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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
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

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m