Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Japanese
The Japanese Kitchen
Harvard Common Press
Published: October, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
While Asian flavors have long been fashionable in the U.S., it is perhaps the hipness of sushi and familiarity of the Tepanyaki style that have been a catalyst for the recent popularity of Japanese cuisine. The author, a veteran
cooking-school instructor and food writer, offers a well-rounded introduction to the rich heritage of Japanese cooking (complete with historical, cultural and personal observations from her own childhood). "Nutrition, taste and... a spirit of innovation"
are Shimbo's ambitions with this comprehensive and intriguing collection of updated classic and new recipes. Perfect for the Western cook, Shimbo's book explains traditional equipment, techniques and ingredients (although, she says, American cooking
implements, and the occasional substituted ingredient, will more than suffice) and how to make such staple elements as tofu. She particularly touts the healthier aspects of Japanese cuisine and offers many simple preparations that support fast-paced
lives, including Easy Simmered Chicken and Chestnuts or the quick one-pot meal of Rice, Beef, Burdock Root and Mushrooms made in a rice cooker. Shimbo doesn't disappoint the aficionado, however, with Yakitori grilling, Ponzu Sauce and a far more
interesting (and healthy) rendering of ramen than the cellophane-wrapped variety. Based on Japanese home-style cooking, Shimbo's is an indispensable book for the home cook, with recipes such as Chirashizushi and her mother's Green Plum Wine.
Nevertheless, Shimbo also shows a fresh modern sensibility by smartly melding Western influences in her own recipes for Clam Chowder (New England meets Edomae style), Lamb StewDwhich she enlivens with misoDand Teriyaki Chicken Roll served on a bed of
greens. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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