The Japanese Kitchen: 250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit

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Overview

In this comprehensive IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Hiroko Shimbo gently and authoritatively demystifies Japanese cuisine for Western cooks.  In Part One, Shimbo offers up an extended cooking-school lesson in Japanese ingredients, cooking methods, and implements, with ample advice on easy-to-find substitute ingredients and shortcut techniques.  This first part also has all the basic recipes for sauces, stocks, dressings, and relishes, plus time-tested secrets of rice and noodle cookery, all of which ...

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Overview

In this comprehensive IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Hiroko Shimbo gently and authoritatively demystifies Japanese cuisine for Western cooks.  In Part One, Shimbo offers up an extended cooking-school lesson in Japanese ingredients, cooking methods, and implements, with ample advice on easy-to-find substitute ingredients and shortcut techniques.  This first part also has all the basic recipes for sauces, stocks, dressings, and relishes, plus time-tested secrets of rice and noodle cookery, all of which give readers the skills to improvise and create their own Japanese meals.

In Part Two, Shimbo serves up a stunning feast of Japanese dishes, from updated classics of the traditional repertoire to her own delectable creations.  Here are scrumptious appetizers like Tempura Pancakes and Salmon and Vegetables in a Sweet Vinegar Marinade, clear and delicate miso soups, hearty yet refined chicken, duck, and meat entrées, delicious fish and shellfish preparations, and lots of Japan’s famous sushi, rice-bowl, and noodle-bowl dishes. A chapter on the fine art of Japanese desserts rounds out the banquet.

This is an indispensable book for both aficionados and home cooks eager to learn more about Japanese cuisine.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In her own way Hiroko Shimbo wants to start a revolution: She wants you to consider Japanese cuisine as an everyday technique for cooking fresh, nutritious food, not as a once-a-month foray into an exotic culture.

As a cooking teacher, Shimbo found that what her students needed most was information about basic Japanese ingredients: What is it? What's the best way to cook it? Where do you find it? How long is its shelf life? Once they understood why tempura batter is prepared in a particular way or how soy sauce should be treated in cooking, applications to everyday cooking came easily.

The same approach is reflected throughout The Japanese Kitchen, which Ming Tsai praises in the foreword for its "traditionalism and purity of cuisine." Part I of the book concentrates on basic ingredients, from azuki beans to wasabi, while Part II delivers more than 250 recipes -- from appetizers and vegetable dishes to sushi and rice and noodle dishes. Techniques are clearly explained, often with illustrations. (Ginger Curwen)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While Asian flavors have long been fashionable in the U.S., it is perhaps the hipness of sushi and familiarity of the Tepanyaki style that have been a catalyst for the recent popularity of Japanese cuisine. The author, a veteran cooking-school instructor and food writer, offers a well-rounded introduction to the rich heritage of Japanese cooking (complete with historical, cultural and personal observations from her own childhood). "Nutrition, taste and... a spirit of innovation" are Shimbo's ambitions with this comprehensive and intriguing collection of updated classic and new recipes. Perfect for the Western cook, Shimbo's book explains traditional equipment, techniques and ingredients (although, she says, American cooking implements, and the occasional substituted ingredient, will more than suffice) and how to make such staple elements as tofu. She particularly touts the healthier aspects of Japanese cuisine and offers many simple preparations that support fast-paced lives, including Easy Simmered Chicken and Chestnuts or the quick one-pot meal of Rice, Beef, Burdock Root and Mushrooms made in a rice cooker. Shimbo doesn't disappoint the aficionado, however, with Yakitori grilling, Ponzu Sauce and a far more interesting (and healthy) rendering of ramen than the cellophane-wrapped variety. Based on Japanese home-style cooking, Shimbo's is an indispensable book for the home cook, with recipes such as Chirashizushi and her mother's Green Plum Wine. Nevertheless, Shimbo also shows a fresh modern sensibility by smartly melding Western influences in her own recipes for Clam Chowder (New England meets Edomae style), Lamb Stew--which she enlivens with miso--and Teriyaki Chicken Roll served on a bed of greens. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
With Asian food becoming ever more popular, the dearth of Japanese cookbooks is surprising. How fortunate, then, to have this ambitious, authoritative new work from a knowledgeable and talented Japanese cooking teacher. Shimbo-Beitchman, who ran a cooking school in Tokyo for eight years and London for two, now teaches in New York City, and part of the appeal of her book is her ready familiarity with Western kitchens and culinary style. She provides a detailed guide to equipment, techniques, and ingredients, followed by a wide-ranging selection of recipes of all sorts. There are both the home-style dishes she grew up on and more elaborate ones for special occasions, as well as the traditional Japanese classics, with her own touches, of course, and innovative new recipes. Shimbo-Beitchman has an appealing, straightforward style, and the headnotes and text convey a vast amount of information; recipe instructions are detailed and clear. An essential purchase. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558321779
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 578,147
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Recipe

Bright Green Edamame Soybean Dip -- Edamame Dippu

In Japan, briefly boiled, lightly salted edamame, fresh green soybeans, eaten from the shell with a cold glass of beer, are one of the delights of summer. I was inspired by popular Western dips to find another way of enjoying this excellent summer vegetable. The dip is, of course, best prepared during the summer months, when fresh green soybeans are available. However, frozen edamame, found at Japanese and some Asian food stores outside Japan, make it possible for us to enjoy this dip year-round.

14 ounces edamame (fresh green soybeans) in their shells
2 ounces feta cheese
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the edamame until they are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain them in a flat-bottomed colander, and fan them to speed cooling.

Shell the beans, and discard the shells. In a food processor or blender, blend the beans and all the rest of the ingredients to a creamy paste.

Serve the dip with rice crackers or other crackers, or with vegetable sticks.

*Yields 1-1/2 cups dip

Miso Soup with Mixed Mushrooms -- Kinokozukushi Miso-shiru

When I find various types of mountain mushrooms at markets in autumn or early spring, I make mushroom-studded miso soup. The types of mushrooms available today in Japan are diverse -- from traditional shiitake, maitake, shimeji, and enokitake to newly introduced oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, and Portobello mushrooms.

Choose and mix those that are in season and available in your neighborhood. This preparation is super-simple!

7 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons diced onion
3 tablespoons thin scallion disks, both green and white parts
2-1/2 cups dashi (fish stock)
2 tablespoons akamiso (brown miso)

Garnish:
Shichimi togarashi (seven-spice powder)

Clean the mushrooms quickly under cold running water, and wipe them dry with a paper towel. Cut the mushrooms into thick strips.

Immediately before serving time, heat the sesame oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the onion, and cook until the onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms and scallions, and cook, stirring for 10 to 20 seconds.

Add the dashi, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the miso and stir until it dissolves.

Serve the soup immediately, sprinkled with seven-spice powder.

*Yields 3 to 4 servings.

Stir-Fried Rice and Chicken -- Chikin Raisu

Chikin raisu is a Japanese dish that is analogous to macaroni and cheese in the United States. Both are very popular, easy-to-prepare "comfort foods" that anyone can make and enjoy. Chikin raisu was created at the turn of the twentieth century as a fusion of two techniques, one a relative newcomer to Japan from France, and the other an old-timer from China. The chicken pieces are cooked with onions softened in butter, and then quickly stir-fried with cooked rice. Ketchup is then added to flavor and color the dish. Children love it.

4 cups day-old short-grain white or brown rice
6 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
About 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
1 small carrot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
7 ounces boned and skinned chicken breast, cut into 1-inch squares
1/2 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
Fresh-ground black pepper

Since day-old rice is lumpy, quickly rinse it under cold tap water. Drain the rice well.

Heat the wok or large skillet over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of the butter, and, when the butter is melted, add the onion. Reduce the heat to low, and cook the onion until it is soft, about 10 minutes. While the onion cooks, add half of the salt.

Add the carrot, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken, and cook until the outside is white. Add the chicken stock and the remaining salt, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the liquid is absorbed.

Add the rice and green peas, turn the heat to high, and continuously stir until the rice is heated through and mixed with the chicken. Add the tomato ketchup and black pepper, and stir thoroughly.

Serve the chikin raisu with fork and spoon, not chopsticks!

* Yields 2 servings as a main dish.

Copyright © 2000 by Hiroko Shimbo

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 29, 2010

    A great starting point!

    This book is an excellent starting point for your adventures in Japanese cuisine. The first half of the book is an in-depth exploration of the basic ingredients, equipment, and techniques (along with acceptable substitutes where available). The teriyaki recipe in the first section of the book alone is worth the asking price. It's incredibly simple to make, and will save you tons of money on those bottles of preservative-laden packaged sauces on your grocer's shelves. Although this is not primarily a 'sushi' cookbook, there are a few recipes in that vein. However, where this book excels is in opening your eyes to an entire array of Japanese dishes and cooking styles that you may not know exist. I highly recommend it, and have darned near worn out my copy.

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