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The Japanese Kitchen: 250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit Hardcover – November 7, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
While Asian flavors have long been fashionable in the U.S., it is perhaps the hipness of sushi and familiarity of the Tepanyaki style that have been a catalyst for the recent popularity of Japanese cuisine. The author, a veteran cooking-school instructor and food writer, offers a well-rounded introduction to the rich heritage of Japanese cooking (complete with historical, cultural and personal observations from her own childhood). "Nutrition, taste and... a spirit of innovation" are Shimbo's ambitions with this comprehensive and intriguing collection of updated classic and new recipes. Perfect for the Western cook, Shimbo's book explains traditional equipment, techniques and ingredients (although, she says, American cooking implements, and the occasional substituted ingredient, will more than suffice) and how to make such staple elements as tofu. She particularly touts the healthier aspects of Japanese cuisine and offers many simple preparations that support fast-paced lives, including Easy Simmered Chicken and Chestnuts or the quick one-pot meal of Rice, Beef, Burdock Root and Mushrooms made in a rice cooker. Shimbo doesn't disappoint the aficionado, however, with Yakitori grilling, Ponzu Sauce and a far more interesting (and healthy) rendering of ramen than the cellophane-wrapped variety. Based on Japanese home-style cooking, Shimbo's is an indispensable book for the home cook, with recipes such as Chirashizushi and her mother's Green Plum Wine. Nevertheless, Shimbo also shows a fresh modern sensibility by smartly melding Western influences in her own recipes for Clam Chowder (New England meets Edomae style), Lamb StewDwhich she enlivens with misoDand Teriyaki Chicken Roll served on a bed of greens. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Japanese food has conquered America's palate almost as completely as Japanese cars have come to dominate the nation's highways. America's teens, especially, have become fascinated with the joys of sushi, and wasabi vies with salsa as a source of tongue-tingling pleasure. Hiroko Shimbo eruditely introduces the American home cook to The Japanese Kitchen and its centuries-old traditions. Beyond her explicit instructions for expertly preparing sushi, Shimbo offers a host of other recipes that don't require a source of pristine raw seafood to succeed. Noodle dishes, soups, and even a version of roast beef in a sake sauce show the range of edibles turned out by today's Japanese cook. Shimbo takes pains to place each recipe carefully within its context, explicating the history and character of each dish and painstakingly inventorying the varieties of rice and noodles used. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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I don't care that it lacks photography -- I've got a great visual sense with the reading of this book. (There are b&w sketches to assist where needed).
Hiroko Shimbo goes through the authentic tools of the Japanese kitchen, basic cooking/prepping techniques, essential ingredients, and then the actual food. Yes, it covers sushi, but she goes beyond sushi (there's life in Japanese cookery beyond sushi, much as I adore that!), and into other genres within the cuisine. At the end, she provides a go-to sourcery for items not often seen in your local supermarket.
She writes clearly, talks about authenticity, but provides work-arounds for those many of us who can't get totally authentic. There are also little cultural asides and notes, and comments on determining what fish is truly fresh (for sushi/sashimi) in your supermarket.
If you like Japanese cuisine and want to bring that home, this is a good book for you. Both novices and experts will find useful info here.
I recommed this as the first and primary Japanese cooking book in your kitchen.
It is full of tips and advice on ingredients, techniques and preparation of authentic Japanese dishes.
There is task of finding rare ingredients first, from international cuisine section of supermarket or better yet from gourmet store, or mail order source in this book.
Book is void of photos but has fine drawings which aid in prep techniques and ingredients.
Have tried some new eating experiences from this book and have heard raves of diners who enjoyed the likes of: Japanese Stuffed Pancakes (Okonomiyaki); Swordfish in Yuan Style; Chicken Breast Fillets in a Crust of Mung-Bean Noodles.
There is sizeable section on Sushi.