Since its release twenty-five years ago, Shizuo Tsuji's encyclopedic and authoritative work has been the acknowledged "bible" of Japanese cooking. Unrivalled in its comprehensive explanation of ingredients, tools and techniques, the book guides readers through recipes with clear prose, while technical points are made understandable with deftly executed line drawings. Much more than a collection of recipes, the cookbook is a masterful treatise on Japanese cuisine. In his preface, the author (who was truly a Renaissance man of Japanese and world gastronomy) discusses the essence of Japanese cooking, with its emphasis on simplicity, balance of textures, colours, and flavours, seasonal freshness, and artful presentation. M. F. K. Fisher's introduction to the 1980 edition is a not-to-be-missed work of food writing. A new foreword by Ruth Reichl and an additional preface by Tsuji Culinary Institute president Yoshiki Tsuji provide culinary and historical context for the 25th Anniversary Edition. Eight pages of vibrant new colour photographs illustrate over seventeen finished dishes. After introducing ingredients and utensils, the twenty chapters that make up Part One consist of lessons presenting all the basic Japanese cooking methods and principal types of prepared foods - making soup, slicing sashimi, grilling, simmering, steaming, noodles, sushi, pickles, and so on - with accompanying basic recipes. Part Two features 130 carefully selected recipes that range from everyday fare to intriguing challenges for the adventurous cook. Together with the recipes in Part One, these allow the cook to build a repertoire of dishes ranging from the basic "soup and three" formula to a gala banquet. Still the foremost source book of cooking concepts and recipes from Japan, the 25th Anniversary Edition of Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art invites a new generation of readers to take a journey to the heart of one of the world's great culinary traditions.
Blogger and cookbook author
As the title suggests, this is *the* book for people interested in Japanese cooking rather than just recipes. In fact, the sections are divided by technique rather than ingredient, and this in itself is an important insight into how Japanese cuisine works - dishes (and indeed courses in restaurants) are described as simmered or grilled or pickled, rather than starters and mains. Overall, a captivating insight into Japanese food and food culture, and worth the investment of time (it's a dense read) and money.
Food entrepreneur and culinary educator
Tsuji’s goal was not merely to present a series of recipes, but rather to teach the reader how to cook in the spirit of Japan––or as he puts it, to “lay open the heart of Japanese cuisine.” To accomplish this, the book is not organized like traditional Western cookbooks, by course or by ingredient. In the spirit of traditional Japan, it is organized by cooking methods, which is how a meal is planned.
This is the definitive Japanese cookbook, the one I always turn to in order to find out how things are really done, as opposed to being done for the camera, or being compromised in some other way. It’s not hip, it’s not counter-culture, it IS culture. Magnificent on detail, uncompromising. And how lovely, that MFK Fisher wrote the foreword; what a lovely synergy of cultures.
Shizuo Tsuji is a polymath with interests in Japanese cooking, classical music and travel. But his real skill is the ability to precisely describe a dish and the techniques required to prepare that dish even though it might take many pages. This is the ultimate guide to one of the world's great cuisines.
Simply the best step-by-step book of how to cook the most beautiful cuisine in the world. Simple line drawings explain exactly how to cut, steam, grill and skin everything from lotus root to sea bream.
For a long time this was the only window into the amazing world of traditional Japanese cuisine, and it inspired my first visit to Japan to research ‘Sushi and Beyond’.
Chef and owner, Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio
The bible of Japanese cooking but simple to understand. Detailed recipes as well as text and illustrations. Really inspirational and a life work in one book.
This book is comprehensive and the recipes are super clear. It’s everything you need to know about Japanese food in one book.
Only slightly disingenuous. It helped me channel my mid 1970s year of cooking school in Japan into practical uses today.
Restaurant critic, author, columnist
The Japanese cookbook translated into English by which all Japanese cookbooks translated into English should be judged.
Still one of the great demystifying books on Japanese cuisine. Any cook serious about Japanese food should own this.
Operations Director Milsom Hotels & Restaurants
As well as a gorgeous unique book, the pencil illustrations are reminiscent of early editions of The Joy of Sex.
Executive Chef, Umu
Easy-to-follow Japanese cooking book in English written by Tsuji-cooking school
The best book to explain the fundamentals of Japanese technique.
Blogger of The London Foodie
The bible of Japanese cooking, I use this often.
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