Japanese Farm Food Hardcover – 29 Sep 2012
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"This book is both an intimate portrait of Nancy’s life on the farm, and an important work that shows the universality of an authentic food culture.” (Alice Waters)
"The book offers a breadth of information, with lessons about Japanese products and techniques, and instructions for everything from homemade tofu to udon noodles. But for me, the recipes for simple vegetable dishes, often flavored with only a bit of miso or a splash of sake, are the most fascinating" (David Tanis, New York Times)
"In her sumptuous exploration of Japanese dishes, Nancy Singleton Hachisu expertly blends all of these, creating a memorable collection that will appeal not just to cooks but to anyone who appreciates a simple, lovingly prepared meal." (Elizabeth Millard, Foreword Reviews)
"With simple, nourishing dishes and richly detailed stories of Japanese farm life, Nancy Sington Hachisu creates a whole world between the fabric-bound covers of this book. Once you step inside, it's very tempting to stay." (Emma Christensen, The Kitchn)
"Essays on the author's years in Japan and lush photos make the book as great a pleasure to peruse as it is to cook from." (Karen Shimizu, Saveur)
About the Author
Native Californian Nancy Singleton Hachisu has lived with her Japanese farmer husband and three sons in their 80-year old traditional farmhouse for the last 27 years in rural Japan, where she served as the leader of a local Slow Food convivium for more than a decade. She moved from California to Japan in 1988, with the intention to stay for a year, learn Japanese, and return to the United States. Instead, she fell in love with a farmer, the culture, and the food, and has made the country her home. Nancy has taught cooking classes for nearly 20 years, and also runs a children's English immersion program that prepares home-cooked meals with local ingredients. TBS and Fuji TV are currently documenting Hachisu's preserving and farm food life in rural Saitama as wll as her visits to artisanal producers in more remote areas of Japan. Her second book, Preserving the Japanese Way, is nominated for the 2016 James Beard Award in the International Cookbook category.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here we have a thoroughly enjoyable, well-written narrative and an absolutely engaging enthusiasm for 'real' food, in season, grown at home or produced locally. The flavours chime with the familiar restaurant recipes, with some fascinating (Akito) regional specialities, but instead of tiny portions and a focus on presentation, this author concentrates on the texture, flavour and value of the meals as food for hard working people. There are some trenchant views on the achieveability of 'perfect' dashi in the farmhouse kitchen, for example!
If you'd like to go beyond sushi and explore a more substantial and varied Japanese menu, as well as understand more about Japanese agricultural life and history, then this is just the book for you.
Here in this thick book that could double as a sturdy chopping board if it would not be sacrilege, the reader is given a westerner's view into a rural Japanese family farm, its culture, its foods and much more. The author's informal, approachable writing style is intermingled with a plethora of useful facts and background information that really does begin to immerse you with knowledge without trying.
For example, the section describing items found in the typical Japanese pantry is written in a matter-of-fact, clear and open style. No magic or hyperbole necessary and the author's own opinions are cleverly interwoven (guidance is given later on in the book where, in the United States, one might acquire many ingredients). Similar clarity is noticeable when reading about the different tools used in the typical Japanese kitchen. Many books detailing other cultures and cuisines might learn a trick or two here.
Later on, the flood of direct knowledge starts to abate and the actual recipes begin - yet by reading them even if you are not planning to cook each and every one, you will still discover useful things. The recipes are split into several chapters - small bites with drinks; pickles & soups; soybeans & eggs; noodles & rice; vegetables; fish & seafood; meat; dressings & dipping sauces and then desserts & sweets.Read more ›
This book has two aspects. It is a cook book and an account of the authors life in Japan. It falls very short on both parts.
So many of the recipes involve 2 or 3 ingredients, such as boiled eggs or edamame with salt. the recipes with more tend to be unfairly overly simplified. This is justified constantly though out a book by saying it is 'farm cooking'. No japanese person (mothers, farmers, chefs) who has had a look at my copy has agreed. You are constantly told through out the book by the author herself, that she is a cook but it seems more realistic that she is someone who enjoys cooking but is not, in all honesty, that good.
As for the life story , it is simple. She went to japan to teach English, married a farmer, still teaches English now. There really is no more to it than that.
Ｏn every page the author seems to be praising herself and expecting you to praise her too for living what is essentially a regular, everyday life.
There are so many great japanese cook books and travel books on the shelves that this just cant compete as either.
I contacted Nancy Singleton Hachisu through her blog, and she was kind enough to send a review copy of Japanese Farm Food. When I opened it, it was an instant homecoming for me. Memories of prowling the morning markets at Takayama, admiring the kaleidoscope of pickles at Nishiki Market in Kyoto, or learning about the many varieties of sansai (wild mountain vegetables) at an Osaka department store food hall came rushing back.
After a compact look at Japanese farmhouse pantry staples and tools and a handy three-page visual dictionary of cutting and cooking techniques, you'll find the Japanese equivalent of munchies: tsumami. These are simple preparations that showcase the freshness of the ingredients, like ikura (salmon roe), edamame, eggs pickled in soy sauce, fried fish and Okinawan staple goya champuru (stir-fried bitter melon with egg and red pepper). The pecan miso was an absolute revelation; the depth of the flavors was superb.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great read. As valuable for the authors insight into life in Japan as for the recipes themself.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Just adding my voice to all the praise for Nancy Singleton Hachisu's "Japanese Farm Food", which is a gem of a book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MGP
I have a passion for Japan and Japanese food, but it is not always easy to cook. It seems simple but if done well is hard to achieve premium results. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Paul Begg
Deliciously insightful. Seasonal food means something. Japanese culture has much to offer where we have simply lost and or forgotten generations of knowledge. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Ms. A. R. Crawford
This book is wonderful. Having lived in Japan for coming up to three years and being a bit of a foodie, I thought about reading a Japanese cook book by someone who is not... Read morePublished on 8 Aug. 2014 by Amazon Customer
This book is wonderful - it not only works as a cookery book, but is also a diary/ record of life on a Japanese farm from a foreigner's point of view. Read morePublished on 25 Mar. 2014 by Mrs J C McPherson