The Japanese Kitchen Paperback – Aug 27 2007
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About the Author
KIMIKO BARBER (U.K.) is the author of Sushi, Taste and Technique; Easy Noodles; and Japanese Pure and Simple.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Japanese cuisine is one of the most healthful and pleasurable cuisines in the world, with unique and popular flavors - powerful reasons to become acquainted with Japanese food ingredients, if you want to cook at home or not, by incorporating Japanese ingredients into your SAD diet (Standard American Diet).
Japanese cookbooks make cursory attempts to tackle this task. However, this unique book accomplishes this neglected task with aplomb. The book's coverage is comprehensive, including obscure but important ingredients that are often if not always omitted in Japanese cookbooks - one discovers these ingredients' importance when chefs in New York City know about them but, unaccountably, not chefs in "cosmopolitan" Washington, D.C.!
This book contains recipes that utilize the ingredients discussed in the book. However, this book's main attraction is not the recipes, but the ingredients.
This book is long overdue for the Western market, where Japanese restaurants have long held sway. The author has lived in the UK for nearly a half a century, and has authored a number of English-language books about Japanese cooking - and she gave up a career in the world of high finance to do so.
This book, understandably, does not cover the somewhat arcane subject of the "traditionally" made - and extremely if not impossible to find - Japanese ingredients. See my customer review of JAPANESE FOODS THAT HEAL, by John and Jan Belleme, on this AMAZON.com website.
The pictures were are well done but are not step-by-step but of the finished product or more general interest photos.
It is a not, however, a complete volume of Japanese cookery. An example is the book does not have an equipment description of common Japanese kitchen items such as, the mandoline, or otabushi. There is also not a Japanese food technique section regarding simmering, as another example. There can be a bit of confusion about an ingredient name and a more common name (kanten is also agar-agar.) This is why the book is an excellent companion volume to other books.
The recipes provide both volume and weight measurements, though the liquid is done with volume. My particular version of the book was NOT in metric measurements.
This is an excellent book to have just for the background it provides, in addition, to the recipes. Highly recommended.