Japanese Homestyle Dishes: Quick and Delicious Favorites

4.0 out of 5 stars Want to cook real Japanese food?

This is a great beginner’s guide to authentic Japanese home cooking. These are simple, delicious dishes that would appear in almost any Japanese home, and give off that “Mom’s home cooking” sense of nostalgia as well. Anyone looking to get a taste of real Japanese cooking would find this a great place to start.

The book begins with a run-down of basic ingredients and utensils necessary for the recipes. This can be a bit tricky, because due to the authentic nature of the recipes some of the ingredients can be hard to find unless you have access to an Asian grocery store. Some, like Nishimoto – Dried Shaved Bonito Flakes, could probably be ordered over the internet but others like lotus and burdock root might be tricky to track down. There are also some good tutorials here like “How to prepare sushi rice” and recipes for basic sauces and dips like Homemade Japanese Mayonnaise and Ponzu Sauce.

There are seven categories of recipes, like Healthy Soups and Appetizers, Sashimi and Sushi, Tofu and Vegetable Dishes and Poultry and Meat Dishes. I think a vegetarian would get quite a bit out of this book, as meat dishes are in the minority and the focus is on vegetables and fish. Some really basic recipes like “Miso Soup with Daikon” or “Tofu and Udon Noodles in Clear Soup” are great to have, being both delicious and healthy.

The only real disappointment in “Japanese Home-style Dishes” is the inclusion of non-authentic meals like California Rolls and the various kinds of sushi rolls. As the name implies, “California Rolls” are an American creation, and shouldn’t be included in a book of authentic Japanese recipes. I was disappointed by this, but I assume that since to most people Japanese food equals sushi the author felt obliged to throw some wacky rolls in.

This is my second cook book from the Periplus series, the first being Thai Cooking Made Easy. The books are a nice size and easy to use, being small in size and spiral bound. The instructions are easy to follow, and you will be cooking authentic Japanese home-style meals in no time! Except for the California Rolls…

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