Being a novice of Japanese cooking I decided that I would need a book that would offer simple recipes and background to Japanese cuisine. So I plumped for this book and was extremely happy when I first opened the book and skimmed through the pages.
Harumi Kurihara is very much like our own Delia; her food is basic to the Japanese person like a roast dinner is to us. But to us Japanese cooking is very new and exciting so we need an author that can give us the basics of Japanese cooking. She explains the various ingredients very well and there are some ingredients that are used throughout her dishes, these are namely mirin and dashi. I have had difficulty in finding mirin and the creation of dashi might be too difficult for basic cooks, but she sometimes give alternatives. She includes at the back of the book a list of Japanese food related shops in the UK which is helpful to a certain extent.
The book is beautifully laid out into sections which are as follows: - Appetisers, Soups and Noodles, Rice, Tofu, Seafood, Chicken and Egg, Beef and Pork, Sushi, Vegetables and Desserts. Plus you have a small section on how to use the book and a small glossary.
There are many mouth watering pictures in this book which makes it delightful to look through. With each recipe there is an accompanying picture so you have an idea of what it is supposed to look like. In my view it is always hard to try and make the food that is created look anything like the pictures in the book. But then again it is like this for most recipe books.
The Tofu section deserves a mention as she highlights seven dishes which are creative and awe inspiring for people like me who has hardly ever used Tofu. The Sushi section also deserves a mention as the pages look gorgeous, with the several different types of sushi you can make. Also the suggested toppings that you can add make this sushi section really handy.
This book is an excellent start for anybody wanting to cook Japanese food. It would have been nice to have included a section on food that is eaten at special occasions such as the Japanese New Year. But overall it is a great book that will allow you to gain access to the world of Japanese food. I urge you if you are looking for a Japanese cook book to buy this one!