My Japanese Table: A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family

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Bestselling author and food writer Debra Samuels uses her unique skills and deep love of Japan to make the cuisine of her adopted country attainable in My Japanese Table.

Bringing a wealth of experience and a great passion for Japanese cooking to the table, Debra introduces the aesthetics and quality food that are the hallmarks of Japanese cuisine. She learned through her years in Japan that true Japanese homestyle dishes are easy to prepare once you master a few basic ...

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My Japanese Table: A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family

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Bestselling author and food writer Debra Samuels uses her unique skills and deep love of Japan to make the cuisine of her adopted country attainable in My Japanese Table.

Bringing a wealth of experience and a great passion for Japanese cooking to the table, Debra introduces the aesthetics and quality food that are the hallmarks of Japanese cuisine. She learned through her years in Japan that true Japanese homestyle dishes are easy to prepare once you master a few basic techniques. And now that authentic Japanese ingredients are available in most supermarkets, Japanese food has become far more accessible than ever before.

The recipes in this Japanese cookbook, the result of decades spent teaching and preparing homestyle Japanese dishes, include familiar favorites like Hand-Rolled Sushi and classic Miso Soup and less familiar but equally welcome dishes such as Lobster Rolls with Wasabi Mayonnaise and Fried Pork Cutlets. There is also a chapter on the increasingly popular bento (obento) lunch boxes, along with a wonderful selection of desserts, including the delectable Mochi Dumplings with Strawberries. All of the recipes come with stories and cooking tips to help bring the sights, aromas and tastes of Japan into your kitchen at home.

This cookbook includes chapters on:

  • Basic recipes
  • Sushi
  • Snacks and appetizers
  • Soups and salads
  • Rice and noodles
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Vegetable and tofu dishes
  • Bento
  • Desserts and drinks
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Debra Samuels, author of My Japanese Table: A Lifetime of Cooking With Friends and Family, said it is vital to use the freshest, high-quality sushi-grade fish you can find. While sushi topped with slices of different fish is traditional in restaurants, choose quality over variety when making sushi at home. Follow the usual health caveats if eating the fish raw or undercooked."—Chicago Tribune

"I expect to frequent my favorite sushi bars less often, which is all the more reason to delve into My Japanese Table: A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family by Debra Samuels."—Seattle Times

"The Boston Globe food writer Debra Samuels compiles 125 of her best Japanese recipes in the shiny, heavy and possess-able My Japanese Table."—Metropolis

"My Japanese Table takes you on a valuable journey of all the different facets of Japanese cuisine."—Roy Yamaguchi, chef/founder of Roy's Restaurants

"My Japanese Table, by Globe contributor Debra Samuels, provides a bright, clear path into what can seem like a forbidding cuisine."—The Boston Globe

"Cookbook author and Japan expert Debra Samuels says the five main elements of a bento are color, texture, seasonality, presentation and nutrition (and let's not forget portion control—how much can you cram into those little compartments?). She says many Japanese believe that including five colors on your plate—red, yellow, green, white and black—means you have a balanced meal."—NPR's Kitchen Window

"Additionally, authors themselves often have active Web sites of their own. Debra Samuels hosts the charming Cooking at Debra's, where she is promoting her forthcoming book My Japanese Table: A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family."—Publishers Weekly

"It's not so much the type of food, but what I call 'a bento state of mind,'" Debra Samuels, author of My Japanese Table, said via e-mail. "I see the concept of bento as basically a food sampler, a colorful culinary puzzle. The benefits of the bento are smaller portions and greater variety of food."—Washington Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9784805311189
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/10/2011
  • Edition description: Hardcover with Jacket
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 623,080
  • Product dimensions: 8.64 (w) x 10.22 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Debra Samuel's invites us to enjoy her lifetime of experiences with the people and cuisine of Japan. The co-author of the bestselling The Korean Table, Debra has been teaching cooking classes on Japanese cuisine for over two decades. She is a regular food writer and food stylist for the Boston Globe. When she's not visiting Japan, Debra lives in Lexington, MA with her husband.

An avid cook himself, Heath Robbins' passion for food is evident in his mouthwatering imagery. His pictures have graced the pages of national magazines and can be seen in advertisements for Welch's Grape Jelly, Uncle Ben's and French's. Robbins recently photographed Fresh and Honest, Ciao Italia Big Five and The Korean Table cookbooks. He resides in Sherborn, MA with his family.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Roy Yamaguchi
A Lifetime of Cooking with Family and Friends
My Love Affair with Japanese Cuisine
A Simple Guide to Japanese Ingredients
Useful Equipment

Basic Recipes

  • Soy Ginger Vinaigrette

  • Spicy Mayonnaise

  • Wasabi Soy Sauce Dressing

  • Tofu Dressing

  • Akiko's Sesame Seed Dressing

  • Odagiri Sensei's Sanbaizu Vinegar Dressing

  • Crunchy Cucumbers

  • Simple Mixed Pickles

  • Preparing Japanese Rice

  • Homemade Rice Seasoning Sprinkles

  • Teriyaki Sauce

  • Tempura Dipping Sauce

  • Sweet Miso Sauce

  • Quick Tonkatsu Sauce

  • Debra's Shiso Pesto

  • Black Sesame Seed Salt

  • Kyoko's All Purpose Dashi Shoyu Concentrate

  • Seasoned Rolled Omelet

  • Seasoned Egg Shreds

  • Seasoned Egg Wedges

  • Sweet Simmered Mushrooms

  • Bonito Fish Stock

Chapter 1 Sushi

  • How to Make Perfect Sushi Rice

  • Brown Sushi Rice

  • Classic Sushi Roll

  • Crab and Avocado Inside Out Rolls

  • Tuna and Cucumber Rolls

  • Hayashi Sensei's Mini Sushi Balls

  • Sushi Hand Roll Party

  • Lobster Rolls with Wasabi Mayonnaise

  • Spicy Tuna Tartar

  • Tuna Tartar Shiso Wraps

  • Scattered Sushi Rice Salad

  • Smoked Salmon Pressed Sushi

Chapter 2 Snacks and Appetizers

  • Chicken Balls in Sweet Soy Glaze

  • Soy Glazed Chicken Wings

  • Salted Edamame in the Pod

  • Eriko's Onion, Clam, and Potato Fritters

  • Stuffed Savory Pancake

  • Beef and Asparagus Spirals

  • Mixed Yakitori Skewers

  • Japanese Pot Stickers

  • Yakitori Party

  • Yakitori Rice Bowl

  • Salmon Roe with Grated Daikon in a Lemon Cup

  • Tofu, Seafood, and Avocado Appetizer

Chapter 3 Soups and Salads

  • Cherry Tomato Salad with Shiso and Basil

  • Refreshing Tofu Salad

  • Spinach, Tofu, and Bean Sprout Salad

  • Sweet and Spicy Celery Salad

  • Crabmeat and Seaweed Salad

  • Carrot and Daikon Salad

  • Carrot and Celery Salad with Hijiki Seaweed

  • Delicate Seaweed Consomme

  • Eriko's Chunky Miso Chowder

  • Classic Miso Soup

Chapter 4 Rice and Noodles

  • Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl

  • Yoshie's Delicious Crab Fried Rice

  • Fresh Tuna Rice Bowl with Cucumber, Avocado and Spicy Mayonnaise

  • Stuffed Rice Balls

  • Rice Bowl with Three Toppings

  • Sweet Soy Beef and Onion Rice Bowl

  • Udon Noodles with Everything

  • Mushroom and Soba Noodle Soup

  • Fried Cabbage and Pork Noodles

  • Spring Rain Summer Noodle Salad

Chapter 5 Meat and Poultry

  • Teriyaki Steak Tips

  • Japanese Style Fillet of Beef

  • Sukiyaki Hot Pot

  • Sweet Soy Beef and Vegetables

  • Japanese Style Korean BBQ

  • Yoshie's Gyoza Hot Pot

  • Fried Pork Cutlets

  • Sliced Pork with Ginger

  • Classic Chicken Teriyaki

  • Japanese Fried Chicken

  • Shoko's Summer Sesame Chicken

  • Red Miso Chicken and Vegetables

Chapter 6 Fish and Seafood

  • Fresh Tuna with Herbs and Crunchies

  • Fried Oysters

  • Jumbo Shrimp Tempura_

  • Soy Simmered Bluefish Fillets

  • Scallops with Citrus Miso Sauce

  • Salmon Rice Cooker Casserole

  • Succulent Salmon Teriyaki

  • Mixed Seafood Hot Pot

  • Whole Red Snapper Steamed in Parchment

Chapter 7 Vegetable and Tofu Dishes

  • String Beans with Crunchy Toasted Peanuts

  • Simmered Daikon with Citrus Miso

  • Shoko's Simmered Vegetables with Chicken

  • Grilled Eggplant with Sweet Miso Sauce

  • Eriko's Simmered Eggplant

  • Tofu and Vegetable Scramble

  • Steamed Fresh Asparagus with Soy Mustard Dressing

  • Sweet Potato Tempura Fritters

  • Japanese Mushroom Melange with Butter and Soy

  • Pumpkin Rounds

  • Okra with Umeboshi and Katsuo Shreds

  • Sliced Okra with Wasabi Joyu

  • Tofu Hot Pot with All the Trimmings

Chapter 8 Bento

  • Bento Equipment

  • Bento Tips

  • Elementary School Sampler

  • Office Lunch Bento

  • Travel Bento

  • Picnic Bento

  • Bento Teen

  • Vegetarian Bento

Chapter 9 Desserts and Drinks

  • Fruit Cup with Mochi and Sweet Bean Topping

  • Mochi Balls

  • Mochi Dumplings with Strawberries and Red Bean Paste

  • Mochi Dough Made From Sweet Rice Flour

  • Black Sesame Seed Pudding

  • Matcha Chocolate Coffee Cake

  • Matcha Mochi Cupcakes

  • Steamed Ginger Lemon Walnut Cake

  • Crepes Stuffed with Red Bean Jam

  • Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

  • Sweet Shiso Ice Dessert

  • Matcha Ice Cream

  • Black Sesame Ice Cream

  • Sencha Green Tea

  • Hot Matcha Milk

  • Matcha



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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2013

    This book was amazing and my mom and brother (who's very picky)

    This book was amazing and my mom and brother (who's very picky) loved the food I cooked from this book. Now he's asking for 3rds. And the recipe's from it are so easy to fallow.

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  • Posted February 15, 2012

    Great Introduction to Japanese Cooking!

    I appreciated the most the fact that this book was written by an American. She talks about her own experiences with being introduced to Japanese cuisine and doesn't assume that you have any previous knowledge of the ingredients used. The directions are easy to follow, she uses ingredients found at any local asian market, and her personal anecdotes make you feel like your involved in an experience, not just making food.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Homestyle Japanese cooking demystified

    "My Japanese Table" is a perfect starting point if you're new to Japanese cooking; it's not as intimidating or complicated as other Japanese cookbooks, and it uses commonplace American supermarket ingredients whenever possible. The vibrant photography and clear font make it especially easy to read and cook with. The thorough intro on Japanese cuisine includes the handy mnemonic device of "sa shi su se so" (the Japanese hiragana letters that correspond to sugar, salt, vinegar, soy sauce, and miso, the staples of the Japanese kitchen). And kudos for a particularly helpful section on Japanese ingredients with clearly labeled photos to match. There is also a handy bibliography and list of shopping resources (mostly online).

    Like Tuttle Publishing's other Asian cookbooks, "My Japanese Table" is designed to fit today's busy lifestyle and includes many main-course recipes that take 30 minutes or less to cook using common (U.S.) supermarket ingredients (both the prep times and cooking times are helpfully included at the top of each recipe). Another bonus is that measurements are given both in metric and imperial measurements; no need to convert if you're cooking overseas. I just spent six months working in (and cooking my way across) Japan, so I was really looking forward to testing these recipes. First up were the colorful matcha mochi cupcakes. Mochi are sticky pounded rice cakes (no relation to American "rice cakes") traditionally served at New Year's, but variations of mochi are found in many common Japanese desserts. I made the cupcakes as instructed and sprinkled cinnamon on top, but they still needed a little something extra, so I added the matcha frosting from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. This gave the cupcakes an extra boost of grassy green tea flavor (and color) with a touch of sweetness.

    Next up, I tried several of the vegetarian recipes like the Sweet Simmered Mushrooms, Pumpkin Rounds and Japanese Mushroom Mélange with Butter and Soy. In some cases, I found that I had to adjust the cooking time. In the case of the mushroom mélange, you're instructed to bake 2 pounds of mushrooms for 15 minutes (the cooking time at the top said 20), but I had to bake them for closer to 30 before the mushrooms released their juices. Also, it was difficult to fit two pounds of mushrooms into a 10 x 13 piece of parchment paper as instructed!

    I was happy to see that some traditional Japanese desserts were included, mostly focused on mochi, anko (sweet red bean paste), and green tea. You'll find favorites like ichigo daifuku (ripe strawberries wrapped in a layer of bean paste and coated in mochi) and matcha and black sesame ice creams. The chapter is rounded out with instructions on how to prepare several kinds of traditional teas (sencha, matcha, and hojicha).

    Debra is a patient teacher (Tuttle has dubbed her "The Julia Child of Japanese cooking") and frequently defers to Japanese colleagues, or includes stories of her life in Japan that makes "My Japanese Table" part cookbook and part travelogue. The book could have benefited from a little extra proofreading (there were several typos in addition to mismatches between stated cooking times, conflicting instructions, etc.), but overall "My Japanese Table" has something to appeal to everyone.

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