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Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook Hardcover – May 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
There should be a hundred more cookbooks like "Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook". This is the real stuff, what Japanese cooking really is, not intricately rolled sushi or fancy designs on square plates. Delicious, cheap food served up fresh and fast, with a menu changing by the hour depending on what ingredients are available, often hand written by the master and pasted on the walls.
Mark Robinson shares my love for izakayas, and has put together a brilliant cookbook and guide based on some fabulous establishments. Along with the recipes, there are short essays on izakaya culture, their history and what they mean to the Japanese people. It is a splendid ritual, the ordering of drinks and paired food, the requesting of today's specialties, the casual atmosphere of an ongoing party where anyone can feel free to jump into conversation with anyone else.
I cooked at an izakaya in Osaka, whereas Robinson calls Tokyo his stomping grounds, so a lot of these recipes are unfamiliar to me, but they are all 100% authentic and delicious.Read more ›
The dust jacket front flap says that Izakaya is the first publication in English to delve into every aspect of the izakaya, a unique and vital cornerstone of Japanese food culture. However, after reading the book, a second book would have difficulty providing insight additional to Robinson's- he paints such a vivid picture that the only way to better get an idea of what the izakaya experience is like is probably to go to one. From the physical description of the pub, to the demeanor of the chefs, and even the kind of company one can expect in each izakaya, Robinson captures all the details. Robinson chose the eight izakayas featured for their quality, ambience, and variety, and the unique charms of each izakaya shines through in the text.
The recipes are for the most part no-fuss recipes (no need to train for decades) with few ingredients, but the emphasis is on quality and creativity. The range from the familiar (sweet corn kakiage tempura, soy-flavored spare ribs, simmered kamo eggplant with pork loin, sliced duck breast with ponzu sauce, fried udon, summer scallop salad) to more exotic offerings (scrambled eggs with sea urchin, "motsu" beef intestine stew, shark fin aspic).Read more ›
The only problem I've noticed while testing the recipes is the U.S. measurements are somewhat off. For example, when I made the corn kakiage, the recipe stated 1 cup of flour. The kakiage was good, but kind of doughy. I read the recipe again and saw it said 1 cup (4 oz) <-- which should be half a cup. Next time I'll try the recipe at 1/2 cup of flour instead.
I also read another recipe where it referenced 1 cup of liquid at 240ml and 1 cup liquid at 180ml.
Other than that, the book is great and the corn kakiage, although doughy, was still DELICIOUS! :)
The book itself is gorgeous, with great photos that recreate the ambiance and mood in the various "favorites" of the author, this is much more than a cookbook. It's almost an ethnographic study about these gems that make the Japanese food scene so varied, so colorful, so alive. This book was born out of the passion of his author, and you can feel his enthusiasm on every page, which makes it grasping.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. A must have for anyone that loves Japanese cooking or restaurants.Published 20 days ago by Francisco Velazquez
Awesome book with lots of detailed pictures. If your big into tapaz/small plates this is the book for you!Published 29 days ago by asdf
Awesome cookbook. Also goes into the history and thoughts behind some of the recipes. Try the strewed daikon, it is delicious. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert L.
I fell in love with the cuisine of Japan when traveling for Business there. Based upon reviews, I bought this book in order to begin making Japanese food at home. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Gregory Olsen
Good book if you want to go visit a izakaya at japan, the pro issue here its if you like to cook it have easy recipes to do, really i recommend it a lot, bad that i don't have it... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Erick Sartorius Castellanos
I wish it explained some of the ingredients better, as large number of them are not familiar to me.Published 10 months ago by Daniel DeGeus
I love this book. It excites me to no end hearing about stews that are older than I am, releasing rituals done in tribute to little fishies doomed to fry and intricate work... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Uhhh...Brendan?
This book was bought as a Christmas gift for my father. My husband and I are moving to Japan this spring for work and we wanted to give a fun gift associated with our big move. Read morePublished 14 months ago by o.k