Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art

Front Cover
Kodansha International Limited, 1980 - Cooking - 517 pages
17 Reviews
Japanese food continues to grow in popularity in the United States. Yet enjoyment of Japanese cooking is still largely limited to an occasional night out at a Japanese restaurant, and for far too long it has been assumed that this food is difficult to make in one's own kitchen. Actually, Japanese cooking is surprisingly simple. Raw ingredients should be glistening fresh and of the best quality, and flavors, however elaborate, are built up from just two basic seasonings - dashi, an easily made, delicate stock, and shoyu, naturally brewed Japanese soy sauce.

This cookbook is much more than an accumulation of recipes. In his preface, the author (whom Craig Claiborne calls "a sort of Renaissance man of Japanese and world gastronomy") discusses the essence of Japanese cooking, with its emphasis on simplicity, a balance of textures, colors, and flavors, seasonal freshness, and beauty of presentation. The expertise of the staff of the professional cooking school headed by the author is evident throughout the book.

After introducing ingredients and utensils, the 20 chapters of Part One are made up of lessons presenting all the basic Japanese cooking methods and principal types of prepared foods-grilling, simmering, steaming, noodles, sushi, pickles, and so on-with accompanying basic model recipes. Part Two consists of 130 carefully selected recipes. These range from simple dishes for daily fare to well-chosen challenges for the adventurous cook. Together with the 90-odd recipes included in Part One, these enable the cook to build up a repertory, dish by dish, from the basic everyday "soup and three" formula to a gala banquet.

Whether preparing a snack for oneself or something special for friends, readers will find themselves reaching for this volume.Japanese Cooking: A Simple Artis a sourcebook of cooking concepts and recipes from one of the world's outstanding culinary traditions.

Over 220 recipes 510 sketches 16 color pages chart of North American and Japanese fish extensive list of shops in North America where ingredients can be purchased calorie and weight chart of typical Japanese foods metric conversion tables.

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I liked the easy recipes. - Goodreads
Part two contains recipes following the cooking types. - Goodreads
The recipes are classics. - Goodreads

Review: Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art

User Review  - Joseph - Goodreads

Bought this book when I was stationed on Okinawa in 1981. It has since been revised. To my mind it is one of the 'classics' on Japanese cooking. The introduction is very well written and, among other ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ToasterFaerie - LibraryThing

Comprehensive cookbook. Many detailed recipes and a good amount of technique - everything from fileting fish to tea ceremony. Read full review

References to this book

Go Home, Cook Rice
Joan Namkoong
Limited preview - 2001

About the author (1980)


SHIZUO TSUJI was the head of the Ecole Technique Hotcliere Tsuji in Osaka, the largest school training professional chefs in Japan; the author of twenty-nine books on gastronomy, travel, and music; the owner of one of the world's largest private collections of Bach recordings; an honorary recipient of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award, presented to him by the French government for his mastery and promotion of French cuisine; and Japan's leading figure in the international gastronomic community.

Born the son of a baker, Tsuji graduated from prestigious Waseda University in Tokyo with a degree in French literature, and then found a job as an Osakabased reporter for the Tokyo daily, theYomiuri Shimbun. It was after being given an assignment to write a feature article on cooking schools in Japan that he traded pen for pan and, with the encouragement of his entrepreneur father-in-law, devoted several years of intensive study to Japanese cooking before going abroad to train with the great chefs of Europe.

Tsuji returned to Osaka in 1960 and developed his father-in-law's small cooking school for housewives into the present academy for professionals with an enrollment of 2,500 students. Today an expert staff of 220 offers intensive one-year courses on Japanese, French, and Chinese cooking with classes six days a week. Tsuji followed the present volume withPractical Japanese Cooking: Easy and Elegant, a full-color presentation of some of Japan's most popular dishes.

Few writers have written more eloquently about food in the past forty years than M.F.K. Fisher. Her books includeThe Art of EatingandThe Cooking of Provincial France(Time-Life), and she has also translated and annotated BrillatSavarin'sPhysiology of Taste, the Bible of all serious eaters.

Design by S. Katakura

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