Encyclopedia of Japanese Cuisine Hardcover – Apr 15 2012
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About the Author
Hideo was born in Tokyo in 1944. His father owned several restaurants and he began training there, learning the principles of sushi and kappou-ryori food preparation, cooking and presentation that had been passed down through many generations of his family. In keeping with a classical training, he also learnt the philosophy of the tea ceremony cuisine (Chakaiseki), calligraphy, flower arranging and the cooking knife's ceremony at the Shijyoushinryuu School from Master Teacher Shishikura Soken.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
So it's half a cook-book, half a reference book on common ingredients. If you own already some good japanese cookbooks, half of this book will be redundant (I guess all aficionados know what wasabi or daikon is) and you'll end up with a recipe book you have to sort through (not many recipes have pictures of, so you really need a high threshold of motivation to cook some - which I didn't reach...).
In the end, this book will not be really useful for an amateur wanting an intro to japanese cuisine. If you're an academic looking to grab every information you can get on topic, this book will give you some to chew on. If you're a beginner or intermediate looking for some great recipes then rather get his other book (Contemporary Japanese Cuisine: Classic Recipes, Fresh Flavors), or if you're looking for a serious japanese cookbook, then get the real deal: Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art!
The other major problem I really had with this book is really the size/weight. Pages are pretty thick and heavy (almost 600!) like a book for kids which makes it pretty impractical (you really don't want to read this on your morning commute). The typography is not pretty, quite confusing and printed text is really big (size 14 points, double spaced lines, etc.). A more professional and informed page layout would have made the book much more inviting to be read, and especially two times lighter.
So nothing wrong with the content, really, but there's lots of basic material that you certainly already have if you possess already a few japanese cookbooks, which makes this book marginally useful, so you might end up using it less than you'd like unless your phd thesis on japanese cooking is due next month or looking for some original recipes you've never seen somewhere else (or you just compulsively need to buy every japanese cookbook ever printed - which is unfortunately my case...).
For the resto it is ok.