Monday, September 03, 2007

Book Review: Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking

Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking
Masaharu Morimoto
DK Publishing 2007
272 pp, hardbound, $40 US, $50 Canada

Everything about this book is as beautiful and stylish as you would expect from something connected to Iron Chef Japanese, Masaharu Morimoto.

The plentiful photos, the clever printing on the cover, the typeface - all of it makes a gorgeous, impressive package that would make a great gift for a foodie in your life.

Morimoto explains his philosophy of food and shows the exceptional attention to detail that has made him world-famous.

His section on sushi should be a must-read for any American commits the trifecta of sushi faux pas - mixing wasabi into the soy sauce, dunking the rice into the resulting mixture and letting it soak.

This is more of a cook's book than a cookbook, however. Many of the explanations - preparing salmon roe, milling sushi rice - are for procedures that even the most obsessive home cook is unlikely to try.

The recipes given rely on ingredients that most people outside of Asia will have a hard time finding - lotus leaves, sweetfish liver, Japanese soy lecithin sheets. Yuzu is a common ingredient, and even here is southern California with our plentiful Asian population, I only see that fruit on rare occasions.

Vegetarians won't have much luck finding anything to eat in here. Even one of the ice creams has squid (Squid Strawberry Ice Cream) in it.

This is a book for those who love Morimoto, who want to know more about East-West fusion gourmet cuisine, or who have dined with Morimoto and who want to relive the experience through his words and photos.

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