Dashi, Umami and Fermented Foods
Interest in Japanese food in North America has grown exponentially in the last fifteen years, moving well beyond sushi and sashimi. More and more people now appreciate the variety and complex tastes and textures of Japanese food, as well as its emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, and presentation. Words like “dashi” and “umami” are part of our vocabulary. Along with this interest has come an abundance of Japanese cookbooks, most often with a focus on ease of preparation, and recipes that accommodate local tastes and ingredients. However, professional chefs, who are increasingly acknowledging the influence of Japanese cooking on their own work, are looking for expert information about authentic, traditional cuisine. “The Japanese Culinary Academy’s Complete Japanese Cuisine” series meets this demand.
Flavor and Seasonings: Dashi Umami and Fermented Foods is the second in this multi-volume series. Created by the renowned Japanese Culinary Academy, an organization dedicated to advancing Japanese cuisine throughout the world, the series is authoritative, comprehensive, and wide-ranging in scope. The writing, design and photography of each volume meet the highest standards. And although the books are targeted primarily to a professional readership, serious amateur chefs will also find them to be an invaluable resource.
Flavor and Seasonings covers all the fundamentals of the subject, providing information that’s necessary to understanding the cuisine and its cultural context. The book features sections on: kaiseki; dashi and umami; Japanese soy sauce, miso, and sake for cooking; kombu; fermented food and seasonings like natto, mirin and vinegar; flavorings including yuzu, sudachi, sansho, myoga, shoga, and oba; and much, much more. At the end of the book is information about Japanese kitchen utensils as well as basic recipes and a glossary.