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Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art [Hardcover]

Shizuo Tsuji
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 31.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Feb 2012
Since its release twenty-five years ago, Shizuo Tsuji's encyclopedic and authoritative work has been the acknowledged "bible" of Japanese cooking. Unrivalled in its comprehensive explanation of ingredients, tools and techniques, the book guides readers through recipes with clear prose, while technical points are made understandable with deftly executed line drawings. Much more than a collection of recipes, the cookbook is a masterful treatise on Japanese cuisine. In his preface, the author (who was truly a Renaissance man of Japanese and world gastronomy) discusses the essence of Japanese cooking, with its emphasis on simplicity, balance of textures, colours, and flavours, seasonal freshness, and artful presentation. M. F. K. Fisher's introduction to the 1980 edition is a not-to-be-missed work of food writing. A new foreword by Ruth Reichl and an additional preface by Tsuji Culinary Institute president Yoshiki Tsuji provide culinary and historical context for the 25th Anniversary Edition. Eight pages of vibrant new colour photographs illustrate over seventeen finished dishes. After introducing ingredients and utensils, the twenty chapters that make up Part One consist of lessons presenting all the basic Japanese cooking methods and principal types of prepared foods - making soup, slicing sashimi, grilling, simmering, steaming, noodles, sushi, pickles, and so on - with accompanying basic recipes. Part Two features 130 carefully selected recipes that range from everyday fare to intriguing challenges for the adventurous cook. Together with the recipes in Part One, these allow the cook to build a repertoire of dishes ranging from the basic "soup and three" formula to a gala banquet. Still the foremost source book of cooking concepts and recipes from Japan, the 25th Anniversary Edition of Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art invites a new generation of readers to take a journey to the heart of one of the world's great culinary traditions.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha Amer Inc; Reprint edition (17 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568363885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568363882
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 18.8 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This is the classic work on Japanese cooking here presented in a 25th anniversary hardback edition. It is encyclopaedic in scope with comprehensive explanations of ingredients, equipment and techniques as well as recipes adding up to the acknowledged bible on the subject. The first half is structured as a series of lessons on the basic Japanese cooking methods and the principal types of prepared foods (stocks, sauces, sushi, rice and pickles) whereas the second half presents a collection of recipes from the simple everyday to the sophisticated. If you are serious about Japanese cooking then this is the essential text. --Yes Chef! Magazine

About the Author

SHIZUO TSUJI (1933-1993) was born into a family that operated a
traditional confectionery and graduated from prestigious Waseda University
in Tokyo with a degree in French Literature. He worked first as a reporter
for the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and then in 1960 established the Tsuji
Culinary Institute in Osaka to train professional chefs (now the largest
such school in Japan). After extensive training in Japanese cooking, he
studied the cooking of the greatest chefs in France. The French government
named him Meilleur Ouvrier de France (M. O. F.) in recognition of his
study, mastery, and promotion of French cuisine. He published over thirty
books, including works on gastronomy, music, essays, and translation.
He followed Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art with Practical Japanese Cooking:
Easy and Elegant, a full-colour presentation of some of the most popular
Japanese dishes.

Few writers have written more eloquently about food than M. F. K. FISHER
(1908-1992). Her books include The Art of Eating and The Gastronomical Me,
and she also translated and annotated Brillat-Savarin's Physiology of

YOSHIKI TSUJI was born in Osaka and moved to Edinburgh when he was twelve
years old. He continued his education in the United States, and in 1993
became president of the Tsuji Culinary Institute. Continuing his father
Shizuo Tsuji's work, he enthusiastically researches contemporary currents
in European and American culinary culture to educate professional chefs,
and is dedicated to promoting Japanese food culture overseas as the
vice-president of the Japanese Culinary Academy. He has authored two books;
The Theory of Evolution of Epicurism (Bishoku Shinkaron) and An
Introduction to the Food Industry (Ryori no Shigoto ga Shitai).

RUTH REICHL is the editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine and the author of
the bestsellers Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me With Apples, and Garlic

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Al
This book is essential if you want to cook proper Japanese food that tastes like Japanese food should do. It covers a wide range of Japanese food types that don't get much coverage outside Japan but are at the heart of Japanese food culture. From fried foods (agemono) and traditional one pot dishes (nabemono) to how to make your own Japanese pickles (tsukemono), you don't get more comprehensive or authentically Japanese than this.
The author is well know and respected in Japan and I know some Japanese people also use this as a reference for cooking, even though this is designed for a Western audience as the introduction shows.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By al
This is a brilliant book. The recipes are completely authentic, no fusion. As another reviewer has mentioned, the author is famous in Japan and even the Japanese use this as a reference, even though it was written for non-Japanese.

The book is laid out very well and the explanations of techniques, ingredients or cultural aspects of the food are detailed but informative, interesting and easy to follow. This book de-mystifies Japanese cooking and keeps it simple as it should be.

The first half of the book covers the basic ingredients, utensils and techniques required for the recipes which follow in part 2. Many techniques are used in multiple dishes, which is why the book is organised in this manner. This half also has an explanation of the Japanese meal from which courses are served, in what order and why, to pointers on manners.

The second half contain the recipes themselves, which are excellent. A number of styles of Japanese cooking are included which would not be familiar to the majority of those who have not lived in Japan.

I am half Japanese so my usual reference for Japanese cooking is my mother but sometimes I even check her advice against this cookbook to see if they agree with each other... they've never contradicted each other so far.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Insight Into Traditional Japanese Food 3 July 2010
I had been searching for a good authoritative text on Japanese cooking and I fell in love with this book after previewing it online. I purchased my own copy a few months ago and I have not been disappointed. It's simply wonderful, and I'm amazed to find that I could actually read it from cover to cover if I wanted to. More than just a collection of recipes, it is truly an insight into Japanese culture.

The book is essentially split into two parts. In Part 1, Shizuo Tsuji enthrals with his introductions to different types of dishes, and there are also useful introductions to the ingredients and equipment that are typical of traditional Japanese cookery. After reading Part 1 you are well placed to begin experimenting with the recipes in Part 2.

I'm still struck by how immensely enjoyable it is to read 'Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art', considering that for the most part it is unadulterated by flashy food photography. It manages to provide what many modern cookbooks lack. It is simple, effective and rooted in a wonderfully intriguing culinary tradition. I highly recommend reading this book to glean a thorough insight into the cuisine before purchasing any other texts on Japanese cooking. I would have given it more stars if I could, since five seems too few to denote my appreciation.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best 14 Dec 2009
Thank goodness I came across this book in the Amazon reviews, and was convinced to buy it. I hadn't heard of it before, and it looked a bit old fashioned, but it is truly excellent. I bought it along with another more modern Japanese cookery book 'just in case' and this one beats it hands down. I am constantly referring to it, while the newwer one gathers dust. It provides a wealth of information, such a level of detail, yet is still a great read, I love that I can pick it up and just read it for interest's sake. If you have any interest at all in Japanese food, buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, accesible and delicious! 1 Aug 2010
I was bought this book as a gift, despite its intimidating size I've found it to be a superb book that not only provides great, easy to follow recipes but also provides a lot of insight into Japanese cookery, teaches techniques and cooking styles and has a very helpful ingredients guide that gives an idea of what to subsititute when you can't find a particuarly obscure japanese ingredient.

The only difficult I find with it is that some stuff is just unavailable in the UK, however there are still plenty of recipes in the book that you can make using items you buy from asian supermarkets.

Excellent book, definetly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book! 26 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
not just a recipe book, but a full Japanese cookery course..I classic that has stood the test of time!
a must-buy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and dated in a nice way 28 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is almost like a reference work, as much as a cookery book. Lots of information/ history as well as recipes and a nice relaxing read as well as a source of porential dinner recipes. Very good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars my mother loves it 12 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
its a big hefty book, and is made to be informative and not just entertain you with colourful pictures (of which there are none). but my mum loves it. if your really interested in cooking then i think its a must.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A bible on the subject
I bought this as a Christmas present and it looks absolutely fine. I'm not into Japanese food myself but it appears to be a bible on the subject with copious instructions and... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Shiroi
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and tasty
This book will provide anyone interested in Japanese cooking plenty of insight into preparation, cooking techniques and philosophy to mention a just a few things. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jay Maund
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just for cooking
I was initialy troubled that the book contains few images. However, there are a lot of well-drawn sketches of ingredients, utensils and cooking methods that you will find useful. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Christos Marias
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is a very thorough introduction (and expert guide!) to Japanese cuisine. Although a bit US-oriented (eg very few UK suppliers listed) there is so much we can learn from it!
Published 15 months ago by Anony Mouse
5.0 out of 5 stars The book to cook with
Quality cook book, lots of technical recipes but enough easier ones as well for the starter. Well worth the purchase.
Published 17 months ago by Stu
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It
This is a great book if you are starting out cooking Japanese food. I am already cooking a few of the meals on a weekly basis.
Published 17 months ago by Anna M. Harte
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as I wanted
This was a gift and I wanted a mix of technical information and "real" Japanese cookery. This was perfect and the receiver of the gift was thrilled.
Published 19 months ago by I wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep cook book
Reading this book is more than a cookbook. I understand now better the sophistication of the japanese culture, this book describes in detail exactly how to cut your ingredients,... Read more
Published on 19 Nov 2010 by Belle Among Vikings
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