Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Harvard Common Press; 1 edition (November 8, 2000)
Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #631,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #180 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking > Japanese #6402 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International
Books that delve into Japanese cuisine beyond the popular restaurant dishes like sushi and miso soup are few and far between. And in that sense, this book does not disappoint.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.
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