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Practical Japanese Cooking: Easy and Elegant Hardcover – September 15, 1991

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The striking photographs and creative design of this oversize cookbook stressthe physical beauty of traditional Japanese cuisine. The wonderful surprise is that the book succeeds in making these artful effects accessible even to novices of Japanese-style preparation and cooking techniques. The most exotic-looking dishesclam soup, for example, or jade green deep-fried shrimpprove to be relatively simple to prepare. Unfamiliar cooking methods are illustrated by detailed, full-color sequence photographs. And in a lovely preface, Tsuji (Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, president of a professional culinary school in Japan (where Hata is head chef), encourages newcomers to make Japanese cookery their own, experimenting, substituting, rearranging without fear that they will violate the spiritof a most adaptable cuisine. Calories per serving are included with the varied, ample offerings. (September
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review


For the original edition
"The striking photographs and creative design of this oversize cookbook stress the physical beauty of traditional Japanese cuisine. The wonderful surprise is that the book succeeds in making these artful effects accessible even to novices of Japanese-style preparation and cooking techniques. The most exotic-looking dishes, clam soup, for example, or jade green deep-fried shrimp, prove to be relatively simple to prepare. Unfamiliar cooking methods are illustrated by detailed, full-color sequence photographs. And in a lovely preface, Tsuji (Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art) president of a professional culinary school in Japan (where Hata is head chef), encourages newcomers to make Japanese cookery their own, experimenting, substituting, rearranging without fear that they will violate the spirit of a most adaptable cuisine." - Publishers Weekly


"The recipes are clear and easy to follow, and the illustrations are especially delightful, truly top high-style Japanese simplicity. Messrs. Tsuji and Hata have given us the best of the old and the new." - M.F.K. Fisher


--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; 1 edition (September 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870117629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870117626
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,320,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
P. J. C. expands the novice Japanese cooks horizons from "sushi only" to a more complete Japanese cuisine experience. The recipes are clear and ingredients listed are by and large available. While this is certainly not a Japanese cooking "bible" it certainly serves as an excellent jumping off point for those new to Japanese cooking.
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Format: Hardcover
Looking for authentic recipes? Yes, this is the right one and covers a wide range of Japanese cuisine like appretizers, soup, sashimi, yakitori, tempura, tofu, sushi, noodles, pot dishes, and even box meal. All recipes come with detailed and easy-to-follow instructions, large & beautiful photo pictures, and some delightful illustrations for showing the preparation steps. In addition, it covers some tips on using various ingredients like bonito stock, mirin, miso paste, wasabi, and ginger, etc. Very practical. Yet, if you're more interested in cooking methods, secrets, and techniques, you should go for one of the author's book by Shizuo Tsuji, "Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art", which is also the well-known bible in Japanese cooking.

(Reviewed by Otto Yuen, 19-Jan-2006)
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Format: Hardcover
"Practical Japanese Cooking" is a sequel of sorts to Shizuo Tsuji's phenomenal cooking bible Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art. Assembled from his notes by an assistant after Tsuji's death, unlike "Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art" this is mainly a recipe book, packed with beautiful photos and all in Tsuji's authentic style. The recipes are in several categories, like "Appetizers," "Fish," "Soup," "Beef and Pork," "Tofu," "Rice" and "Noodles," There are fourteen categories in all, and each category has between three to twenty recipes.

I loved this book, although I feel the name is somewhat misleading. Far from being "Easy and Elegant" most of the recipes in here are very complex, requiring considerable preparation and a variety of techniques. These are the kind of Japanese dishes that look so simple on the plate, but that simplicity is backed by hours of manipulation of ingredients and subtle infusions of flavor. Most of the dishes are small-plate style, like one would find in an upscale Japanese restaurant featuring several servings of a variety of dishes rather than a "main course."

These are authentic recipes, which means that the ingredients are probably not going to be available at your local supermarket. If you don't have mirin, dashi and a few varieties of soy sauce and miso already in your pantry you might want to consider doing some shopping before picking up this book. Many recipes call for "ginger juice," which was a first for me, but Tsuji doesn't leave you stranded and has a short recipe on how to juice ginger.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While as far as sheer volume goes, this book does not rival some of the other major books in the field like the author's own "Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art," what it lacks in exhaustiveness it makes up in flair. The photography is beautiful, the instructions are thorough and descriptive, and the presentations are superb. Most of the recipes I have used out of this cookbook turn out more flavorful and more consistently high quality than similar ones in other books. It is also large and attractive on the cover and on the spine, so it is often the most popular book of mine that guests feel compelled to look at when browsing my cookbook collection. Even many of the more traditionally "difficult" dishes presented in the book such as the teriyaki squid I have made several times effortlessly. This book carries my highest recommendation both as a functional and technically accurate cookbook, and an attractive coffee table book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book during a cold snap, and have enjoyed the recipes for soups that warm us up from the inside. The book is full of recipes that offer comforting foods, full of flavor. The only drawback is that I cannot find all of the ingredients. Where can I get "bonito" in New Jersey?
The tofu recipes are particularly good in this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tsuji's Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art is both monumental and seminal. This one, taken from his notes and finished by an assistant after his death, is just average. The first book doesn't have many pictures, though, and this one is full of them.

If you really like pictures, pick it up, but the pictures are the best part of the book. The recipes suffer by comparison. There are other cookbooks that teach the same things and do it better.

I bought it on the strength of his name, and have been vaguely disappointed ever since, though I do page through it for serving ideas because a lot of the pictures are gorgeous.

(Full disclosure: I've semiprofessionally taught Japanese cooking classes.)
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Format: Hardcover
I actually bought this book about a decade ago, just before I moved to Asia. I ended up spending 4 years in Tokyo, and when I got back to America, I was hoping to find my favorite Japanese recipes in this book. Unfortunately, I couldn't find most of them, and the ones I found were not the same, judging by the directions and pictures, as what I had eaten every day for 4 years. "Easy" and "practical" are also not the words I'd use to describe the recipes in this cook book.
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