Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body and the Soul / Edition 1

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"It is clear that serious research, as well as much imagination, went into every page. It has become my new ‘go-to’ bible when I need a shot of inspiration."

Ken Oringer, internationally renowned and award-winning chef
Clio Restaurant, Uni Sashimi Bar, Boston

"Congratulations on writing such an aesthetically beautiful, informative and inspiring book. ... I shall not hesitate to recommend your book to those colleagues, who like me, are fascinated by Sushi and who will surely be captivated, like me, turning every page."

Dr. Ian C. Forster, April, 2011

• • •

In recent decades, sushi has gone from being a rather exotic dish, eaten by relatively few outside of Japan, to a regular meal for many across the world. It is quickly gathering the attention of chefs and nutritionists everywhere. It has even made its way into numerous home kitchens where people have patiently honed the specialized craft required to prepare it. Few have been more attuned to this remarkable transition than Ole G. Mouritsen, an esteemed Danish scientist and amateur chef who has had a lifelong fascination with sushi’s central role in Japanese culinary culture.

Sushi for the eye, the body, and the soul is a unique melange of a book. In it, Mouritsen discusses the cultural history of sushi then uses his scientific prowess to deconstruct and explain the complex chemistry of its many subtle and sharp taste sensations. He also offers insights from years of honing his own craft as a sushi chef, detailing how to choose and prepare raw ingredients, how to decide which tools and techniques to use, and how to arrange and present various dishes.

Sushi is irresistible for both its simplicity and the hypnotic performance-art aspects that go into its preparation. With clear prose and straightforward instructions, Mouritsen looks at every facet of sushi in a book that is as accessible as it is informative, as useful as it is fun.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Once an exotic rarity, sushi has become a Middle American favorite: From 1988 to 1998, the number of sushi bars in the United States quintupled and the proliferation continues. Even now, though, our education about sushi's components, craft, and culture remains mainly a mystery on this side of the Pacific. Ole Mouritsen's Sushi seeks to place this traditional cuisine within its cultural context. This Danish professor of biophysics approaches the subject as a scientist, an amateur chef, and a student of Japanese culinary history.
From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"Ole G. Mouritsen’s 330-page tome, ‘Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body & the Soul,’ is … lightweight. … cover everything that could possibly relate to the science, culture, or culinary art of sushi, and go even a bit further. … The book is also a visual masterpiece. … excellent reference for anybody with the remotest inquiry about sushi or any related topics. … respectable index, and a glossary of technical and Japanese terms at the end of the book acts as a good reference." (Sarah Everts, Chemical and Engineering News, November, 2009)

"The book, written by a biophysicist and amateur chef, describes everything you ever wanted to know about sushi – the ingredients, tools and processes involved in the preparation of sushi and its complementary dishes, together with a variety of other information … . This book, beautifully illustrated with photographs and original watercolours … and should be enjoyed by any reader who shares the author’s passion for sushi – including home preparation and consumption and the total experience of the sushi bar." (Jemima Tiller, Chemistry World, December, 2009)

"It was refreshing to peruse a lighter, brighter food-related book, when the refined ‘Sushi: food for the eye, the body & soul’ landed on my doorstep. … Making it all the more engaging, the book was written by a Danish professor of biophysics with a longstanding interest in gastronomy and its scientific basis." (VittlesVamp, December, 2009)

"It is very comprehensive, starting with the philosophy behind sushi, moving through the science of sushi and ending on the practicalities of preparing sushi. … The book is also aesthetically pleasing, with plenty of excellent photos and diagrams. … Overall, this was a very informative and fairly comprehensive book on sushi and Japanese cuisine. It is well written, fairly easy to understand, and visually appealing. … I recommend this book … ." (The Passionate Foodie, December, 2009)

“If you have ever wanted to know everything about sushi … then this is the book you’ve been waiting for. … a beautiful book that would sit comfortably on a coffee table, on a shelf of textbooks at a culinary arts academy, or in the kitchen. … The origins and cultural history of sushi are examined, as well as a thorough guide to all the ingredients and tools used in sushi preparation.” (EAT, January, 2010)

“Of all the books out there written in English about sushi, for me this one by Ole Mouritsen is possibly the most interesting. … Not only does this book explore the basic, key ingredients for sushi … it discusses a far wider range of ingredients and Japanese condiments. … The result – it answers many of the unanswered questions about sushi … . the illustrations and photographs used are of excellent quality and provide an added insight into the variety of ingredients used to make sushi.” (Sarah Wedgbury Consulting, February, 2010)

“This weighty tome is packed with more information … . that’s exactly where it shines. The author’s curiosity and passion about fish is evident throughout. … Sushi will educate readers on all aspects of fish–texture, taste and how they are served. … With an extensive glossary and a rich bibliography, Sushi will find its way onto the bookshelves of chefs and foodies the world over. After consuming this work, readers themselves should be given a PhD in sushi.” (Yukari Sakamoto, Metropolis, April, 2010)

“Sushi – Food for the eye, the body & the soul is the quintessential book on the science of sushi, how it contributes to wellness, and why people have such passion for sushi. … The book is a jewel for sushi lovers everywhere. … Still, for all the eye-popping presentation and first class printing, the heart of the book is in the text. … The writing is richly presented … . Descriptions can be quite technical yet keep an average reader like me enthralled.” (Afar, Chowhound, May, 2010)

“This book … is a thorough examination of the culture and food science of Japanese sushi, is written by a Danish professor of biophysics. … It’s a molecular gastronomist’s dream book for sushi. … there are plenty of recipes and instructions for preparing sushi. … I am savoring every morsel of information from this excellent book.” (Culinaria Libris, September, 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441906175
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Edition description: 2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 330
  • Sales rank: 604,215
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor of biophysics, University of Southern Danemark, Director, MEMPHYS - Center for Biomembrane Physics, Adjunct professor, Helsinki University of Technology

Principal Areas of Research: Statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, computer simulation techniques, phase transitions and critical phenomena, biomembrane physics and chemistry, surface and interface physics, materials science, nano-science, drug delivery

Published more than 300 original research articles, reviews and scientific reports; the monographs: Computer Studies of Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena (Springer-Verlag, 1984); Life - as a Matter of Fat. The Emerging Science of Lipidomics (Springer Verlag, 2005); Sushi. Lidenskab, videnskab & sundhed (Jepsen & Co, Copenhagen, 2006); Co-edited four books on biophysics.

Awards: Gold Medal in Chemistry, Aarhus University, 1975; A/S De Danske Spritfabrikker's Centennial Award, 1981; Kirstine Meyer født Bjerrum's Mindelegat, 1984; Villum Kann Rasmussen's Research Prize, 1990; NKT Research Prize, 1998, for research achievements in soft condensed matter and biological physics; Hasselblad Foundation Research Award 1998; National Danish Research Communication Prize 2007; University of Southern Denmark Research Communication Prize 2007; Royal Society of Chemistry Bourke Award and Silver Medal 2008; European Lipid Science Award 2011.

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Table of Contents

Sushi – the Eye, the Brain, the Body, and the Soul
Sushi and Zen
What is sushi?

Life, Food, and Molecules
The molecular building blocks of life
Sensory perception

'Something from the Sea and Something from the Mountains'
Fruit de mer: fish and shellfish
The plants of the sea: algae and seaweed
Soybeans: tofu, shoyo, and miso
Rice, rice wine, and rice vinegar
Condiments in Japanese cooking

Storage and Preservation
Fish and shellfish
Tsukemono – the art of pickling

Tools, Preparations, and Presentation
Tools for sushi
Preparation of sushi
Arrangement and presentation

Sushi a la Carte
The ordinary
The peculiar

Side Dishes and Accessories
Soups and salads
Desserts with green tea

At the Table and at the Bar
How to eat sushi
Cha – Japanese green tea

Japanese terms
Scientific terms
Webliography – sushi on the web
Lists of recipes and illustrations


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful book for discriminating taste in seafood. Oh, yes, and Sushi!

    My wife and I love sushi, but only from the better and best places which have a lot of loyal customers and hence, a lot of fresh fish. I looked for the same quality in this book. The best of the book is in the illustrations. The photos are suburb, as are all the other illustrations and layout. The text is very informative and the last half, where the author focuses on particular types of sushi, fascinated me. But the first half of the book, motivated as I am to learn details of sushi history, ecology, chemistry and the like, are just not very exciting. That said, it's a gorgeous picture book, a definitive and knowledgeable treatment of some of the world's best cuisine. Devoted fans of sushi ought to have this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

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    Posted November 10, 2010

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