Best Japanese Cookbooks 2022 for Inspirational Recipes to Try at Home

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If you look around any high street in London, you’re likely to find a Japanese restaurant, whether it’s a takeaway sushi shop, an authentic ramen hangout, or the latest emerging dessert craze.

It’s fair to say that Japanese food has really made its mark in London, and we’re absolutely living for it. Whether it’s a box of sushi to go for lunch or a treat at one of London’s newest Japanese fusion restaurants, we’re obsessed.

Enjoying these dishes so much, it can be intimidating to know where to start when it comes to recreating the flavors, colors, and theatricality at home.

Despite seeming nearly impossible to cook yourself, we can safely say that it’s deceptively simple, especially when it comes to mastering the basics. With just a few ingredients in your pantry and some free time, you’ll be creating spectacular meals every night of the week.

Kanji Furukawa, Executive Chef at the Japan Centre, tells us: “Soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake and miso paste are absolutely essential when it comes to stocking your kitchen if you want to prepare Japanese dishes at home. These four ingredients are the foundation of so many classic Japanese dishes and are also used to marinate anything from steaks to eggplants to add so much flavor.”

It’s time to dive headlong into the world of Japanese food. We’re here to inspire you and make you salivate with a look at the best Japanese cookbooks below.

Japaneasy: Classic and Modern Japanese Recipes

japaneasy

If you’re interested in trying Japanese food, but don’t want to spend a whole day shopping at specialty stores before cooking for several more hours, Japaneasy is the way to go. Anderson shows how authentic Japanese food can be cooked in a very short time, with just a few ingredients found in regular supermarkets.

For novice cooks, the information on stocking your pantry at first is particularly helpful. In fact, you only need seven essential ingredients: soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, dashi, sake, miso, and rice.

Once you’ve mastered the basic sauces, take it up a notch and try making crowd favorites like gyoza, tempura, and yakitori. For the adventurous, we recommend Anderson’s Japanese ‘carbonara’ complete with mushrooms, miso and noodles.

Dumplings and Noodles: Bao, Gyoza, Biang Biang, Ramen, and Everything in Between

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Despite being a dumpling lover myself, I must admit I never attempted to make these hearty delicious pockets; I always found them too intricate and delicate. But, with the step-by-step guide provided at Dumplings and Noodles, mastering the art of making dumplings has never been easier.

If you fancy something simpler to start your Japanese culinary odyssey, check out the Miso Ramen for cooler nights, or the Aromatic Lamb biang biang for a Sunday brunch with a twist. Detailed instructions, clear photos, and helpful tips along the way make this book a staple for all Asian food lovers.

Tokyo New Wave: 31 Chefs Defining Japan’s Next Generation

Amazon

For fans of Japanese culture, this cookbook is a kitchen shelf essential. Profiles of 31 top chefs, this guide is packed with interviews, portraits, and recipes to show how Japanese cuisine is being redefined. The dichotomy between tradition and modernity has firmly positioned Tokyo as a gastronomic capital and with recipes such as Wagyu Carpaccio and Uni in Bechamel Soy Sauce, to transport you to the heart of the city.

Naturally, most of these recipes take some time to prepare and cook, but we promise you, all will be forgiven the moment you take that first heavenly bite. Fazzari’s photography is also stellar: food has never looked so alluring and appetizing.

Ramen: Japanese noodles and small plates

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Like author Tove Nilsson, we too are addicted to ramen. Is there anything better than mounds of noodles, our favorite protein, and nutritious vegetables swimming in piping hot, flavorful broth? Now is the time to recreate your favorite ramen at home as you put these 50 delicious recipes to the test.

Nilsson first teaches you how to make the basic broth and noodles before showing you how to create Short Rib Ramen, Green Curry Ramen, and Mushroom Tofu Ramen. All recipes are easy to follow and most require only easily accessible ingredients.

Don’t forget to try the small sides, especially Tempura and Gyoza, the perfect accompaniment to ramen.

Asian Plant-Based Everyday Green Recipes Inspired by the East

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The beauty of Asian food lies in its versatility, and with versatility comes many options, so vegans shouldn’t feel left out. This vegan cookbook focuses on healthy yet delicious meals that use fresh fruits and vegetables to create traditional dishes from all over China, Japan, and beyond.

If you plan to host or cook for people with plant-based dietary needs, the Wild Rice and Sticky Sprouts Salad, Chinese Black Bean Seitan Tacos, and Xian Style Carrot, Potato and Chive Mince will be an absolute delight. and they’re remarkably easy to make (almost everything can be made ahead of time).

For those with a little more time on their hands, follow Huang’s homemade tofu recipe that can be incorporated into ramens, poke bowls, and noodle dishes.

Sushi made simple: from classic rolls and wraps to modern bowls and burgers

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Sushi lovers, gather together! We’ve found something unbelievably impressive (but no, it’s not a shoestring package of salmon sushi). Sushi Made Simple goes beyond simple recipes, it is a tribute to the taste of bite-sized delicacies. From the beginning, it will point out the key ingredients you need in your pantry, the different types of sushi, and the traditional techniques.

Along with endless fish sushi dishes like Spicy Tuna Roll and Chakin Sushi Parcels comes a variety of vegetarian and vegan bites that are equally delicious.

Vegetarian nigiri and pickled pepper sushi are popular.

Modern Asian Baking at Home: Essential Sweet and Savory Recipes

Amazon

Satisfy your sweet tooth with some of the most incredible Asian-inspired cakes, pies, and frozen treats. Packed with some of the most innovative takes on desserts, each recipe introduces new ingredients, techniques and textures that will create an explosion of flavor.

If you’re short on time and craving mochi, try the Quick Microwave Mochi or, for those with more time on your hands, the Lemony Matcha Macarons are not to be missed. Dietary requirements are well catered for with dishes like Spicy Gochujang Flourless Chocolate Cake and Mango Sticky Rice.

To Asia, With Love: Everyday Asian Recipes and Stories from the Heart

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It can be difficult to create meals to please the whole family without spending all day in the kitchen. This bestselling cookbook from Hetty McKinnon accomplishes this by creating traditional vegetarian dishes in unconventional ways.

Its many Asian salads, including shredded cucumber salad and finger-licking edamame beans, make this a perfect cookbook for summer and alfresco dining. Surprisingly, you’ll find that most recipes cater to dietary requirements or offer simple substitutes for vegans.

Totally Tofu: 75 Delicious Vegetarian And Vegan Recipes Packed With Protein

Amazon

Japanese food is not only delicious, it’s also incredibly inclusive. It’s great for those with dietary needs, as many dishes are naturally dairy-free and packed with protein, just like tofu. With 75 recipes spanning breakfast, lunch, and even desserts, if you’re not a tofu convert yet, you soon will be.

Celebrated as a nutritious, protein-packed superfood, tofu is incredibly versatile and can be used in just about any dish. For a weeknight meal, try the black bean and tofu tacos followed by a tofu brownie for dessert, where the proof really is in the pudding. Strawberry Tofu Smoothie is surprisingly delicious and a great way to start your morning.

easy japanese food

Amazon

For the beginner cooks among us, Easy Japanese Food will be your shining light.

With a plethora of Japanese recipes to keep you full throughout the day, you’ll spend more time eating than cooking thanks to the handy cooking time label on each page. In just half an hour and with just a few ingredients, you’ll find yourself sitting down to tasty plates of Gyoza Dumplings, Mackerel Pressed Sushi, and Matcha Ice-Cream Sandwich.

The instructions are clear and comprehensive, so you don’t have to worry about chef jargon. We guarantee he’ll be back for more thanks to not only the recipes but also the stomach-churning photography.

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