Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen (Anglais) Relié – 1 octobre 2005
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Description du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
Biographie de l'auteur
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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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
The sections on tools and ingredients are extraordinarily helpful for one not raised in the Japanese culinary tradition, in order to learn the hows and whys of Japanese cooking. I know now what a suribachi and surikogi are, and why one might use them. I know about many types of miso, including regional variation, and I have a feel for the Japanese reliance on foods from the ocean.
There is not an extraordinary number of recipes in this book, but the ones that are in the book are approachable in terms of technique. Ingredients are occasionally difficult to find, but the author offers substitutions where she can and suggests sources for others. They really showcase fresh, seasonal flavors, something that Americans forget is key to Japanese cuisine - outside of the sushi bar.
This is the best introductory Japanese cookbook written for a Western audience that I've seen thus far, and for anyone interested in learning about Japanese cuisine, I recommend this book highly.
First, a few notes on the positive -
Washoku is a hearty hardcover cookbook that can last many years of regular use. The pages are clear and crisp, and what images are included are indeed gorgeous. I enjoyed the introductory backstory about the author's observations and learning process in the kitchen with her Japanese mother-in-law. Very sweet and personal. The first third or so of this book is a very informative and detailed guide to individual ingredients, broken into sections by product type. This section alone is incredibly helpful and I would love to see an expanded version with more images for reference. Each recipe includes a short description and some include recommendations for variants on the same dish.
Now the criticisms -
I would give this cookbook a much better rating if I could see and understand what I am trying to make in advance. Japanese cooking is new to me and I'm finding it to be far from intuitive learning process. I blame my own lack of familiarity - but I did have high hopes that this cookbook would be my guide. Unlike the author I don't have an awesome Japanese mother-in-law to show me what to do each step of the way. I just have this book and it isn't quite as detailed or as expansive as I'd hoped.
Specifically - I need more detailed instructions regarding preparation steps within each recipe and there are simply not enough photographs. Visuals of completed recipes cannot be underestimated. Without photographs I cannot know if what I am making is something close to the written description. I won't even know if the dish is going to be served cold, roasted, fried or sautéed until I read through the entire recipe and even then it's not always clear.
I had hoped for a rough guide to cooking Japanese food at home (aka - introductory level cooking with simple ingredients) but found most of these dishes require a lot of prep work and small amounts of many ingredients - many of which tend to be very expensive. I purchased all the "10 essential pantry items" and some other items for good measure but still find myself needing another trip to a specialty market every time I cook a new meal. It's just not worth the hassle.
Overall I'm giving this title a 4-Star rating based on book quality, but be wary if you are new to Japanese cooking, this may not be the best place to start. I imagine there must be more a more diverse collection of Japanese recipes out there in the world of cookbooks and maybe even one with more instruction. I'll just have to keep looking.
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