J. Kenji López-Alt's third James Beard award

J. Kenji López-Alt is no stranger to the James Beard Awards. His debut cookbook, The Food Lab, won the award for Best Book: General in 2016. And now, his latest cookbook, The Wok: Recipes and Techniques, has won the award for Best Book: Single Subject in 2023.

This is López-Alt's third James Beard award, and it is a well-deserved honor. The Wok is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the wok, one of the most versatile and important tools in the kitchen. The book is packed with recipes, techniques, and insights that will help home cooks master the wok and create delicious and impressive dishes.

López-Alt is a gifted writer and teacher, and his passion for cooking is evident in every page of The Wok. He is a master of the science of cooking, and he uses his knowledge to explain complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand. The book is also beautifully illustrated with over 1,000 color photographs.

López-Alt is also a former writer for Serious Eats, where he won his first James Beard award for his column "The Food Lab." In this column, López-Alt used the scientific method to test and improve popular recipes. His work on Serious Eats helped to popularize the concept of "culinary science," and it made him one of the most respected voices in the food world.

If you are a fan of Chinese cooking or simply want to learn more about the wok, then The Wok is an essential addition to your cookbook collection. It is a masterpiece of cooking literature, and it is sure to inspire you to cook with the wok more often.

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  • A selection of hard-to-find ingredients, such as Shaoxing wine, Sichuan peppercorns, and oyster sauce
View Starter Kit
Excerpts from the book: The Wok

What people are saying

Chefs, restauranteurs, authors, and his own personal friends have weighed in on Kenji’s new book and it’s no surprise that they’re all raving about it. Check out what they had to say about The Wok.

  • Grace Young

    author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge and The Breath of a Wok

    The Wok offers a new approach to mastery of this ancient and venerated culinary workhorse. López-Alt’s groundbreaking kitchen science is an unprecedented contribution to our understanding of wok cooking. This book will inspire a new generation of home cooks to embrace the wok.

  • Brandon Jew

    author of Mister Jiu's in Chinatown

    As a chef, father and scientist, Kenji teaches from multiple perspectives, always prioritizing the pursuit of deliciousness. The Wok showcases the techniques of wok cooking and Kenji sprinkles in his contemporary ingenuities throughout the recipes. Do yourself a favor, get this book, get a great wok and start adding wok cooking to your repertoire.

  • Christopher Thomas and Stephanie Li

    creators of Chinese Cooking Demystified

    Comprehensive and well-researched. Few but Kenji can effortlessly navigate from authentic Sichuan cooking, to American-Chinese takeout, to Thai curries, to Bacon and Cheese Congee.

  • Fuchsia Dunlop

    author of The Food of Sichuan, Land of Fish and Rice, and Every Grain of Rice

    A great compendium of science and culinary techniques, written with Kenji’s characteristic curiosity and verve, that addresses the hows and whys of cooking with a wok, from stir-frying to steaming and smoking. The wealth of information, systematic recipes and plentiful photographs make this both a fascinating read and an invaluable kitchen tool.

  • David Chang

    restaurateur, author, and host of "Ugly Delicious"

    We should all be thanking Kenji for this book, his recipes, and the education on the greatness of wok cookery. This is not just an amazing book about how to make delicious food with a wok, Kenji has written one of the best cookbooks of all time. No hyperbole!

  • Francis Lam

    cookbook editor, author, and host of The Splendid Table

    You’ve probably heard that the wok is the most versatile pan in any kitchen. Well, in classic Kenji fashion, The Wok shows not just the hows and whys of wok cooking, but why you want the wok to be your favorite pan even if, like me, you’ve got just a regular-old apartment stove. I’m going to be cooking from, learning from, and being inspired by this book for a long, long time.

  • Ming Tsai

    restaurateur, author, and creator of Simply Ming

    Kenji is a perfect blend of scientist, scholar and chef. The Wok has clear explanations on which wok to buy and its care, succinct staples to stock your pantry, easy-to-follow wok techniques and the most beautiful, achievable and tasty recipes. If you ever wanted to learn how to use the best pan in the world, The Wok is the definitive tome on wok cooking, period.

  • Pailin Chongchitnant

    chef, author, host, and creator of Hot Thai Kitchen

    For people who find wok cooking intimidating or mysterious, this book will answer all of the questions you had, and didn’t know you had, all in the typical Kenji fashion of full-on food nerdery. You can follow the recipes, or use the new knowledge you’ll learn as a guide for your own stir-frying adventure. If a culinary deep-dive is your thing, you will lose yourself in this book.

  • Leela Punyarathabandhu

    author of Simple Thai Food, Bangkok, and Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill

    With captivating writing and humor as a loom, Kenji weaves the threads of science, culinary art, cultural knowledge, and his discerning taste in food into one seamless tapestry of a book―exquisite and practical. I can’t think of anyone else who can pull this off.

  • Pim Techamuanvivit

    chef, author, and creator of Chez Pim

    Thank you, Kenji, for giving us not just great recipes, but the hows and whys of wok cooking in this new book. Anyone―no matter if they’re an old hand or brand new at the wok―will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of it. I know I did. So deliciously.

  • Namiko H Chen

    author and creator of Just One Cookbook

    I’ve known Kenji as an incredibly talented and multifaceted cook who provides well-researched and tested recommendations that I could always trust and incorporate into my cooking. He’s also approachable, funny, and passionate, which shines through in the knowledge he shares with others. In The Wok, you will thoroughly enjoy learning everything you need to know about this most versatile pan and how to best use it in your home cooking.

  • Adam Liaw

    author and host of Destination Flavor

    In this masterful book lies the answers to just about any question you could ask about one of the most ubiquitous useful and yet misunderstood tools of the Asian kitchen. My wok is used so frequently it never leaves the stove, but Kenji’s scientific approach will benefit beginners and professionals alike.

  • Bill, Judy, Sarah and Kaitlin Leung

    creators of The Woks of Life

    Kenji has taken on the Herculean task of bringing together techniques and recipes that highlight the versatility of the most important tool in our kitchen: the wok. And he’s done it all with his signature ability to translate scientific analysis and thoughtful research into easy-to-follow recipes for the home cook―plus a few choice wok puns!

  • Hooni Kim

    chef and author of My Korea

    In The Wok, Kenji starts with the basics and goes on to detail all the science and techniques necessary for this versatile pan. The wok is an essential tool in the kitchens of virtually all Asian restaurants. While it took me many years of grueling hard work in professional kitchens to really learn it, in The Wok, you are graciously given all the knowledge you need to master it at home.

  • Alvin Cailan

    chef, author, and host of The Burger Show

    There are chefs and there are super chefs. Kenji is a super chef, his knowledge of food and how it’s cooked is unparalleled. I remember being a young cook, I would spend my days off reading a lot his culinary findings and practicing his techniques. Never once has he failed me. Knowing that he’s now solved all thing cooked in a wok, I’m sure the level of wok cookery is about to skyrocket.

  • Matt Rodbard

    author and editor-in-chief of TASTE

    What Kenji does best is that he takes something familiar and makes it fascinating again. It’s easy to overlook the wok on your stove, but not anymore. Kenji explores this workhorse tool through his own personal anecdotes, culinary research, and of course, recipes that will keep your wok hot all year long.

  • Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs

    co-founders of Food52

    Kenji López-Alt has written the definitive book on stir-frying, and we know, because we counted the recipes: 185 of them! Kenji tells you everything you need to know about woks, from which one to buy (and where to store it) to how to make perfectly charred greens. We can’t wait to get started on these easy, flavor-packed dishes.

J. Kenji López-Alt

J. Kenji López-Alt

- The obsessive mastermind behind one of the decade’s best-selling cookbooks returns with the definitive English-language guide to the science and technique of cooking in a wok.

J. Kenji López-Alt is a chef, parent, and New York Times best-selling author of The Food Lab and Every Night Is Pizza Night. He is a wildly popular New York Times food columnist; the chief culinary advisor for Serious Eats; and the host of Kenji’s Cooking Show, which has more than a million subscribers on YouTube. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Others books by the author

Be sure to check out J. Kenji López-Alt’s other New York Times Best Selling books!

Wok Recipes and Tips

Check out some of the fantastic recipes from the book!

Mapo Tofu
21 Jul, 2023 Wok-Ing in Memphis

Mapo Tofu

Buttered Lo Mein with Oyster Sauce
21 Jul, 2023 Wok-Ing in Memphis

Buttered Lo Mein with Oyster Sauce

Cantonese Soy Sauce Chow Mein
21 Jul, 2023 Wok-Ing in Memphis

Cantonese Soy Sauce Chow Mein