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Japanese Family-Style Recipes Hardcover – June 15, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
A characteristic Japanese family meal, Tokyo-born Urakami tells us, includes ``a main dish of fish or meat, a side dish of braised vegetables, and a vinegared salad, accompanied by steamed rice and soup.'' The 53 recipes here feature vegetables such as sauteed burdock and braised daikon, as well as familiar dishes like yakitori , but as this book is meant for English-speaking cooks everywhere, Americans may find curious the instruction to ``coat the pot well with beef suet'' in the recipe for sukiyaki . Likewise, for ``marinated spicy fresh-water smelt,'' readers will want to know the size of the smelts (not given), and may be nonplussed by its substitute, ``horse mackerel fillets, cut into slices.'' The recipe for breaded fried swordfish lists only ``breadcrumbs for coating fish'' instead of panko , the coarse Japanese breadcrumbs that give a typically crunchy surface. Information is rather lacking on Japanese ingredients; in the refreshing-sounding recipe for salad with tofu dressing, the author assumes our familiarity with ``deep-fried tofu pouches'' and `` konnyaku (devil's tongue)sic .'' It is necessary to read the front matter; a recipe for the broth called dashi , used in more than half the recipes, appears under ``Cooking Notes.'' Helpfully, each recipe has its own color illustration.
Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
HIROKO URAKAMI attended the Tsuji Cooking School before embarking on a career in cooking. She has taught and demonstrated Japanese cooking both at home and abroad for many years. She has served as an instructor of Japanese cooking in the Department of Extension, University of California, Riverside and for more than ten years has hosted the radio program "Hiroko's Joyful Quick Cooking" on Radio Pacific Japan, California. She is an instructor at Yomiuri Culture Center and other culture centers and the author of many cookbooks. She lives with her husband, an economics professor, in Tokyo.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've had this book for about 7 years. From my first opening of it, I realized this was a perfect match for me. I was born in the USA and am of Japanese heritage. While I did learn a lot from my mom about cooking, she died while I was away at university... I had hoped for an adult cooking relationship with her--she knew cooking was a passion of mine... but unfortunately, I was left with many "uhhh, how do I do this?"
This book helped me begin again. I admit I understand cooking, after all, I went to college to get a degree in Food Science, but knowing the "why" does not answer the knowing "how" or "OK... this really makes NO sense."
This is a very quick book. It might expect you to know some things about Japanese food (e.g., what the finished product is like--it's mouthfeel, doneness, general taste). For me it has been an "OK... you've had this before... and you've seen it prepared... this is what you do..."
I DO use other books for reference because there is a lot I was never taught. The "Joy of Japanese Cooking" and many of the JTB (Japan Tourist Bureau) books help me to understand the differences betweeen the many seaweeds, sesame seeds, greens, etc... that are not in your everyday supermarket (well... maybe if you live in Hawaii..., but I'm in Oregon).
Also, the internet is very useful... If you're using Amazon, then you're on the net... Recently, I got interested in nukamiso (sorta, pickling in fermented rice) A simple web search revealed pages of articles... Perusing a few pages and about a dozen sites allowed me to understand the concept, variations, etc.
Overall, this is one of my favorite "everyday" cookbooks.
On the last day of my last trip (alas, I'm not going back for a while!), I saw this book at the airport and bought it. Am I ever glad I did! It's typically Japanese in that you see what you get before you get it. Just as Japanese restaurants have models of the dishes outside, this book has appealing pictures of every single recipe. The recipes are easy to follow and the results are delicious. Even my Japan-sceptical boyfriend likes them.
The recipes are quite short, a page or less each. There's not much in the way of hints and tips, meaning that trial and error is required with some dishes. But I've still no idea firm my "white dumplings" really should be. I'm learning to make some assumptions, due to the instructions brevity, such as "cook for three minutes" means "cook for three minutes over a medium heat".
I bought this book because I liked the concept, but a book three times this size is needed to do the subject justice.
My husband is Japanese American, and he actually was the one who chose this book. As a testament to the authenticity of the book, my husband's comment after I made a few of the recipes was: "Just like mamma use to make!"