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So, I'm trying to expand my repertoire of simple, casual food that I can easily make in an evening without extensive prep or planning. The next few months, I'm looking into new cuisines and techniques; I just picked up Claudia Roden's Arabesque and Fuschia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, (True Thai and Land of Plenty too, when money allows) and I'm hoping to find something in that vein - uncomplicated home-food, with techniques and variations that I can extend out into improvisational cooking.

So, is there such a book (English-language) for Japanese food? It'd be nice if it had some illustrations, so that I can know what things are supposed to look like, but it's a working book, and so it doesn't need to be glossy and colourful and showy like Roden's or Dunlop's books are.

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Hi Willows! Welcome to eGullet.

My very favorite Japanese cookbook is At Home with Japanese Cooking by Elizabeth Andoh. It's out-of-print but available used on Amazon.com. Very clear instructions with line drawings, and the food tastes like what my friends' mothers in Japan used to cook.

Her latest cookbook, Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen, delves more into the philosophies behind Japanese cuisine, but still retains the flavor of home-cooking.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I often refer to 100 Recipes from Japanese Cooking (Hata Koichiro and Kondo Kazuki) from Kodansha Bilingual Books. This has black and white photos of each dish and the recipe is in Japanese on the left of each page, English on the right. There is also a glossary, including illustrations, of common ingredients, cutting techniques and utensils. The ISBN is 4-7700-2079-1. (Sorry, I can't remember how to do an amazon link thru eGullet.)

Edited by Cadbury (log)
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If you can find it, check out Time Life's series. I think it's Cooking of the World, but mine is boxed up and I can't find it...I think it's under all the stuff from my mil's house.

anyway, there is one on Japanese cooking..the whole thing is very worth while getting. Try to make sure the little recipe books are with it. That's not a huge thing, but a very valuable one.

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My favourites-Japanese Cooking,A Simple Art-Shizuo Tsuji.

The 25th anniversary edition of this just came out recently, though I haven't actually seen a copy in a store (I've only seen ads for it in the paper).

Best there is!

I never purchase cook books by cook book writers, preferring to acquire books written by individuals of the specific culture. I have an extensive collection of Japanese cook books dealing with Sushi/Sashimi and the various other forms of Japanese cookery. Only one is wriiten by a non Japanese, 'The Book of Soba' by Udesky, but he apprenticed in Soba making in Japan.-Dick

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My favourites-Japanese Cooking,A Simple Art-Shizuo Tsuji.

The 25th anniversary edition of this just came out recently, though I haven't actually seen a copy in a store (I've only seen ads for it in the paper).

Best there is!

I used to have a huge collection of Japanese cookbooks (in English) I have slowly given almost all of them away. This one will be on my shelf forever. I would love to see the 25th anniversary edition, I wonder if they have changed anything...

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I used to have a huge collection of Japanese cookbooks (in English) I have slowly given almost all of them away. This one will be on my shelf forever. I would love to see the 25th anniversary edition, I wonder if they have changed anything...

I'm hoping for better pictures, but the only change I know of (from the ad) is a new foreword from Ruth Reichl. I hope there's more to it than that, though! I'll see if I can find a copy to browse through when I'm in Kobe today. I hate it when bookstores put shrinkwrap on books so you can't look through them!

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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For one of the ultimate English language references, you might try 'Japanese Cooking: A simple Art' by Shizuo Tsuji (pub. Kodansha). It may not wow you with pictures and interesting stories, but it's absolutely solid and covers far more than sushi and teppenyaki. Well worth absorbing, especially if you have a few specific ideas you want to try.

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I found a copy of the 25th edition of the Shizuo Tsuji tome. It was shrink-wrapped, as I imagined, but it turns out bookstore clerks will open books up for you if you ask!

There's a new foreword by Ruth Reichl (the old one by MFKFisher is still there, too), there is a new preface by Tsuji's son (and the old one by Tsuji is still there, too). Aside from that, I think there were some new pictures (a few), but that's about all. So if you have the old one, you don't need to rush out and buy the new edition.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My favorite uncomplicated family style Japanese cookbook is Japanese Family-Style Recipes by Hiroko Urakami. All the recipes I've tried so far have been easy and straightforward with very tasty results. Also somewhat helpful is that there is a picture for each recipe so you know what to expect.

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Add another vote in favour of Shizuo Tsuji's, and even tho this thread seems to be done with, I thought I would also try asking if anyone has any thoughts/opinions etc to do with Harumi Kurihara.

I know that her first book one an international cookbook award (Harumi's Japanese Cooking) and her second book (obviously I am referring to her English language books) focusses more on Japanese Home Cooking.

In England she is apparently referred to as Japan's Delia Smith. Whilst I am a Delia Smith fan, I wouldnt necessarily buy or use her recipe books!

I love Tsuji and Washoku by Andoh, but would like to know more about what gets cooked in Japanese homes on a daily basis.

Thanks, if this thread is dead, I won't take it personally!

Raj

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Raj, I haven't read Kurihara's book, but I have tried a lot of her recipes. I think the greatest appeal of her cooking to non-Japanese is that it shows how (most) everyday Japanese people eat today.

I live in America, so I always associate her with Martha Stewart :biggrin: but from what I've seen of her TV shows, she's a lot more natural.

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  • 1 year later...
I found a copy of the 25th edition of the Shizuo Tsuji tome.  It was shrink-wrapped, as I imagined, but it turns out bookstore clerks will open books up for you if you ask!

There's a new foreword by Ruth Reichl (the old one by MFKFisher is still there, too), there is a new preface by Tsuji's son (and the old one by Tsuji is still there, too).  Aside from that, I think there were some new pictures (a few), but that's about all.  So if you have the old one, you don't need to rush out and buy the new edition.

I recently bought a copy of the 25th edition of the book. My intention is to assess the quality of the book rather to learn Japanese cooking from it. I know that this book is regarded by many non-Japanese as the "bible" of Japanese cooking, and I wanted to know whether this is true. I think it's a good book, but I don't think it's a bible. I'll provide more information as I learn more about the book.

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I'm interested to hear what you think of this book. I have Andoh's book, which I love, because while it's easy for me to make most of these recipes in Japan, I can also see it being useful for me when I eventually leave Japan. I also see it as an insight into how Japanese food get put together, which has been just as helpful for me. I also have Kurihara's book, which I enjoy - especially her miso scallop dish. I've been wondering whether I should add Tsuji's book to my collection, and whether it adds anything to what I've learned from the other books.

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