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"Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook"


Dakki
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Sorry if this has been covered in another thread, I did a quick search and nothing relevant came up.

Amazon link is here.

Yeah so some of my favorite meals in Japan were in pubs so I thought I'd find a cookbook covering this stuff. I'm a little wary of foreign food cookbooks written by a non-native but this one seems to have good reviews.

Has anyone read this? Is it formula-based or technique-based? Is it any good?

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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I have the book, and I really like it. It's recipe based, but it's not limited to recipes. Each chapter starts with a profile of a different izakaya, so it provides a lot of "cultural information" about what izakaya are, how they're run, the types of people involved, etc. If you're looking for an exhaustive collection of izakaya-style recipes, this isn't it. But if you want a good read and an interesting cross-section of recipes, it's worth checking out.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I've checked it out from the library. Like mkayahara said, each chapter represents a different izakaya, with the author describing the izakaya, the people who run it, the food and then providing some of the recipes from that particular izakaya. Some of the izakaya are old-school traditional while others are more modern and the recipes reflect the traditional/modern take of each of the pubs.

The book isn't laid out like a traditional cookbook, with page after page of recipes. It's laid out more like Saveur, with each chapter being an "article" about the izakaya with a narrative and photos and then finishing with the recipes.

Personally, I enjoyed the book, but not enough for me to justify purchasing it. However, I have checked it out more than once.

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Agree with Matthew and Florida: I spent an enjoyable hour with it at the bookstore a few months ago but didn't buy it.

Anyone cook anything from it?

To clarify, I do own a copy and have cooked several recipes from it. The yakiudon recipe in it is one of my favourites (I've made it several times), and the daikon with miso pork sauce was a standout as well. The author doesn't pull any punches on ingredients, though, so if you don't have access to a good Japanese grocery, you might find it frustrating.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just got my copy from my library. Skimmed the book yesterday and have not made any recipes.

But, this is the perfect type of book if one wants to learn the culture and spirit of a type of cuisine. As Posted there are specific Izakaya's and recipes included and if you can't get to Japan, you can certainly get a feel for the cuisine and culture.

But I always believe that you must get calibrated at a specific restaurant or cultural area along with reading a book. The closest Izakaya to me is in Chicago but I have no ides how culturally authentic it will be when I get there or will it be like most of the sushi restaurants in the US, completely devoid of the original essence of the culture.-Dick

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Just got my copy from my library. Skimmed the book yesterday and have not made any recipes.

But, this is the perfect type of book if one wants to learn the culture and spirit of a type of cuisine. As Posted there are specific Izakaya's and recipes included and if you can't get to Japan, you can certainly get a feel for the cuisine and culture.

But I always believe that you must get calibrated at a specific restaurant or cultural area along with reading a book. The closest Izakaya to me is in Chicago but I have no ides how culturally authentic it will be when I get there or will it be like most of the sushi restaurants in the US, completely devoid of the original essence of the culture.-Dick

I don't know where you live, but:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/izakaya-sankyu-japanese-restaurant-mount-prospect

I've never been to Japan, so I personally have no comparison, but I have been told this place is the most authentic Izakaya in the Chicago-land area.

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