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Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions Hardcover – October 19, 2010


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Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions + Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First Edition edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089555
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 9.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The kansha lifestyle asks for us to slow down and be more deliberate, and to cultivate an awareness of our surroundings, the seasons and the nature of our own appetites. How refreshing and wise!”
—TheKitchn.com, 1/13/11

“The word "kansha" means "appreciation," and there's much to appreciate with Elizabeth Andoh's celebration of Japanese vegan and vegetarian traditions. Andoh, who was Gourmet magazine's Japan correspondent for more than three decades, offers more than 100 recipes, many of them complicated enough for experienced cooks looking for a good challenge.”
—Portland Oregonian, Best of 2010, 12/21/10

“Because any cookbook by Elizabeth Andoh deserves a long, thoughtful look. Her latest, Kansha, is an elegant spread of vegan and vegetarian Japanese dishes, as narrated in her characteristic cultural history discovery tone.”
—LA Weekly, Squid Ink blog, Top 10 Cookbook And Drink Gift Pairings, 12/14/10

“It’s great to open up a cookbook and absorb all the years and effort that an author puts into the publication. If you’re into Japanese, vegan, or vegetarian cooking, Elizabeth Andoh’s Kansha  should be in your collection. She writes with humor and utmost care because she wants you to understand and appreciate Japanese food traditions. The recipe collection is full of insights that she accumulated during her decades in Japan. . . . Kansha captures the culinary distinctions and artful aspects of Japanese cuisine. The food tastes good too!”
—Andrea Nguyen, Viet World Kitchen, 2010 Cookbook Picks, 12/11/10

"Kansha brings the abundance of possibilities plant foods offer into focus without dwelling on the absence of others, a more delicate, embracing approach. I’ve come away from this book with the feeling that Kansha, both the book and the word, embody a spirit that moves more from the heart and less from the brain. Above all it expresses grace. I was thinking of grace as in gracefulness, but it could also mean grace as in a state of grace, of gratitude, of giving thanks. This approach to vegan and vegetarian food involves a deep and subtle shift away from how we might usually approach dietary limits and choices."
—DeborahMadison.com, 12/7/10

“The Japanese-food expert expands vegans’ repertoire while making tofu appealing to all.”
—The New York Times Book Review, Web Extra: 25 More Cookbooks, 12/3/10

“Kansha is a large, lavish book, beautifully packaged and packed with foolproof recipes. More than that, though, it is a detailed compendium of Japanese food culture, making it the perfect gift for anyone interested in cooking and eating, irrespective of whether or not they are vegetarian.”
—The Japan Times, 12/2/10

“What's the vegetable equivalent of butcher's nose-to-tail, the meatless version of everything-but-the-squeal? In her latest cookbook, Kansha, Elizabeth Andoh explores the concept ichi motsu zen shoku (one food, used entirely), a Japanese vegan philosophy that means using every last bit of vegetables from frond-to-root. . . . Kansha is both a book and a concept worth exploring.”
—GOOD.com, 12/1/10

"Andoh is one of the premier writers of Japanese cuisine and she explains the philosophy behind the thoughtful and considered food choices the Japanese make."
—FoxNews.com, The Fox Foodie: Sixteen Sweet Cookbooks, 11/30/10

"In a world of meatless Mondays, how does a sanctimonious foodie keep a leg up? Tokyo-based chef Elizabeth Andoh’s Kansha is a good place to start. Her recipes for creamy leek soup, sour soy-pickled ramps, and brown sugar ice are authentically Japanese and tasty enough for carnivores."
—DailyCandy, The Best New Fall Cookbooks, 11/12/10

"Because of the lack of books available on this topic, this will be much appreciated not only by vegetarians, vegans, and Japanese food enthusiasts but by any adventurous cook looking for a distinctive perspective on fresh, healthy food. Highly recommended, especially for vegetarians, vegans, and those interested in green living."
—Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW, 9/15/10

Kansha is a beautiful collection of gentle, thrifty recipes, and a fascinating introduction to Japanese vegetarian cooking. Elizabeth Andoh writes with authority and an infectious love of Japan and its culinary traditions.”
—Fuchsia Dunlop, author of Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China
 
“What a fresh and deeply informative book. The recipes are beguiling, and at last I can make sense out of Japanese ingredients I’ve long found mystifying. But I especially love the sensibility of Kansha, an approach to life and to food that feels so right. By all means, don’t skip the introduction of this wonderful new book from Elizabeth Andoh.”
—Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Seasonal Fruit Desserts
 
“It is with deep appreciation and utmost joy that I welcome the arrival of Kansha. So much more than just a recipe compendium, this gorgeous work serves as an exquisite, thoroughly detailed, careful, and caring guide to the people, culture, and cuisine of Japan. Working through Elizabeth’s dishes, I felt lovingly guided and nurtured, expertly instructed, and, finally, deliciously nourished. Kansha is clearly the work of a lifetime of passionate study, and a wonderful gift for every cook and appreciator of Japanese cuisine. I am so very grateful for it.”
—Michael Romano, chef, author, and President of Culinary Development, Union Square Hospitality Group
 
“Andoh is at once lyrical and meticulous, taking the reader effortlessly from the profundities of Japanese culinary philosophy to practical and novel culinary techniques. Not just for vegans and vegetarians, Kansha is a veritable treasure trove for transforming even the humblest of vegetables into delicacies, and for exploring the full potential of rice, noodles, and tofu.”
—Rachel Laudan, food historian and author of The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii’s Culinary Heritage
 
“I haven’t been so excited about a new cookbook in years. Andoh’s book, Kansha, has stirred me so—I cannot wait to get cooking. From premise to practice, Andoh’s personal lessons to the cook are engaging and valuable. Even people who have never been to Japan will relish the vegetable dishes and enjoy the stimulation, authority, and, above all, the array of Japanese dishes Kansha provides. For Japan hands like me, who’ve missed the pickles, sesame tofu, and soy skin delicacies, it is as though the teacher we’ve wanted is by our side, showing us we can make these foods from scratch ourselves, far from Japan. Kansha means appreciation, and Andoh has my undying gratitude.”
—Merry White, professor of food anthropology at Boston University
 

About the Author

ELIZABETH ANDOH is the American authority on Japanese cuisine. She has made Japan her home since 1967 and divides her time between Tokyo and Osaka, directing a culinary program called A Taste of Culture. Her book Washoku won the 2006 IACP Jane Grigson award for distinguished scholarship in food writing and was nominated for a James Beard Award.

More About the Author

I was born and raised in America though Japan has been my home for more than four decades. As you can see from my photo, I am not ethnically Japanese.

My formal culinary training was taken at the Yanagihara School of Traditional Japanese Cuisine, in Tokyo. In 1972 I began my own culinary arts program, A Taste of Culture, that combines spicy tidbits of food lore with practical tips and skill-building lessons on how to prepare Japanese food. My programs are conducted in Tokyo, Japan and offer a unique opportunity for foreign residents and visitors from overseas to explore and enjoy Japan's culture through its food.

I publish an electronic newsletter about 6 times a year. Each issue includes a short essay/story focused on some aspect of Japan's food culture. Each edition of the newsletter includes links to photo-illustrated recipes related to the chosen theme. Recipes can be downloaded and printed out, making it easy for subscribers to take into the kitchen when they cook. A Taste of Culture's newsletters are free-of-charge, though permission-based. To subscribe, fill out the form on the home page of TASTEOFCULTURE dot com.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The recipes are written with very detailed instructions.
babyjr
Unfortunately, these recipes call for very specific ingredients without American substitutions, so for some Kansha may end up as a beautiful coffee table book.
Sarah
If you are a vegan or a vegetarian and like Japanese food, this is the book for you.
Lilico

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Sarah TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was stationed in Japan for six months, and while there, I took four Japanese cooking classes. I purchased Kansha from Amazon Japan in December 2010, and enjoyed leafing through the many intriguing vegan recipes inspired by traditional Japanese Buddhism (because of my living arrangements in Japan, I didn't have a kitchen in which to try out these recipes). Being vegetarian in Japan is more difficult than it sounds; nearly every Japanese dish (with the exception of shojin ryori, vegan Buddhist temple cuisine) contains fish in some form, whether in the dashi (stock) or shavings of katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). The traditional Japanese diet, which was heavy on fish and fresh and pickled vegetables, is being replaced by deep-fried cutlets and American-style fast food joints like Mos Burger.

I was lucky enough to attend one of Elizabeth's Kansha workshops in Osaka shortly after the March 11 earthquake, and it was a much-needed chance to focus on appreciation (the English translation of "kansha") that my Japanese coworkers' and students' friends and families were safe. We made several of the recipes from Kansha around a hanami (cherry blossom viewing) theme, including Thick Fried Tofu & Broiled Tofu Braised with Root Vegetables, Simmered & Blanched Mountain Vegetables Tossed in Nutty Tofu Sauce. Rice with Salted Cherry Blossoms, Burdock and Wheat Strips in Dark Miso Broth, and Home-Made Nuka-Zuke. After the class, we went on a supermarket tour, where Elizabeth pointed out various types of sansai (wild mountain vegetables) and gave us a primer on soy sauces and basic pantry staples.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Freeman on February 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am a vegan who used to live in Japan for 3 years. I have been hopelessly searching to recreate some of the amazing food I experienced while living there. So far I had been severely disappointed. That is, until I bought this book. I want to thank the author for the amazing selection of recipes. The Heaven and Earth Tempura and the Kabocha Croquettes were incredible. Maybe even better than the ones from my beloved Kyushu. The instructions were so clear and exact, that the preparation and cooking in a Japanese style was surprising easy. Thank you again for allowing me to share these dearly missed dishes with my friends and family.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Lilico on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've been waiting for this book for a long time. There is no one like Andoh to explain authentic Japanese food to non-japanese. She is like the Julia Child of Japan. Her recipes are thorough, easy to read and use, and tell you a lot about Japanese culture and thought along the way. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian and like Japanese food, this is the book for you. There's nothing else like it. She knows how to coax the authentic flavors out of the ingredients, and put everything to good use. Even if you are not a vegetarian, this is an important book to learn more about japanese thought and culture and to add to your japanese repetoire. Beautifully photographed and written, i can't put it down.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael K on October 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A gorgeously produced and photographed book and a worthy companion to Washoku. Ms. Andoh's discussion of the Japanese kitchen, ingredients, cooking techniques, and "waste nothing" philosophy is lucid and inspiring. Even the most carnivorous Japanese food lover will find much here to add to their repertoire. The pickle section alone is worth the admission. I can't put this book down.

Ms. Andoh is an international treasure. One reviewer compared her to Julia Child, but I see Ms. Andoh more as another M.F.K. Fisher for her stunning prose and her approach to cooking and eating as a celebration of life. Check out her websites: [...] and [...]
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By H. Kawakami on November 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am lucky enough to know Elizabeth and have been in her kitchen with her. Every dish she makes, every meal, is amazing in flavor, presentation, balance. Here is another chance to learn from her how to prepare delicious, nutritious Japanese cuisine suitable for our small planet -- the vegetarian and vegan traditions. Each recipe has been painstakingly researched and checked multiple times with an international crew of volunteers so that you can follow the recipe wherever you are and know that you will create something wonderful. This is a beautiful cookbook but it is more. Even with my many years of experience in Japan, I always learn something new from Elizabeth. And Elizabeth imparts her holistic philosophy of living and appreciating (kansha) through the descriptions and notes of this book. She is also passing down precious knowledge of generations of temple and kitchen cooks. This second volume, added to Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen (2005), is cause for celebration and appreciation of Elizabeth's dedication to introducing, interpreting, and preserving Japan's culinary traditions. A beautiful gift for yourself and loved ones during this season of gratitude and hospitality.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kapucom on February 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Kansha is a wonderful book which gives us food and food for thought! I find myself peeling vegetables and thinking - okay, what shall I do with this peel, what would Elizabeth Andoh do? There are so many delicious dishes which are not only wonderful for their authentic Japanese flavor and pedigree but also for their cost and earth conscious appeal. We are such a disposable society - and I find Kansha to be deliciously thrifty! I find myself thinking about tofu showered with herbs and Japanese root vegetable chips - my Super Bowl party will never be the same. In an effort to eat healthier and make a kinder impact on the Earth, I really appreciate this cookbook. Japanese food is already delicious and healthy and to now be able to make delicate vegetarian dishes like I had the pleasure and privilege of tasting in Kyoto - it brings my travels home to my table! These cookbooks from Andoh-san are beautifully photographed, exquisitely researched and well worth the money and please, cook from them. I know that her books are beautiful enough to be displayed on your coffee table, but how impressive will it be to serve your guests "forbidden rice"?!
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