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Nov 16, 2009 09:20 PM

Let's Cook Japanese Food!: Everyday Recipes for Home Cooking

Has anyone purchased this book? I have Elizabeth Andoh's Washoku out from the library and am thinking of buying it, but this is a potential competitor - alas, I can't find it in the library to test drive or on a bookstore shelf locally to check it out before ordering.

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  1. I have both books and enjoy them both. I found "Let's Cook Japanese Food" to be very approachable (home-style cooking), has a good number of yoshoku (Japanese take on western food) recipes, in addition to the classics. I think the recipes are different enough from Washoku to warrant purchasing both (although my boyfriend might diasagree because of my growing cookbook collection). If you want to try some recipes before purchasing, here's a link to sake bata yaki ( I was excited to see this one because my Japanese cousin made a similar dish when she came to visit us from Tokyo. Here are a few more from the web (,, Another thought would be to purchase a used copy of the book. I've seen some prices as low as $5. Ganbatte kudasai!

    1. I love Elizabeth's book, Washoku. Another good book to add to your repertoire is Tsuji's Japanese Cooking A Simple Art. I refer to it like a bible and it is filled with so much information about ingredients and cooking techniques.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Yukari

        I agree! Definitely my favorite and most used Japanese cookbook (Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art).

        1. re: BigSal

          One of my favorite comfort foods is chicken oyako/chicken donburi, rice bowl w.chicken/onion/egg/somewhat sweet thin sauce. I've ordered it in a number of restaurants but it's been called both of these names. Firstly is either name "more" correct, and does this book or do you have a recipe for it that you can share. Thanks so much.

          1. re: jnk

            My bachan told me that "oyako" means parent and child (chicken and egg) and "donburi" or "don" means bowl. So, oyako donburi means parent and child in a bowl? I would think either one is correct. I have my Gma's recipe which always tastes and looks completely different from the restaurants. She is originally from Yamanashi-ken. If you would like the recipe, I will post it.

            oh-yah-ko dohn- burri

            1. re: mochi mochi

              Mochi mochi- I would love to hear your obachan's recipe for oyakodon.

              jnk-here's a link to Amy Kanenko's version from Let's Cook Japanese Food

              Also, a great resource for Japanese recipes is Cooking With Dog on You Tube. Everything I've tried so far has been great. The Gyudon recipe is easy and delicious.

              1. re: BigSal

                Oyako Donburi- Bachan's

                1 1/2 cup chicken breast-cut in 1/2 inch pieces and giblets (optional)

                4 tsp. sugar
                4 tbl. soy sauce
                1/2 tsp salt
                1/3 cup water
                1/2 cup frozen peas
                5 large eggs, beaten

                Brown chicken and giblets (not me) in pan with a little vegetable oil or chicken fat. Add sugar, shoyu, salt, peas, and water. Simmer till sauce becomes thick, add eggs and whisk until almost done. Quickly scoop portions onto hot rice and immediately lid. My Grandmother said not to cook the oyako completely. Let the heat from the rice finish the cooking. No onions, it's not saucy, the rice stays dry. That's oyako donburi for me. Sure miss my Grandma! Mine never quite tastes like hers.
                My mom guesstimated the amounts because my grandmother used a wooden spoon to measure most of the time.

                1. re: mochi mochi

                  Thanks M-M, I will always try someone's grandmother's recipe first!

                  1. re: jnk

                    I hope you like it. It's different than the restaurants. I really enjoyed the leftovers for lunch. Comfort food.

                  2. re: mochi mochi

                    In my house the oyako donburi was a bit soupeir and no shoyu was used in cooking. One could add a few drops upon serving. Chopped green onion on top, and no frozen peas.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      What do you think of the recipes on Cooking with Dog on youtube (see above link)? I would love to cook Japanese food -- is this the way to learn a few basics?

                      1. re: Sarah

                        Looks very good to me, other than I wouldn't use whole shrimp, avocado, or Japanese mayo.

              2. re: jnk

                It's definitely called "oyako donburi" in Japanese.

            2. re: Yukari

              I am just beginning to cook from Washoku. My pantry is just about stocked. Would love a Washoku thread so we could find encouragement from each other.

            3. Yes, I love that book. The curried chicken over rice recipe has ruined me for Japanese curry at restaurants.

              1. I'm going to cheat and add another book, "Everyday Harumi," a great introduction to Japanese home cooking.

                1. I need to write a one-page cookbook, "O-kazu". Basically, freshest of vegetables and very little meat cooked quickly in a bit of oil, shoyu, water, and touch of sugar. Attention paid to the cutting of the vegetables. Served with lots of plain steamed Japanese rice.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Do it Sam. Japanese food is intgriguing to me and I'm just about ready to start cooking it on my own but don't know where to start...

                      1. re: Gio

                        I'm with you, Gio. I was hoping that COTM for January was going to be the book pikawicca nominated. I need handholding, I believe. But maybe I should just dive in. Sam, maybe you could start a thread along the lines of Japanese Cooking 101? Or maybe Gio and I should just head to Cali :)

                        Edit: I'm not trying to be cliquie-ish by addressing this to Sam. Only meant that if he starts it other equally competent cooks can chime in.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Just as I looked forward to Eatnopal's Mexican recipes, I consider Sam an authority on home cooked Japanese food. Therefore, I have no compunction addressing a query to him. After all, some of us have been on the same threads for a few years now and it stands to reason we'd become familiar with certain hounds.
                          Write the one-pager Sam. Or maybe a book, even.

                          1. re: Gio

                            Sam grew up with this cuisine, and can do it without thinking. To me, Japanese cuisine walks a fine line among salty, sweet, umami, flavors, plus stringent presentation issues. With all respect to Sam, most of us need the guidance of a basic cookbook. Japanese food is, IMO, the most deceptively simple of all cooking traditions. I love it.