From My Home to Yours: Japanese-inspired (cookbook review)

Our dear friend Atsuko gifted us with a copy of Everyday Harumi, Simple Japanese Food for Family & Friends, during our visit to Japan last month. Harumi appears to be the Martha Stewart of Japan, offering Japanese women a modern take on traditional Japanese foods, all built around her family favorites. The cookbook is fun to look at, the photos are wonderful, and while it lacks an index to make recipe lookup easier, the recipes themselves are straight forward and manageable in our kitchen. The most exotic ingredient I needed to track down were sesame seeds. As I said, not tricky.

And earlier this month, I took dinner over to a friend and decided to try a couple recipes from the book.

  • Japanese Tsukune with Teriyaki Sauce (pork and beef patties)
  • Pumpkin with a Sweet Sesame Glaze
  • Asian coleslaw with cabbage, carrots, radishes and cilantro, with Ginger-Sesame Dressing

The teriyaki sauce was easy to make, although the book did not mention that the sauce would thicken as it cools; I might have taken it off the heat a few minutes earlier. The meat patties were easy to put together; next time I would like to fiddle with the mixture and cooking time and see if I can keep more of the moisture inside. Loved the pumpkin recipe; my pumpkin turned to mush while cooking and the recipe did not specify the type of pumpkin to use, so next time I might try a drier pumpkin with less moisture to begin with. And the coleslaw I just threw together with what I had in the fridge; great way to use up lingering heads of cabbage!

If you are interested in learning more about Japanese cookery, give the Harumi books a try. I know I will use this again to make my kids favorite Kaarage Chicken as well as Katsudon, which my husband and I enjoyed on our visit to Japan!