Washoku by Elizabeth Andoh


In 1975,Gourmet magazine published a series on traditional Japanese food —the first of its kind in a major American food magazine — written by a graduate of the prestigious Yanagihara School of classical cuisine in Tokyo. Today, the author of that groundbreaking series, Elizabeth Andoh, is recognized as the leading English-language authority on the subject. She shares her knowledge and passion for the food culture of Japan in WASHOKU, an auth...

Details Washoku

Release DateOct 1st, 2005
PublisherTen Speed Press
GenreFood and Drink, Cookbooks, Cooking, Food, Cultural, Japan, Nonfiction, Asian Literature, Japanese Literature

Reviews Washoku

  • Amanda Nuchols
    I have several Japanese cookbooks covering everything from hotpots to sushi, but Washoku is excellent because it covers everyday Japanese "home cooking." Andoh covers all of the basics, from what you need in your pantry to how to wash and cook rice properly. She also explains the Japanese philosophy of food, presentation and balanced meals through Buddhism and Shinto with The Five Principles.The only drawback for some readers in more remote areas...
  • Elizabeth
    This cookbook is more practical than it first appears. I was afraid it would be more of a coffee-table book than something I could actually use, but it has useful guides to Japanese ingredients, cooking equipment, and techniques. The recipes sounded a bit exotic, but once I started reading my way through them, I saw that Andoh's guides gave all the information necessary and that the recipes weren't all that arcane after all. The major drawback I ...
  • Jen
    The only possible problem I might have with this book is that I waited so long to buy it. This is a must-read for anyone contemplating setting up house in Japan, as well as those interested in Japanese home cooking outside of Japan. The set-up of the book makes it read like a story but also easy to refer to at a later date. Each recipe has added facts about presentation or how it fits into Japanese culture as a whole.My cooking has improved a gre...
  • Georgia Erwin
    I have bought this book twice, and I am about to buy it again. The first time, I was in my early twenties and just discovering traditional Japanese cuisine--my parents are from Hawaii so even though I grew up in the southern US I was pretty familiar with the basics. HOWEVER. The basics is only gonna get you so far! I loved this book when I first bought it. It kind of blew my mind. I'd been spending so much time (years and years and years and year...
  • Jessica Lau
    The book is filled with traditional Japanese dishes and preparing them with both traditional and modern techniques. I like the way the author explains what washoku is and the principles of Japanese cooking. Although this book is a great read for true Japanese cuisine aficionados, the one thing lacking from this read is the pictures. Usually in a cooking book, there would be a picture accompanying the recipe, but this one doesn't provide that, so ...
  • Lydia
    A beautiful book, made with careful thought and testing. Every ingredient is described in depth, and the pictures are inspiring. Much description is given to technique, with ideas for improving even your current American-style recipes. It would help to have an Asian market nearby to be able to use the best ingredients (various dried seaweed, miso, and mushroom types). Recipe chapters cover soups, rice, noodles, vegetables, fish, meat, tofu and eg...
  • Jean
    Extensive and impressive! A trove of a great variety of dishes. Wish I owned instead of borrowed from the library. Akin to Memories of Philippine Kitchens.
  • Charlotte
    Washoku is not the end-all perfect beginners guide to Japanese cooking that I was promised. (Looks pointedly at all the glowing 5-star reviews.) There are admittedly some great features but Japanese cooking is new to me and I'm finding it to be far from intuitive. I blame my own lack of familiarity – but I did have high hopes that this cookbook would be my guide. Unlike the author I don’t have an awesome Japanese mother-in-law to show me what...
  • Rachel
    I enjoyed this cookbook better than the last one I reviewed from the author, Kansha Cooking. I thought it was better organized and easier to understand. Plus most of the ingredients were pretty accessible and the recipes easier to make as long as you did a few basic recipes, such as the Basic Sea Stock (Dashi). The indexes were in the front of the book as an intro before you came to the main body of recipes. Once again, the design of the book and...
  • Leifer
    I'm still using this book almost every week. I want her to write more. it took me a bit to get into it, mostly because of the overwhelming vocabulary of cooking/food terms, but once I did I realized it is actually pretty simple recipes (which utilize a lot of leftovers, at that!) You could call this "home cooking" which I've never seen another Japanese cookbook touch.Would love to meet her someday.
  • Drmarion
    Authoritative Book on Japanese CuisineThis book contains a wealth of information and authentic recipes from an American born woman who has spent most of her life in Japan. What I love about all of Elizabeth Andoh's books is that she teaches you not just how to do something but also why you do it that way. She is a gifted teacher and excellent writer. The recipes in this book has been tried and tested, so they work. Highly recommended!
  • Sayaka Nasu
    The recipes in this cookbook are mostly country/comfort food I grew up eating at my grandmother's in Japan. The book has very nice photos and explains different types of vegetables, etc. I wish there were more photos accompanying the recipes. A third of the book explains the ingredients (which is important) but most people purchasing the book already know these things?
  • Rachael
    This cookbook is phenomenal. If you have any interest in learning to cook Japanese cuisine, this should be your go-to tome. It covers pantry basics, tools, techniques, and recipes. Andoh is considered to be the preeminent Western expert on Japanese cuisine and is an excellent writer--both of which show in this book. It is extensive and easy to follow.
  • Kathleen
    What a fantastic book! I want to buy a copy and work my way through each recipe. Andoh explains traditional methods for achieving balance in a meal, traditional attitudes about food, etc. She also gives an extensive description of a well stocked Japanese pantry. Beautifully written and photographed. A great resource for the home cook who loves Japanese food.
  • Juli Anna
    While the food in this cookbook sounds delicious, I don't know how useful these recipes really are. Most of the recipes are just different combinations of other recipes in the book, which makes it very odd to navigate. One has to make at least two or three other recipes to even start a meal. Very good encyclopedia of Japanese ingredients, but other than that, not very practical.
  • Matt
    This is a really, really good book if you want to learn Japanese home cooking. The food in this book is the food that, up until recently was the food eaten in the majority of Japanese homes. It's honestly Japanese soul-food. Most of my standard recipes are some variation on Elizabeth Andoh's.
  • Jennifer Maiser
    This is one of my favorite cookbooks. It's sometimes a little tedious to follow her precise directions, but I understand the reasoning and have learned more from this book about Japanese cooking than any other.
  • Mariam
    The recipes are either hit or miss. I was really looking for something focusing on dishes popular in Japan (i.e. takoyaki, okonomiyaki, agedashi), and was dissapointed to not find them in there. That being said, it's a beautiful volume and is good reference for some of the basics.
  • Chadwick
    Finally, a real sourcebook for the fundamentals of Japanese cooking.
  • Simon
    a gem for those interested in the basics (both conceptually and practically) of the japanese cuisine.
  • Cindy
    checked it out a second time and like it so much might have to buy
  • Craig
    This by far my favorite cookbook. the first 90 pages are just about the ingredients. all the recipices are simple, tasty and cheap.
  • Amanda
    I love this book, really need to buy it. I found it adventurous and informative, great traits for a cookbook.