Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Japanese Cooking Recipes

Japanese Cooking Recipes is a comprehensive technique/tutorial/recipe guide for Japanese cuisine. Released 1st June 2018 by Shinsei publishing, it's 256 pages and available in paperback format. I couldn't find ebook format information online, but I strongly recommend against puchasing the electronic format (if available), since this is an extremely graphics heavy book, literally every page has photos, and it's printed in bilingual Japanese/English which makes small format graphics a chore to read.

The book is arranged thematically with recipes arranged by category. The introductory chapters include everything from food prep, ingredients, to tools and cooking utensils. This is the best tutorial I've ever seen on knifework, showing vegetable and meat prep work such as matchstick, rosettes, dices, and others for several different vegetables. Photos are clear and easy to follow (even being unable to access the text portions, the photos are super clean and easy to understand).

The author continues with a meticulous and detailed chapter on ingredients followed by general cooking methods. Seasonal varieties and quality of ingredients is a common thread throughout. There's even a tutorial subchapter on tea and using chopsticks.

The recipes themselves have multiple tutorial photos and serving photos. I didn't count the individual recipes, but there are a large number. Special tips and advice for avoiding problems are highlighted in sidebars.

Many of the ingredients may prove challenging to source outside of a specialist grocery. Seasonal proteins and fruits may also prove difficult to find outside of Asia.

This is a beautifully written and encyclopedic text on Japanese cuisine. I am tempted to buy the print version myself (the ebook version isn't feasible for practical use).  Five stars (two stars for the .pdf version which is missing vast amounts of text and ingredients sidebars).

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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