Takahashi Yagihashi has been a chef and restaurateur in the American Midwest for two decades. In 2000, he was named one of America’s Ten Best New Chefs by the prestigious Food & Wine magazine, and in addition to his namesake restaurant in Chicago, he’s been collaborating with Macy’s department store on a nationwide chain of noodle shops.
This book is packed with recipes for common noodles like ramen, soba, udon and somen, as well as pasta and other Asian varieties. There are also popular appetizers often found at izakaya, like gyoza, yakitori, braised pork belly (which can also be used in ramen dishes) and shumai.
Yagihashi has covered all the noodle bases, including a thorough collection of ramen dishes: chilled, tantan-men, miso and even tsukemen (noodles served separate from the broth). There are cold somen dipping sauces like shiso-ume, yuzu and tomato, plus dishes like curry udon and hearty duck Namban soba that will keep you warm throughout the winter. The pasta recipes include that Japanese standby, spaghetti with spicymentaiko; another, based on onsen tamago (soft-boiled egg), is Yagihashi’s twist on classic carbonara.
By Takashi Yagihashi with Harris Salat
Ten Speed Press, 2009, 168pp, ¥2,401
This review first appeared in Metropolis magazine: