By Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
Ten Speed Press, $27.50
In their latest collaboration, chef Tadashi Ono and author Harris Salat showcase the noodles, dumplings, curries, savory omelets, and deep-fried delectables that millions of people in Japan enjoy every day at home and at neighborhood eateries. The book is a fascinating, mouthwatering read, richly illustrated with evocative photos. In 13 chapters, the authors trace the history of various cooking styles and tease out the foreign influences on beloved classics such as udon noodles, Tatsuta-Age (Japanese-style fried chicken), Donburi (big bowls of rice with toppings), and Chahan (fried rice). The 100-plus easy-to-follow recipes are broken down into manageable parts and often include step-by-step pictures and technique-oriented tips. While it might be easier to satisfy your craving by running out to your favorite Japanese restaurant, there's nothing quite like the triumphant feeling of turning out crisp Shrimp Tempura from your own kitchen.
Potato Salada (page 210) News to me: Potato salad is big in Japan. In this version, cucumber, carrot, and onion are briefly cured in salt before being tossed with potatoes dressed with exactly the right amount of mayonnaise.
Yakisoba (page 138) Fresh ramen noodles are stir-fried with vegetables, pork, sesame oil, sake, Worcestershire, and tonkatsu sauce (store-bought or one made by following Ono's DIY recipe for it) in this tasty, comforting dish. It delivers authentic flavors and isn't at all complicated.
Photographs by Todd Coleman