The Japanese Kitchen: 250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit Paperback – Nov 7 2000
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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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 Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Shimbo's recipes are a joy, introducing over 200 wonderful dishes from the Japanese culinary repertoire to Western readers. Agedashi tofu (crisp tofu cubes in tempura sauce), negima-nabe (tuna and leek hotpot), multiple variations on fresh ramen and yakitori skewered chicken, the unusual gyuniku no misozuke (miso-marinated steak), usuyaki senbei (homemade rice crackers), mitsumame (chilled gelatin in syrup), along with modern Japanified Western standards like ebifurai (fried shrimp in a crisp breading), omu raisu (rice-filled omelet), and kurimu korokke (creamy croquettes) are all here. Each recipe is prefaced with a tale about its origin or the author's childhood memories, and clear instructions make preparation of "exotic, foreign" specialties easy.
Less successful are some of Shimbo's unique concoctions: soybean hummus (why?), eel burgers, "creamed" soup made of carrots, celery, garlic, miso, and soy milk. But these misfires, thankfully, can be easily overlooked.
Another of the book's strengths is the author's deep investigation into ingredients.
Shimbo, a native of Japan who teaches frequently at major cooking schools in the United States and Europe, took years to write this book, visiting artisanal food producers across Japan to gather first-hand information about how products are grown and manufactured. Her research is a goldmine for devotees of Japanese food. I've been cooking Japanese food for 25+ years, and am Japanese Food Host at BellaOnline.Read more ›
This book is a treasure to help you get many many great ideas and understand authentic Japanese cuisine. Every recipe comes with valuable notes that you can't find in most Japanese cookbook, and these notes are beautifully written with the author's deep knowledg of cooking, love of nature, and respect of Japanese tradition.
One simple example is the last recipe in this book "Mom's Japanese Green Plum Wine". The ingredients are simple: fresh plums, sugar, white liquor. Yet the author explains that rock sugar is preferred because it dissolves more slowly than granulated sugar, and so helps to extract more juice from the plums. Details like this make a difference. I've seen this recipe before but it's not untill I read this book, I feel I have the most authentic recipe.
This is also a good book for vegetarians and vegans, because there's only a small part of the recepies that contain meat, and the meat can often be substituted with Tofu.
Read this book, please...
My only complaint is that there are no photos. You're on your own for presentation and techniques. But the recipes themselves are fantastic and authentic. Whether you're new to Japanese cooking or well seasoned, this book has something for you. Enjoy.
Most recent customer reviews
A wonderful book for those interested in preparing Japanese-style food. It is very well put together and includes all of the favourites!Published on Dec 28 2013 by Rev. M. Devost
i love this book very good condition and would recommend if you like japanesse cooking, and the book is very easy to understand.Published on April 16 2013 by heather
I took this book with me on a year-long stay in Japan. There is literally nothing that I ate there that I couldn't find out about in this book. Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2003 by K. Foss
This is THE BOOK to have on Japanese home cooking. 250 wonderful true homestyle recipes - I'm in heaven! Read morePublished on June 28 2003
I was looking for a book that taught the fine art of okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza pancakes). I thought after buying this, if only it also had sushi recipes. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2003 by Samantha Rinne Hooker
I was looking for a book that taught the fine art of okonomiyaki (Japanese noodles). I thought after buying this, if only it also had sushi recipes. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2003 by Samantha Rinne Hooker
I must say that Hiroko has been my teacher and I have been assisteing in her classes in Madrid, Spain. Read morePublished on June 30 2001 by Raul Carrera Ruiz