cover image Japan: The Cookbook

Japan: The Cookbook

Nancy Singleton Hachisu. Phaidon, $49.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-7148-7474-6

Hachisu’s collection of over 400 Japanese recipes takes what has become Phaidon’s usual encyclopedic approach to documenting a cuisine (Spain contains more than 1,000 recipes; The Silver Spoon, 2,000) and pares it down, focusing on the essentials. Organizing chapters by technique (steamed, pickled, grilled, fried, etc.), Hachisu covers the classics (teppan-yaki and yakitori), home remedies (Cold Prevention Soup), regional specialties (simmered chicken and vegetables from northern Japan), cross-cultural riffs (sardines with carrot-tomato sauce), and historical dishes (such as yuzu rice with mitsuba, which was created in the 1600s). She also includes a handful of fundamental ramen and sushi recipes. A final section giving more than 50 recipes from various Japanese chefs (chestnut ice cream; crab “miso”; sakura-scented roast beef) and a solid index nicely round out the book. Hachisu does a superb job of exhibiting the endless possibilities of one of the world’s classic cuisines. This is a book readers and chefs alike will turn to time and time again for inspiration. (Apr.)