Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking by Naoko Takei Moore [pdf, epub] 1607746999

Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking

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  • Title: Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking
  • Autor: Naoko Takei Moore
  • Publisher (Publication Date): Ten Speed Press; y First printing edition (October 27, 2015)
  • Language: English

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A beautiful and lavishly photographed cookbook focused on authentic Japanese clay-pot cooking, showcasing beloved recipes and updates on classics, with background on the origins and history of donabe.

Japanese clay pot (donabe) cooking has been refined over centuries into a versatile and simple method for preparing both dramatic and comforting one-pot meals. In Donabe, Tokyo native and cooking school instructor Naoko Takei Moore and chef Kyle Connaughton offer inspiring Japanese home-style recipes such as Sizzling Tofu and Mushrooms in Miso Sauce and Dashi-Rich Shabu-Shabu, as well as California-inspired dishes including Steam-Fried Black Cod with Crisp Potatoes, Leeks, and Walnut-Nori Pesto or Smoked Duck Breast with Creamy Wasabi–Green Onion Dipping Sauce. All are rich in flavor, simple to prepare, and perfect for a communal dining experience with family and friends. Donabe also features recipes from luminary chefs such as David Kinch, Namae Shinobu, and Cortney Burns and Nick Balla, all of whom use donabe in their own kitchens. Collectible, beautiful, and functional, donabe can easily be an essential part of your cooking repetory.


“Donabe represents so much more than simply cooking food. It’s the creation of an experience that is completely unique, one that brings together the people you love in a moment that not only will satisfy your appetite, but nourishes your soul. This book will feed your spirit for years to come.”-Morgan Spurlock, Filmmaker, Foodie & Donabe Enthusiast

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About the Author

NAOKO TAKEI MOORE is a Japanese home-cooking expert who teaches cooking classes in Los Angeles, California. Her company, toiro kitchen, sells donabe and Japanese artisan products, with a mission of promoting donabe in the U.S. Visit her blog Happy Donabe Life at KYLE CONNAUGHTON is a chef, cookbook author, and culinary educator. He was head chef of research and development for Heston Blumenthal’s three-star Michelin restaurant The Fat Duck, contributor and editor for Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold, and curriculum author for the Culinary Institute of America’s Culinary Science program. He is currently working on opening a farm/restaurant/inn in Healdsburg, California.

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I had always considered a donabe as a vessel for one-pot dishes, mostly hot pots, soups and stews. This book first suggests—then proves through chapters divided by different uses and different styles of donabe—that a donabe can be used for many types of dishes. You will find recipes for rice dishes; steamed vegetables and meats; roasted and fried fish, chicken, pork, tofu, and more; smoked meats, seafood, cheese, vegetables; besides the more well-known hot pots, soups and stews. This is a lovely compilation of Japanese recipes: Rich, warming, exciting and varied in flavors. If you are at all interested in Japanese foods and cooking, this is a book you need to work through. Plus, it has an entire chapter at the end, which gives recipes for dashi, sauces and condiments. It should be noted one of the authors of this book, Naoko Takei Moore, is the owner of Toiro Kitchen, a big seller of donabe cookware in the US. A good move on her part? Maybe. Her website has many styles and pieces of cookware offered for sale. And quality donabe from the Iga Provence of Japan is not inexpensive. Also on her store website are a LOT of donabe recipes. I have checked, and except for the basic rice cooking instructions, the 104 recipes on the website do not really overlap those in this book. Some come close, but they are different. You might want to take a look at those recipes, because they will give you a feel for those in this book. And be sure to check out the “Look Inside” feature on this product page. Ten Speed Press always does such a great job with this feature. A real donabe is not mandatory to make good use of this cookbook: I have been wanting to buy a quality donabe for several years now, and this book has helped me with my decision-making. The info in this book has also convinced me that my choice to NOT buy an inexpensive donabe from the oriental market was a good one. In the meantime, I have learned that I can get decent results—not perfect, but not bad—from regular pots on the stovetop and my electric rice cooker. I even use a huge vintage electric fondue pot from the 70’s with good results. Before introducing recipes, this book will clue you in on how to care for and season donabe, and dos and don’ts for handling donabe while cooking. It is a very helpful abundance of info. There are many vegetarian and vegan recipes included, and they are marked as such. There are also options provided to turn regular dishes into vegan dishes. You will also find suggestions to create a shime course (finishing course) from the remaining broth. I find some of the shime suggestions to be great recipes in their own right, and suitable for a separate meal. Beautiful photographs of prepared dishes, envy-provoking donabe pots, action photos, scenery. Substitutions are offered in many instances: Dijon for Japanese mustard, green onions for negi, mushroom and miso options, and more. Pantry ingredients are not hard to find if you’ve got an oriental market nearby. If not, Amazon has it all. There are pictures of each dish, sometimes the pre-assembled ingredients, sometimes the ingredients in the pot, sometimes its shime course. The first chapter is a compilation of hot pots using quite a variety of main and accompanying ingredients: Tofu, beef, pork, fish, oysters, duck, mushrooms, cabbage, gyoza (dumplings), even Korean kimchi, and more. I loved the “Chicken Meatballs in Hot Sesame Miso Broth”, a two-column list of ingredients, but ingredients that I can find easily at an oriental market or are usually on my pantry shelves. In the next chapter are rice dishes cooked in a donabe double-lidded rice cooker, and it is one revelation after another. There are several recipes that I will recreate again and again, but my favorite is a small red snapper, just gutted, cleaned and scaled, placed in the pot along with the rice and dashi, ginger, king mushrooms and a few other ingredients. I also love the “Juicy (boneless) Chicken-Wing Rice”. Love the chapter on soups, stews and braises: Everything from dried soybeans; simmered vegetables in dashi and sake, mirin and brown sugar; braised sweet and spicy kabocha; to salt-marinated 1 pound hunks of pork shoulder; miso Keema curry (Indian curry with ground meat); simmered thin-sliced beef with noodles and potatoes; soy and sake flavored ground chicken and eggs over rice. There is even a salmon chowder—and if you know chowders, you can adapt this recipe to just about any ingredient combination. There are also instructions for using a donabe for a sous vide technique, with a digital thermometer through the steam hole. The donabe can be used as a steamer: The chapter includes combinations of vegetables, fish or seafood and vegetables and tofu, and sauces. It provides a custard recipe. There are rice balls, dumplings, and steamed cakes. In the chapter using a tagine-style donabe, I found recipes that might just “force” me to buy this specialty donabe, (although a lidded heavy skillet already on your kitchen shelf might work): Roasted potatoes, steam-fried vegetables, steamed clams and vegetables, pork sukiyaki, crunchy lotus root in a vinegar sauce, and many more. There is a chapter on smoking, too. Dashi recipes, sauces and condiments are located at the back of the book, and you will find yourself referring to them often. Sometimes Japanese cookbooks are difficult to maneuver through, with so many foreign ingredients to understand and memorize. Maybe that statement is only true for cooks with brains like mine, which struggle with foreign words. But I had no trouble working my way through these recipes. (I will still take the book with me to the market….) Plus there is a decent 8-page comprehensive and valuable glossary. There are two pages explaining important kitchen tools and a short resource page. *I received a temporary download of this book from the publisher. I used it for several months, and when the book was finally published, I bought a hard copy—that is how much I like it.

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