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on 16 August 2014
It just does not sound Japanese but I would not be able to tell you why apart from the feeling that it tends to cater to the western palate.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 August 2016
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My hubby is a huge fan of Japanese food and was devastated when our local very good Japanese restaurant's lease got outbid by a pizza chain so this was a welcome book to see if we can replicate some of the Japanese flavour at home.
Harumi Kurihara has a lovely style, chatty and down to earth that makes you felt like she's spilling her family cooking secrets to you personally rather than as she really is sharing with the world, and she demystifies some of the interestingly named sauces and foods giving you confidence that these are achievable at home and you don't need to buy an expensive jar of sauce with additives and preservatives from the over-priced world or specialist food section in your supermarket you can make it much more healthily at home.
A criticism would be it's poorly laid out for quick reference, it has an 'order' at the beginning where recipes use the same key ingredients are grouped together, but I'm old fashioned in that I like light/lunch dishes, meat, fish, vegetarian, sides and extras grouped together and delineated by dividing pages etc. I think it also makes a different cuisine more accessible if you can dip in and out to easily replace one of your usual meals or sides with something without having to read the whole book reasonably closely.

Healthy is the key here, Kurihara's food has touches of the indulgence here and there such as fried chicken and pork but overall it has a lighter touch overall. There are even some light 'alternatives' along a fusion line as one could consider the rice with soy flavoured pork and carrot (p90) a lighter alternative to the western cottage pie or variations thereof.
I do think you would need to go to a decent Asian supermarket for the ingredients due to the volume of soy, mirin etc required to create the dishes being expensive otherwise- it's not worth buying a dinky 100ml bottle when you can buy a litre of good stuff for a little bit more, however there are some additional ingredients that our usually brilliant Asian supermarket doesn't normally carry which means substituting or going further afield. I'm lucky in that I have an excellent little shop nearby but this is not always the case outside of major cities and even then certainly dependant on the communities outside of London.

Overall, there are some lovely recipes in this book and those we've tried so far have turned out well, but sadly it's not one that I'm overly excited about and I'm not itching to try all the recipes as I have with other Asian cookbooks.
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on 20 April 2010
This book has been eye opening for me. It's easy to assume Japanese food is all about sushi due to the explosion of sushi bars, but there is so much more beyond sushi.

The recipes use a minimum of ingredients to supply maximum flavour, making preparation quick and delicious. This collection is a perfect place to start if you want to get familiar with Japanese food. My full review can be read on the cookbook blog, Culinaria Libris.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was aware of Harumi and had previously considered buying one of her books out of curiosity. Apart from sushi, I am fairly naive about Japanese food, so I wanted an easy way to learn about it and try it out on the family. This book definitely provided a lot of really useful references about Japanese food and its unique ingredients. I was able to source many of the key ingredients at my local supermarket, despite the fact that I live in a rural location 40miles from the nearest city ! More obscure ingredients can also be sourced online. The recipes themselves vary from simple salads to complex (and somewhat intimidating) seafood dishes, but there is certainly something for everyone. Once you've found the ingredients, you don't necessarily need extensive culinary skills nor special equipment to create the dishes. The family understandably had some trepidation but actually responded well to most of my attempts once they had been convinced to try ! I particularly liked the Prawn & Chicken Confirm and the sirloin steak in miso marinade (how simple!!) . A great book to start exp!print Japanese food - east to read, good illustrations lovely recipes. More adventurous cooks may prefer some of Harumi's previous books.
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on 4 September 2011
I've been a fan of Japanese food for years but I've never had the confidence to try and cook a Japanese meal from scratch. So, after reading the reviews of this book on Amazon I thought I'd give it a go. I wasn't disappointed, what a fantastic book! The book itself is absolutely beautiful, but more importantly the recipes are excellent and easy to follow. You'll find grinding your own toasted seasame seeds a sensational experience...the aroma is incredible. If you like pickled ginger, I promise you - you'll never buy pre-packed pickled ginger again after making your own from the simple recipe in this book. I'm sure there are other excellent books out there, but as a complete novice I can't recommend this book enough. Delicious, easy to make food...what more do you want!
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on 17 August 2010
I love Harumi and often watch her on NHK (Your Japanese Kitchen). This is however, the first book of hers I have bought. Personally, I am more of a baker, making cakes Delia Smith style as I never can get excited about making savoury food from a recipe. Japanese food on the other hand always makes me enjoy the food after I have cooked it!

This book is miles better than I thought, when it said 'simple Japanese food' I didn't think it meant simple Japanese food! Most of the recipes require 5 or so ingredients and the ones that need more, like 10, are still only things you can find in the supermarket so will not be expensive to make. All the recipes have pictures (which is always helpful so you know what your aiming for) and only have a few steps to complete (I hate looooooooooong recipes).

I bought this book based on the reviews, even though not much was explained in them. I'm not a great lover of tofu, so was pleased to find that this ingredient does not dominate the book (only 4 recipes). I have also been keen to try some Japanese pickles and there are a few inside. There are a lot of vegetable recipes to make them interesting as we probably all tend to boil or steam them and cover in gravy!

Anyway, I could go on, great book, great recipes and I love the way she has written this book from a westerners point of view!
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on 16 May 2010
This book is perfect for any one wanting to learn easy Japanese cooking, it is good starter book as there are no dificult recipies. If you watch Harumi San on NHK.TV you will find this book even more intersting.
If you are worried about not being able to get the correct ingreedients dont worry as it is written for people outside Japan and Harumi San has used items that are easy to find in your local store.

So if you want to have some fun, enjoy simple Japanese food buy Everyday Harumi and you will have an intersting read and good addtion to your collection.
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VINE VOICEon 3 August 2016
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The clue is in the title. This is an introduction to 'everyday' Japanese cooking. It is designed to provide 'simple' dishes to be enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere at home. If this is what you want from a Japanese cookbook then I gladly award a five star recommendation.

The pictures are clear, the explanations simple and concise. Even some of the simple dishes can demand a lengthy ingredient list compared to some other Asian cuisines. Nevertheless, the author provides alternatives for those of us not having access to specialist shops in the Big City.

Adopted a lucky dip approach to sample and cook a range of the dishes. They were all easy and delicious. It is not, and does not pretend to be, cordon bleu for Japan. If that is your requirement, simply look elsewhere.
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on 6 October 2010
There are not too many Japanese cookbooks out there that I've read and liked but this certainly bucks the trend. For years I steered away from cooking Japanese food at home thinking it was too complicated and difficult. But this book has changed my perception by providing the reader with lots of great home-style dishes to try at home. The dishes I've followed have been very simple to make but absolutely delightful and rewarding.

This book is ideally suited for beginners to intermediate level cooks with an interest in Japanese cooking. I would possibly avoid purchasing this book if your an advanced cook as you might find the recipes too simple.
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VINE VOICEon 29 July 2016
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've always licked eating Japanese food , but thought it too complicated to try to cook it myself
No longer , this book is very good at breaking down the recipes into simple steps so that you can track each step. It does not assume any real level of knowledge and the illustrations are very good. (My attempts did not always look like the example I have to say)
But what it has done is open up the range of Japanese food (its not all Tempura or Sushi...!) and give you a helping hand to create some really tasty meals.
Being a paperback is better than hardback for me as its lighter and more flexible to be wedged in place when cooking and doing some of the more complex recipes - so yes , all in all an excellent book
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