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February COTM is Japanese Month

LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 11:31 AM

The winner of the February 2012 Cookbook of the Month vote is Japanese Month which includes WASHOKU by Elizabeth Andoh and JAPANESE COOKING: A SIMPLE ART by Shizuo Tsuji. If you’ve been lurking, please join us, we’re a welcoming bunch. If you're new to Cookbook of the Month, the COTM archive thread explains how it all works: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

If you’re interested in reading the nominating thread you’ll find it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/827937

Please use this thread to discuss techniques, ingredients, meal planning, along with interesting tidbits about these books and recipes.

If you discover any online sources for recipes from these books, please feel free to post them.

Just a gentle reminder, I am still looking for a volunteer to take over COTM duties for the next six months.

On February 1st I will post the official threads for reporting.

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  1. LulusMom RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 11:37 AM

    Here is a thread started by BigSal about Washoku that has a very helpful pantry list: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828644

    3 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom
      smtucker RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 03:00 PM

      I don't see a pantry list there.... what am I missing?

      1. re: smtucker
        Allegra_K RE: smtucker Jan 19, 2012 03:29 PM


        This should be it....

        1. re: smtucker
          LulusMom RE: smtucker Jan 19, 2012 04:02 PM

          Arrrgh, sorry I wasn't more exact. Thanks to those who helped clear this up.

      2. BigSal RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 12:23 PM


        I would willing to step in as a coordinator. I will likely need some help, but COTM has been rewarding so it is time for me to give back.

        1. LulusMom RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 12:24 PM

          I am thrilled to announce that we do have a new coordinator for the next 6 months. L. Nightshade has volunteered to take over. A big round of applause to her!

          2 Replies
          1. re: LulusMom
            Caitlin McGrath RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 01:29 PM

            Excellent news, and I am sure she will do a great job!

            1. re: LulusMom
              Rella RE: LulusMom Jan 21, 2012 06:33 PM

              My thanks and unspoken thanks to both of you.

            2. BigSal RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 02:38 PM

              Thank you L. Nightshade

              1. s
                smtucker RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 03:00 PM

                Wonderful! Will start gathering ingredients!

                1. The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 03:26 PM

                  Thank you L.Nightshade! And thank you (again) LulusMom! (BigSal, I'm sure your day will some soon! Six months goes by in a blink!)

                  I have a copy of WASHOKU coming from the library. I will be looking for simple, unintimidating recipes, so if anyone familiar with the books has some to recommend, I would be delighted to learn about them.


                  4 Replies
                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    BigSal RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 21, 2012 05:43 AM

                    TDQ, I've not cooked much from this book, but the tori soboro (gingery ground chicken) is quick and easy. http://tinyurl.com/7kwzgad This is used to make san shoku donburi (three color rice bowl) which is also quick especially if you already have the chicken made. Simple, homey food.

                    Just looking through the recipes, if you have dashi (or some of the other stocks) already made, things will go much quicker. I have not made Andoh's version of oyakodon (chicken omelet over rice), but it is another quick, homey dish. You can see how it's done on Cooking with Dog (You Tube). Another easy rice dish in Tsuji's book (and Cooking with Dog), is gyudon (beef and onion rice bowl). It's also easy to pull together. recipe: http://tinyurl.com/7hmpthv

                    1. re: BigSal
                      The Dairy Queen RE: BigSal Jan 21, 2012 07:41 AM

                      Great ideas, thank you! And thanks for all of the links below, too!


                      1. re: BigSal
                        emily RE: BigSal Jan 21, 2012 09:17 AM

                        Does the ginger come through in this dish? 1 tsp. of ginger juice for 3/4 lb of ground meat seems like very little.

                        1. re: emily
                          BigSal RE: emily Jan 21, 2012 11:02 AM

                          Honestly, it's been so long since I've made this exact recipe, but I do recall the ginger coming through subtly. I think that using ginger juice delivers a more concentrated taste than minced ginger. I do plan on making it again, as I always have ground chicken in the freezer, so I'll be sure to report on it when I do.

                    2. herby RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 04:27 PM

                      Thank you, L. Nightshade for taking on coordinating responsibilities! Very courageous of you considering what LulusMom went through trying to make sense of our collective unrulingness:)

                      On the Japanese cooking subject, I came accross Andoh' website - http://www.elizabethandoh.com/ - you need to register (free) to access archives with five lessons so far on how to make soup, fish, etc. I have not looked at the lessons but the site is simple and attractive. Washoku is also indexed on EYB, not sure about The Simple Art. My Washoku is STILL not at the library, so I went this evening and took out The Simple Art. I was planning to make an udon dish tomorrow but getting overwhelmed with hosting Moroccan dinner on Saturday - udon will have to wait but hopefully not much pass Sunday.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: herby
                        bernalgirl RE: herby Jan 19, 2012 04:41 PM

                        Yes, Simple Art is indexed on EYB. So excited to get back into this cookbook, I haven't used it nearly enough.

                      2. r
                        rasputina RE: LulusMom Jan 19, 2012 04:52 PM

                        Maybe I can get my daughter to come join, I bought Washoku for her a couple years ago and we have yet to cook from it.

                        1. Gio RE: LulusMom Jan 20, 2012 05:36 AM

                          Congratulations to Lulusmom for a job very well done and appreciated and large Best Wishes for the months ahead to L. Nightshade. What a fantastic whirlwind roundtable this is.
                          Thanks for the fun...!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Gio
                            LulusMom RE: Gio Jan 20, 2012 06:05 AM

                            Adorable! You made my morning Gio, thanks!

                            1. re: LulusMom
                              Rella RE: LulusMom Jan 21, 2012 06:35 PM

                              And the applause, though deafening, goes on and on and on....

                          2. m
                            MoGa RE: LulusMom Jan 20, 2012 05:57 AM

                            I do use Washoku periodically but have to admit that I often tamper with the recipes. (For instance, I find that keeping katsuobushi in the cupboard is expensive - family sees it as snack food, and if you don't use it soon it quickly goes off, so I only occasionally make dashi/sea broth from scratch and more often than not cheat with commercial dashi concentrate.)
                            On the other hand, I find Mrs Andoh takes some shortcuts that I won't. (eg pg 107 for Shira ae tofu she advocates using the food processor whereas, rather perversely perhaps, I use an uragoshi and suribachi as the texture is SO much finer).
                            The last recipe I made was a couple of days ago. Lemon-Simmered Kabocha squash. I'd made it before in hotter weather so knew that the lemon rind wouldn't be welcome in winter. Also, I didn't have light soy sauce in the pantry (my husband has Tokyo tastes) and I used dashi concentrate to make the broth, but even with these short cuts the pumpkin came out beautifully and converted my father who'd never enjoyed eating simmered pumpkin before.
                            I recommend this as an easy (and easily adaptable) recipe for anyone wanting to try recipes in this book.
                            I'll also highly recommend her advice on zakkoku mai (pgs 39/40). This is what makes the photo of the rice on the cover looks so especially appealing.
                            The yaki omusubi (AKA yaki onigiri) is perhaps the ideal starter recipe - pg 160. It's also the perfect winter snack food for a cold February day.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: MoGa
                              LulusMom RE: MoGa Jan 20, 2012 06:07 AM

                              I'm afraid I don't know what yaki omusubi is, but am intrigued. Can you tell us what this is? Sorry, I don't have the book yet.

                              1. re: LulusMom
                                Gio RE: LulusMom Jan 20, 2012 06:16 AM

                                Rice balls, LLM...

                                1. re: LulusMom
                                  MoGa RE: LulusMom Jan 20, 2012 06:20 AM

                                  I guess I had this on my mind as I responded to another post about brown rice cakes earlier today.
                                  omusubi is an alternative word for onigiri. Onigiri are Japanese rice balls, kind of the equivalent of sandwiches. You can toast/grill/sear them so that they develop a golden crust and then they are called yaki omusubi or yaki onigiri. Brush on one of Elizabeth Andoh's sauces and you have one of the world's finest comfort foods

                                2. re: MoGa
                                  The Dairy Queen RE: MoGa Jan 20, 2012 06:23 AM

                                  MoGa, I see some magic words, "easy" and "starter", in your post. Thanks for this info. I hope you'll be cooking along with us in February??? The more the merrier of course.


                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    MoGa RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 20, 2012 06:57 AM

                                    You can count me in. I don't know anyone else in the 'real world' who has this book so it will be great to cook alongside some other people and compare results, swap shortcuts, give comfort over mishaps...

                                    1. re: MoGa
                                      The Dairy Queen RE: MoGa Jan 20, 2012 07:00 AM

                                      You've pretty much encapsulated the ethos of COTM in that one remark. You'll feel right at home with COTM! It's really great cooking alongside these amazing and supportive hounds.


                                      1. re: MoGa
                                        Gio RE: MoGa Jan 20, 2012 07:03 AM

                                        So glad you're joining in, MoGa. When I read your insightful and helpful post upthread I hoped you'd be in the kitchen with us.

                                    2. re: MoGa
                                      herby RE: MoGa Jan 20, 2012 07:09 AM

                                      MoGa, I was reading Shizuo Tsuji's Japanese Cooking last night about dashi making and she talks about "first" and "second" dashi. Do you make it like that too when you are cooking from scratch? I understand that you will use the "first" dashi for soups but what is "second" dashi used for? Cooking rice, vegetables or?

                                      1. re: herby
                                        MoGa RE: herby Jan 20, 2012 08:03 AM

                                        I have a Japanese friend who rarely if ever uses "second" dashi (she uses katsuobushi from a block and shaves it as needed, an approach i hope to follow) but she doesn't use the copious amount others do and the taste is superb but rather mild.
                                        With the pre shaved katsuobushi I use the taste isn't as refined and whilst the first infusion is used for broths and soups (I'll freeze leftovers in a dedicated ice cube freezer tray) the second infusion is what I use for, as you say, cooking vegetables, adding to sauces (like a ginger miso sauce for eggplants or for stirring into a ground sesame sauce) or my husband might add it to a Western meat stew. I don't tend to make rice with it as I prefer a clean kombu taste if I'm using stock for rice.
                                        If you have high quality katsuobushi and just make one infusion you might like to try drying out the residues, chopping it finely, lightly pan fry it with condiments and use it as you would ham by stirring it into green vegetables or try adding it to a furikake (rice sprinkle) mix.

                                        1. re: herby
                                          Tripeler RE: herby Jan 25, 2012 03:22 AM

                                          Shizuo Tsuji was a man, and he passed away in 1993 in Japan.

                                          1. re: Tripeler
                                            herby RE: Tripeler Jan 25, 2012 04:42 AM

                                            Thank you for correcting me - I did not realize that he passed away that long ago.

                                      2. L.Nightshade RE: LulusMom Jan 20, 2012 09:58 AM

                                        Thanks for all of your good wishes - it will be an honor to serve!
                                        And thanks to LulusMom, and all the prior coordinators, for paving the way.
                                        BigSal - it looks like you and LulusMom were posting at the same time above. I hope you'll be around and volunteering so generously in six months' time!

                                        As to this month's COTM, I'll be reading along, but probably not participating, as I don't have the books, and neither does my library. Of course, sometimes, the descriptions get so mouth-watering, I just have to buy the book. So we'll see...

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                          BigSal RE: L.Nightshade Jan 21, 2012 04:06 AM

                                          I'd be glad to paraphrase any of the recipes that would interest you (and anyone else). I'll also take a peek and see if there are any online recipes to share with the group too.

                                          1. re: BigSal
                                            L.Nightshade RE: BigSal Jan 21, 2012 10:33 AM

                                            Thanks for that generous offer BigSal! And for all the info you've gathered below. I'll be reading along with everyone's reports.

                                        2. BigSal RE: LulusMom Jan 21, 2012 05:15 AM

                                          Surprised to find that there weren't many recipes online (at least not that I found) for Washoku. Thank goodness for Google Books. I'll see what I can find on Tsuji before my husband wakes up. :)

                                          Complete recipes in google books (just type the key word in the search inside this book section:

                                          Cooked white rice (gohan
                                          )Rice cooked with new ginger (shin shoga gohan)
                                          Rice cooked with edamame (can also make this with favas and green peas)
                                          Toasty hand pressed rice (yaki omusubi- aka yaki onigiri)
                                          Toasted rice in green tea broth (ochazuke)
                                          Rice tossed with salmon flakes (beni jake gohan)
                                          Sushi rice (su meshi)
                                          Rolled sushi 2 ways (futomaki, uramaki)
                                          Salt broiled kingfish (sawara no shio yaki)- bass, snapper, group, salmon and porgy can also be used instead of kingfish
                                          Broiled air dried fish (ichiya boshi)
                                          Octopus salad (tako no karashi no su miso ae)
                                          Tender stewed curry chicken (tori niku no yawaraka ni, kare fumi)
                                          Soy stewed chicken with vegetables (chikuzen ni)
                                          Bite sized pork cutlets (hito kuchi tonkatsu)
                                          Silken tofu topped with mushrooms (tofu no kinoko an kake)
                                          Deep fried tofu dumplings (ganmodoki)
                                          Broiled tofu with flavored miso (tofu dengaku)
                                          Soy simmered tofu dumplings (ganmodoki no nimono)
                                          Bitter melon, tofu and pork scramble (goya champuru)
                                          Soy simmered fried tofu (abura age no nimono)
                                          Tofu cheese (tofu no miso zuke)
                                          Rolled omelet Tokyo Style (atsu tamago yaki)
                                          Rolled omelet Kansai Style (dashi maki tamago)

                                          Basic Sea Stock (Dashi)

                                          One more! gingery ground chicken (tori soboro) http://tinyurl.com/7kwzgad

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: BigSal
                                            LulusMom RE: BigSal Jan 21, 2012 05:53 AM

                                            Thank you so much BigSal!

                                            1. re: BigSal
                                              greedygirl RE: BigSal Jan 21, 2012 07:56 AM

                                              Unfortunately Google Books doesn't work if you're not in the US.

                                              1. re: greedygirl
                                                The Dairy Queen RE: greedygirl Jan 21, 2012 07:57 AM

                                                Wow! I never knew that! What a bummer! :(. Do you have any way of getting the books aside from buying them?


                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                  greedygirl RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 21, 2012 02:50 PM

                                                  Not really, as is the case for pretty much all the COTMs. My library is not well stocked with cookbooks, and the inter-library lending doesn't work very well as it takes absolutely ages and they've got rid of the internet search engine which enabled you to look in all London libraries. I'll be sitting this one out, which is a shame as I sat out Essentlal Pepin as well as I didn't want to buy it. Hey ho - more time to revisit previous COTMs!

                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                    buttertart RE: greedygirl Jan 22, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                    Fuchsia can always use a workout, gg.

                                                2. re: greedygirl
                                                  BigSal RE: greedygirl Jan 21, 2012 07:58 AM

                                                  gg- Sorry to hear that. I'd be glad to paraphrase any recipes that you might have interest in. The other book (Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art) has a number of recipes you should be able to access (see the links below).

                                                3. re: BigSal
                                                  Rubee RE: BigSal Jan 22, 2012 03:28 PM

                                                  Thanks Big Sal. Thinking of getting a jump on this before my book arrives.

                                                4. BigSal RE: LulusMom Jan 21, 2012 06:27 AM

                                                  Here are some resipes from Shizuo Tsuji's book (Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art)

                                                  Chawan mushi (savory egg custard) http://www.bento.com/trt-chawan.html

                                                  Tempura http://www.bento.com/trt-tempura.html

                                                  Miso soup http://www.bento.com/trt-miso.html

                                                  Tonkatsu (deep fried pork cutlet) http://www.bento.com/trt-tonkatsu.html

                                                  Shabu shabu http://www.bento.com/trt-shabu.html

                                                  Oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice) http://www.bento.com/trt-oyako.html

                                                  Soba dipping sauce (tsuke jiru) http://www.dashidashi.com/recipe-soba...

                                                  Hiyashi somen (chilled finenoodles) http://www.dashidashi.com/recipe-hiya...

                                                  Dashi (ichiban dashi) http://www.dashidashi.com/recipe-how-...

                                                  Secondary dashi (niban dashi) http://www.withaglass.com/?p=4577

                                                  Gyudon (beef and rice bowl) http://www.thecookbookblog.com/2011/1...

                                                  Toriniku yawata maki (grilled chicken rolls) http://www.dcculinarian.com/dc-culina...

                                                  Asparagasu gohan (asparagus rice) http://www.stephencooks.com/2006/05/a...

                                                  20 Replies
                                                  1. re: BigSal
                                                    herby RE: BigSal Jan 21, 2012 08:50 AM

                                                    Many thanks, BigSal, for posting the links. Like gg, we in Canada do not have access to google books. I took Japanese Cooking out of the library and Washoku just arrived - I'll pick it up on Monday. Looking at chicken rolls recipe that you linked I am wondering if it is even possible to find some ingredients such as burdock root anywhere? I have not seen it but I have not been looking either.

                                                    1. re: herby
                                                      Gio RE: herby Jan 21, 2012 09:23 AM

                                                      From the Cook's Thesaurue site:
                                                      "burdock = gobo root = great burdock = beggar's button

                                                      Notes: Burdock is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, but it's already an important vegetable in Asia. It lends an interesting, earthy flavor to soups, stews, or stir-fried dishes. Select small, firm roots.

                                                      Substitutes: salsify OR asparagus OR artichoke hearts."


                                                      1. re: herby
                                                        BigSal RE: herby Jan 21, 2012 10:47 AM

                                                        burdock root is one of my favorite vegetables- also known as gobo. It has a great earthy, woodsy flavor. I find it at Asian grocery stores that have a Japanese and/or Korean audience. I have also seen it at my local Whole Foods. Gio indicated some ideas for substitiutes. Depending on the recipe one might use carrots for a similar texture and I noticed in one recipe, Andoh suggests parsnips where gobo (burdock root) is used.

                                                        1. re: BigSal
                                                          MoGa RE: BigSal Jan 21, 2012 11:13 AM

                                                          I disagree quite strongly about substituting gobo with parsnips.
                                                          I get burdock root from Chinese supermarkets in London for a fraction of the cost of gobo from a Japanese store.
                                                          However, the best substitute I've found is jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes. Much much better than parsnips! The flatulence issue is another matter entirely, but with Washoku it is about home cooking...

                                                          1. re: MoGa
                                                            BigSal RE: MoGa Jan 21, 2012 12:53 PM

                                                            MoGa, interesting note about sunchokes as a substitute for gobo. Fortunately, I have no difficulty finding it here. In my post, I noted that Elizabeth Andoh has a recipe for kinpira using parsnips that I am curious to try (not that she suggest parsnips as a substitute for gobo). I love kinpira with a combination of gobo and carrots.

                                                            1. re: MoGa
                                                              LulusMom RE: MoGa Jan 21, 2012 01:54 PM

                                                              What flatulence issue?

                                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                                greedygirl RE: LulusMom Jan 21, 2012 02:47 PM

                                                                Jerusalem artichokes are notorious for making you a bit, erm, windy.

                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                  LulusMom RE: greedygirl Jan 21, 2012 04:54 PM

                                                                  I had *no* idea about this. Thank you. Wonder if this will suddenly start happening now that I've been told??? I'm notoriously like that - I used to watch an episode of any doctor show and suddenly come down with a brain tumor the next day. My mother finally put her foot down on my tv viewing.

                                                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                                                    Rella RE: LulusMom Jan 21, 2012 06:42 PM

                                                                    Both are common ailments!

                                                                    1. re: Rella
                                                                      LulusMom RE: Rella Jan 22, 2012 04:06 AM

                                                                      Glad I'm not the only one who has these mental issues! Luckily, hadn't noticed the other problem ...

                                                                    2. re: LulusMom
                                                                      MoGa RE: LulusMom Jan 22, 2012 03:03 AM

                                                                      Jerusalem artichokes don't affect everybody this way, it's to do with inulin which gives the chokes a sweet flavour but this goes through our bodies undigested. Then the bacteria lower down get a stab at this unprocessed food and have a banquet! But not everyone has the same bacteria colonies so if you haven't noticed until now you should be fine.
                                                                      These tubers became fashionable in the UK in recent years and celeb chefs such as Jamie Oliver would offer Valentines Day recipes heavy with the chokes and with no courtesy warning. It was very unkind.

                                                                      Back to topic. I think parsnips are ideal as kinpira. I do have in mind an occasion where I also substituted parsnips for gobo in a soup thinking it was a logical substitution. The parsnips did something horrible to the other flavours (it seemed to cancel out many of the tastes and nuances I most valued) and the soup was ruined. Never again.

                                                                      1. re: MoGa
                                                                        LulusMom RE: MoGa Jan 22, 2012 04:07 AM

                                                                        Hysterical about the Valentines day menu!! and oh my goodness, your posts are incredibly helpful.

                                                            2. re: herby
                                                              szw RE: herby Jan 23, 2012 06:41 PM

                                                              Where in Canada are you located? It should be available in any asian supermarket.

                                                              1. re: szw
                                                                herby RE: szw Jan 24, 2012 04:51 AM

                                                                I am in Ottawa and probably should go to a large Asian market instead of small shops. Thank you for the suggestion - sometimes we do not think of obvious unless someone points us in the right direction:)

                                                              2. re: herby
                                                                Rella RE: herby Jan 24, 2012 06:39 PM

                                                                Here are a couple of pictures of gobo root I took today in Fairfax, Virginia. You can see how long it is or can be; I've seen it also in packages, too, of about 14" long. These were on a table and all quite lovely.

                                                                These two pieces were $6.50 US$. and I'm 5'1.

                                                                1. re: Rella
                                                                  herby RE: Rella Jan 24, 2012 07:33 PM

                                                                  I've never seen any root that looks similar - many thanks, Rella, for posting the picture!

                                                                  1. re: Rella
                                                                    LulusMom RE: Rella Jan 25, 2012 02:26 AM

                                                                    Wow! I'm trying to figure out where in one's pantry one would put something like this.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                      ORtastytravels RE: LulusMom Jan 28, 2012 08:20 AM

                                                                      Gobo root (burdock) is usually refrigerated. In asian markets, look in the produce section.

                                                                    2. re: Rella
                                                                      BigSal RE: Rella Jan 25, 2012 04:34 AM

                                                                      Great picture! The gobo available here is cut into smaller pieces (but still longer than carrots)and is stored in the refrigerated vegetable section.

                                                                      Below is Shizuo Tsuji's version of Kinpira gobo. I love this treatment of gobo. My family also adds carrots, sesame seed oil and hot pepper to Tsuji's recipe (like the blogger does). Once the vegetables are cut, it is a quick and tasty dish. I like to make extra so I will have it ready made in the fridge. With my leftover gobo, I will make a mixed rice dish, gomoku meshi (aka kayaku gohan in Andoh's book) and maybe even tataki gobo - a traditional dish for New Year's (both Andoh and Tsuji have recipes). http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

                                                                      1. re: BigSal
                                                                        Rella RE: BigSal Jan 25, 2012 04:54 AM

                                                                        I seem to recall a recipe using hijiki and gobo and/or hijiki and carrots. I was bought a quart of this by a member of my Japanese art class, whose participants were all Japanese. When I tasted this at the class and enjoyed it, they were all ecstatic. They, thoughtfully, had included a recipe - long gone by decades.

                                                                        I tried to duplicate the recipe at home and it certainly wasn't that tasty; one reason, they said was that it was their own local hijiki. I'm not sure how true that was, or they were being kind.

                                                                        I've tried to make this recipe a number of times over the years, and see that I do have a recipe for hijiki and carrots in my file, but it always fails that wonderful experience.

                                                                        Just talking.

                                                                2. blue room RE: LulusMom Jan 21, 2012 08:18 AM

                                                                  I've copied the pantry list that Big Sal generously provided (" ... For Japanese pantry basics, I would start with med-grain Japanese white rice, soy sauce, bonito flakes (katsuobushi), konbu (kelp/seaweed), nori, sake, mirin, rice vinegar, dried shiitake, sesame seeds, miso and toasted sesame seed oil. There are other items (tofu, fried tofu, wakame, konnyaku, udon, ramen, sansho pepper, etc), but I hate to have you buy all these ingredients when you may not use them." ...) In the past I've ordered from Asian Food Grocers http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/ but my purchases have been very limited. Is this (after my local grocery and Whole Foods) a good source? Also, could someone tell a bit about the COTM coordinator duties? Is it just a matter of posting, like we all do now, or is there more technical stuff involved? I ask because I wonder if it is a matter of having time and common sense, or having special knowledge. (Lulu'sMom and L.Nightshade, thanks very much!)

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                                    LulusMom RE: blue room Jan 21, 2012 08:42 AM

                                                                    Can't answer about the Japanese ingredients, which I have to admit have me a bit befuddled (thats what this is all for - to learn more, right?). But I can tell you that common sense, time and organizational skills is pretty much what you need to be COTM coordinator, at least as far as I've found.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                      Caitlin McGrath RE: LulusMom Jan 21, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                                      Having done it myself, I would add that it really doesn't take a lot of time to coordinate; other than reading along on the nomination/voting threads to get a sense of where things are going, it was generally just a couple of hours for each cycle, to tally up votes, organize the month's threads (depending on the book(s) ), and post.

                                                                  2. Rubee RE: LulusMom Jan 22, 2012 03:22 PM

                                                                    Excited, and hoping I have time to really participate in February. Just ordered Washoku.

                                                                    1. pikawicca RE: LulusMom Jan 22, 2012 03:47 PM

                                                                      Since I am cooking mostly vegan these days, I plan to cook from Andoh's latest book, "Kansha," a gorgeous book of traditional Japanese vegan/ vegetarian recipes.

                                                                      1. j
                                                                        jaykayen RE: LulusMom Jan 24, 2012 11:21 AM

                                                                        Ah, I have A Simple Art already, never cooked from it before!

                                                                        1. LulusMom RE: LulusMom Jan 24, 2012 11:38 AM

                                                                          While I do have Washoku on order at the library, I'm not sure when it will come in, and I do not have A Simple Art. I've tried to see the TOC of both books on both Amazon and EYB but haven't been able to. Is there anyone out there who has both and would be able to fax me their TOCs? If so, please send an email (address is in profile) with Chowhound in the title. Or if someone has another suggestion, I'd love to hear it. Thanks in advance!

                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                                                            smtucker RE: LulusMom Jan 24, 2012 12:07 PM

                                                                            Give me 24 hours, and I can type up all the Chapters for both books.

                                                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                                                              herby RE: LulusMom Jan 24, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                              LulusMom, here is a link to Washoku ToC in googlebooks:

                                                                              And here is the ToC for Japanese Cooking:

                                                                              Let me know if you still need a copy and I will scan tonight and email both to you.

                                                                              1. re: herby
                                                                                LulusMom RE: herby Jan 24, 2012 01:54 PM

                                                                                Wow, thanks so much. I was able to get the ToC for Japanese Cooking, but the Washoku link didn't work for me. So, smtucker, if you're really willing to go to all that work, we've just cut it down for you by one book. Thanks so much to both of you.

                                                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                  smtucker RE: LulusMom Jan 24, 2012 02:28 PM

                                                                                  That took less than 45 seconds! I have given you page numbers so you know how long each section is, which might help with groupings:

                                                                                  The Washoku Pantry - 10
                                                                                  In the Washoku Kitchen - 66
                                                                                  Stocks, Sauces, and Other Confiments - 90
                                                                                  Soups - 114
                                                                                  Rice - 134
                                                                                  Noodles - 166
                                                                                  Vegetables - 184
                                                                                  Fish - 224
                                                                                  Meat and Poultry - 250
                                                                                  Tofu and Eggs - 268
                                                                                  Deeserts - 294
                                                                                  Resources - 309

                                                                                  1. re: smtucker
                                                                                    LulusMom RE: smtucker Jan 24, 2012 03:21 PM

                                                                                    Thank you So very much, smtucker!

                                                                                  2. re: LulusMom
                                                                                    herby RE: LulusMom Jan 24, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                                                    Washoku link works, I just tested it. It takes you towards the end of the book to one of the recipes. You need to go up to the beginning. You might find the link useful to look up recipes as you wait for the book to arrive.

                                                                                    1. re: herby
                                                                                      LulusMom RE: herby Jan 24, 2012 04:27 PM

                                                                                      For me, it isn't working, for whatever reason.

                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                        herby RE: LulusMom Jan 24, 2012 04:58 PM

                                                                                        Strange.. but than again I can't get US googlebooks to work and this is Canadian - I wish they would allow everyone access, what is the point?!

                                                                                        1. re: herby
                                                                                          smtucker RE: herby Jan 24, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                                                          I got a "not this country" message.... so it works for you, and other canadians, but not for anyone outside your country.

                                                                                          1. re: smtucker
                                                                                            ORtastytravels RE: smtucker Jan 28, 2012 08:17 AM

                                                                                            I also found the link to be working.

                                                                                            1. re: ORtastytravels
                                                                                              LulusMom RE: ORtastytravels Jan 28, 2012 09:38 AM

                                                                                              Maybe it depends on the browser? I definitely wasn't able to access anything from the link.

                                                                              2. s
                                                                                smtucker RE: LulusMom Jan 28, 2012 07:23 AM

                                                                                Oh, I am weak. After months of successfully avoiding the siren song of cookbooks, I just purchased two additional Japanese cookbooks. Turns out I am a sucker for a decent video by the authors on Amazon. So the books in question? Both are by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat: Japanese Hot Pots and The Japanese Grill: From Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood, and Vegetables.

                                                                                Hot Pots will truly fit the way we are enjoy eating this winter and their demonstrations used two pots that I already own. So very weak.

                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                1. re: smtucker
                                                                                  BigSal RE: smtucker Jan 28, 2012 12:01 PM

                                                                                  I have both books too, so I look forward to hearing your reviews as I have not cooked from them yet. MelMM posted a couple reviews from The Japanese Grill on this grilling thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7982...

                                                                                  1. re: smtucker
                                                                                    Gio RE: smtucker Jan 30, 2012 09:35 AM

                                                                                    OK SMT. I'm hooked after seeing the video by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat. I've been thinking about your Hot Pot post since I read it yesterday and today I'm right on the edge of buying that book and a Cast Iron Yosenabe Sukiyaki Pan. Is that the pan you use?


                                                                                    It seems as if the hot pot recipes are more likely to be made here than some of the recipes in the Washouku book. At least for now they are. Point me in the right direction, would you?

                                                                                    1. re: Gio
                                                                                      smtucker RE: Gio Jan 30, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                                                      I am going to start with using my LeCrueset braiser which I bought on a whim last summer at a ridiculously low price. [One of his demos used this exact model, so it should work, right? ]
                                                                                      I won't try to do the hot pot in the middle of the table, but instead will cook on the stove and transport to the table when ready to serve.


                                                                                      p.s. my regular dining companions are VERY excited about Japanese month. I just have to find the time to stock the pantry and get cooking! Is the Japanese grocery store in Medford that much better than the Reliable? Anyone know?

                                                                                      1. re: smtucker
                                                                                        Gio RE: smtucker Jan 30, 2012 11:04 AM

                                                                                        All right, I bought the book. Now I really don't know which pan to buy. I want one with a cover... and that cast iron pot at Amazon doesn't have one. I think I'll try using my stainless 12 " fry pan that has a cover. If I don't like it I'll get this one... a Japanese clay pot which looks like the one on the cover of the book...

                                                                                        Ebisuya market in Medford is hightly recommended by Chowhound Applehome...

                                                                                        G is excited by Japanese month too...I'm still out with the jury. I love Japanese food...in a restaurant. Somehow it's daunting to cook, for me.

                                                                                        1. re: smtucker
                                                                                          qianning RE: smtucker Jan 30, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                          Ebisuya is good, but isn't Miso Market near Porter Sq. Books even closer?

                                                                                      2. re: smtucker
                                                                                        herby RE: smtucker Jan 30, 2012 04:11 PM

                                                                                        After reading your post, Smtucker, I borrowed The Japanese Grill from the library. It is not for me since I live in a condo where BBQs are not allowed. Now I am truly intrigued by the Hot Pots. The authors are the same, so, I know I like there style. I hope my libarary has the book, not ready to buy it yet but definitely want to buy A Simple Art - what a treasure!

                                                                                        1. re: herby
                                                                                          BigSal RE: herby Jan 30, 2012 07:40 PM

                                                                                          I'm glad that you are enjoying A Simple Art. Because I have a short cooking time in February, I have already been cooking from both books and my preference is for Tsuji's book(s). I think the recipes taste more like what I familiar with. I am trying to compare the two author's recipes when I can.

                                                                                          There are a few hot pot recipes in A Simple Art (not to the extent of Hot Pots). They are in the nabemono section (two separate sections).

                                                                                          1. re: BigSal
                                                                                            herby RE: BigSal Jan 30, 2012 08:26 PM

                                                                                            I have not make anything out of A Simple Art yet - just reading and enjoying. Did not know that I would like it so much. I could not pick up Washoku from the library last week due to work schedule, weather and other mishaps and they sent it away onto other eager beavers - so bumped! But since I've been reading A Simple Art, I am OK with it:) This week is kind of crazy too - hope to start cooking next weekend. I know I said it two weeks ago but that how it goes at times, right?

                                                                                            1. re: BigSal
                                                                                              greedygirl RE: BigSal Jan 31, 2012 02:22 AM

                                                                                              I looked into A Simple Art, but it's long out of print unfortunately.

                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                herby RE: greedygirl Jan 31, 2012 04:30 AM

                                                                                                GG, you can downloaded it from this site: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/japanese...
                                                                                                Also on Barnes & Noble site http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/japan...
                                                                                                They must ship to UK - not sure what shipping charges could be.

                                                                                        2. o
                                                                                          ORtastytravels RE: LulusMom Jan 28, 2012 08:17 AM

                                                                                          I've never participated in COTM but I'm excited about this one! Should be fun!!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: ORtastytravels
                                                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: ORtastytravels Jan 28, 2012 06:32 PM

                                                                                            Welcome aboard! It should be an interesting month.


                                                                                          2. q
                                                                                            qianning RE: LulusMom Jan 28, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                                                            Just picked up my copy of Washoku from the library, really looking forward to February!

                                                                                            1. buttertart RE: LulusMom Jan 29, 2012 04:15 PM


                                                                                              Was in Kinokuniya bookstore in NYC today, saw this, and thought of all y'all...very interesting book.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                Rella RE: buttertart Jan 29, 2012 06:03 PM

                                                                                                Funny, but this is the bookstore I bought the 1980 edition of JAPANESE COOKING: A SIMPLE ART by Shizuo Tsuji but
                                                                                                in San Francisco. I had forgotten about this bookstore; don't know why, because I spent a lot of time there.

                                                                                                1. re: Rella
                                                                                                  buttertart RE: Rella Jan 30, 2012 10:09 AM

                                                                                                  It's a very nice place in general (the one in NYC).

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                    herby RE: buttertart Jan 30, 2012 04:08 PM

                                                                                                    Where is it in NYC? I would love to visit next time I am there - early April.

                                                                                                    1. re: herby
                                                                                                      buttertart RE: herby Jan 30, 2012 04:34 PM

                                                                                                      1071 6th Ave between 40th and 41st Sts, right near Times Square.

                                                                                              2. LulusMom RE: LulusMom Feb 1, 2012 03:43 AM

                                                                                                The threads are now up. You'll find the main thread at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831289

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