If the food of a culture has a pulse, in Japan that pulse would be called washoku. It''s a set of principles in fives that takes into account color, taste, ways of preparing food, the diner''s senses, and the outlook brought to bear on both the cooking and the dining experience. The result? Meals that are balanced, pleasing, invigorating, healing, and satisfying--all in ways that seep deep into the soul. It''s the great good luck of the West that Elizabeth Andoh chose a life in Japan and a focus on food. Her expertise has brought forth the award-winning An Ocean of Flavor as well as countless newspaper and magazine pieces.
With Washoku Andoh takes the reader into the heart of the Japanese home kitchen. She explains the guiding philosophy then brings it into practical terms with a section on the essential washoku pantry. Her section on the washoku kitchen begins with cutting and ends with shaping and molding. Recipes are found in chapters on Stocks and Condiments; Soups; Rice; Noodles; Vegetables; Fish, Meat and Poultry; Tofu and Eggs; and Desserts.
You might never prepare an entire Japanese meal from beginning to end (though with this book in hand you certainly could), but there''s no reason not to believe you wouldn''t begin to include some of these recipes in an expanding foodway. The sauces and condiments are particularly exciting. As is the underlying thinking that goes into how you are cooking and why you are cooking--the washoku of it all. Not a bad lesson to learn from an exemplary teacher. --Schuyler Ingle
"Elizabeth Andoh''s groundbreaking cookbook introduces Western audiences to the age-old concept of washoku, the art of creating nutritional and aesthetic harmony at the table, one that transforms our thinking about Japanese cuisine and culture. Composed with deep scholarship and loving craftsmanship, Washoku is filled with authentic recipes and personal stories that place the Japanese cooking and dining experience in a much needed cultural perspective only an insider could share." --Grace Young, author of The Breath of a Wok
"For American cooks, Elizabeth Andoh is THE guru of Japanese cuisine. It seems there''s nothing she doesn''t know, her language is clear and understandable, and her recipes work. What more could you want?"
--Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything
"We cook from the heart (kokoro) and express our feelings with our dishes. In this book, Elizabeth Andoh conveys the way of the Japanese kokoro through cooking to people around the world."
-- Nobu Matsuhisa
"Elizabeth Andoh’s beautiful new book is not just a cookbook filled with enticing recipes, but a fascinating treatise explaining the philosophy behind Japanese home cooking and Japanese cuisine as a whole. Washoku confirms Elizabeth’s stellar reputation as one of the most knowledgeable authorities on Japanese food and culture."
--Nina Simonds, author of A Spoonful of Ginger
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 knowledge and passion for the food culture of Japan in WASHOKU, an authoritative, deeply personal tribute to one of the world ’s most distinctive culinary traditions. Andoh begins by setting forth the ethos of washoku (traditional Japanese food), exploring its nuanced approach to balancing flavor, applying technique, and considering aesthetics hand-in-hand with nutrition. With detailed descriptions of ingredients complemented by stunning full-color photography, the book’s comprehensive chapter on the Japanese pantry is practically a book unto itself. The recipes for soups, rice dishes and noodles, meat and poultry, seafood, and desserts are models of clarity and precision, and the rich cultural context and practical notes that Andoh provides help readers master the rhythm and flow of the washoku kitchen. Much more than just a collection of recipes, WASHOKU is a journey through a cuisine that is rich in history and as handsome as it is healthful.
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