Japanese Cuisine and Cookbooks

Three spoons with different spices

Japanese Cuisine

Traditionally, rice, miso soup and raw fish are common meal components.  Seafood and vegetables are often deep-fried in a light batter (tempura). Other staples include noodles.   Japan has the most 3-starred Michelin restaurants since 2011 and as of 2018, Tokyo has more 3-starred restaurants than any other city.  For convenience food, there is the bento, a single portion to-go boxed lunch. Japanese cuisine classics include:

Sides: white rice, miso soup, namasu, gomaae, tsukemono, umeboshi, sushi, soba, udon, gyoza, natto, ramen.

Main Dishes: sashimi, tempura, fugu, yakiniku, yakitori, gyudon beef bowl, teriyaki fish, sukiyaki, tonkatsu, okonomiyaki, nikujaga, kushikatsu, yakizakana.

Desserts: dango, higashi, kakigori, kompeito, manju, mochi, sosu senbei, mizuame, koara no machi.

Beverages: sake, genmaicha, gyokuro, kombucha, shochu, umeshu.

Japanese Cuisine Cookbooks

Shizuo Tsuji.  Japanese Cooking.

Often referred to as the bible of Japanese cooking, this book excels at describing traditional ingredients, kitchen tools and cooking techniques.  The 130 recipes range from simple dinners to impressive banquets.

Harumi Kurihara.  Everyday Harumi.

Written by one of Japan’s most popular food writers, this book contains recipes for home-style dishes that don’t require access to a specialist food shop for ingredients and tips on Japanese cooking techniques.

Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat.  Japanese Soul Cooking.

This book was designed for the American audience.  The 100 recipes are accompanied by step-by-step photos for foolproof instruction.  The recipes range from street dishes to fancy kitchen delicacies.

Nancy Singleton Hachisu.  Japan: The Cookbook.

Over 400 recipes organized by course covering soups, noodles, pickles, one pots, sweets, vegetables and more and are based on Nancy’s experience of living for the last 30 years on an organic farm in Japan.

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