Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook (Anglais) Relié – Illustré, 8 octobre 2012
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Revue de presse
."..delightful. Robinsons book is more a paean to the vibrant and complicated izakaya culture than a definitive cooking guidebut the recipes, more than 60 of them, are the sort you wish more neighborhood restaurant chefs in New York would read. The New York Times Book Review
Izakaya - the Japanese Pub Cookbook celebrates unlikely foodie haunts and their cuisine, combining shochu-soaked anecdotes and pen portraits of izakaya chefs with recipes for their tasty snacks and appetizers. Reuters
Izakaya profiles several popular restaurants that offer affordable eclectic fare. USA Today
A unique work, recommended for most collections. Library Journal (Starred review)
--New York Times
Présentation de l'éditeur
A venue for socializing and an increasingly innovative culinary influence, the izakaya serves mouth-watering and inexpensive small-plate cooking, along with free-flowing drinks. Readers of this essential book will be guided through the different styles of establishments and recipes that make izakaya such relaxing and appealing destinations. At the same time, they will learn to cook many delicious standards and specialties, and discover how to design a meal as the evening progresses.
Eight Tokyo pubs are introduced, ranging from those that serve the traditional Japanese comfort foods such as yakitori (barbequed chicken), to those offering highly innovative creations. Some of them have long histories; some are more recent players on the scene. All are quite familiar to the author, who has chosen them for the variety they represent: from the most venerated downtown pub to the new-style standing bar with French-influenced menu. Mark Robinson includes knowledgeable text on the social and cultural etiquette of visiting izakaya, so the book can used as a guide to entering the potentially daunting world of the pub. Besides the 60 detailed recipes, he also offers descriptions of Japanese ingredients and spices, a guide to the wide varieties of sake and other alcoholic drinks that are served, how-to advice on menu ordering, and much more.
For the home chef, the hungry gourmet, the food professional, this is more than a cookbook. It is a unique peek at an important and exciting dining and cultural phenomenon.
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Meilleurs commentaires des clients
Pour tous les amoureux de la cuisine populaire japonaise, je recommande vivement cet ouvrage!
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
There should be a hundred more cookbooks like "Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook". This is the real stuff, what Japanese cooking really is, not intricately rolled sushi or fancy designs on square plates. Delicious, cheap food served up fresh and fast, with a menu changing by the hour depending on what ingredients are available, often hand written by the master and pasted on the walls.
Mark Robinson shares my love for izakayas, and has put together a brilliant cookbook and guide based on some fabulous establishments. Along with the recipes, there are short essays on izakaya culture, their history and what they mean to the Japanese people. It is a splendid ritual, the ordering of drinks and paired food, the requesting of today's specialties, the casual atmosphere of an ongoing party where anyone can feel free to jump into conversation with anyone else.
I cooked at an izakaya in Osaka, whereas Robinson calls Tokyo his stomping grounds, so a lot of these recipes are unfamiliar to me, but they are all 100% authentic and delicious. There are some standard menu items, like the grilled whole surume squid and sweet miso-marinated fish, and some more exotic items like fried whole garlic with miso and "motsu" beef intestine stew. All the recipes are accompanied by beautiful photographs that will keep you reaching for this cookbook over and over again.
Because of its authenticity, these recipes are not going to be easy to someone without access to a good Japanese grocer. The "Asian" section at your local supermarket probably isn't going to cut it, especially with the seafood and produce required. It is worth the effort to track down the ingredients rather than substituting, because that is where the real flavor comes in, but I have had to cut a few corners here and there.
Anyone who is interested in authentic Japanese cooking and doesn't have a copy of "Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook" in their library isn't cooking the whole spectrum. Aside from a plane ticket to Japan, this is as real as it gets.
The dust jacket front flap says that Izakaya is the first publication in English to delve into every aspect of the izakaya, a unique and vital cornerstone of Japanese food culture. However, after reading the book, a second book would have difficulty providing insight additional to Robinson's- he paints such a vivid picture that the only way to better get an idea of what the izakaya experience is like is probably to go to one. From the physical description of the pub, to the demeanor of the chefs, and even the kind of company one can expect in each izakaya, Robinson captures all the details. Robinson chose the eight izakayas featured for their quality, ambience, and variety, and the unique charms of each izakaya shines through in the text.
The recipes are for the most part no-fuss recipes (no need to train for decades) with few ingredients, but the emphasis is on quality and creativity. The range from the familiar (sweet corn kakiage tempura, soy-flavored spare ribs, simmered kamo eggplant with pork loin, sliced duck breast with ponzu sauce, fried udon, summer scallop salad) to more exotic offerings (scrambled eggs with sea urchin, "motsu" beef intestine stew, shark fin aspic). There is inspiration to be found here not only for those who wish to travel in Japan or set up a pub of their own, but also for those who are adventurous enough to try a different kind of entertaining at home. The shots of the food (taken by one of my favorites, Masashi Kuma) and the izakayas are warm and inviting, and represent the izakaya culture remarkably.
The book delivers on its promise to provide a peek into this Japanese dining experience, but anyone interested in Japanese cuisine or culture in general would enjoy reading Izakaya.
The only problem I've noticed while testing the recipes is the U.S. measurements are somewhat off. For example, when I made the corn kakiage, the recipe stated 1 cup of flour. The kakiage was good, but kind of doughy. I read the recipe again and saw it said 1 cup (4 oz) <-- which should be half a cup. Next time I'll try the recipe at 1/2 cup of flour instead.
I also read another recipe where it referenced 1 cup of liquid at 240ml and 1 cup liquid at 180ml.
Other than that, the book is great and the corn kakiage, although doughy, was still DELICIOUS! :)
The book itself is gorgeous, with great photos that recreate the ambiance and mood in the various "favorites" of the author, this is much more than a cookbook. It's almost an ethnographic study about these gems that make the Japanese food scene so varied, so colorful, so alive. This book was born out of the passion of his author, and you can feel his enthusiasm on every page, which makes it grasping. If you've ever been to Japan with friends yet felt that, somehow, you missed a chance to eat something really local, really unique, really Japanese that no tourist alone would have found on its own, this book is for you then.
Granted, I do have a fetish for Japanese food (and have a pretty abnormal collection of Japanese cookbooks), but this one stands out as informative, visually pleasant, original (as in I've never found another book on this topic), and especially filled with simple recipes you can try at home with little effort. Definitely worth every buck!