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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Offers Japanese-inspired vegetarian dishes for home cooks, 25 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Nobu's Vegetarian Cookbook (Hardcover)
The latest book from a well-known restaurateur-chef offers Japanese-inspired vegetarian dishes to home cooks.

Nobu's Vegetarian Cookbook comes from chef Nobu Matsuhisa, a Japanese native whose restaurants have culled influences from his experiences in his homeland as well as in Peru, Argentina, Alaska and Los Angeles.

The photos of his sophisticated dishes also make a visual feast, but these ones have detailed recipes to back them up. The book includes sixty vegetable-focused recipes, with a few for sweets and cocktails, and a range of techniques including marinating, pickling and steaming.

Nobu emphasizes umami, the fifth savoury taste, throughout the book. "Umami is found not only in animal protein but also in kombu kelp, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes, and many other plant sources," he writes, "so that by carefully combining them you don't even need meat or fat for flavor."

While some recipes are straightforward, such as a watercress salad with watercress dressing, many are quite involved. These include nigiri sushi topped with a variety of kombu-cured vegetables like lotus root and purple daikon instead of fish, as well as multicoloured soba in which cilantro, red bell pepper, or black sesame tints the noodles. There are also some intriguing recipes using yuba, a delicious protein-rich "skin" that is skimmed off of soymilk.

While the edibles look fantastic, they don't appear easy to execute. Many require multiple complex steps but yield just one or two servings. The recipe for dashi-marinated eggplant yields just "one bite-size portion" after deep-frying and marinating; it hardly seems worth the trouble.
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Location: Abu Dhabi

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