Japan is definitely home to some of the most interesting and unique recipes on the planet. Luckily, there are many Japanese cookbooks suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced home chefs - and this article is here to help you find the perfect one!
When you think of traditional Japanese cuisine 'washoku' may spring to mind, the popular style of dish with rice, miso soup, seasonal ingredients and vegetables, and meat or fish. However, many cookbooks include a great select of traditional and modern recipes from sushi, to drinks, deserts and more. So read on for our ranking of the top 10 Japanese cookbooks in the UK on Amazon and eBay.
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Table of Contents
There are a few things you should consider before purchasing your Japanese cookbook, just to be sure you're picking the best one for you personally. In our buying guide we will cover all of these areas to ensure you get the best book on the market!
It's important to make sure the cookbook you choose covers a range of recipes you'd like to eat. For example, many people prefer hot food, whereas others will want to prepare cold dishes such as sushi and sashimi.
The first thing you should consider is whether you would like a cookbook to help you prepare hot or cold recipes. The main hot Japanese dishes you will come across are ramen, sushi, tempura, yakitori and kare raisu (rice with curry).
Cold dishes are more commonly eaten for lunch or as a snack, as opposed to dinner. So bear this in mind when you're deciding which book to buy. That said, if you're looking to cook a particular cold dish, like sushi, then it might be best to choose a book that solely focuses on sushi preparation, or one that definitely includes it.
If you'd like to prepare a range of Japanese dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then we recommend choosing a cookbook that has a variety of hot and cold recipes. This will give you plenty of options to choose from, whatever you're in the mood for.
Do you want to make a Japanese dessert or drink to go along with your main meal? You might want to expand your repertoire and perfect your dessert making skills with a cookbook on, or one that includes Japanese sweets.
If you're looking to incorporate Japanese meals in an endeavour to eat healthier, you may think you need to avoid desserts entirely. Don't worry! You can find plenty of healthy dessert recipes and even books that focus on low-sugar and low-carbohydrate alternatives to traditional puddings.
Even those who regularly use cookbooks will be familiar with how useful photographs and illustrations can be in helping to make the cooking process fun and easy. Many people are visual learners and seeing pictures of the steps they need to take when cooking means mistakes are less likely to occur.
Images also make the whole experience of cooking more enjoyable, you can compare your finished meal to the photograph in the book and see how well you did. Although, it's sometimes very difficult to get a perfect result, especially if you're a beginner, the most important thing is that it tastes delicious!
Consider how much time on average you have to prepare meals. Do you have the time to improve your Japanese cooking skills and learn recipes off by heart, or do you want something easy to make in under half an hour?
We've included the average preparation time of the recipes included in each of the cookbooks in our ranking, so you can use this information as a guide to help you decide whether a title is right for you.
It's always a good idea to invest in a book with a decent selection of different recipes, if you want to learn lots of Japanese style meals, rather than simply cooking the same ones. The more the better, but for a comprehensive guide, we recommend choosing cookbooks with over 100 recipes for more variety.
Although, the number of recipes inside a cookbook is often listed, this isn't always the case. If you can't find the exact number, you can check the page count, as lengthier books tend to have more recipes inside.
For those with specific dietary requirements, it's important to find a cookbook with enough recipes that cater to your needs. For vegans and vegetarians, there are plenty of Japanese cookbooks that catalogue a collection of meat-free meals. However, if you have particular allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients, you may need to delve deeper into the contents of the book.
That said, the great thing about cookbooks is that you can use them as a rough guideline and swap out some of the ingredients to better suit your preferences and needs!
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Japanese Cookbook for Beginners: Classic and Modern Recipes Made Easy
An Introduction to Japanese Cooking That Everyone Can Enjoy
Nancy Singleton Hachisu
Japan: The Cookbook
Delicate Yet Filling Recipes Made to Impress
Gaijin Cookbook, The: Japanese Recipes from a Chef, Father, Eater, and Lifelong Outsider
Whip up Weekday Meals and Party Specials
Sushi Cookbook for Beginners: 100 Step-By-Step Recipes to Make Sushi at Home
Learn to Make Authentic Sushi With a Workshop in a Book
Vegan JapanEasy: Classic & modern vegan Japanese recipes to cook at home
A Vegan Cookbook Filled With Meat-Free Japanese Recipes
Tokyo Stories: A Japanese Cookbook
Chef Tim Anderson Has Been There, Done That and Got The T-shirt
No Sugar, Low Carb, No Guilt Japanese-Style Desserts
Healthy Desserts That Are Perfect for Those With a Sweet Tooth
Everyday Harumi: Simple Japanese Food for Family and Friends
Home-Style Recipes to Make for Family and Friends
Japanese Food Made Easy
Make Instagramable Japanese Restaurant Dishes at Home
The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook: 120 Classic Bar Bites from Japan
Japanese Style Tapas for Sharing Light Bites
This book is the ideal source of knowledge for those wanting to learn how to make both classic and modern recipes. Azusa includes all the basic staples, with snacks and salads, vegetarian meals, rice and noodle dishes, seafood, meat and poultry. With such an incredible range of hot and cold dishes, you won't ever be stuck for dinner options again!
Short on time? Azusa teaches you to cook delicious savoury fried rice, panko fried shrimp or a chicken and egg bowl in under 30 minutes. The gorgeous photography really makes this cookbook a must have, it could even be displayed as a coffee table book.
For those who are willing to spend a little bit more for a cookbook, Nancy has some mouthwateringly tasty Japanese recipes. Her artful layering of delicious and healthy ingredients, delicate side dishes and awesome main courses mean that if you're looking to seriously impress, this could be the book for you.
The book includes sumptuous photographs and clear instructions on how to make each and every recipe, there are 400 overall! Best of all, the average preparation time is around 20 minutes for soups, noodles and sides.
Looking to cook Japanese food for lots of different occasions? Ivan the chef, father, eater and lifelong outsider, has compiled recipes for week nights, picky kids, boozy weekends and celebrations all inside this detailed cookbook. Whether you're looking for a hot noodle dish or an appetiser, you will learn how to make it with this book, he even includes bagels and sandwiches with a Japanese spin!
The cookbook presents amazing photographs from his restaurant experiences in Japan, introducing aspects of Japanese culture to those who haven't visited the country. Ivan has created a very credible cookbook, the only thing that's missing is desserts.
Learn how to make sashimi and sushi rolls with this crash course cookbook. The step-by-step photographs teach you exactly how to make colourful and tasty sushi with 100 great recipes to pick from. By the end you'll have gained a new skill, which is not something your everyday cookbook can do.
Tim Anderson's cookbook could be exactly what you're looking for if you're after Japanese vegan recipes. The combination of classic and modern dishes are made easy to cook at home, including main meals, sides, desserts and drinks.
Each recipe is beautifully photographed, so you have an idea of how your finished dish should look, with stunning illustrations throughout. This isn't the cheapest Japanese cookbook on the market, but it pretty much covers everything you'd ever need to cook and it's all vegan!
Travel on a food journey through Japan's capital Tokyo and learn how to cook some of the most tasty recipes. With 80 options to choose from, this book focuses on home-cooked curries, udon, gyoza, ramen and many more amazing dishes.
This book will help you perfect your food presentation, as well as making a mouthwateringly good meal. As a bonus, you get to enjoy a range of breathtaking photographs taken across Tokyo.
Sometimes you just need a sugar fix, and this cookbook will help you get exactly that, without consuming too much sugar or carbohydrates. The recipes are suitable for both beginners and more advanced cooks, with useful step-by-step guides that make it easy to follow and minimise mistakes.
Whether you're looking for a chilled dessert like tiramisu or something more fancy like an Opera cake, nutritionist Sakamoto has you more than covered. Enjoy these delicious Japanese-style desserts after any meal!
Inside this cookbook you will find everyday recipes that anyone can cook. It includes 60 recipes focusing on meals and snacks to share with family and friends. Step-by-step photographic instructions indicate exactly how to make each recipe and mean that you can get the whole family involved with the simple explanations.
It's ideal for those looking to spend a bit longer in the kitchen, and who have the time to perfect meals and explore ingredients. However, if you're looking for more modern Japanese cuisine, this might not be the book for you.
The great thing about this book is its combination of traditional and modern recipes, including desserts and drinks as well as main meals and side dishes. A good book for beginners, it will help you to master some of the basics like sushi rice and noodles.
If your priority is graphic design you will definitely enjoy this book. However, those who would like more of a focus on the content and recipes may prefer something more in-depth.
Having friends over for some drinks? Why not put a Japanese spin on the evening and create some small, but impressive snacks for friends. If you're looking to create bar snacks, this could be the book for you with 120 short and easy to follow recipes to choose from.
For over £10, you will most likely be able to find something a little cheaper with more range in terms of recipes. However, if you're looking for quick recipes and don't fancy going all out this would be a great book for you!
Good quality ingredients are essential to making appetising recipes you'll want to repeat. That's why it's important to do your research first, if you haven't tried them out before. Click the links below to discover some of the best ingredients for your Japanese recipes!
Now you have so much choice, we hope you'll feel confident in cooking some delicious Japanese meals in the future! Whatever your dietary preferences or needs, there is definitely a Japanese cookbook on the shelves that's perfect for you. Itadakimasu!
Author: Charlotte Lillington
No. 1: Azusa Oda｜Japanese Cookbook for Beginners: Classic and Modern Recipes Made Easy
No. 2: Nancy Singleton Hachisu｜Japan: The Cookbook
No. 3: Ivan Orkin｜Gaijin Cookbook, The: Japanese Recipes from a Chef, Father, Eater, and Lifelong Outsider
No. 4: Chika Ravitch｜Sushi Cookbook for Beginners: 100 Step-By-Step Recipes to Make Sushi at Home
No. 5: Tim Anderson｜Vegan JapanEasy: Classic & modern vegan Japanese recipes to cook at home
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