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A Dictionary of Japanese Food: Ingredients & Culture Paperback – January 15, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must for anyone interested in the cuisine of Japan."—Saveur Magazine

Language Notes

Text: English, Japanese
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Reissue edition (January 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804820422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804820424
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,214,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is unique in a field that is not well documented in the English language. The main body is a Japanese-English dictionary of Japanese foodstuffs. Entries go: Japanese name in romaji (Roman alphabet), kana, kanji, (Chinese characters), then the English translation, then any scientific name. Each definition is several lines long, including details of preparation, culinary uses, and cultural, regional and seasonal notes. The book is profusely cross-referenced and illustrated in black and white. There is an Engish-Japanese glossary at the back and seventeen appendices covering key items such as katsuobushi, miso, Buddhist vegetarian cuisine and so on in greater detail.
This is not a cookbook, there are no recipes or instructions. Rather, it is a treasure-chest of culinary detail, illuminating a great deal that was previously hidden. The Japanese cuisine is vast and varied, but largely mysterious and unknown outside Japan, because there are very few definitive books written in languages other than Japanese. I am not certain that a comparative book exists even in Japan; it was compiled from Japanese sources but some of these were very old or quite obscure or scholarly. I can recommend it to anyone who knows anything about Japan or Japanese food and wants to make a quantum leap of knowledge and understanding.
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Format: Paperback
It is unique in a field that is not well documented in the English language. The main body is a Japanese-English dictionary of Japanese foodstuffs. Entries go: Japanese name in romaji, kana, kanji, (Chinese character), then the English translation, then any scientific name. Each definition is several lines long, includes details of preparation, culinary uses, and cultural, regional and seasonal notes. The book is profusely cross-referenced and illustrated in black and white. There is an Engish-Japanese glossary at the back and seventeen appendices covering key items such as katsuobushi, miso, Buddhist vegetarian cuisine and so on in greater detail.
This is not a cookbook, there are no recipes or instructions. Rather, it is a treasure-chest of culinary detail, illuminating a great deal that was previously hidden. The Japanese cuisine is vast and varied, but largely unknown outside Japan, because there are very few definitive books written in languages other than Japanese. I am not certain that a comparative book even exists in Japan; it was compiled from Japanese sources but some of these were very old or quite obscure. I can recommend it to anyone who knows anything about Japan or Japanese food and wants to make a quantum leap of knowledge and understanding.
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Format: Paperback
A Dictionary of Japanese Food: Ingredients and Culture, by Richard Hosking, is the essential guide for creating your own Japanese kitchen and buying food at your closest Japanese center. For those of you who appreciate Japanese culture and foods but are confused navigating the market, this book is a must. Hosking lists, both in english and Kanji, all of the essentil ingredients and spices you need to cook. In addition, his appendices contains excellent information about utensiles, chopsticks, the meal, sake, tea, and wasabi to mention a few. I bought this book in Japan, used it there, and will carry it with me to my market in Denver.
Stephen Schell (schell@frii.com)
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Format: Paperback
If you have an interest in Japanese cooking, this book is a must. The dictionary does not contain every ingredient, utensil and dish that may be found in Japanese cuisine, but it makes a valiant attempt to do so. Entries are listed with a romanized pronunciation as well as the Japanese characters, sometimes with several variations of how to write the same term. In addition the excellent appendices explain in detail how such staples of the Japanese kitchen, such as shoyu and katsuobushi, are made and used. An invaluable reference for anyone who does not read Japanese at native-level fluency.
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Format: Paperback
This ten-year old dictionary remains unsurpassed

as a guide to the ingredients, methods and utensils

used in japanese cooking. It is a portable volume

with romanized, kana and kanji versions of all the

names and so is ideal for a trip to the market

where many unfamilar ingredients may be presented

to the english--speaking food lover.

There are seventeen useful appendices that cover

topics like:

Chopsticks

Katsuoboshi

The kitchen and its utensils

Kombu

The Meal

Miso

Sake

Salt

Sansai

Soy sauce

Sushi

Tea

The tea ceremony

Umami and Flavor

Vegetarianism

Wasabi

Wasabon Sugar

In addition, many of the entries have enough

detail to be useful to the Western chef who

wants to incorporate Japanese ideas into his

or her cooking. Hoskins is an admirably concise

writer who packs a lot of information into a

small amount of graceful prose.

Be aware that this is not an encyclopedia. If

you use the English-Japanese section to look

up `mushroom' for instance, you'll find the

translation `kinoko' but not a comprehensive

list of Japanese mushrooms or techniques for

cooking them.

So leave the browsing to other books and keep

this one for trips to the market You'll be glad

to have it.

--Lynn Hoffman, author of THE NEW SHORT COURSE IN WINE and the forthcoming novel bang-BANG from Kunati Books. ISBN 9781601640005
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