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on 1 May 2017
The recipes in this book are so simple - I love with this book! These recipes uses healthy ingredients and around half of which are also meat dishes - so all in all is for a "balanced diet" though it is swings towards more veggies than meat. It's a great book for Japanese cooking novices like myself. I grew up in Hong Kong with experience of eating lots of Japanese food but zero experience cooking it.
We made these recipes for friends and have received lots of compliments about how authentic it tastes. There are a few key cupboard essentials that are used in almost all her cooking - miso, dashi, soya sauce and murin. We had to buy dashi and murin from a specialist shop but all the other ingredients can be found in the larger Tesco and Morrisons stores. When I say "specialist shop", I mean a pan-asian shop (doesn't have to be a Japan centre). This book is a must buy if you want to learn how to create these authentic Japanese flavours.
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on 28 July 2013
A good book full of simple dishes that taste great. My ex-girlfriend was Japanese and she could ensure the ingredients we needed were sent over by her mother, but since we've broken up a lot of the ingredients needed to create these recipes have become hard to find. Probably not a massive problem if you live in London or somewhere else with bright lights, but up here in Sunderland finding some of the rarer ingredients can be very costly! Definitely worth a go if you can ensure a regular influx of Japanese produce, though!
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on 10 September 2016
Excellent Recipes and once you have sourced the basic ingredients you dont need too many or too much. We love the salad with ponzu dressing, karagee chicken, rice with peas, mackerel dish and minced prawn & chicken dish, and pork tonkatsu. Everything is super quick to cook and recipes are easy to follow and good for weekday meals. As a 'foodie', I like that recipes are not dummed-down versions and they feel and taste authentic with great flavours and textures. I've tried recipes from various other Japanese cook books with less success (too many ingredients hard to find in the UK and too cheffy) - so this book really stands out. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Whether it be British, Italian, American or somewhere else I'm comfortable enough with western cuisine to adapt and substitute as needed and still end up with something edible. With Japanese cookery though, I'm totally clueless unless I'm being led by the hand and taken step by step through the recipes. This is a lovely gentle book and I didn't feel overwhelmed by it at all and it was easy to follow for someone like me with little experience. A lot of the ingredients are new to me and most are not things I keep in my cupboard of essentials but they're easily bought locally.

Nice simple home cooking and the recipes give pleasing results even for an amateur like myself.
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on 26 November 2012
Having been to Japan and been on a Japanese cooking class I wanted some more ideas of Japanese meals to make. There are a few recipes I have really enjoyed but there does not seem to be much variety and I wanted more ideas for meals, rather than dishes.
I am still not sure how to put them together for a meal, and despite frequent mentions that Japanese cooking has a lot of focus on vegetables very few of these recipes involve vegetables and I often seem to end up with meat in a sauce with rice.
I am sure when I am a bit more practised and just want some dishes to add to my meal this book will come into its own, but if you are brand new to Japanese cooking I don't think it is the best place to start. If you do find a good starting place please let me know!
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on 31 January 2012
This book contains many tasty recipes, which have become favourites in my house, but occupies an awkward space between the Japanese and "Asian" cookbooks on my shelf. Harumi's recipes here are by and large an adaptation of traditional Japanese food, written with a Western audience in mind- most of the recipes lack a japanese name, and few "exotic" ingredients are used that can't be picked up in a large supermarket (at least in Britain). However many of the recipes use dashi and other ingredients necessating a trip to a Japanese store. This isn't a problem, but is worth bearing in mind- if you can make the occasional trip to an Asian food store to stock up on sauces, seasonings and storecupboard ingredients this book is for you. If you can't (or would like to become a regular in your local Pan-Asian Supermarket), it probably isn't.

For me, this book is perfect for getting the flavours of Japan into my food more regularly. The "authenticity" angle is far from a moot point, but seeing as I don't live in Japan (any more) this allows me to use the ingredients available to me to create passably Japanese food week in, week out. An okonomiyaki recipe would've sealed the deal.
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VINE VOICEon 26 July 2016
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I don't always give all five stars with my reviews unless the products are really good, but I happily give all five of them for this one. I love Japanese food so much and have a plenty of experience of some of the best Japanese food, so I can tell good Japanese restaurants and 'fake' ones immediately. Cookery books too, they're authentic ones as well as those not-quite-so-authentic ones that Western cooks or food journalists use their best guess and publish them, which are totally non-Japanese including the way they display the dishes or even the way the chopsticks are put in a wrong direction.

This book was written by a former house-wife from Japan and she introduces real (Japanese) home cooking. Apparently she's published over 90 titles on cookery, so she knows what she's talking about. Every other page is a beautiful photograph of her cooking and is 100% genuine. There're many books like this in Japan (and in Japanese), but not so many books of this level of authenticity published in English. In this sense this is a rare book, and if you're into Japanese cooking and want to cook something authentic (as well as something you can do at home for your family), then I guarantee you'll find this book useful.

Harumi Kurihara also hosts a cookery programme on NHK World (equivalent to BBC World News Channel). You can watch it on any HD satellite TV or online. Check it out.

Everybody says 'Mum's cooking is the best in the world', and with this book Kurihara shares some of her expertise as a mum herself.
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on 16 February 2010
This is Harumi's third book in English, and her books are some of the best, if not the best, Japanese cookbooks in English. The recipes are health conscious, and focus on ingredients available in Western countries. Can't wait for the 4th book.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an excellent recipe book for anybody seeking to cook Japanese food, even if they've had no experience doing so. Not only does it contain simple, easy to follow recipes, it also contains lists of ingredients which make up the staple of Japanese cooking, as well as suggesting the best rice to use, and the differences between the various types. Not all of the ingredients are readily available unless you live in a city, but it is still possible to find some of them by shopping online, and alternatives are also suggested.

The book starts with what the basic ingredients for Japanese cooking are and, where appropriate, how to prepare them ready for use, as well as how to store them. Once these are ready it becomes a simple matter to follow the rest of the recipes, it just becomes a case of finding the appropriate vegetables, meat, fish, or tofu.

If you want to try to cook authentic Japanese cuisine, you really aren't going to go wrong with this.
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on 23 January 2011
The book is, as its title claims, filled with easy and simple recipes you would offer in a Japanese home. There are plenty of all-time favourites such as Tonkatsu (breaded pork), Karaage (deep-fried chicken), Shougayaki (ginger pork) and Yakitori (barbequed chicken skewers) which are balanced with some less-well-known (but just as delicious!) dishes.

Many of the recipes are real classics, you would eat at any Japanese home and often in restaurants too. It certainly brought back many fond memories of the time I spent in Japan. Some of the recipes have a slight Western twist to them, which I think makes the book even more interesting, as it gives the recipes some real uniqueness. And all of the recipes are dead-simple, allowing even cooking-challenged people to to enjoy Japanese cooking. Some of the recipes are actually pretty common in home-economics classes in Japanese schools.

I also loved the fact that the only sushi recipe this book features is Mazezushi - a very easy and quick recipe too - as (unlike often assumed) there is much more to Japanese cooking than rice and raw fish! So this is the book for you if you want to expand your knowledge of Japanese everyday-cooking.

Recipes aside, the book is also presented well, with pleasant thick pages nice to touch and beautiful pictures alongside every recipe, enticing your appetite. The overall appearance of the book is sort of muted and soft, perfectly in line with the homey feeling of the recipes.
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