I received this book from the publisher to review and after doing a read-through, I found several recipes that sounded absolutely fantastic. There are, however, some key flaws that caused me to rate 3 stars instead of 4. I bought a grill just to review this book. (convenient excuse!)
First, one of the ingredients in their Yuzu Kosho master recipe, the red yuzu kosho, is extremely hard to find in my city, which actually has a heavy Asian population. I'm still searching, but I've already tried four markets, two of which were actually Japanese markets, and could not find red yuzu kosho. You can buy it here on Amazon, but it will cost you about 18 bucks including shipping for a tiny bottle. I didn't feel like dishing that much out to be true to the recipe. Instead, I'll use the green yuzu kosho I did find and hope for the best, though the recipe doesn't say you can substitute green for red. In any case, having such a hard to find ingredient in a master recipe really annoyed me.
There are over a hundred recipes in the book, which is really great volume wise, but the book suffers in photographs. Out of 115 recipes, only about 24 or so have photos. Recipes don't refer to page numbers of photos either. If this isn't a big deal to you, you'd probably be really happy with the amount of recipes. The photos don't always match the instructions. For example, an eggplant has different cuts in the photo than instructed and the photo of green beans are a pale green, a sign of overcooking, and their recipe states never to overcook your green beans.
Cooking wise, I haven't been all that satisfied with the two recipes I've tried so far. The Classic Yakitori sauce was very time consuming and took me about 2 1/2 hours to make, then when you count skewering and grilling, it's about 3 1/2 hours. I didn't think the yakitori was that tasty, but this is probably due to me not pouring sauce on the chicken before eating. Thankfully the sauce is re-usable if you boil it before storing, so I won't have to start from a whole chicken next time, if I even do it again. Their photo tutorial on how to de-bone a chicken was very informative, but it's not something I want to be doing all the time. I'd rather be able to make a marinade from ingredients than have to simmer a chicken carcass for hours. Sure, authenticity is great, but when you have to break your back to achieve it, I'll settle for something easier and just as tasty.
I also cooked the steak on the cover with ribeye steaks using the garlic soy sauce marinade and it wasn't very flavorful. My husband, who is usually always happy with my cooking, felt he should be honest and told me it basically had no taste. I followed the directions exactly and only used the meat plus the marinade AND I marinated it longer than the recipe said to. If I cook this again, I will salt and pepper the steaks. With the soy sauce, I thought it would be too salty if I did, but it definitely needed it.
I will continue cooking the recipes, this time trying some seafood and side dish recipes, but thus far I'm not as impressed as I'd hoped to be.
UPDATE: I've sadly decided to downgrade my review to 2 stars. I've tried 4 different recipes in this book and haven't been all that impressed with the best one and really didn't like the other three. They just don't really have a lot of taste, even with longer marinating times than the book says. I'm probably going to donate this to the library or something.