The Japanese Larder - Luiz Hara
by Nick Harman - Wednesday October 3, 2018 4:10 pm
The subtitle is ‘Bringing Japanese Ingredients into Your Everyday Cooking’ and with recipes like these you’ll be cooking Japanese style every day for sure.
The Japanese Larder is another labour of love from Luiz, carefully researched and written in his easygoing, yet authoritative style - Luiz trained at the Cordon Bleu school and is no amateur chef or food writer. His supperclubs in North London are justly famed and, full disclosure, I have just been to one where he cooked from this new book.
It proved what I had suspected from an early read; this food is delicious, and while no one would say it was exactly easy, it is perfectly achievable if you follow instructions.
One of the main points of the book is to demystify Japanese ingredients, which can be a bit baffling if not downright daunting to many. Just about all of us do have access to the Japanese larder though, if not actually via a local shop then for sure online. So, it’s easy to stock up with what you need.
Each chapter looks at a set of Japanese ingredients and uses them in classical Japanese cooking before heading into new recipes that have a foot planted in in both Japan and North London.Miso, mirin, tofu and matcha?
Find out what to do with these classic ingredients. Ponzu? Yuzo? All is revealed.
Having tried his Onigarazu rice sandwich with soboro chicken fried egg and mangetout (and that is my photo, grabbed with a phone), I can say these things really should be the next big thing foodbloggers lose their stuff over. Very instagrammable and incredibly tasty, they are a bit of a fiddle to make but oh so worth it.
The chapters are logical - Japanese Key Seasonings - Dried. Fermented and Preserved Japanese Ingredients - Japanese Spices, Condiments and Garnishes - Rice, Noodles and Tofu - Japanese Fruit and Vegetables -Japanese Teas and Other Beverages - and finally Sauces, Marinades and Garnishes.
Each chapter is full of fascinating background detail and there’s lots of first person meetings with some of the best suppliers in Japan.
Dishes such as Maple-cured salmon with greens and shimeji mushrooms leap off the page and Mentaiko spaghetti in marinated cod roe and black tobiko caviar is remarkable.
There is just so much to salivate over in this book, and once you’ve done a bit of shopping you’ll have enough ammo in your Japanese Larder to cook something spectacular pretty much whenever you want.
Publisher: Jacqui Small (18 Oct. 2018)