The inclusion of the word “simple” in the title is potentially misleading, but not in a bad way. This cookbook is nicely presented and is intended for a general audience, so in that respect it is simple. But it is detailed and thorough as expected from the Japanese.
Part One is approximately 300 pages, explaining the fundamentals and techniques of Japanese cooking. It begins with laying out the Japanese meal, then continues with a chapter-by-chapter treatment of ingredients, utensils and knives, cutting techniques, how to make dashi, how to cook rice (without using an electric rice cooker), how to slice and serve sushi and sashimi, amongst other things. There are recipes dispersed throughout, depending on the focus of the particular chapter. For example, the chapter on Grilling and Pan-Frying (Yakimono) has the corresponding grilled recipes, including Yakitori Sauce, and the chapter on sashimi includes over half a dozen sauces.
There are diagrams and several sequential diagrams. There can be more and some of the sequential diagrams can be improved, but they are generally helpful; after all, many cookbooks don’t even have any.
Part Two is more like a typical cookbook with a collection of recipes organized into their respective categories.
If you want a cookbook with just recipes and a pretty photograph for at least every second recipe, then this is not the book for you. This book has hardly any photographs. This book is about the fundamentals and techniques of Japanese cuisine as well as providing recipes. So, if you are interested in all that and don’t mind not having photographs, then this book serves as a good reference.
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