Japanese cookbooks in English by a great teacher

book image: Japanese Homestyle CookingI don't know how this escaped me until now, but there are actually two cookbooks available in English by one of the best teachers of traditional washoku or Japanese cooking, Tokiko Suzuki. Japanese Homestyle Cooking, published in 2000, is the more recent one, and The Essentials of Japanese Cooking is the other, published in 1995.

Tokiko Suzuki has been teaching Japanese home style cooking for decades, on the long running NHK Today's Cooking program, private cooking classes and her numerous cookbooks and articles. I think she is in her 70s now, and bills herself self-deprecatingly as Tokiko Baaba (Grandma Tokiko). I don't have this English book, but I do have a couple of her Japanese books. If you want to learn authentic, traditional Japanese home cooking, you absolutely cannot go wrong by following her directions. Since these books are translations, they do use authentic (and sometimes hard to get a hold of) ingredients but that's the only minor drawback.

(For UK readers, the Japanese Homestyle Cooking book is available on Amazon UK too.)

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I recommend also Washoku : recipes from the Japanese home kitchen by Elizabeth Andoh (Ten Speed Press, ISBN: 978-1580085199).

I have this book; it was my first book for cooking Japanese food at home. It is excellent, with a lot of easy-to-follow pictures, some recipes for seasonal foods, and great recipes for tempura and miso soup. The food is authentic and quite simple but elegant. I also highly recommend it.

Nice to hear that the writer is a Grandma. Her cooking experience shows. :)

I was just looking at this book at Borders, and it looked so good! I was thinking it had to be authentic, so thanks for guaranteeing it! I gotta go buy it now x)

Just a thought, what do you think of Harumi Kurihara's books?

I hadn't seen either of Tokiko Suzuki's books at any of the London shops I've visited, s I had to order them online. The Homestyle Cooking book I purchased with Hisamatsu's Tsukemono from the UK. The other book by Mrs Suzuki I had to get from the States, it should arrive soon now.
The Homestyle book is the Japanese cooking book I've always wanted! Beautifully clear, well explained, lots of tips about substitutions (and the Latin names for some of the vegetables helps me research and find possible equivalents I can buy from Asian markets) and there's all kinds of seemingly obvious tips I was clueless about that are great to know (like reconstituting wasabi powder with grated daikon instead of water). It's the opposite of daunting, and feels like having a true friend in the kitchen. I absolutely love it! I'm so very glad you recommended it (now I can't wait for the other book to arrive)

  • An Australian friend lent me Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking a few years ago, but I never took such a shine to it (I prefer most of Maki's recipe's to Harumi's). The strength of this particular book is that the recipes seem to have been adapted for the Western Market with ingredients easier for most of us to source - one thing I did get from this book is the idea of combining chopped mint and basil as a shiso leaf alternative in the garlic shiso rice recipe (I didn't like the chicken stock granule flavouring idea though). I've also looked through her newer book (Japanese Cooking) and this seems to be a little less 'Westernised'.
    I don't think the 'Japan's answer to Delia Smith' label holds true at all for her, ignoring Delia's latest offering, Tokiko Suzuki seems a much better candidate for this tag. Mrs Suzuki really does take you through each step and makes it all seem pleasurable and simple.

The first English language Harumi Kurihara book is "Harumi's Japanese Cooking", the second is 'Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking'. I got them mixed up in my post above.

I have being reading your Japanese cookbook they are great. Am very much interested in learning how to make Japanese food from ,start, entrees, main courses , please advice me where I can buy the cookery books, and where i can attend classes. Am a chef by profession. please assist me get the books and DvD on japanese Cookery. Thank you.

Whereabouts in the world do you live, Robert?

ahhh!!! i have this book and it really is awesome!
finally i can say to the people who complain when I spin plates around that there is a 'front' and this book says so too, so there!
Also, although I knew to add the basic seasonings in the sa shi su se so order, I never thought about why. The book mentioins some of the reasoning and set me looking up more on it (I checked out your post on it;P).
Actually, a pretty informative site i found for that is this one: http://www.gnavi.co.jp/en/m_theme/index_080229.htm
It also says when to add the sake and mirin!
..although i'm getting off the subject now..
but yes, this is a wonderful book- good recommendation!