Cook Japan is a cookbook for staying slim and living longer written by Reiko Hashimoto. The book is packed with over a hundred modern and traditional recipes which are low in fat and high in protein, vitamins and minerals.
Reiko runs a popular cooking school in London where she teaches her students to make authentic Japanese dishes.
Japan boasts one of the highest life expectancies in the world and incredibly less than five percent of the population could be considered obese. There's something enticing about Japanese food which makes it so delicious and Reiko explains her reasons why it is a healthy cuisine. She explores how a Japanese diet may lead to a slim physique, stable blood sugar levels, increased joint flexibility and a longer lifespan.
The book begins with an introduction to Japanese eating habits, dining etiquette and the principles of where Japanese children are encouraged to eat thirty different ingredients every day. The five principles are derived from Zen Buddhist teaching and are often visible on the walls of Japanese restaurants:
Be thankful to the force of nature and all human endeavours that have produced this food
Reflect upon one's own imperfections and do good deeds worthy of deserving food
Take your position at the table in peach
Eat for both physical and spiritual nourishment
Be earnest in the daily struggle for enlightenment
She then explains the five colours, five cooking methods and five tastes of Japanese cuisine.
There are two pages devoted to explaining Japanese equipment and utensils, followed by several pages covering store cupboard ingredients, fresh ingredients and drinks. You may need to visit a specialist Asian store for some of the ingredients in these recipes.
The sections of the book are divided by the main ingredient of the dishes: small bites, rice, noodles, fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, vegetables and seaweed, tofu and egg, nabe, sushi and sweet.
You'll be tempted by recipes for miso ginger pea patties, ramen noodles with pork broth and char-siu pork, bang bang chicken with somen noodles, blowtorched pickled mackerel, miso apple pork belly, vegetarian gyoza dumplings and match soufflé.
We enjoyed a dinner of sweet ginger meatballs followed up by a delicious plum wine jelly with ginger plum compote. The recipes have easy to follow instructions and range from easy to the more technically complex. Many of the recipes are illustrated with full-page photographs of the completed dish taken by Jodi Hinds. The recipes do not include nutritional details.
Cook Japan is an ideal first cookbook for home cooks wanting to explore this wonderful and healthy Asian super-star cuisine.
Cook Japan is available in hardcover and ebook from your favourite bookseller.
Published by Bloomsbury
About the author
Reiko Hashimoto www.hashicooking.co.uk) grew up in Kyoto, Japan. By watching her mother cook fresh food for every meal and use vegetables that changed with the seasons, Reiko's dedication to authentic Japanese flavours was born. After becoming educated in international cuisine, Reiko settled in London and opened her culinary school, Hashi Cooking. She now has students from amateurs to chefs of the Cordon Bleu, and teaches traditional and healthy Japanese dishes while debunking myths surrounding Japanese cooking.