Early Breakfast at Daikanyama T-Site

Daikanyama’a T-Site is home to one of Tokyo’s best bookstores, Tsutaya, and to a cozy restaurant, Ivy Place. Ivy Place opens at 7:00 a.m., the same time the bookstore opens, which is just next door. The frittata had a touch of Japan with shiitake and maitake mushrooms with spinach, mozzarella, and feta cheese served with a…

Book Review – Dashi and Umami

This book includes the contributions of many star chefs, including Takashi Tamura (of Tsukiji Tamura), Eiichi Takahashi (Hyotei), Kunio Tokuoka (Kyoto Kitcho) and Yoshihiro Murata (Kikunoi). Photos of their kaiseki cuisine make this a handsome coffee table book, and students of Japanese cuisine will be impressed with the depth of information on umami-rich ingredients like…

Book Review – Japanese Hot Pots

Finally—a book on nabe in English. Chef Tadashi Ono of Matsuri restaurant in New York and journalist-blogger Harris Salat of the Japanese Food Report have teamed up for the definitive guide to Japan’s quintessential comfort food. The first chapter deconstructs the basic parts of a good nabe: broth and dashi; foundational ingredients like Napa cabbage,daikon, Japanese mushrooms and…

Book Review – Takashi’s Noodles

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….

Book Review – The One-Straw Revolution

First published in English 30 years ago, this little green tome by Masanobu Fukuoka has been reissued by The New York Review of Books as part of its Classics series. And the timing couldn’t be better—as issues of sustainability, agribusinesses and the use of chemical fertilizers have come to the fore, the book is more relevant than…

Book Review – Everyday Harumi

This new work by the doyenne of Japanese cookbook authors will be welcomed by everyone who loves washoku. Everyday Harumi is filled with easy-to-cook, home-style recipes that cover a wide range of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes. The book opens with an entire chapter on cupboard essentials for making Japanese cuisine, in particular sauces that you will go…

Book Review – The Niigata Sake Book

There’s relatively little information on sake printed in English, so whenever a new work on nihonshu comes out, it’s worth carefully perusing. The Niigata Sake Book does not disappoint, especially for readers wanting to know more about the technical side of sake. It’s based on a work called The Niigata Sake Expert Textbook and, according to translator Mike Masuyama, is “the…

Book Review – Sushi

A professor of biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark, Ole G. Mouritsen has penned the most extensive and authoritative book—dare I say encyclopedia?—on sushi to date. This weighty tome is packed with more information than most readers will ever need. Yet that’s exactly where it shines. The author’s curiosity and passion about fish is…

Book Review – A Cook’s Journey to Japan

Sarah Marx Feldner takes readers on a trip through Japan with homestyle recipes from around the country. Her cookbook opens up with an informative guide to Japanese kitchen utensils, ingredients and basic cooking techniques. Filled with step-by-step photos to help novices master essential skills, A Cook’s Journey to Japan will give readers the courage to try new…

Book Review – Japanese Cocktails

Japanese Cocktails is filled to the brim with original concoctions with fun names like Oyaji, Salty Hachiko Dog, Bloody Mari-chan and Office Lady. And not only are the names creative, so are the recipes. With drinks based on sake, shochu, whisky and more, this thin book has a cocktail to please everyone, many of the recipes…

Book Review – Drinking Japan by Chris Bunting

This indispensible guide will become the bible for anyone passionate about Japanese beverages. Regardless if your preference is for shochu or nihonshu, Chris has covered it all. Clearly written by a reporter, no detail is overlooked, and the information is easy to understand. The descriptions of each bar transports you there and he even includes…

Book Review – The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving

The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving by Hiroshi Nagashima, Kodansha International, 2009, 112 pp. The Japanese eat with their eyes as evident with food carving that decorates dishes at kaiseki restaurants. No other book has captured this dying art to such detail. The book is filled with instructions and photos that give you the…

Book Review – Japanese Kitchen Knives

Japanese Kitchen Knives by Hiromitsu Nozaki with Kate Klippensteen, Kodansha International, 2009, 160 pp. Revered chef Hiromitsu Nozaki’s cookbooks in Japanese are rich with classic recipes and techniques. Finally, his first book in English and it does not disappoint. Japanese knives are revered around the world and chef Nozaki clearly defines why in this handsome…