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.
|Publisher:||Harvard Common Press, The|
|Product dimensions:||7.25(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.37(d)|
RecipeBright 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)
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
Copyright © 2000 by Hiroko Shimbo
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Japanese cooking is intimidating, to put it mildly, to most Western cooks. So many techniques have been honed by the centuries, so many tricks and twists can only be seen by observing a chef at work... but wait, isn't French cooking the same way? Julia Child and Jacques Pepin made that easily accessible. And Italian? Lidia's books are easy to understand... and so, descending from the heavens, comes Hiroko Shimbo to simplify Japanese cooking techniques and tastes for everyone.This book has a great inventory of the equipment you'll need to cook Japanese traditionally and well, but more importantly, it tells you where the hell to find that equipment! And what to substitute if you can't. Techniques for slicing and cutting are easily understood through the drawings, and every recipe I've tried has come out beautifully.It's no substitute for learning on the job with an experienced Japanese chef, but hey, what is?
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.