Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking

Restaurateur Masaharu Morimoto aims high in Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking. The title is a self-conscious reference to Julia Child's 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Morimoto hopes to do for Japanese cooking what Child did for French cooking: inspire home cooks with a passion for an unfamiliar cuisine and give them the tools to understand it.

Morimoto argues that home cooks have not attempted Japanese cooking because of the mystique surrounding the skills and ingredients used by restaurant chefs. In Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking, he introduces the simpler food prepared by Japanese cooks at home. After chapters describing the basics of Japanese cuisine--rice and the seaweed-based stock dashi--Morimoto organizes his book by cooking techniques. Chapters on simmering, steaming, grilling, dressing and pickling are augmented with personal stories about his education as a chef and sometimes surprising practical advice. If Morimoto succeeds at nothing else, he'll convince you to buy a rice cooker! --Pamela Toler, blogging at History in the Margins

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