The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen
By Eric Gower
Quality of recipes: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Japanese flavor: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of preparation: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
My recommendation: This cookbook is a great favorite of mine, because the flavors are Japanese-inspired but geared to a Western kitchen and what’s available in Western supermarkets. Everything is a surprise and a delight to the tongue, but is also fresh, helathy, and easy to make.
If you’d like to try a couple of the recipes in this cookbook, check out this month’s Japanese Home Cooking feature and whip up some:
Mint-Cilantro Udon with Fresh Ginger and Meyer Lemon
Hamachi Tataki with Tomato-Ginger Sauce
Chef Eric Gower lived and worked in Japan for so many years, that even after he returned to the US to open a catering business and write his two cookbooks, he continued to moonlight for the prime minister’s office doing Japanese translation work. He’s that good.
And his recipes are too. Every single one is delicious and easy to make. These aren’t the traditional Japanese staples; they’re “fusion” inspirations that marry traditional Japanese flavors to meats and vegetables we’re more familiar with in the West.
So often, I find that “foreign” recipes require a long list of ingredients I don’t have in my pantry, but these manage to deliver an authentic taste of Japan by sticking to a few basic seasonings and using fresh ingredients that are in season (which is the most Japanese thing of all).
I guarantee that you will page through this cookbook and leave behind a forest of post-its marking recipes you want to try. You will not be disappointed.
You can get it right now from your favorite bookseller, or check out the Jul-Aug Japanagram to see if you won a copy! All subscribers are automatically entered to win—if you’re not among them yet, click this button to subscribe, and be automatically signed up to enter.
And if you’d like to see what Chef Eric is up to these days, visit his matcha tea site Breakaway Matcha which is bringing the rare tea used in Japanese tea ceremony to the world, in ways that are far easier to enjoy and appreciate! (He sells a number of varieties on the site, as well as giving great instructions for enjoying it and offering gorgeous Japanese ceramics to drink it from).
How I pick the book giveaway winners: On the last day of each month, I load all the email addresses of Japanagram subscribers into a random name picker on the Web and ask it to choose subscribers to match however many books I’m giving away that month. Then I publish the emails in the next day’s Japanagram (all emails obscured in a way so only the subscriber will be able to recognize it as their own, of course!)
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist