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Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen (英語) ハードカバー – 2005/10/1
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In 1975,Gourmet magazine published a series on traditional Japanese food —the first of its kind in a major American food magazine — written by a graduate of the prestigious Yanagihara School of classical cuisine in Tokyo. Today, the author of that groundbreaking series, Elizabeth Andoh, is recognized as the leading English-language authority on the subject. She shares her knowledge and passion for the food culture of Japan in WASHOKU, an authoritative, deeply personal tribute to one of the world's most distinctive culinary traditions. Andoh begins by setting forth the ethos of washoku (traditional Japanese food), exploring its nuanced approach to balancing flavor, applying technique, and considering aesthetics hand-in-hand with nutrition. With detailed descriptions of ingredients complemented by stunning full-color photography, the book's comprehensive chapter on the Japanese pantry is practically a book unto itself. The recipes for soups, rice dishes and noodles, meat and poultry, seafood, and desserts are models of clarity and precision, and the rich cultural context and practical notes that Andoh provides help readers master the rhythm and flow of the washoku kitchen. Much more than just a collection of recipes, WASHOKU is a journey through a cuisine that is rich in history and as handsome as it is healthful. Awards2006 IACP Award WinnerReviews“This extensive volume is clearly intended for the cook serious about Japanese food.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune“. . . scholarly, yet inspirational . . . a foodie might just sit back and read for sheer enjoyment and edification.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
ELIZABETH ANDOH is the American authority on Japanese cuisine. She has made Japan her home since 1967 and divides her time between Tokyo and Osaka, directing a culinary program called A Taste of Culture. Her book Washoku won the 2006 IACP Jane Grigson award for distinguished scholarship in food writing and was nominated for a James Beard Award.
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If you are curious about Japanese food but have perhaps been intimidated by it, then please give this book a try. I know that that you will get excellent results from these recipes - all of the dishes and sauces that I tasted were delicious and accentuated with very well-defined flavors.
As a food enthusiast, I for one am ready to move beyond 'sushi' and learn more about the fascinating world of Japanese food and cooking.
I will say though, that this book can offer some things that Japanese Cooking doesn't have, mainly photography. There are pictures not only of finished dishes but of ingredients too, and even though those are artistically well done they are also quite informative. It helps to know what something looks like when you're looking for it in a store, I would suppose. But there are some steps skipped in this book that Japanese Cooking doesn't overlook. A specific example is a couple days ago when I made an asparagus and black sesame salad from Washoku to go along with lunch. Earlier today I was just perusing Japanese Cooking when it mentioned to never use wet ingredients in an aemono. Oops, nothing was mentioned about that in Washoku. I checked and sure enough, my salad, which was perfectly nutty and crisp at lunch, was now sitting in a pool of gray asparagus water. It might have gone without mentioning because no one bothered to check how it would keep as a leftover, but Japanese Cooking mentioned it, which just shows a more complete understanding of the cuisine in that book.
I would say that either this book or Japanese Cooking would probably be the best basic Japanese cookbook out of all the ones out there. You certainly don't need both though. I would browse through both of them and see which format fits your style most. If you need visual stimulation and prefer coffee-table style books, then Washoku is your seminal book on Japanese food and cooking. If you value, on the other hand, a very in-depth informative, Julia Child-type approach and format, I would have to recommend sticking with Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji.
The recipes cover the basics with a few modern, like a black sesame ice cream. There are "Kitchen Harmony" and "Harmony at Table" notes adding another depth to the recipes with cultural tips on presentation, for example.
I have been studying Japanese food for several years. Washoku will be a reference book on many levels, for recipes, for background on ingredients and techniques, and for the pleasure of reading.
The first part of Washoku is worth the price of the whole book and then some. It is a thorough encyclopedia of ingredients, products, etc. Explanantions of use and pictures predominate the discussion and it is marvelous. I am ecstatic--learning more and more each time I pick up the book. It is a treasure trove.
The recipes too are well done--cross referencing the ingredients with page numbers from the first chapter.
This is a book that I wish had the author's autograph. I predict it will be a prize winner and am delighted to have it in my cookbook collection. Ms. Andoh is to be congratulated on an outstanding contribution to clear communication of Japanese cuisine especially for those of us who would rather cook than carry out!!!!