the region.

Secrets of the Red Lantern is much more than a collection of authentic recipes from successful Vietnamese restaurant Red Lantern, located in Sydney. This book is the honest, difficult story of the Nguyen family as told by daughter Pauline. It documents their escape from Vietnam and eventual resettlement in Australia.

The Songs of Sa Pa: Luke Nguyen returns to his roots, travelling on a personal and culinary tour through Vietnam. He visits his family and friends, and is invited into the homes of local Vietnamese food experts and cooks, to learn more about one of the richest, most diverse cuisines in the world.


Kylie Kwong – Recipes and stories – Kylie is an accomplished chef and restaurateur hailing from Sydney, she has worked at some of the city’s top restaurants including Neil Perry’s internationally acclaimed Wockpool and Rockpool. Her style of food, as featured in this book, reflects her Chinese heritage, combined with the wash of Asian influences that are prevalent in Australia. This is real no-fuss stylish cooking at its best.

The Food of China – part of The Food Of series, see above.

Visit – Red Pepper Books – The South African online bookshop, they are able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for, and they deliver to your door.

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.