The Japanese Larder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

The Japanese Larder is beautifully presented and filled with vibrant photos and is an accessible primer to Japanese seasonings and ingredients. The recipes, many of which border on fusion, can be readily made by home cooks in North America.
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The Japanese Larder by Luiz Hara is the best cookbook out there to demystify Japanese ingredients.  It’s well-written, and has excellent information for those who want to cook authentic Japanese.  Hara knows his subject well, and does an excellent job of explaining.  This is a “must have” book to read before visiting the Japanese grocery store, and in most homes will have a special place on the cookbook shelf to reference questions on Japanese cooking.  Highly recommended.
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Wow! What a fabulous book! There is so much information about the ingredients, with explanations of different varieties of each ingredient, the ways they are used, how they are made, regional differences, etc. The recipes are easy to follow and understand, and the photographs are gorgeous! I want to eat everything! A great gift for the foodie and/or otaku in your life!
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Interesting and informative resource book. It is evident that the author put a lot of effort into educating the readers about this subject. Highly recommend.
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If you're looking for a cookbook focused on traditional Japanese recipes/cuisine, then keep looking. Instead, this book takes a focus on essential ingredients that are traditionally found in Japanese cuisine. Nearly everyone is familiar with some, while others might be hard to find outside Japan. Hara takes those ingredients an shows how they can be used in all sorts of dishes. Sure there are some traditional recipes (dashi stock comes to mind), but there are a whole lot that are inspired from different sorts of cuisines and dishes.

The amount of information in the book can be almost overwhelming. It acts as a primer on a lot of different ingredients and how they play a role in Japanese food. Someone starting out could be intimidated by that. To that I say take it one section at a time. The first chapter focuses on the quintessential ingredients. These are the ones that are most common and you've at least heard about before. Each subsequent section takes a different grouping of ingredients and the recipes build by incorporating these staples from one or more sections.

One thing that is great for less experienced cooks is that there are a ton of photos. I'm not sure if there is a picture for every recipe, but it certainly comes close. The food looks great too. With food it is always nice to have some sort of visual guide of how you should expect it to come out. I think this book does a great job of making these ingredients accessible.
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I loved reading this book and using it to add to my home cooking.  I have been a fan of adding Japanese ingredients to my food for a long time; miso paste and seaweed are common ingredients that I add to my vegetable stock.  I used this book to add to my cooking and really try to understand what it was that made Japanese food so special and interesting to me.  There is a unique mixture of flavors and umami that is prevalent in Japenese food that I love and this book helped me see that more.  Other than learning about adding these Japanese elements into my cooking, the photography was amazing!  It alone would have warranted an amazing book about Japanese cooking elements.
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This book is giving my boring cooking tendencies new life! I was thrilled to receive a copy of this from NetGalley, thank you. This is a beautiful publication -- an inspiring collection of recipes that aren't scary to tackle on a weekday, even! I appreciate all the work and knowledge you put into it, Luiz Hara. 

4.5 stars!
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I've always enjoyed Japanese food - excluding seafood, I find the flavors and the style to be to my liking. That said I've had trouble finding an authentic cookbook that gives me the very basics in a way that I can replicate in a style that I like.

The JAPANESE LARDER definitely offers something for someone looking to understand the basics and some fancy prep for the dishes. Hara breaks down the why, the how, and the interesting before jumping into anything complicated. Sometimes knowing WHY there are multiple different ways to pickle a vegetable helped me understand which to use in my recipes. 

The recipes do take some time, especially if you're not one who has patience (like me) when prepping. It is important to pay attention to his measurements and to how he says to prepare the basics like dashi or the ponzu sauces. 

I've also found new dishes I want to try before I attempt to make (like Nikujaga - Japanese style beef & potato hotpot) and I'm glad that he gave a good overview for Tempura at home! I love Tempura so that section in particular has been helpful.
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What a lovely recipe book. With loads of info about an incredibly interesting culture it's full of mouth watering recipes that really wants me to rush out and make things. A good balance is kept between using traditional ingredients and readily available items you can find in any supermarket. And while some recipes doesn't feel very Japanese they all look delicious and the whole book is firstly a great recipe book, but also a nice journey into a delicious cuisine.
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I received a free ARC from Netgalley.

This is a great cookbook for those that have no idea how to cook Japanese or even what makes Japanese food.  Ingredients are explained and pictures given.  Recipes are thorough (even told me how to clean a garlic clove!).

For those that want quick Japanese food,  this is not for you.  There are specific ingredients needed that aren't available at American markets.  

The recipes are in metric with conversions in parentheses.  This can throw an American cook off at first.  Some pictures were confusing--the words and signs are in Japanese--and I didn't know what I was looking at.  Others were people pictures that weren't significant to me.

I found recipes that I want to try but will need to make a list for Asian ingredients first.
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The Japanese Larder is a fantastic cookery book for anyone wanting to make Japanese cuisine.  It is full of delicious looking recipes and photography.

It is split into 7 chapters plus an Introduction.  The book covers many aspects of Japanese food including Key Seasonings, Dried, fermented & preserved ingredients, Spices, condiments & garnishes, Rice, noodles & tofu, Fruit & vegetables, Tea & other beverages and Sauces, marinades & garnishes.

There is so much to pick from in this book and to learn.  I love the way it includes photography of the raw ingredients such as a bitter melon, the condiments and much more.  So so helpful for shopping!  

Each recipe is explained very well and comes with a colour photograph so you know what it should look like - too many other books lack this kind of detail but this one gets it right as with a new recipe you need to know what you are going to eat.  It explains how to make lumpy tempura - yes it should be lumpy - and also covers how to make your own tofu.

Measurements are in both imperial and metric and as mentioned there is loads of photography of the complete recipes, ingredients plus food in Japan.

I would certainly like to add this book to my cookery book collection and would cook the slow-braised pork belly as my first dish and I'm sure it wouldn't be the last one I tried.  There is plenty to pick and it's not all fish and sushi!

I received this book from netgalley in return for a honest review.
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This went so far beyond the realm of a typical cookbook!  It was obviously painstakingly researched and compiled, and the attention to detail made it a pleasure to peruse.  The photographs are absolutely stunning, food as works of art.  The recipes are complex in their own right, but simple enough for most home cooks.  I loved the sections devoted to cocktails and sauces, they gave me ideas I have never considered before.
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This book is an amazing collection of Japanese recipes and information. The pictures are colorful and look delicious. Looking through the recipes, most of the ingredients can be purchased at most grocery stores. While the recipes look to be a little beyond *my* skills, there were many I would like to try out.
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Well laid-out recipes with magnificent pictures brought this amazing treasure-trove to life. Kicking things off, the traditional seasonings to provide for authentic Japanese Cuisine were listed. Easy to follow, clear explanations were provided for each and every recipe. A photographic work of art, many of the dishes were shown beautifully plated. They almost looked too good to eat. Not really. This is a must-have book for anyone wanting to learn how to prepare delicious Japanese meals.

I extend my gratitude to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group - Jacqui Small for this ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
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There are so many Asian cookbooks out there, but I have found few that concentrate on just the Japanese region. Even fewer that are so well written as this one! And also beautifully photographed. 
Hara really does a great job of introducing the reader to Japanese cuisine. He covers everything that I could ever think of. There are chapters on key seasonings, various ingredients, spices, teas, sauces, marinades, and on and on. The author describes the different kinds of fruits and vegetables used in Japanese cooking. And a great chapter on just rice and noodles. 
Throughout all the chapters, he introduces  the reader to easy to understand recipes. As well as where and how some of the ingredients are produced.
Hara makes the entire book easy to read, and inviting. Now that I understand what some of the items are, I can't wait to go to the Asian grocery store to find some of them to try!
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for a fair review. I can honestly say that I will be purchasing additional copies for my friends who love to cook!
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Many of the recipes look wonderful and the instructions seem easy to follow. I love the introductory information for all of the Japanese flavors and spices. Definitely a book that does what it sets out to, I feel like I could comfortably grab some of these Japanese components to change up my cooking.
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My first time through this book I just looked at all of the gorgeous pictures. The food looked scrumptious and the people and places looked inviting. When I went back in to read the information and the recipes, I fell even more in love with this book. As a home cook I appreciate ingredients that are new to my pantry. This book gave me plenty to work with and also the knowledge I need to use them without a recipe.
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I received this book in exchange for a honest review from NetGalley. 

I have really enjoyed this cookbook! It has beautiful pictures and goes over the basics off Japanese cooking in a way that is very thorough. It starts off explaining the basics of Japanese cooking and goes in depth about the ways that Japanese food is deeply different from western food. I have absolutely loves all of the recipes from this that I have tried! Honestly the most life changing thing that I learned from this book is that I could reuse the ingredients for my dashi a second time!! Overall this is a beautiful book with excellent information and recipes.
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I received a free copy for an honest review through Netgalley. That being said, I collect cookbooks and recipes like crazy. I have Japanese cookbooks already, and this still taught me knew tricks and skills. The recipes are clear and concise, and explain substitutions and ways to incorporate Japanese techniques and flavors with the non traditional to create new and flavorful ideas. I’ve been making tsukemono, onigiri, and oden for years, so seeing other recipes and twists are always wonderful, especially learning more about the processes of items. I really liked the step by step process of tofu making, as that was on my to learn list! I love making desserts and sweets, so I was happy to see a few recipes, but would have liked a few more. Mochi and red bean paste are easy to use and modify, but sadly were not in here.
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The Japanese Larder

I always have a box of miso paste in my pantry and use it frequently in delicious soups  – but it took this book to make me realize a: how many different types of miso are available and b: how much it can be used in other recipes and c: how many other Japanese ingredients can be used in creating delicious food.

Reading the Japanese Larder has been a real pleasure, and an adventure too! Each chapter starts with a full-page photograph showing the ingredients covered in that chapter and a legend with the names of each ingredient.  How often I have looked at rows and rows of bottles and boxes in oriental grocery stores without having a clue what many of them are; this book has definitely helped overcome that confusion!

The subtitle “Bringing Japanese ingredients into your everyday cooking” is an accurate description.  It covers a wide range of ingredients: divided into chapters covering seasonings, dried fermented and preserved ingredients, spices condiments and garnishes, rice noodles and tofu, fruit and vegetables, teas and other beverages and sauces, marinade and garnishes.

Each chapter starts with detailed descriptions of the ingredients, so for example, in the first chapter on key Japanese seasonings we learn what soy sauce is made of, the different types of soy sauce, how they can be used and how they help achieve umami. Then follows a selection of recipes (both traditional and innovative) using the ingredients in each chapter and superb photos of each dish. I enjoyed the inclusion of recipes to make some of the key ingredients, such as tofu and dashi, at home. Scatttered through the book are vibrant photos of food in Japan – from stalls to shops to restaurants.

I have tried three recipes so far.  The Buta No Kakuni  (pork belly squares in cider soy sauce and brown sugar) was delicious. It used an interesting method of slow cooking in rice to create a meltingly tender dish.  The Charred Hispi Cabbage was served with a sesame miso and hazelnut crumble – also a real success.  The Ginger Ale and Soy Braised Tuna was somewhat less successful, but that is probably just personal preference; the flavours were great, but I do prefer tuna quickly seared.  Next on my list to try is Rast Duck in Clementine Teriyaki Glaze.  It sounds delicious!

The final pages provide a good list of suppliers in UK, USA and Australia.  It is definitely a book worth having on any food lovers bookshelf.
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