Andoh, a food writer and author of several other excellent cookbooks on Japanese cooking, is widely recognized as an authority on the topic. She has lived in Japan for most of the last 40 years, and her first exposure to what is called washoku was in the kitchen of the woman who later became her mother-in-law. Washoku literally means "the harmony of food," and it embodies a culinary philosophy and the practical techniques involved in preparing food that provides both "nutritional balance and aesthetic harmony." With an informed but readable text and recipes ranging from Green Soybean Soup to Simmered Snapper, Autumn Rain Style, Andoh introduces washoku to Western cooks. The book's first third is made up of a highly detailed pantry section and guide to techniques. In addition to informative head notes, many of the recipes also include notes on "Kitchen Harmony" (e.g., tips, shortcuts, and suggestions for recycling some ingredients), along with suggestions for "Harmony at Table" (i.e., ideas for presentation). There are few good books available on Japanese cooking, and Andoh's latest is unique. Highly recommended. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.