Love Japan: Recipes from Our Japanese American Kitchen

Ten Speed: Crown. May 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781984860521. $30. COOKING
Okochi and Israel are chefs and the husband-and-wife owners of Brooklyn restaurant Shalom Japan, which emphasizes their Japanese and Jewish cultures. Their first cookbook (with James Beard–nominated food writer Gabriella Gershenson) doesn’t concentrate on restaurant fare but rather on the food they enjoy in their home. These are recipes that demonstrate that Japanese cooking need not be intimidating; they are selected for their convenience and simplicity. Categories include sauces, breakfast, vegetables, pancakes and pizzas, sandos (sandwiches), noodles, meats, fish, rice, and desserts. Ingredients are typically staples that could be found in most U.S. grocery stores; some are available mostly from Asian markets such as bonito flakes, kewpie mayonnaise, konnyaku (a distant cousin to taro root), and various types of noodles and rice. A chapter on tabletop cooking illustrates a common Japanese practice where family and friends get together and sit around a grill or an earthenware pot, each person taking turns to grill their own food.
VERDICT A beautifully designed book with fantastic photographs and a mouth-watering array of recipes that serve as a great introduction to Japanese cooking.
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