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- Title: Japanese Kitchen Knives: Essential Techniques and Recipes
- Autor: Hiromitsu Nozaki
- Publisher (Publication Date): Kodansha USA; 1 edition (July 1, 2009)
- Language: English
Sales of Japanese kitchen knives are booming in the U.S. But how many people have the skills to use these superbly-crafted tools to full advantage? Now, internationally renowned chef Hiromitsu Nozaki shares his expertise and insights in a book that will help anyone who owns a Japanese knife to maximize its performance.
In Japanese Kitchen Knives, Nozaki teaches the reader how to use usuba, deba and yanagiba, the three main traditional Japanese knives. He explains many essential techniques, such as the importance of understanding blade angle and point of force, and illustrates these lessons by working with ingredients familiar to western readers, like carrots and rainbow trout. Color photos and Nozaki’s commentary further clarify the process, and the pictures are taken from the chef’s perspective for easier understanding (most other books take photos from the reverse perspective). Each technique is accompanied by recipes that require its use, and all recipes are very simple, using easy-to-acquire ingredients. Other sections include a look at artisanal Japanese knife-making and information on sharpening, storing and identifying the variety of Japanese knives. Specialty knives are shown on location, from the unique unagi eel knife in an unagi specialty restaurant to the colossal tuna filleting knife in Tsukiji fish market.
“The authors…invite you to contemplate the knife as ravishing artifact—and instrument for producing edible ravishing artifacts.” —The Los Angeles Times”Inspirational. Tokyo chef Hiromitsu Nozaki’s Japanese Kitchen Knives exquisitely illustrates techniques like cutting a daikon radish paper-thin and yards long.” —Food & Wine”…a love story to sharpened steel.” —The Denver Post”Chef Nozaki describes in detail what each knife is used for, how to use it properly and then provides recipes as examples. The recipes are very easy for home cooks and use ingredients found in most supermarkets. And the photographs are incredible.” —TheReluctantGourmet.com
About the Author
HIROMITSU NOZAKI was classically trained in several Japanese restaurants before becoming the executive chef of Tokuyama in 1980, and Waketokuyama, in Tokyo in 1989. Known for his culinary skills and deep knowledge of food, he catered for the Japanese athletes of the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He has published over forty cookbooks, ranging from simple home cooking and baby food recipes to textbooks for apprentices, traditional Japanese recipes, and scientific new approaches to Japanese cuisine. Waketokuyama was awarded one star in the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2008.KATE KLIPPENSTEEN writes on food, film, and travel as well as comparative culture for Japanese and U.S. publications. She is the author of Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen, published in 2006 by Kodansha International. Klippensteen has lived in Tokyo since 1986.YASUO KONISHI has journeyed to more than one hundred countries over his career for a wide number of publications, including Esquire Japan. His work has appeared in a number of food-related books published in Japan, including Cool Tools.
I find it a little strange when folks write a review and complain about something when it is obviously their own fault because they didn’t pay attention or they didn’t read the descriptions…. Therefore, I am going to depart a little from my usual “style” and make this review more of a helpful primer for someone who is wondering about this book…. First, this book is about Japanese Kitchen Knives. Is it about how Americans use knives.? NOPE…. Is it about the nice German knives or the nice steel from Sheffield England.?? NOPE…. It is about Japanese Kitchen Knives and Essential Techniques for their use. That’s all folks…!! So does this book cover the entire process of how Japanese knives are made (in detail no less..)??? NOPE…not that either. Does it go into detail on Japanese steel.??? NOPE.. It is about Japanese Kitchen Knives and some Essential Techniques for their use. Really folks, this book talks about some different styles of Japanese knives and what they are used for in Japan. It discusses the basic forms and edge design. It talks a little about why one design is “better” than another for a specific purpose. It talks a little about the edge angles and the fact that the Japanese edges are extremely sharp…. but there is a tradeoff. The edges can chip or break if you use them wrong. Does this book discuss all of the knife technique in Japan.?? NOPE, not even close. It discusses the basic techniques, the basic uses, the basic cuts. If you want to start using Japanese knives and you want to learn something about how they are used… this book will take you there. It talks about blade shape and thickness, edge geometry, and handle shapes. It discusses the basic uses and cuts performed with each design presented in the book. NOT all designs and all uses.!! I think this book is most useful for its discussion of blade shapes and edge design (flat grinds, single bevel, etc., etc…), as well as the basic techniques in use for each one. For those who are interested in Japanese knives and maybe are considering an initial purchase, this book will help. If you already own a Japanese Yanagiba and are interested in a Deba or maybe a vegetable knife like a Nakiri or an Usuba, then this book will help make that decision easier. It talks about the knife styles and how and why to use them. It discusses some of the techniques and why a particular blade style is best for the purpose…. If you want a historical treatise on Japanese cutlery…This is NOT it. If you are a student of the art and want to know more about Japanese steel making or knife making… This is NOT for you. OTOH, if you are thinking about a Japanese knife or two and just want to know the how and why of a particular shape or edge design and what makes one better than the other for a specific purpose…. THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU OUT.!!! Recommended.!!