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Japanese Farm Food Hardcover – 29 Sep 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (29 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449418295
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449418298
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 4.1 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"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.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At last, a book that goes behind the glamorous world of Japanese restaurant food, and the understandable compromises made to achieve domestic versions of it.

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.
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By Autamme_dot_com TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Wow! Here is one of those books that helps cheer up the sometimes sceptical professional reviewer who sees so many books that are a theme on a theme on a theme on a theme... Beautiful photography, a privileged insight into a still relatively closed culture, many recipes that utilise great ingredients and the chance to attempt to replicate these at home. What more might you want?
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was really excited about this book. It is a great idea, after living in japan for 7 years i really wanted a book on how to cook real , daily japanese food. Sadly this book is not that.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I had the good fortune to spend six months in Central Japan in 2010-2011; during my stay, I took four Japanese cooking classes in three different cities focusing on traditional cooking methods and regional specialties, including a class led by Elizabeth Andoh (author of Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen and Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions). The act of making and preparing food according to tradition (including the concept of kansha, or appreciation) was a deeply spiritual journey for me.

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.
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