From Publishers Weekly
While Asian flavors have long been fashionable in the U.S., it is perhaps the hipness of sushi and familiarity of the Tepanyaki style that have been a catalyst for the recent popularity of Japanese cuisine. The author, a veteran cooking-school instructor and food writer, offers a well-rounded introduction to the rich heritage of Japanese cooking (complete with historical, cultural and personal observations from her own childhood). "Nutrition, taste and... a spirit of innovation" are Shimbo's ambitions with this comprehensive and intriguing collection of updated classic and new recipes. Perfect for the Western cook, Shimbo's book explains traditional equipment, techniques and ingredients (although, she says, American cooking implements, and the occasional substituted ingredient, will more than suffice) and how to make such staple elements as tofu. She particularly touts the healthier aspects of Japanese cuisine and offers many simple preparations that support fast-paced lives, including Easy Simmered Chicken and Chestnuts or the quick one-pot meal of Rice, Beef, Burdock Root and Mushrooms made in a rice cooker. Shimbo doesn't disappoint the aficionado, however, with Yakitori grilling, Ponzu Sauce and a far more interesting (and healthy) rendering of ramen than the cellophane-wrapped variety. Based on Japanese home-style cooking, Shimbo's is an indispensable book for the home cook, with recipes such as Chirashizushi and her mother's Green Plum Wine. Nevertheless, Shimbo also shows a fresh modern sensibility by smartly melding Western influences in her own recipes for Clam Chowder (New England meets Edomae style), Lamb StewDwhich she enlivens with misoDand Teriyaki Chicken Roll served on a bed of greens. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Japanese food has conquered America's palate almost as completely as Japanese cars have come to dominate the nation's highways. America's teens, especially, have become fascinated with the joys of sushi, and wasabi vies with salsa as a source of tongue-tingling pleasure. Hiroko Shimbo eruditely introduces the American home cook to The Japanese Kitchen
and its centuries-old traditions. Beyond her explicit instructions for expertly preparing sushi, Shimbo offers a host of other recipes that don't require a source of pristine raw seafood to succeed. Noodle dishes, soups, and even a version of roast beef in a sake sauce show the range of edibles turned out by today's Japanese cook. Shimbo takes pains to place each recipe carefully within its context, explicating the history and character of each dish and painstakingly inventorying the varieties of rice and noodles used. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved