Written by Kotaro Hayashi, the owner-chef of the popular izakaya "Kotaro" in Shibuya, Tokyo, this book is a guide to a number of the "otsumami" dishes that he creates. The book has great visual guides to different ratios for liquids used in the dishes (dashi, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, vinegar, etc) as well as detailed recipes and explanations of cooking techniques. Otsumami refers to the small, tapas-esque dishes that pair well with alcoholic beverages and are a staple at Japanese izakaya. Great book for those who enjoy long conversations over a glass of wine or two while nibbling on smaller bites.
Den is a highly lauded kaiseki restaurant with one Michelin star to its name and a reputation for innovative dishes. This dual language English-Japanese cookbook is a great view into his methods and processes, covering new dishes alongside Den menu mainstays.
This book is comprehensive walkthrough of French cuisine via the eyes, brain, and palate of Chef Hiroyasu Kawate of Florilege, a famed French restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo. The book covers not just recipes and cooking techniques but also dives deep into plating techniques. That being said, the contents of this book don't just touch on French cuisine as you would find in France, but is a reflection of the culture of Japanese cuisine - washoku - applied to modern French cuisine.
Chef Hiroshi Sasaki's restaurant Gion Sasaki is a staple of Kyoto's Yasakadoori, a long-running restaurant that's said to be one of the faces of Kyoto cuisine. This book, while including many recipes of Chef Sasaki, is more a look at his approach to cuisine and thought process behind his dishes and his style of cuisine overall.
A 2017 guidebook to an assortment of all kinds of Japanese izakaya/pubs spanning all kinds of cuisines from yakitori, Mexican, pasta, New York-style bistros, and more. With an index that spans across the majority of the major Japanese cities, this "mook" - Japanese shorthand for a magazine-style book - is a great introduction to Japanese culinary nightlife.
An English language guidebook to the three single bevel Japanese knives found commonly in kitchens -- the deba, the yanagiba, and the usuba. This book explains basic usage and techniques specifically related to each of the knives and their role in the kitchen, as well as a number of recipes and preparation guides. There's even a section that briefly introduces other forms and styles of Japanese knives, from the funayuki to the menkiri and more.
This book showcases the intimate and visceral relationship between animals and their role in the preparation of a meal. The book leads you from the animals' entirety, through the butchery, and into the simple yet refined dishes that are served at La Chasse in Tokyo. The deep browns and vivid reds, the crisp photography and stark lighting, the animals butchery are all inspiring.
Using a sample of popular steakhouses and meat-based restaurants in Tokyo and Osaka, this book is both a guide to the Japanese take on wet/dry-aging of various cuts and types of meat with recipes and as a primer to great restaurants to check out in Japan.
A thin but comprehensive guide to wet and dry aging beef. This book begins with covering aged beef in both America and France, then moves on into introducing Japanese producers. There are also brief but detailed guides to trimming and grilling aged beef, and another section dedicated to recipes utilizing aged beef.
From Toshio Endo of Hirano and Aoyama Club fame, this book is an amazing technical guide to traditional Japanese cutting techniques with incredibly beautiful and detailed pictures. True to the name "Mukimono", the book focuses primarily on mukimono and usuba usage, but also details ways to use certain corer molds, kiridashi, and other kitchen tools to create and utilize beautiful shapes with and within ingredients.
A collection of recipes from a selection of talented head chefs of the kaiseki restaurants under the banner of Nadaman, a storied restaurant that has expanded to several international locations and 190 years of history to their credit. The book itself is filled with bright pictures of dishes veering more towards the traditional/classical, with the recipes written in a way that makes the book friendly to the home kitchen.
This book is a glance into 3-star Michelin kaiseki restaurant Ginza Kojyu's - and by natural extension its head chef Toru Okuda's - approach and philosophy towards Japanese cuisine. The book is extremely comprehensive with huge, beautiful pictures. This book itself is also on the bigger side (9.5" x 12"), as so to more accurately convey textures and scale than a smaller book. Highly recommended.
* This book is primarily Japanese language with French and English commentary and translations available towards the rear of the book.
Ryugin is a 3-star Michelin kaiseki restaurant headed by Seiji Yamamoto. This book is less a cookbook and more of a philosophical reflection into his approach to all aspects of cooking. The book is a visual pleasure - not just the food being particularly gorgeous but with the earthenware and plates being exceptional as well. For those of you who enjoy watching the process, Yamamoto-san also has a YouTube channel called Tokyo Gastronomy that is highly entertaining.
A very philosophical and fascinating book on the relationship between the Japanese royal lineage and cuisine throughout history, touching on a variety of subjects. History and culture buffs will love this book and the numerous, beautiful images and eloquent writing that is offered.
Nukazuke is a Japanese rice bran fermentation -- this book, aptly translating to "The Basics of Nukazuke", is a great introduction to how to start a fresh nukazuke batch, how to maintain the fermentation and use it on ingredients, and relevant & delicious recipes that can be made from the fruits of your labor.
From Toshiro Ogata of the 2-star Michelin kaiseki restaurant Ogata in Kyoto, this book features stunning and evocative pictures of Ogata-san's cuisine with an eloquent foreword by luminary musical artist Ryuichi Sakamoto. The front of the book is full color and huge shots of ingredients, food, and pottery used by Ogata-san, whereas the rear is dual language Japanese-English descriptions of each philosophy, each dish, and each thought process into the things being transposed into photos.
Osechi is a traditional Japanese meal that is eaten at the start of the year, notable for the meal being compartmentalized into stacking boxes called juubako. This book covers traditional and modern approaches as to how osechi can be made, the preparation for the various ingredients and the compartments they should be organized in, and the different kinds of juubako that are used in osechi.
Otsumami are little tapas-style plates generally geared towards drinking - pub food, essentially. This compact recipe book contains quick and concise instructions for most of the recipes, but also contains detailed instructions for general preparation and ingredient handling.
An introduction to the usage of different cuts of beef and pork meat, and a showcase of dishes from different chefs of different backgrounds primarily geared towards professionals. There are an assortment of sections covering cured meats, sausage making, and animal rearing.
Pro no Tame no Kai Ryori to Senmonten no Kihon Gijyutsu
This book is an extremely comprehensive guide to handling mollusks across a large diaspora of culinary disciplines. From shucking techniques to recipes to taxonomy, just about everything relating to non-crustacean shellfish gets touched on.
An introduction to the usage of different cuts of red meats and poultry, and a showcase of dishes from different chefs of different backgrounds primarily geared towards professionals. There are an assortment of sections covering dish ideas, cooking techniques, and different philosophies in approaching meat-based cuisine.
This book is a dedicated guide into covering cured pork in all its different forms in classic French discipline. As the title implies, the contents are primarily geared towards restaurant-style preparation, but are not limited to that.
Ryori no Atarashii Miryoku ga Hirogaru Konsai no Washoku Kobachi314
From esteemed chef Toshio Endo, this book covers root vegetables in depth by season and preparation. As with the food, explained in thorough detail, the plating and earthenware Endo-san employs is a treat for the eyes.
This book is a highly philosophical view into ingredients -- nine highly revered Japanese chefs including Yoshihiro Murata of Kikunoi and Masahiro Kurisu of Tankumakita fame, having conversations about twelve common vegetables and how to approach these ingredients. This is less of a cookbook and more thought-provoking dialogue toward cookery.
A guidebook to handling, preparing, and cooking native Japanese game meats such as duck, boar, quail, bear, deer, and other game meats both of land and air. This guidebook is geared more for the industry professional, but can be applied to the home kitchen.
Ryorinin no Tame no Washoku no Utsuwa Atsukai-kata Hand-Book
This book by prolific chef and author Toshio Endo goes into vast detail about the types of different Japanese earthenware, plates, bowls, and dinnerware, aimed at the professional food industry. A great book with lots of interesting shapes and formations and how to use them in the context of plating.
Saishin Tori Ryori- Teiban to Bui betsu Arrange 82shina
Winner winner chicken dinner! ...This book has recipes for 82 different chicken recipes, spanning the expertise of four different chefs from successful Japanese restaurants in the fields of French, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines.
From Ginza Mutsukari's Yoshihisa Akiyama comes a book dedicated to reimagining ways to present and approach regional dishes from each major area of Japan. With each dish explained is an opposing page detailing a parallel version of the dish. A great read as it introduces a bunch of beloved local dishes while also showing a modern paradigm on each one.
This book is a thorough and encyclopedic guide to chicken through the lens of Masahiro Kasahara of Sanpi Ryoron in Ebisu, Tokyo. Fried, braised, steam, in ramen, roasted, skewered and grilled, breast, thigh meat, wingtips... several different ways to prepare chicken have been covered in this book, which tends to veer more towards friendly and casual izakaya fare without being too pretentious. Really fun to read.
The title literally translating to "Everything of Sushi", this book by head chef Yosuke Imada of the celebrated Ginza Kyubey covers just about everything imaginable for sushi from appearance and decor, to the daily tasks and tools (+maintenance and a brief guide to sharpening!), a very clear discussion of how shari (sushi rice) should be done and why it is so important in sushi), and introductions and explanations of different fish and other ingredients. Easily one of Kevin's favorite books in the JKI lineup.
Another book from prolific chef Tatsuya Ogino, this book covers 100 recipes for salads with the intent of emphasizing the deliciousness of vegetables for the home user. Even though the book is geared for the home kitchen, there are tons of great ideas for the pro chef that are packed in this book.
Another book from prolific Tokyo chef Tatsuya Ogino, this book contains 200 recipes with a focus on vegetable cuisine. While much of the book focuses on deli style salads and a number of recipes use animal products, it also includes a number of vegan and vegetarian recipes as well that may be useful to anyone looking for creative ideas in their cooking.