The Chinese Kitchen GardenGrowing Techniques and Family Recipes from a Classic Cuisine


The Chinese Kitchen Garden shares growing information for 38 Chinese vegetables along with 25 traditional recipes. Throughout, you’ll learn how to improve soil, make compost, sow seeds, and more.

A beautiful introduction to growing and cooking with the variety, deliciousness, and healthfulness of Chinese cuisine!

Wendy Kiang-Spray’s family has a strong culinary and gardening tradition. In The Chinese Kitchen Garden, she beautifully blends the story of her family’s cultural heritage with growing information for 38 Chinese vegetables—like lotus root, garlic, chives, and eggplant—and 25 traditional recipes, like congee, dumplings, and bok choy stir-fry. Organized by season, you’ll learn what to grow in spring and what to cook in winter.

Wendy Kiang-Spray’s articles about gardening and food have appeared in national, local, and web publications. Besides being a passionate gardener, she is a high school counselor, garden speaker, and volunteer with the D.C. Master Gardeners. Wendy blogs at greenishthumb.net.

“Wendy Kiang-Spray brings together clear instructions, enticing recipes, and touching family tales in this delightful and approachable guide to Chinese kitchen gardening. Divided into seasonal sections, the book includes well-known Asian vegetables such as Napa cabbage and garlic chives, as well as less familiar treats like Malabar spinach and stem lettuce. This book made me long for a Chinese vegetable garden of my own!” —Fuchsia Dunlop, author of Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking and Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China

The Chinese Kitchen Garden is not just about gardening or Chinese vegetables. Rather, this is a book about food and family, how food brings family together, how food can define a culture, a heritage, a sense of self, even a bridge to one’s heritage. Kiang-Spray weaves together memories of her childhood, stories of her parents’ lives, and reports of her own daughters’ shenanigans, welcoming us into her world, at once Chinese and American. . . . The Chinese Kitchen Garden is that rarest of non-fiction books: a reference built for pleasure reading.” —Andrew Weidman, blogger on GRIT

The Chinese Kitchen Garden is Wendy Kiang-Spray’s family story—a daughter’s tribute, really—told through the lens of gardening and cooking. It’s also a superb guide, packed with tips and insights for growing Asian vegetables, including water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, lotus root and winter melon. An added bonus are some of her family’s favorite recipes. Beautiful photos of both Kiang-Spray’s and her father’s vegetable gardens will inspire cooks and growers alike that cultivating a garden—small or large—is a labor of love that bestows immeasurable rewards.” —Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge

“This amazing read brings to life the Chinese way of gardening and cooking. You’ll learn wonderful methods to implement in your own garden and kitchen.” —Jere Gettle, founder and co-owner of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

“Writer and avid gardener Wendy Kiang-Spray grew up watching her family tend to Chinese vegetables and herbs, and now she passes on that tradition with her new cookbook.” —Food and Wine Magazine 

“An irresistible addition to the home library.” —NYBG’s Plant Talk

“Recommended for strong cooking collections.” —Booklist

“Garden books and cookbooks are usually meant for dipping into as information is required; this book you may want to sit down and read right through, because it holds together so well as an integrated story of family, garden, and food.” —The Washington Gardener

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