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The Japanese Grill: From Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood, and Vegetables Paperback – April 26, 2011
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—Seattle Weekly's Voracious Blog, Cooking the Books, 6/1/11
"What makes this book a wonderful resource is the authors' conviction that by applying traditional Japanese flavors to untraditional Japanese ingredients, home cooks will end up with something unexpected and delicious. . . . With The Japanese Grill, the authors have woven the seemingly disparate cultures and grilling styles to create a cookbook that respects and enriches both."
—The Epi-Log, Epicurious.com, 5/20/11
"The Japanese Grilltakes grilling to a new, unexpected level, mixing infinitely familiar grilled fare with a bit of the exotic."
—Devour Recipe & Food Blog, Cooking Channel, 5/12/11
“The land of the rising sun shares its border with barbecue country in this simple and salty collection.”
—Publishers Weekly, 3/7/11
“From the simple (foil-baked green beans) to the sublime (chashu pork), this book boasts some of the most fabulous grilling recipes ever assembled in one volume. If you consider yourself to be a grill aficionado, you must—and I mean must—own it. Your grill library won’t be complete without it.”
—James Oseland, editor in chief of Saveur and author of Cradle of Flavor
“A stunning book about one of my favorite grill cultures. You can see how the Japanese have elevated live-fire cooking to the level of art.”
—Steven Raichlen, author of Planet Barbecue and host of Primal Grill on PBS
“Demystifying the seemingly inapproachable is something that Ono and Salat believe in as much as I do. With The Japanese Grill they have taken on a genre of cooking that every home cook wants to become intimate with but thinks they can’t execute. This book should get a serious workout on kitchen counters around the country. I love it!”
—Andrew Zimmern, host of The Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and author of The Bizarre Truth
About the Author
TADASHI ONO is executive chef at Matsuri in New York City. He has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, and Food & Wine. Visit www.matsurinyc.com
HARRIS SALAT’s stories about food and culture have appeared in The New York Times, Saveur, and Gourmet, and he writes the blog, The Japanese Food Report (www.japanesefoodreport.com). He is the author, with Takashi Yagihashi, of Takashi’s Noodles. Together, Ono and Salat are the authors of Japanese Hot Pots. Visit The Japanese Grill online: www.thejapanesegrill.com.
Top Customer Reviews
I love to grill, BBQ, whatever you want to call it--I'm out in the yard all the time. And because I live in lower Texas, I'm outside cooking more often than not. I've got a smoker, several grills and a setup for open flame. Give me hardwood charcoal, pecan wood from our trees out back, propane; give me a grate, or skewers or a red-hot cast iron griddle: Point is, give me almost any type of food and I'll try to cook it outdoors. I may not be the most "normal" of grillers, but I bet the further South you travel in this great country of ours, the more "normal" I appear to be. Because the more opportunities there are to grill outdoors, the more you embrace it.
Problem is, grilling so often, sometimes I need a little creativity boost. I'm unhappy with myself when I start putting the same-ole', same-ole' on the table. American-style barbecue sauce is barbecue sauce; you can change it just so many ways. Same goes for American-style marinades. So there was a time that I got tired of the usual recipes for "BBQ" and grilling in general and I turned to "Fushion" recipes and started incorporating soy sauce, ginger, scallions, hot peppers into my marinades and bastes. Add another culture's grilling style into your repertoire and you're off and running again.
So I got cozy with the Asian markets in my vicinity and now I've got a whole cabinet full of Asian sauces and condiments. And that's where I was a month ago: Experimenting. And while I love to experiment, I also love to have some expertise behind my gambles.
Now I have this book and it provides a wealth of different marinades and a lot of techniques to make the most of them and to pair them with the right cut of meat, seafood or veggie. Granted, there are a lot of recipes that are "variations on a theme", but in most of those recipes there is a little tidbit of very useful information, and those tidbits of info then feed my "fire" for more creativity.
I especially love to prepare whole fish on the grill. This book has an extensive seafood and fish chapter. And, the authors have provided a good variety of fish species as alternatives. I'm very happy with that.
If you have investigated Asian markets before, you are probably familiar with most of the ingredients listed. (If you've never been to an Asian market, you really need to do yourself a favor and make a day trip of it--you will be amazed!) Most are pantry shelf items that you can find and keep at home. There are two herbs--shiso (perilla) and mitsuba (Japanese parsley)--that you can grow in your garden. There might be one or two hard-to-find condiments, but they are described in the book with such detail, you can probably make do and concoct your own reasonable substitute, (There it is again: Creativity!).
I also have the authors' book: Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals. Now, I wasn't so keen on that book as I am on this one. That book does require a lot of fresh veggies and greens that are not available daily in my area. So it wasn't so user-friendly for me. But we have reconfigured our winter garden to incorporate some of the veggies and greens that are used in hot pots, so we're using that book more often. Plus, the more often you use the names and ingredients that go with the names, it all gets easier.
I'm very glad to have this book in my cook book collection. I've got a whole shelf on grilling, another shelf for Asian and Japanese, a shelf for seafood and fish, a shelf for beef and pork, many shelves for veggies--this book is a stand-out on any of these shelves!
NOTE: If you need to shy away from salt in your diet, you may want to check this out of your library before deciding to purchase it. There is a lot of salt in the sauces and condiments used; a lot of salt in soy sauce and miso pastes. I personally try to avoid a lot of salt in my diet, and I find that I might be able to cut down a touch of salt in these recipes. I also pair these grill recipes with plain rice and steamed veggies. You might never appreciate plain rice until you use it as a counterpoint to a richly flavored, salty taste of grilled meat or fish. After pairing the two together, you will crave the combination more and more often.
ANOTHER THOUGHT: I list below a few other cook book titles--not that I consider them as fine as the one I'm reviewing here, but they might work for you: If you like the idea of adding another culture's ingredients to your grill recipes, but think The Japanese Grill contains too many unknown or unfamiliar ingredients, you may want to take a look at some older books: Steven Raichlen was one of the first--if not the first--to start writing about grilling "cultures": The Barbecue! Bible and Planet Barbecue!, and any of the series by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison, like Hot Barbecue (Hot Books). These books would allow you to approach these new flavors at a more leisurely pace.
I highly recommend the recipe for skirt steak with red miso marinade. I've made it it twice already both times to rave reviews. I also recommend the recipe for yuzu kosho shrimp which was quick and easy to make and delivered shrimp with intense flavor. The recipes are straightforward and consist of simple and healthy ingredients. Overall, Salat and Chef Ono have brought a lot to my table (literally) with their recent series of simple and adventurous Japanese cookbooks (I also own their 'Noodles', and 'Hot Pots'!).
If you're a committed, serious griller looking for new twists and high returns, I would not hesitate to start your grilling season by exploring 'The Japanese Grill.'
I wish the book had more photos, but those they have a well done.
The Yaki Onigiri has become one of my wife's favorites.
A couple years ago my friend turned me on to Sichuan cuisine and I found Sichuan peppers the bomb, err, figuratively speaking. I've since mixed many dry rubs incorporating the pepper to bring this pepper from the wok to the grill, but with poor results. Last weekend I made the Pork Spare Ribs with Miso-Sansho Marinade from this book. Sichuan peppers and the pepper in Sansho spice are cousins and these ribs knocked me (and my friends) into - strange as this sounds - mouth tingling orbit. Yep, new territory indeed.
I recommend you purchase this book and challenge yourself. Its not that the recipes are crazy difficult, not at all. Keep it simple and build a foundation. Which is in keeping with the philosophy behind the cuisine. I'll wager that most people who find the recipes in this book too simple, not worth the effort or bland or whatever ought to ask whether they enjoy the tradition this book fundamentally assumes. Anyways, de gustibus non est disputandum.
I also recommend: Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook