Japanese Vegetarian Cooking from Simple Soups to Sushi.
Japanese Vegetarian Cooking From Simple Soups to Sushi by Patricia Richfield
Book Review by Pam Gordon
The Japanese government recommends that its citizens eat 30 different food stuffs per day. A seemingly daunting task until you see this cookbook and until you realize that the Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world, which has been largely attributed to their diet. Rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, edible fungi (mushrooms to us), sea vegetables, soy bean curd (tofu to us) and grains, the Japanese diet is notably absent in meat, although small amounts of small fish are often added to Japanese cuisine.
Author Richfield, a non-Japanese native married to a Japanese man, intersperses her excellent recipes with verbal pictures of rural and urban Japan, today and in years past. It also includes excellent short chapters on Japanese meals, their cooking and serving, as well as Japanese drinks and garnishes.
The Japanese meal is thoughtfully and beautifully served in several individual bowls and dishes. Portions are small, making these recipes excellent for households of one or two people.
Of particular interest to me was the section on sushi, those delicious stuffed concoctions of rice and rolls that say "Japan" to so many of us. Although the shaped sushi rice and sushi rolls look difficult to prepare, the recipes and illustrations presented here make sushi a welcome addition to any novice kitchen.
From Japanese soups to noodles, rice to tofu, you will find the best recipes and related information here.
The book includes an extensive glossary of Japanese ingredients and utensils with a list of Japanese food suppliers. Also included for the novice are complete, illustrated instructions for using chopsticks.
If you own but one Japanese cookbook, this is the one I would recommend. It is certainly the best I own!