Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
The Joy of a Great Cookbook!
on October 19, 2004
This is a wonderful concise Japanese cookbook by an artistic chef, Kuwako Takahashi. It has many color pictures of beautiful presentations, clearly written recipes, and a great variety of classic and and some contemporary dishes.
Having "eaten my way around" at some restaurants in Japan and at many US Japanese restaurants, it's a double pleasure to see presentations I recognize as "classics", and to have the author describe clearly, often with clearly labelled drawings, just how to cut and arrange the component items from vegetables to fish and different types of sushi, and have you proud to serve them in a well presented dish or platter!
Not sure how to serve Japanese dishes...not a problem! The author show how to make tea, serve sake, and even shows the traditional order of courses as suggestions. Nearly all of the ingredients can be obtained at a typical local Asian grocery, with the remaining ones obtainable over the internet.The inari zushi covers or "bags" even come in cans, so that shortcut takes care of a few steps, if one is so inclined.
There are over 17 simple salad dressings, 8 simple ways to prepare tasty attractive rice dishes, and beautiful photos of sukiyaki to sushi, so you know how the item should look. She even has some pages on decorative food cutting. It's petty clear which are simple recipes, and which are more complex by the list of ingredients, so work your way up, from many simple and elegant recipes, to more complex if you desire.
There's a glossary of Japanese ingredients, and their substitutes, when appropriate.
The only "fault" I found is that the classic "shabu-shabu" was not in the index as such, I had to find it under "casseroles", as nabemono (a quick stew) is translated into that in English, and udon noodles are under "noodles"...fair enough!
I have the hardbound 311 page, 1994 4th printing of the 1986 copyright, and this book is preferable over many of the more recent books with it's ease of making simple tasty meals, and overall helpfulness, with pictures and suggestions to make the meals look like artistic gourmet meals, epecially if you have little prior food artistry experience.