Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hiroko's American Kitchen by Hiroko Shimbo

Hiroko Shimbo's latest book, Hiroko's American Kitchen, is written in "the spirit of Japan's culinary history." In the introduction, Hiroko makes a point to mention that his recipes are not fusion but rather extensions of Japanese cooking - where the evolution is constantly happening. Hiroko Shimbo is also the author of two other Japanese cookbooks: The Japanese Kitchen and The Sushi Experience.

All his recipes revolve around six different main stocks and sauces which produce all the dishes. Each stock and sauce has its own chapter as well: Kelp Stock; Dashi Stock; White Sumiso Sauce; Spicy Miso Sauce; Best Basting and Cooking Sauce; and Super Sauce. Traditional recipes and new recipes are both showcased.

Besides recipes and procedures, you'll also gain knowledge on Japanese culinary terms and elements, such as umami and the chemicals that form the 'fifth' taste (inosinate and guanylate), katsuobushi (dried fish flakes), bincho-tan (artisan made charcoal), and the rangiri cutting technique. If you are looking for recommended Japanese markets, the author has conveniently listed different stores from 22 different states. Incidentally, I shop frequently at one of the markets listed, Mitsuwa Marketplace on Kearney Mesa.

Japanese cooking is very sauce orientated, and the best thing about this book is you'll get authentic Japanese recipes without having to scour markets for hard to find ingredients. As he states in the introduction: This is not a volume promoting exotic and unfamiliar foods. Which makes it all that easier to try new things.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This eARC was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Renee Shelton
The Cookbook Papers


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