The best things about Gaijin Cookbook are the ideas to incorporate Japanese cookery in an otherwise Western style of cooking - things like Temaki Party, Oden Party and Family Style Chirashi are wonderfully described and paint a vision where these types of events can become a fun and regular part of life. They also make it easy to entertain in a Japanese style. In addition, Ivan’s story is very fun to read, and the whole book is just very enjoyable.
Ivan also has some very good recipes in here - I’ve tried these so far
Ajitama - good, but too salty
Onsen Tamago - good
Ojiya - Fantastic! - my favorite recipe from the book
Japanese Sandwiches - good but a little too oily
Chanpuru - good, but too salty
The recipes are where I feel that Ivan lets me down somewhat - the seasonings are not very balanced and tend towards the overly salty. I’ve learned over many years of Japanese cooking that a good rule of thumb is that a recipe should not have more than 1 Tbsp of either soy sauce or miso per person per dish. So for example, a dish that serves 4 should have 4 Tbsp soy sauce or miso or less - otherwise, it’s just far too salty. Many great recipes from other sources actually use 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce or less per serving. Ivan’s dishes routinely have far in excess of that. I’m afraid that any neophyte to Japanese cookery who follows the recipes without modification will find them too salty.
Ajitama : 16 Tbsp soy : 5 servings.
Shogayaki: 8 Tbsp soy : 4 servings.
Yaki Udon: 8 Tbsp soy : 4 servings, and so on.
So my advice is: get the book - it’s really good and lots of fun, but watch the salt levels and be prepared to modify as needed.
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (1 November 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1328954358
- ISBN-13: 978-1328954350
- Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 2.4 x 25.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.2 Kg
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)