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Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions [Format Kindle]

Elizabeth Andoh

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INTRODUCTION
 
 
Kansha means “appreciation,” an expression evident in many aspects of Japanese society and daily living. In a culinary context, the word acknowledges both nature’s bounty and the efforts and ingenuity of people who transform that abundance into marvelous food. In the kitchen and at table, in the supermarket and out in the gardens, fields, and waterways, kansha encourages us to prepare nutritionally sound and aesthetically satisfying meals that also avoid waste, conserve energy, and sustain our natural resources.
 
A keen appreciation of food does not require anyone to choose a plant-based diet, but it is in keeping with such a mindset. Kansha is about abundance—of grains, legumes, roots, shoots, leafy plants (aquatic and terrestrial), shrubs, herbs, berries, seeds, tree fruits and nuts—not abstinence (doing without meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy). It is about nourishing ourselves with what nature provides, cleverly and respectfully applying human technique and technology in the process.
 
Kansha as both a concept and a practice is well integrated into Japanese culinary tradition. Indeed, it is one of several aspects of washoku, the ancient and indigenous food culture of Japan. Based on the notion that balancing color, flavor, and method of food preparation enables optimal nutrition and aesthetic satisfaction at table, the principles of washoku guide home cooks and food professionals alike to culinary harmony. As with my book Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen, I want this volume to both stimulate your intellect and satisfy your palate. And, as is true of washoku, I believe that kansha as a guiding principle in procuring, preparing, and partaking of food is universal in its appeal and application.
 
 
A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON KANSHA
 
Buddhism, with its inherent respect for life that eschews consumption of animals, was first introduced to Japan by way of Korea in the sixth century. Among Japan’s varied food traditions, shōjin ryōri, most often translated as “Buddhist cuisine” or “temple cookery,” has become synonymous with vegetarian cooking. Indeed it is vegan, as no animal products are used. Shōjin ryōri became well established during the Kamakura period (1185–1333), a tumultuous time in Japan’s history as feudal warlords vied for power. No doubt life was particularly perilous, and therefore seemed even more precious.
 
SHŌJIN RYŌRI The word shōjin means “earnest commitment.” Shōjin ryōri is not about dietary restrictions, but rather respect for nature’s bounty and for the diligence and ingenuity of those who procure it.
 
As you might expect, the earnest endeavor to prepare food shuns the use of shortcuts. The time and energy required to assemble a classic shōjin ryōri dish such as goma-dōfu, a creamy sesame pudding, is part of the reason it appears on temple vegetarian menus. It is undeniably delicious when prepared in the traditional time-consuming and physically exhausting manner, but there is a simpler way to make the pudding: using neri goma (toasted sesame paste), rather than parching, crushing, and grinding the seeds yourself in a suribachi (grooved mortar), a roughly two-hour workout guaranteed to tone your upper arms. In this book, I will be offering you both ways: the classic method for those who wish to experience appreciation through their own effort and labor, and the modern method for those pressed for time or with physical limitations—in which case, your appreciation can be focused on the ingenious efforts of others. Kansha, in this example, would be gratitude for artisanally produced pure toasted sesame paste.
 
ICHI MOTSU ZEN SHOKU The need to use food and energy resources as fully and effectively as possible led to many frugal culinary customs in Japan. The ecologically and nutritionally sound practice of ichi motsu zen shoku (one food, used entirely) encourages the use of all edible parts of plant foods: peels, roots, shoots, stems, seeds, and flowers. Throughout the book, I will be alerting you to opportunities for making fine food from the trimmed-away bits and pieces of produce that inevitably accumulate as you prepare a meal. You will soon discover that nothing goes to waste in the kansha kitchen.
 
KONDATÉ-ZUKUSHI Another longstanding Japanese culinary practice, kondaté-zukushi takes pleasure in making a meal from a single ingredient. This custom of using seasonally and regionally available foodstuffs developed in response to cyclical abundance amidst otherwise limited food resources. The well-established Japanese notion that a single ingredient, transformed in myriad ways, can become the highlight of a complete meal was the driving force behind the original (and flamboyant) Iron Chef television program.
 
Ancient approaches that remain applicable and meaningful to modern society, ichi motsu zen shoku and kondaté-zukushi will be evident throughout this book. At the conclusion of this introduction, in the section called Practicing Kansha, I will walk you through the preparation of Daikon-Zukushi, a menu celebrating the full glory of a plump, snowy white, green-tufted radish.
 
 
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
 
Since the 1970s, a number of social and dietary movements operating globally have combined to increase awareness of the benefits of adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. The modern macrobiotic movement, born in Japan and well traveled worldwide, has helped rekindle an interest in the ancient notion of food as medicine.
 
In Japan in the past decade, a growing consciousness of the importance of passing on Japanese culinary culture to future generations, combined with other food-related concerns, evolved into a grassroots movement known as shokuiku. The word itself, a combination of the calligraphy for “food” and for “education,” was coined by a group of food journalists to describe wide-ranging goals. Those aspirations included defining (and encouraging the adoption of) healthful dietary practices, recognizing the need to monitor safety in food production and distribution, and the training of young people’s palates to appreciate food prepared without chemical additives. In 2005, the shokuiku movement was formally recognized by the Japanese government’s Cabinet Office (Naikakufu), which influences policy and legislation in several key agencies, including the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (Kōseisho); the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Nōrinsuisansho); and the Ministry of Education (Mombusho).
 
Current societal concerns with ecology (environmental pollution) and economics (pinched household budgets) have also led to a renewed interest in no-waste vegetarian cooking. In particular, a marketing concept known as LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), which includes valuing organic farming over conventional methods, has become important in Japan’s contemporary food supply and distribution networks. Combined with the recent advent of the Slow Food movement and its respect for old-fashioned ways that encourage artisanal production, even urban dwellers have access to excellent processed foods that support a healthful, plant-focused diet.
 
The Japanese have also recently embraced induction heat (IH) cooking, a flameless way to prepare food in which heat is produced by magnetic fields. IH cooking is thought to be safer, less costly (after the initial investment for the special countertop cooker), and kinder to the environment. It does, however, place special requirements on cookware: the outer surface of pots, pans, and skillets must be ferrous—no glass, ceramic, aluminum, or copper, for example—and must come in direct, flat contact with the IH cooktop. But these requisites have not slowed the spread of this new cooking medium.
 
 
PUTTING THEORY INTO PRACTICE
 
My goal in writing Kansha is to empower you to create wholesome, nutritionally balanced, plant-based dishes, easily integrating preparation of these dishes into your busy and, most likely, urban daily routine.
 
Being able to consider the relative merits of one foodstuff or technique compared to another requires a comfortable familiarity with a wide range of products and kitchen skills. I will help you build that knowledge base, expanding your culinary horizons and repertoire by introducing you to an array of possibly unfamiliar foods and techniques that were developed in tandem with Japan’s vegetarian traditions. To help you become a practitioner-cook of kansha, I have included a detailed reference section, A Guide to the Kansha Kitchen, at the back of this book. It is divided into two parts, A Catalog of Tools and Techniques and A Catalog of Ingredients.
 
As a teacher of the Japanese culinary arts, I believe that the best recipes demonstrate how the culture as a whole approaches food preparation. My recipes will guide you to an understanding of why certain procedures are performed in the Japanese kitchen, then teach you when and how to do what needs to be done by advising you on timing, techniques, and relative proportion of ingredients to use. I will be encouraging you to adopt a mindful, considered approach to food preparation beginning with menu planning that eliminates unnecessary time and energy or superfluous foodstuffs.
 
 
PRACTICING KANSHA
 
Nothing goes to waste in the kansha kitchen. Putting this ideal into practice means fully using the food that nature provides, minimizing waste while maximizing eating pleasure.
 
Many fruits and vegeta...

Revue de presse

"In a world of meatless Mondays, how does a sanctimonious foodie keep a leg up? Tokyo-based chef Elizabeth Andoh’s Kansha is a good place to start. Her recipes for creamy leek soup, sour soy-pickled ramps, and brown sugar ice are authentically Japanese and tasty enough for carnivores."
—DailyCandy, The Best New Fall Cookbooks, 11/12/10

"Because of the lack of books available on this topic, this will be much appreciated not only by vegetarians, vegans, and Japanese food enthusiasts but by any adventurous cook looking for a distinctive perspective on fresh, healthy food. Highly recommended, especially for vegetarians, vegans, and those interested in green living."
—Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW, 9/15/10

Kansha is a beautiful collection of gentle, thrifty recipes, and a fascinating introduction to Japanese vegetarian cooking. Elizabeth Andoh writes with authority and an infectious love of Japan and its culinary traditions.”
—Fuchsia Dunlop, author of Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China
 
“What a fresh and deeply informative book. The recipes are beguiling, and at last I can make sense out of Japanese ingredients I’ve long found mystifying. But I especially love the sensibility of Kansha, an approach to life and to food that feels so right. By all means, don’t skip the introduction of this wonderful new book from Elizabeth Andoh.”
—Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Seasonal Fruit Desserts
 
“It is with deep appreciation and utmost joy that I welcome the arrival of Kansha. So much more than just a recipe compendium, this gorgeous work serves as an exquisite, thoroughly detailed, careful, and caring guide to the people, culture, and cuisine of Japan. Working through Elizabeth’s dishes, I felt lovingly guided and nurtured, expertly instructed, and, finally, deliciously nourished. Kansha is clearly the work of a lifetime of passionate study, and a wonderful gift for every cook and appreciator of Japanese cuisine. I am so very grateful for it.”
—Michael Romano, chef, author, and President of Culinary Development, Union Square Hospitality Group
 
“Andoh is at once lyrical and meticulous, taking the reader effortlessly from the profundities of Japanese culinary philosophy to practical and novel culinary techniques. Not just for vegans and vegetarians, Kansha is a veritable treasure trove for transforming even the humblest of vegetables into delicacies, and for exploring the full potential of rice, noodles, and tofu.”
—Rachel Laudan, food historian and author of The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii’s Culinary Heritage
 
“I haven’t been so excited about a new cookbook in years. Andoh’s book, Kansha, has stirred me so—I cannot wait to get cooking. From premise to practice, Andoh’s personal lessons to the cook are engaging and valuable. Even people who have never been to Japan will relish the vegetable dishes and enjoy the stimulation, authority, and, above all, the array of Japanese dishes Kansha provides. For Japan hands like me, who’ve missed the pickles, sesame tofu, and soy skin delicacies, it is as though the teacher we’ve wanted is by our side, showing us we can make these foods from scratch ourselves, far from Japan. Kansha means appreciation, and Andoh has my undying gratitude.”
—Merry White, professor of food anthropology at Boston University
 

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 10877 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 306 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1580089550
  • Editeur : Ten Speed Press (28 février 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007EED3VI
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°215.538 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  24 commentaires
52 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A gorgeous cookbook that inspires appreciation 7 juillet 2011
Par Bundtlust - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I was stationed in Japan for six months, and while there, I took four Japanese cooking classes. I purchased Kansha from Amazon Japan in December 2010, and enjoyed leafing through the many intriguing vegan recipes inspired by traditional Japanese Buddhism (because of my living arrangements in Japan, I didn't have a kitchen in which to try out these recipes). Being vegetarian in Japan is more difficult than it sounds; nearly every Japanese dish (with the exception of shojin ryori, vegan Buddhist temple cuisine) contains fish in some form, whether in the dashi (stock) or shavings of katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). The traditional Japanese diet, which was heavy on fish and fresh and pickled vegetables, is being replaced by deep-fried cutlets and American-style fast food joints like Mos Burger.

I was lucky enough to attend one of Elizabeth's Kansha workshops in Osaka shortly after the March 11 earthquake, and it was a much-needed chance to focus on appreciation (the English translation of "kansha") that my Japanese coworkers' and students' friends and families were safe. We made several of the recipes from Kansha around a hanami (cherry blossom viewing) theme, including Thick Fried Tofu & Broiled Tofu Braised with Root Vegetables, Simmered & Blanched Mountain Vegetables Tossed in Nutty Tofu Sauce. Rice with Salted Cherry Blossoms, Burdock and Wheat Strips in Dark Miso Broth, and Home-Made Nuka-Zuke. After the class, we went on a supermarket tour, where Elizabeth pointed out various types of sansai (wild mountain vegetables) and gave us a primer on soy sauces and basic pantry staples.

Despite the fact that the book is marketed as "Vegetarian and vegan traditions," Kansha is totally vegan (if you're looking for egg-based dishes like Japanese omelettes and chawanmushi, those can be found in Elizabeth's previous book Washoku). You'll find mock-mackerel sushi made from eggplant, light and springy cherry blossom rice, and a variety of pickles. There are some lovely regional recipes like goya (bitter melon), a popular vegetable from Okinawa, where it is commonly served in a stir-fry known as chanpuru. Yes, tofu gets its own chapter, but it's served in a variety of preparations that are commonly found in Japan, including a soymilk version of chawanmushi (steamed custard with savory bits of veggies), fried tofu (atsu age), yuba (rather substantial soymilk "skin"), and instructions on how to make your own tofu from soymilk. Varietal tofus (especially fried tofu skins used for inarizushi and in miso soup) may be near-impossible to find in your local grocery, but you can always fall back on that most Japanese staple of summer, hiyayakko: buy the highest-grade tofu you can find, cut into cubes, garnish with grated daikon, wasabi, or fresh grated ginger, drizzle with soy sauce and serve!

The book is gorgeously illustrated, and the recipes are very clearly laid out and explained step-by-step. The ingredient and kitchen tool section is excellent as well, but again, you will most likely have to mail-order many of the specialty items like rice molds, miso strainers, etc. I've ordered from Korin.com; they have a wide selection of imported Japanese tableware and kitchen tools.

The biggest challenge that home cooks will face is finding authentic fresh Japanese ingredients like mitsuba and shiso (herbs), burdock root, and takenoko (baby bamboo shoots) and prepared ingredients like dried seaweed (most US stores only carry nori sheets for sushi, but there are many common varieties in Japan, like hijiki, kombu, and wakame), umeboshi (pickled plums), and seasonings (unfortunately, our Japanese market did stock konnyaku, my most loathed Japanese ingredient; imagine a squiggly, translucent, chewy block of tasteless speckled jello).

I'm lucky in that my city has not one, but several Japanese markets and a large network of Japanese, but it's still difficult (and extremely expensive) to buy these ingredients in the US (I miss my local Heiwado grocery store in Japan!). Unfortunately, these recipes call for very specific ingredients without American substitutions, so for some Kansha may end up as a beautiful coffee table book. It's a beautiful volume and fine companion to Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen, which includes Japanese fish, meat and egg dishes, and vegetarians, vegans, and Japanophiles should certainly add this to their collection. If you're looking specifically for Japanese Buddhist temple cuisine (which is vegan), The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan covers that niche in greater detail.
35 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A vegan craving long forgotten food 10 février 2011
Par L. M. Freeman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I am a vegan who used to live in Japan for 3 years. I have been hopelessly searching to recreate some of the amazing food I experienced while living there. So far I had been severely disappointed. That is, until I bought this book. I want to thank the author for the amazing selection of recipes. The Heaven and Earth Tempura and the Kabocha Croquettes were incredible. Maybe even better than the ones from my beloved Kyushu. The instructions were so clear and exact, that the preparation and cooking in a Japanese style was surprising easy. Thank you again for allowing me to share these dearly missed dishes with my friends and family.
40 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another excellent book by Elizabeth Andoh 20 octobre 2010
Par Lilico - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I've been waiting for this book for a long time. There is no one like Andoh to explain authentic Japanese food to non-japanese. She is like the Julia Child of Japan. Her recipes are thorough, easy to read and use, and tell you a lot about Japanese culture and thought along the way. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian and like Japanese food, this is the book for you. There's nothing else like it. She knows how to coax the authentic flavors out of the ingredients, and put everything to good use. Even if you are not a vegetarian, this is an important book to learn more about japanese thought and culture and to add to your japanese repetoire. Beautifully photographed and written, i can't put it down.
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Ms. Andoh is an international treasure 20 octobre 2010
Par Michael K - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
A gorgeously produced and photographed book and a worthy companion to Washoku. Ms. Andoh's discussion of the Japanese kitchen, ingredients, cooking techniques, and "waste nothing" philosophy is lucid and inspiring. Even the most carnivorous Japanese food lover will find much here to add to their repertoire. The pickle section alone is worth the admission. I can't put this book down.

Ms. Andoh is an international treasure. One reviewer compared her to Julia Child, but I see Ms. Andoh more as another M.F.K. Fisher for her stunning prose and her approach to cooking and eating as a celebration of life. Check out her websites: [...] and [...]
17 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another Treasure by Elizabeth Andoh 27 novembre 2010
Par H. Kawakami - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I am lucky enough to know Elizabeth and have been in her kitchen with her. Every dish she makes, every meal, is amazing in flavor, presentation, balance. Here is another chance to learn from her how to prepare delicious, nutritious Japanese cuisine suitable for our small planet -- the vegetarian and vegan traditions. Each recipe has been painstakingly researched and checked multiple times with an international crew of volunteers so that you can follow the recipe wherever you are and know that you will create something wonderful. This is a beautiful cookbook but it is more. Even with my many years of experience in Japan, I always learn something new from Elizabeth. And Elizabeth imparts her holistic philosophy of living and appreciating (kansha) through the descriptions and notes of this book. She is also passing down precious knowledge of generations of temple and kitchen cooks. This second volume, added to Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen (2005), is cause for celebration and appreciation of Elizabeth's dedication to introducing, interpreting, and preserving Japan's culinary traditions. A beautiful gift for yourself and loved ones during this season of gratitude and hospitality.
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