We have used this book for years. Even in rural Oklahoma most of the recipies are possible with a little help from mail order and trips to Tulsa. Last year for the first time in many years I had two business trips to Japan. That was a real sanity check for this book - and yes it tells you how to do the real thing. At one lunch when we were eating cold udon noodles in a basket I looked at my Japanese hosts and said quite honestly - "you know I make this exact thing at home." They were amazed, but because of this book it is true. This should be everyone's first book on Japanese cooking.
i can't even begin to explain how excellent this book really is...it is an essential to every international cookbook shelf...mr. tsuji defines japanese food in clear and understandable terminology allowing the reader, in a sense, to get a visual and palatial (maybe not a word, but forgive me) feel of this very intricately simple cuisine...and yes, i too read it front to cover(how many times can you say that about a cookbook)...mr Tsuji is to japanese cuisine what escoffier is to the french, only more comprehensible, even to the western mindset...
A very interesting book that provides an overview of all aspects of Japanese cooking, from its history and all necessary equipment to, of course, the recipes themselves. There is an especially helpful section techniques with fish, demonstrating proper ways to cut and prepare fish for presentation as sushi or cooking. Also nice are the color plates that give an idea of the importance of aesthetics in Japanese cooking, an idea that is developed in the text. Great for serious and casual chefs, as well as those interested in the history of food.
While there are certainly recipes in this book, the author does not barrage you with hundreds of impossible to replicate dishes. Instead, this is the book to read if you wish to undersdand what Japanese food is and is not, and how to bring Japanese home cooking into your own home. This is a book to read, cover to cover, not one to pick up for the purpose of grabbing a couple of recipes. Of all the cookbooks I own, this is the first international cookbook that really gave me an understanding of WHAT it was that I was preparing. And that is more important than any recipe
I have been searching a long time for a comprehensive book on Japanese cooking because I grew up with a mother who was a fantastic cook. Unfortunately, she never used recipes or measuring devices, so I have been struggling to duplicate the many delicious dishes of my childhood to no avail. This book is the answer to my quest. The recipes are very authentic, and the author talks about the history of the various recipes and cooking techniques. This enhances the enjoyment of the beautiful cuisine. I feel like I am back home in Mom's kitchen!
I have read this book and also used Tsuji's Japanese books -- he is heir to the light flavors and elegant presentation of west Japan (think Kyoto) food, but he makes it all his own in terms of practicality and modern appeal. His recipes stand out because they are classic, not faddy; because Tsuji will always tell you the best and the simplest way; and because you can be sure he has thought about every aspect, he isn't just parroting the past -- the attitudes in this cookbook should extend to improving your cooking in any field.
This is an excellent book with an absolute wealth of information on ingredients, cooking techniques, background information and presentation. Several colour plates compliment the recipes but I would have liked more of them. Some menu planning ideas and lots of line drawings illustrating technique. Rather short section on sushi - look elsewhere for that.