If you look around on a certain London main street, you’ll likely see a Japanese restaurant, be it a takeaway sushi shop, an authentic ramen haunt, or the latest dessert craze pop-up.
It is fair to say that Japanese food has really made its mark on London, and we are absolutely living for it. Whether it’s a takeaway sushi box for lunch or treating ourselves to a gift at one of London’s last Japanese fusion restaurants, we are obsessed.
Enjoying these dishes so much, it can be intimidating to know where to start when it comes to recreating the flavors, colors and theatricality at home.
While it seems nearly impossible to cook on your own, we can definitely say that it’s deceptively simple, especially when it comes to nailing the basics. With a few ingredients in the pantry and some free time, you’ll create a meal-interrupting show every night of the week.
Kanji Furukawa, Japan Center Executive Chef, tells us, “Soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake and miso paste are absolutely essential when it comes to stocking your kitchen if you want to make Japanese dishes at home. These four ingredients are the basis of many classic Japanese dishes and are also used to marinate anything, from steaks to eggplant, to add lots of flavor ”.
It’s time to dive headfirst into the world of Japanese food. We are here to inspire you and make your mouth water with a look at the best Japanese cookbooks below.
Japaneasy: classic and modern Japanese recipes
If you feel like trying Japanese food, but don’t want to spend a whole day shopping at specialty stores before cooking for many more hours, Japaneasy is the way to go. Anderson shows how authentic Japanese food can be cooked in no time, with just a few ingredients found in regular supermarkets.
For novice cooks, initial information on how to stock the pantry is especially helpful. In fact, only seven essential ingredients are enough: soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, dashi, sake, miso and rice.
Once the basic sauces have been mastered, take it to the next level and try making audience favorite dishes like gyoza, tempura, and yakitori. For the more adventurous, we recommend Anderson’s Japanese “carbonara” complete with mushrooms, miso and noodles.
Buy Now £ 16.75, Amazon
Dumplings and Noodles: Bao, Gyoza, Biang Biang, Ramen – and everything in between
Despite being a lover of dumplings, I have to admit I’ve never tried to create these abundant pockets of delicacy – they always seemed overly intricate and delicate. But, with the step by step guide provided in Gnocchi and Noodles, mastering the art of making dumplings has never been easier.
If you’re in the mood for something simpler to start your Japanese culinary odyssey, check out Miso Ramen for colder nights, or Aromatic Lamb biang biang for a Sunday lunch with a twist. The step-by-step instructions, clear photographs, and helpful tips along the way make this book a staple for any Asian food lover.
Buy Now £ 12.79, Amazon
Tokyo New Wave: 31 chefs that define Japan’s next generation
For fans of Japanese culture, this cookbook is an essential kitchen shelf. Profiling 31 great chefs, this guide is filled with interviews, portraits and recipes to show how Japanese cuisine is being redefined. The dichotomy between tradition and modernity has firmly positioned Tokyo as the capital of the gourmet and with recipes such as Wagyu carpaccio and Uni in soy béchamel sauce, to transport you to the heart of the city.
Of course, most of these recipes take some time to prepare and cook, but we promise all will be forgiven the moment you take that heavenly first bite. Fazzari’s photography is also stellar: food has never been so seductive and appetizing.
Buy Now £ 26.34, Amazon
Ramen: Japanese noodles and small plates
Much like author Tove Nilsson, we’re ramen junkies too – is there anything better than piles of noodles, our favorite nutritious protein and veggies swimming in a sizzling flavorful broth? Now is the time to recreate your favorite Ramen at home as you put these 50 delicious recipes to the test.
First, Nilsson teaches you how to make the basic broth and noodles before showing you how to make short rib ramen, green curry ramen, and mushroom tofu ramen. All the recipes are simple to follow, and most require only easily accessible ingredients.
Don’t forget to try the small side dishes, especially the Tempura and Gyoza, the perfect accompaniment to a ramen.
Buy Now £ 11.52, Amazon
Asian vegetable recipes for every day inspired by the Orient
The beauty of Asian food lies in its versatility, and with versatility comes a lot of options, so vegans don’t have to feel left out. This vegan cookbook focuses on healthy yet delicious meals that use fresh fruits and vegetables to create traditional dishes from all over China, Japan and beyond.
If you plan to host or cook for those with plant-based dietary needs, the sticky sprout and wild rice salad, Chinese black bean seitan tacos, and Xian-style carrot, potato and spring onion hashish will be an absolute delight. , and they are remarkably easy to make (almost all of them can be prepared in advance).
For those with a little more time, follow Huang’s recipe for homemade tofu that can be incorporated into ramen, poke bowl and noodle dishes.
Buy Now £ 13.66, Amazon
Sushi Made Simple: from classic rolls and sandwiches to modern bowls and burgers
Sushi lovers, come together! We found something incredibly impressive (but no, it’s not a very small packet of salmon sushi). Sushi Made Simple goes beyond simple recipes, it is a tribute to the forward taste of morsels of goodness. From the very beginning, he will tell you the key ingredients you need in your pantry, the different types of sushi and traditional techniques.
Alongside endless seafood sushi dishes like Spicy Tuna Roll and Chakin Sushi Parcels comes a range of equally delicious vegetarian and vegan bites.
Vegetarian Nigiri and Pickled Pepper Sushi are guaranteed for the crowd.
Buy Now £ 13.01, Amazon
Modern Asian cuisine at home: essential sweet and savory recipes
Satisfy your sweet tooth with some of the most amazing Asian-inspired frozen cakes, pastries and treats. Packed with some of the most innovative interpretations of desserts, each recipe introduces new ingredients, techniques and textures that will create an explosion of flavor.
If you’re short on time and craving mochi, try the Quick Microwave Mochi or for those with more time, the Lemon Matcha Macarons are not to be missed. Dietary needs are well catered for with Spicy Gochujang Flourless Chocolate Cakes and Mango Sticky Rice.
Buy Now £ 13.99, Amazon
In Asia, with love: Asian recipes and daily stories from the heart
It can be difficult to create meals to please the whole family without spending all day in the kitchen. This bestselling cookbook by Hetty McKinnon achieves this goal as she creates traditional vegetarian dishes in unconventional ways.
Its many Asian salads, including mashed cucumber salad and finger-licking edamame beans, make it a perfect cookbook for summer and alfresco dining. Surprisingly, you’ll find that most of the recipes cater to dietary needs or offer simple substitutes for vegans.
Buy Now £ 18.85, Amazon
Totally Tofu: 75 delicious vegetarian and vegan protein-rich recipes
Not only is Japanese food delicious, it’s also incredibly inclusive. It is ideal for those with dietary needs as many dishes are naturally dairy-free and high in protein, such as tofu. With 75 recipes spanning breakfast, lunch, and even dessert, if you’re not a tofu convert yet, you will soon be.
Celebrated as a protein-rich and nutritious superfood, tofu is incredibly versatile and can be used in almost any dish. For a week-long evening meal, try the black bean and tofu tacos followed by a tofu brownie for dessert, the proof of which is really in the pudding. The strawberry tofu smoothie is surprisingly delicious and a superb way to start the morning.
Buy Now £ 7.57, Amazon
Japanese food made easy
For the novice cooks among us, Japanese Food Made Easy will be your shining light.
With a whole host of Japanese recipes to keep you satisfied all day, you’ll spend more time eating than cooking thanks to the handy cooking time labeled on each page. In just half an hour and with just a few ingredients, you’ll find yourself sitting in front of tasty dishes of Gyoza Dumplings, Mackerel Pressed Sushi and Matcha Ice Cream Sandwich.
The instructions are clear and complete, so there’s no need to worry about the chef’s jargon. We guarantee you’ll come back for more thanks not only to the recipes but also to the stomach-chilling photography.
Buy Now £ 12.79, Amazon