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Japanese Vegetarian Cookery [Paperback]

Lesley Downer , John Shelley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (24 July 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224028626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224028622
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 485,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lesley Downer's mother was Chinese and her father a professor of Chinese, so she grew up in a house full of books on Asia. But it was Japan, not China, that proved the more alluring, and she lived there for some fifteen years.

She has written many books about the country and its culture, including Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World, and Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha who Seduced the West, and has presented television programmes on Japan for Channel 4, the BBC and NHK.

She lives in London with her husband, the author Arthur I. Miller, and still makes sure she goes to Japan every year.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic of world cuisine 4 Jun 2010
This book first opened my eyes to Japanese cooking- yes there is a world beyond the Robo sushi bar. I much prefer Japanese cooking to chinese- it's more precise, each dish is a little piece of perfection married up to make a whole. This is a fully vegetarian (and let's face it pretty much vegan) book- no deceased fish intrude. No glossy pics, just line drawings. Ms Downer takes you through various preparation methods for each possible vegetable followed up by soy bean derivatives such as tofu, tempeh and miso. It's generally Buddhist temple cuisine (but ohhhhh so delicious). Happily you can find most of the basics in the specialist sections of Sainsburys and Waitrose these days. Generally the ingredients are simple combinations of seaweed stock, honey, mirin (sweetened wine), sesame seeds and miso paste.

"A Japanese meal has no main course preceded by an hors d'oeuvre and followed by a dessert, and consists not of a heaped plateful of food as in the West, but of tiny portions of various foods, each on its own plate."

Generally you as the cook rush out all at once a soup, a rice dish and another 1 to 7 dishes. There is ritual in eating- its fun trust me- and I had lots of joy assembling a collection of bowls and plates - which is always in fives as the word "go" is lucky. Strangely western marketed Japanese sets are all in fours- eek- "shi" -the Japanese word for four is also the word for death. You shouldn't stick your chopsticks upright in the middle of your rice bowl either as it looks like the incense sticks burned at funerals (honestly folks, I pointedly walk under ladders-I just find the culture buzz FUN!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent vegetarian cookery book 26 Aug 2014
By Wilkie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent book, if a little old now. Great for vegetarian cookery ideas. Possibly hard to find.
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