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Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art Hardcover – Illustrated, 9 Feb 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Illustrated, 9 Feb 2007
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International; 2Rev Ed edition (9 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770030495
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770030498
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 3.8 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 754,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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 <BR>traditional confectionery and graduated from prestigious Waseda University <BR>in Tokyo with a degree in French Literature. He worked first as a reporter <BR>for the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and then in 1960 established the Tsuji <BR>Culinary Institute in Osaka to train professional chefs (now the largest <BR>such school in Japan). After extensive training in Japanese cooking, he <BR>studied the cooking of the greatest chefs in France. The French government <BR>named him Meilleur Ouvrier de France (M. O. F.) in recognition of his <BR>study, mastery, and promotion of French cuisine. He published over thirty <BR>books, including works on gastronomy, music, essays, and translation. <BR>He followed Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art with Practical Japanese Cooking: <BR>Easy and Elegant, a full-colour presentation of some of the most popular <BR>Japanese dishes. <P>Few writers have written more eloquently about food than M. F. K. FISHER <BR>(1908-1992). Her books include The Art of Eating and The Gastronomical Me, <BR>and she also translated and annotated Brillat-Savarin's Physiology of <BR>Taste. <P>YOSHIKI TSUJI was born in Osaka and moved to Edinburgh when he was twelve <BR>years old. He continued his education in the United States, and in 1993 <BR>became president of the Tsuji Culinary Institute. Continuing his father <BR>Shizuo Tsuji's work, he enthusiastically researches contemporary currents <BR>in European and American culinary culture to educate professional chefs, <BR>and is dedicated to promoting Japanese food culture overseas as the <BR>vice-president of the Japanese Culinary Academy. He has authored two books; <BR>The Theory of Evolution of Epicurism (Bishoku Shinkaron) and An <BR>Introduction to the Food Industry (Ryori no Shigoto ga Shitai). <P>RUTH REICHL is the editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine and the author of <BR>the bestsellers Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me With Apples, and Garlic


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thorough and comprehensive instructions on how to cook traditional Japanese food. The book feels substantial and I like the paper it has been printed on. Don't expect to see photographs of the food but there are illustrations for certain techniques to help you on your way. The first section feels more like a reading book rather than the usual recipe books and dives into the culture and origins of Japanese food, which is essential reading if you intend to recreate some of the recipes. The recipes appear to be straight forward provided you can find all the ingredients, a lot of which can be easily found in most Chinese supermarkets or bought online. I suspect that, like myself, this book will appeal mostly to people who have been to Japan and experienced the food and culture. However, don't let that put you off. This is a classic book and a keeper.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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. The drawings also contribute to the "old - fashioned" feeling that you get when you read the book. I found myself reading the book in bed, because apart from the well explained recipies and tips, the writer presents in an excellent way the traditions and the culture in relation to Japanese cuisine.

All in all a very enjoyable and useful book to have.
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