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Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  597 ratings  ·  26 reviews
In 1975,Gourmet magazine published a series on traditional Japanese food —the first of its kind in a major American food magazine — written by a graduate of the prestigious Yanagihara School of classical cuisine in Tokyo. Today, the author of that groundbreaking series, Elizabeth Andoh, is recognized as the leading English-language authority on the subject. She shares her ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Ten Speed Press (first published September 1st 2005)
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Amanda Nuchols
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have several Japanese cookbooks covering everything from hotpots to sushi, but Washoku is excellent because it covers everyday Japanese "home cooking." Andoh covers all of the basics, from what you need in your pantry to how to wash and cook rice properly. She also explains the Japanese philosophy of food, presentation and balanced meals through Buddhism and Shinto with The Five Principles.
The only drawback for some readers in more remote areas of America would be the lack of suggestions for s
...more
Elizabeth
Dec 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
This cookbook is more practical than it first appears. I was afraid it would be more of a coffee-table book than something I could actually use, but it has useful guides to Japanese ingredients, cooking equipment, and techniques. The recipes sounded a bit exotic, but once I started reading my way through them, I saw that Andoh's guides gave all the information necessary and that the recipes weren't all that arcane after all. The major drawback I see, however, is that Andoh assumes that you can g ...more
Jen
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
The only possible problem I might have with this book is that I waited so long to buy it. This is a must-read for anyone contemplating setting up house in Japan, as well as those interested in Japanese home cooking outside of Japan.

The set-up of the book makes it read like a story but also easy to refer to at a later date. Each recipe has added facts about presentation or how it fits into Japanese culture as a whole.

My cooking has improved a great deal since reading this. I have taken cooking l
...more
Georgia Erwin
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have bought this book twice, and I am about to buy it again. The first time, I was in my early twenties and just discovering traditional Japanese cuisine--my parents are from Hawaii so even though I grew up in the southern US I was pretty familiar with the basics. HOWEVER. The basics is only gonna get you so far! I loved this book when I first bought it. It kind of blew my mind. I'd been spending so much time (years and years and years and years) wandering around Asian grocery stores, desperat ...more
Jessica Lau
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
The book is filled with traditional Japanese dishes and preparing them with both traditional and modern techniques. I like the way the author explains what washoku is and the principles of Japanese cooking. Although this book is a great read for true Japanese cuisine aficionados, the one thing lacking from this read is the pictures. Usually in a cooking book, there would be a picture accompanying the recipe, but this one doesn't provide that, so every time I stumble to a new dish I know nothing ...more
Lydia
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book, made with careful thought and testing. Every ingredient is described in depth, and the pictures are inspiring. Much description is given to technique, with ideas for improving even your current American-style recipes. It would help to have an Asian market nearby to be able to use the best ingredients (various dried seaweed, miso, and mushroom types). Recipe chapters cover soups, rice, noodles, vegetables, fish, meat, tofu and eggs. A highly recommended cookbook for a type of co ...more
Jean
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Extensive and impressive! A trove of a great variety of dishes. Wish I owned instead of borrowed from the library. Akin to Memories of Philippine Kitchens.
Charlotte
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: foodie
Washoku is not the end-all perfect beginners guide to Japanese cooking that I was promised. (Looks pointedly at all the glowing 5-star reviews.) There are admittedly some great features but Japanese cooking is new to me and I'm finding it to be far from intuitive. I blame my own lack of familiarity – but I did have high hopes that this cookbook would be my guide. Unlike the author I don’t have an awesome Japanese mother-in-law to show me what to do each step of the way, I just have this book and ...more
Rachel
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this cookbook better than the last one I reviewed from the author, Kansha Cooking. I thought it was better organized and easier to understand. Plus most of the ingredients were pretty accessible and the recipes easier to make as long as you did a few basic recipes, such as the Basic Sea Stock (Dashi). The indexes were in the front of the book as an intro before you came to the main body of recipes. Once again, the design of the book and photographs within were beautiful to look at.

As
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Leifer
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I'm still using this book almost every week. I want her to write more.

it took me a bit to get into it, mostly because of the overwhelming vocabulary of cooking/food terms, but once I did I realized it is actually pretty simple recipes (which utilize a lot of leftovers, at that!) You could call this "home cooking" which I've never seen another Japanese cookbook touch.

Would love to meet her someday.
Drmarion
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Authoritative Book on Japanese Cuisine

This book contains a wealth of information and authentic recipes from an American born woman who has spent most of her life in Japan. What I love about all of Elizabeth Andoh's books is that she teaches you not just how to do something but also why you do it that way. She is a gifted teacher and excellent writer. The recipes in this book has been tried and tested, so they work. Highly recommended!
Sayaka Nasu
Dec 16, 2011 rated it liked it
The recipes in this cookbook are mostly country/comfort food I grew up eating at my grandmother's in Japan. The book has very nice photos and explains different types of vegetables, etc. I wish there were more photos accompanying the recipes. A third of the book explains the ingredients (which is important) but most people purchasing the book already know these things?
Rachael
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This cookbook is phenomenal. If you have any interest in learning to cook Japanese cuisine, this should be your go-to tome. It covers pantry basics, tools, techniques, and recipes. Andoh is considered to be the preeminent Western expert on Japanese cuisine and is an excellent writer--both of which show in this book. It is extensive and easy to follow.
Kathleen
What a fantastic book! I want to buy a copy and work my way through each recipe. Andoh explains traditional methods for achieving balance in a meal, traditional attitudes about food, etc. She also gives an extensive description of a well stocked Japanese pantry. Beautifully written and photographed. A great resource for the home cook who loves Japanese food.
Juli Anna
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks
While the food in this cookbook sounds delicious, I don't know how useful these recipes really are. Most of the recipes are just different combinations of other recipes in the book, which makes it very odd to navigate. One has to make at least two or three other recipes to even start a meal. Very good encyclopedia of Japanese ingredients, but other than that, not very practical.
Matt
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking-food
This is a really, really good book if you want to learn Japanese home cooking. The food in this book is the food that, up until recently was the food eaten in the majority of Japanese homes. It's honestly Japanese soul-food. Most of my standard recipes are some variation on Elizabeth Andoh's.
Jennifer Maiser
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite cookbooks. It's sometimes a little tedious to follow her precise directions, but I understand the reasoning and have learned more from this book about Japanese cooking than any other.
Mariam
Jul 30, 2008 rated it liked it
The recipes are either hit or miss. I was really looking for something focusing on dishes popular in Japan (i.e. takoyaki, okonomiyaki, agedashi), and was dissapointed to not find them in there. That being said, it's a beautiful volume and is good reference for some of the basics.
Chadwick
Jan 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cooks
Shelves: food
Finally, a real sourcebook for the fundamentals of Japanese cooking.
Simon
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
a gem for those interested in the basics (both conceptually and practically) of the japanese cuisine.
Cindy
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
checked it out a second time and like it so much might have to buy
Craig
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This by far my favorite cookbook. the first 90 pages are just about the ingredients. all the recipices are simple, tasty and cheap.
Amanda
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, really need to buy it. I found it adventurous and informative, great traits for a cookbook.
Alicia
Jan 28, 2008 marked it as to-read
Shelves: cooking
This looks hot, I can't wait to become a consummate japanese chef.
Jenn
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Jan 24, 2015
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Sarah Torres
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“Togi-Jiru (water drained from washing rice) The cloudy water that results from washing rice is called togi-jiru, and it can be used later the same day to cook corn on the cob; fresh peas and beans; or root vegetables such as daikon, lotus root, and burdock root. The vegetables will taste sweeter because their natural sugars are enhanced by the starchy water. The water is also used in the garden, especially for watering flowering plants such as geraniums.” 0 likes
“Hōjicha Hōjicha is made of roasted green tea leaves. It has a smoky flavor and is often served with fried foods, such as tempura or tonkatsu (breaded pork cultlets), because it is thought to aid in the digestion of fats and oils.” 0 likes
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