New books examine extremes of Japanese cuisine

Two new books are taking very different approaches to showcasing world-renowned Japanese cuisine and appealing to very different readerships.

Both released by Kodansha International, the books examine the heights of Japanese cuisine as served up at Kitcho - widely regarded as Japan's premier dining establishment - and the equally important attention to detail that goes into millions of lunchboxes, for salarymen and school children, every day.

Kitcho: Japan's Ultimate Dining Experience has been written by chef Kunio Tokuoka, a master in the art of "kaiseki," Japan's own haute cuisine.

And although Tokuoka may be a master of his domain, this 192-page book underlines the remarkable simplicity that he has brought to his craft. It addresses - with some stunning photos - the best ways in which to coax the best flavors from a hearty stock and the optimum preparation for each ingredient in a meal so that they work in perfect union.

Kaisakei cuisine has its origins in the 16th century as an accompaniment to the tea ceremony. Over time, it evolved into a highly formalized and artistic cuisine that celebrated the seasons by making use of only fresh, local and natural ingredients.

Yet to many palates, the fare remained austere. Tokuoka's grandfather opened Kitcho in 1930; he began by combining the refined traditions of the tea ceremony with other classical Japanese elements to create a contemporary cuisine that took kaiseki to a new audience.

Kunio Tokuoka is the third generation to head the restaurant and the book not only deals with recipes but also the all-important presentation of food, entertaining, decoration of the dining area and broader Japanese aesthetics.

Makiko Itoh's book, The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go, addresses a very different type of diner. For generations, wives and mothers have packed their husbands and children off for the day with a packed lunch. And given Japan's economic downturn and wives' increasing thriftiness, more and more bentos are being prepared daily.

The book contains more than 150 recipes, divided into two sections: One that will appeal primarily to Japanese diners and one that will have a more international appeal.

The classics include a recipe for perfect salted salmon or fried chicken, while the not-so-Japanese versions show how Western food can be adapted to the bento concept, with concoctions such as the "Everyone Loves a Pie Bento."

While many other books emphasize the cute and decorative side of bento-making, Itoh's book focuses more attention on the healthy and economic benefits of the bento.

Kitcho: Japan's Ultimate Dining Experience, by Kunio Tokuoka. Published by Kodansha International. Cover price Y5,500 /£30.00 $45.00. ISBN number 978-4-7700-3122-8. Out September 1 in the UK, November 1 in the US.

The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go, by Makiko Itoh. To be released November 1 in the UK,  January 3, 2011 in the US. Published by Kodansha International. Cover price £13.99/$19.95. ISBN number 4770031246

JR

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Junior Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker