Japanese Vegetarian Cooking: From Simple Soups to Sushi

Patricia Richfield, Author
Patricia Richfield, Author Crossing Press $14.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-89594-805-2
Hardcover - 978-0-7499-1412-7
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Richfield, a vegetarian gourmet who has lived in Japan, notes that ""Japan, unlike the West, has had a long and varied traditional vegetarian cuisine, evolving and perfecting itself over many centuries."" Most of the recipes collected here rely on staple ingredients like tofu (whose 38% protein content equals that of beef) and a wide variety of fresh vegetables (from shiitake mushrooms to sweet potatoes). Short cooking times, she emphasizes, are the key to preserving both the taste and the nutritional value of fresh ingredients. Preparing Japanese food can be surprisingly easy. Its presentation, however, is more complex than many Western cuisines; recipes come with quick explanations detailing how each component in a meal should appear on the table. The clearly explained, streamlined recipes are arranged by category: soups (clear and miso-based); rice dishes, including such sushi as Futomaki, stuffed with mushroom, egg and cucumber; noodle dishes that favor the thick udon or buckwheat soba noodles; and an array of hot and cold vegetable dishes with various vinegar- or sake-based sauces. A comprehensive glossary rounds out a must-have for vegetarians--and all health-conscious cooks. (Apr.)
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