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Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen Hardcover – April 7, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; Stated 1st Edition edition (April 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770030169
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770030160
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,029,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Japanese cooking is no longer considered an exotic cuisine, available only in big cities with large Asian popula- tions. Today, many of us can buy ready-made sushi at our local supermarkets along with wasabi-covered peas and frozen edamame. What are not so familiar to us are the traditional tools used to prepare authentic Japanese dishes. Klippensteen, a freelance writer living in Japan, fills this void with a beautiful guide to Japanese cooking utensils. Enamored with the organic quality of these handmade instruments, she considers them works of art. Vibrant photos by Konishi dominate the book and reinforce this belief. Not surprisingly, Klippensteen pays particular attention to Japanese knives: their history, specific functions, and production. Along the way, she explores the less familiar, such as the versatile suribachi (mortar) and the oroshigane (wasabi grater). Kuminabe—stackable, handle-less metal cooking pots—double as measuring cups; the okama, precursor to the electric rice cooker, is made of heavy cast iron to retain heat and make fluffy rice. From the recognizable, such as the makisu sushi mat, to the unusual, such as the oni oroshi, used to grate daikon radish, Klippensteen provides an enjoyable and informative journey through the Japanese kitchen. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

A beautiful guide to Japanese cooking utensils…Klippensteen provides an enjoyable and informative journey through the Japanese kitchen. -- Publishers Weekly

Enthusiastically recommended as a beautiful compilation of photographs and informative briefings for the many decorative particulars of the Japanese kitchen. -- The Midwest Book Review

The esthetics of Japanese food, so evident on the plate, start with often hand-crafted kitchen implements. -- The New York Times

This book is a winner and will surely engage many readers. -- Library Journal

…A neat package of useful information, elegantly presented. -- The Associated Press

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Yukari Sakamoto on June 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In a Japanese kitchen, form follows function, and in essence, Cool Tools is a tribute to kitchen design. Kate Klippensteen's book is more than a catalog of utensils: the featured items are handcrafted works of art. Yasuo Konishi's vivid photos highlight each piece so that the reader can feel the cool touch of the knife blades and the textures of the different graters. There are also revealing photos of old shamoji (rice servers), saibashi (cooking chopsticks) and yukihira nabe (pots) from a variety of households showing that, despite the wear and tear, these tools still have plenty of life left in them.

Klippenstein deftly guides the reader through the use of each tool, sprinkling each entry with interesting details. For example, the kogi (pestle) made from pepper trees, "which adds a hint of fragrance to the food being processed," and the ceramic clay suribachi (mortar) on which, "traditionally, the grooves... were made with pine needles."

If you're motivated to restock your kitchen arsenal, you won't want to miss "Five Basic Knives Every Household Should Stock." The indispensable shop guide and list of Japanese terms make Cool Tools the ideal companion for a trip to Kappabashi. And even if you're allergic to cooking, this handsome book will look smart on any coffee table.
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Format: Hardcover
Superbly enhanced with full color photographs from Yasuo Konishi, Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils From The Japanese Kitchen by Kate Klippensteen is an impressively informative introductory exploration of the kitchen cookware and tools employed in the culinary aspects of Japanese culture. Presenting readers with a stunning collection of photographs and knowledgeable explanations for Japanese utensils ranging from the oni oroshi or "devil grater" (which is a useful grating tool for the daikon radish), the saibashi or cooking chopsticks, and the yanagi-ba (which is a long sashimi knife), to the yukihira-nabe (which is a hand made and highly crafted aluminum cooking pot), Cool Tools deftly details a complete selection of the beautifully shaped and functional tools of the Japanese kitchen. A welcome addition to any personal or community library reference collection, Cool Tools is enthusiastically recommended as a simply beautiful compilation of photographs and informative briefings for the many decorative particulars of the Japanese kitchen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After being so impressed with Kate Klippensteen and Yasuo Konishi's Japanese Kitchen Knives: Essential Techniques and Recipes, I wanted to check out their previous kitchen collaboration "Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen."

This is quite a different book from "Japanese Kitchen Knives." There, they were collaborating with chef Hiromitsu Nozaki and the book was about one-third knife history and information, one-third knife skills course, and one-third cook book with recipes. "Cool Tools," on the other hand, is about Japanese cooking implements as works of art, filled with Konishi's beautiful photographs and Klippensteen's insightful and appreciative prose.

"Cool Tools" is split into four main sections; The Preparation (covering knives, mortar and pestle, nut toasters, graters, bonito planes, metal pots, strainers and other), The Cooking (covering rice cookers, ceramic pots and hot plates, copper oden pots, bronze tempura pots, oyakudon and tamagoyaki pans, stirrers, spatulas, skimmers, ladels, metal grills, drop lids, chopsticks, colanders and others), The Presentation (different graters and chopsticks, rice scoops, rice tubs, rolling mats and molds) and finally Cleaning Up (brushes, cleaning cloths, odds and ends and style),

Each section gives a description and history of the cooking tools, their various functions and how they are used. The focus is on typical items you would find in any Japanese household, rather than exotic implements with only a specialty function.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexis W. Blaess on May 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This must be one of the most beautiful books I've seen. The photographs are as meticulous and precise as the tools the book talks about. The respect in which the authors approach the subject and describe the tools is very compelling. I am not Japanese, nor do I cook Japanese food. But a book like this makes me want to venture into the culinary world of the rising sun.
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