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Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Zucchini coins with roasted sesame (Zukkini no karupaccho)

    • Rutabaga on September 20, 2018

      This dish is utterly simple, yet I found I quite liked it. I don't often eat zucchini raw, but when thinly sliced and salted it retains a pleasant crunch and fresh flavor, pairing well with the sesame. I used small yellow zucchini, and mixed the leftovers with plain cold soba noodles and some ginger soy dipping sauce, and it was delicious.

  • Smashed cucumber pickles with tarlic (Tataki kyuri)

    • Rutabaga on August 26, 2015

      I wanted to like this more than I did, but my cucumbers turned out underseasoned, with barely a hint of garlic. Maybe my garlic was just too mild, but I definitely need to amp the flavor, otherwise these taste just like broken chunks of cucumber. Japanese cucumbers are very tasty on their own, so this certainly wasn't bad, it just didn't stand out in any way.

  • Tofu composé (Tofu compozei)

    • milgwimper on April 05, 2016

      This was good. I make many types of these but it was nice having the katsuoboshi as it gave it a slight smokey flavour.

  • Brown rice (Genmai)

    • Rutabaga on June 02, 2014

      This recipe worked just fine, but I didn't find the results to be better than other techniques I have tried. Because no specific cooking time is given, rather one is instructed to listen for a crackling sound that indicates all the water has been thoroughly absorbed, this method can be a little tough to follow. I actually lifted the lid and tried the rice after about 50 minutes, then concluded about 15 minutes later that it was done enough. It's just not possible for me to hang around and listen to know when rice would be done, especially considering how my loud kitchen fan blocks out many subtle sounds. Hachisu also instructs readers to use a rice cooker if they have one, which I'm sure is the foolproof way to go.

  • Fried rice with corn and peppers (Tomorokoshi to piman no chahan)

    • Rutabaga on September 09, 2015

      I varied the ingredients in this recipe quite a bit (I left out the corn, onion, and eggs, used skinny green peppers instead of red, and added chicken), but I think fried rice naturally lends itself to improvisation. I did follow the technique of frying the different ingredients individually in a little oil, then adding them back to the rice after it was nicely crisp and only lightly seasoned with soy sauce. This works well with diced chicken, as it browns well when not crowded in the pan. The rice had a very appealing texture, both a little chewy and crispy. Overall, it's a very simple, pure form of fried rice that I will definitely make again.

    • Rutabaga on March 07, 2016

      I made this again, this time according to the recipe, except for replacing the egg with chicken. It made a lovely light dinner, especially with shichimi togarashi sprinkled on top.

    • Zosia on May 28, 2016

      Simple and delicious and a hit with family. Apart from using leftover steamed long grain brown rice and frozen (defrosted) corn niblets, I followed the recipe as written.

  • Salty salmon rice balls (Shake onigiri)

    • Rutabaga on March 13, 2016

      Making onigiri is a great way to get kids involved in cooking; my four-year-old loved them. We used canned smoked tuna rather than salmon, but followed the instructions on shaping the rice balls. We didn't have any nori, but instead spiced things up by adding soy sauce, furikake seasoning, and shichimi toagrashi. Be sure to use enough plastic wrap so that you can easily encolse all the rice and twist well to shape the balls without any rice squeezing through.

  • Mushroom rice (Kinoko no takikomi gohan)

    • Zosia on November 20, 2013

      Flavourful variation of Japanese short grain rice, perfectly cooked as always using the foolproof method from the book. The mushrooms did reduce the stickiness of the rice so shaping the nori-wrapped rice balls was a little more challenging than anticipated.

  • Salt-massaged cucumber with miso and sesame (Kyuri momi)

    • IvyManning on April 28, 2013

      Good, but I might easy up on the salt, or rinse the cucumbers before using them with the salty miso dressing.

    • Rutabaga on September 09, 2015

      The nutty, deep flavor of the sesame and miso is a great match for fresh, sweet cucumbers. This would probably be great on a picnic, too.

  • Broccoli with tofu and yuzu (Burokkori no shira-ae)

    • ccav on January 27, 2015

      substituted lemon for the yuzu.

  • Tomato wedges drizzled with soy sauce (Tomato sarada shoyu-fumi)

    • Rutabaga on August 26, 2015

      So simple, but that's probably why this recipe works; good tomatoes are always best when allowed to shine for themselves. While the author suggests slightly underripe tomatoes, I used very ripe ones, and found it delicious. I left out the shiso since I didn't have any, but I can imagine that would be a great addition.

  • Sake-steamed kabocha with miso (Kabocha no abura miso)

    • ccav on January 27, 2015

      This was excellent and very simple.

  • Stir-fried snap peas with miso and red pepper (Snakku endo no abura miso)

    • Yildiz100 on August 10, 2018

      Made a half recipe as 700 grams of snap peas would never fit in my largest pan. Not wild about this. Somewhat bland and the miso tasted cloying. We did not finish the half recipe between the three of us.

    • Rutabaga on June 02, 2014

      Made with fresh sugar snaps (not the ones from the grocery store that have traveled a couple thousand miles), this dish is sweet and fresh tasting - how could it not be? But the other ingredients didn't add a lot of flavor to me. I used white miso, which was perhaps too mild to impart much depth, and for some reason the ginger was also barely noticeable. Perhaps sautéing the ginger in the oil before adding the peas would infuse the oil with flavor and give the dish a little kick. On the plus side, this was very quick to prepare, and honestly, too light a hand with the seasoning is better than too heavy when it comes to fresh sugar snap peas.

  • Hand-chopped jack mackerel with miso (Namero)

    • mziech on March 16, 2013

      Delicious very easy recipe. Note that the mackerel is raw. Reminds me of a Japanese-style steak tartare, with the optional raw egg-yolk.

  • Vinegared mackerel (Shime saba)

    • mziech on June 04, 2015

      Loved this recipe! It's sashimi-style mackerel, cured in salt and then in vinegar (raw!). Subtle taste of the vinegar, not at all sour. Curing takes 1 hour.

  • Chicken salad with sesame-miso vinaigrette (Toriniku sarada goma-miso vineguretto)

    • Rutabaga on June 12, 2014

      This is a lovely salad that can easily be a meal in itself. The sesame miso dressing gives it a satisfying richness. I added chopped sugar snap peas, avocado, and a little green onion to give it some different textures and make it a more substantial supper. The chicken has a delicate ginger flavor from steaming in the foil, but I found it took about half an hour for the breasts to cook fully, longer than the 20 minutes estimated in the recipe.

  • Teriyaki chicken (Tori no teriyaki)

    • Rutabaga on August 26, 2015

      This preparation couldn't be easier, and I had great results using skinless chicken thighs. I cooked them in a large sautee pan on the stove, and found that searing the chicken at high heat created a beautiful, crunchy caramelized crust. Since I did not have mirin, I used a combination of white wine and rice vinegar instead. Even without any additional seasonings added, the chicken was pleasantly salty and sweet, with just the right tough of ginger.

  • Deep-fried ginger chicken (Tori no kara age)

    • Rutabaga on June 02, 2014

      Both my husband and son loved this fried chicken. Unfortunately, I did not plan ahead, so was only able to marinate it for half an hour, but it was still flavorful. Next time, I will defrost the chicken the day before so that it can marinate overnight.

  • Sesame-miso dressing (Goma-ae)

    • Rutabaga on June 12, 2014

      I made this to go with the book's sesame chicken salad recipe, but it would work well with a variety of green salads, or even on grilled chicken. The flavor is rich and earthy, especially if you roast the sesame seeds to a deep nutty brown. While the recipe calls for brown rice miso, I used white and found that it was still flavorful.

  • Steamed eggplant with miso and sesame (Nasu no goma-ae)

    • mziech on June 04, 2015

      Eggplants had a nice bite because they were steamed. Really liked the sesame/miso/vinegar dressing. I served it cold.

    • Rutabaga on August 26, 2015

      This was very good, but I wished the dressing had a little more bite, so next time I would add a little more vinegar. A stronger flavored miso (I used Westbrae Natural "mellow" brown rice miso) might also be good. But I love how the eggplant is steamed, making it soft and creamy, but not oily, and the fact that this is so easy to prepare in advance.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52 by Wylie Dufresne

    The 2013 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks winner vs. Andrea Nguyen's Asian Tofu

    Full review
  • Food52 by Chris Ying

    The 2013 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks winner vs. Diana Henry's Salt Sugar Smoke

    Full review
  • Cooks & Books & Recipes

    The cookbook is as beautiful as it is interesting. Interspersed with recipes are personal photos (but not too many) and stories about life and food in Japan.

    Full review
  • Viet World Kitchen

    It’s a highly personal work, not meant to be strict and authoritative, but casual and inviting. You can tell that Nancy put a lot of love into her book.

    Full review
  • David Lebovitz

    She’s lived in Japan for decades, her farmer husband grows all sorts of interesting and varied crops, and the finished book was certainly worth waiting for.

    Full review
  • Simply Recipes

    From the moment you pick up this book and touch its indigo cloth spine, and feel the heft of almost 400 pages, you know there is something magical inside.

    Full review
  • The Times (UK)

    This wonderful book is full of simple and startlingly good stir-fries and steamed dishes, barbecues, stews, pickles and relishes, and elegant desserts, all sensibly annotated.

    Full review
  • Los Angeles Times

    It’s a relief to slow down with a good cookbook that reflects an idyllic life on a farm in northern Japan, where the cooking revolves around food that’s grown/prepared simply...a transporting respite.

    Full review
  • Tasting Table

    But its best asset is its most essential: Elegant recipes that transport those who cook them. The dishes also share one of our favorite aspects of American farm-to-table cooking: simplicity.

    Full review
  • Food Republic

    ...don’t expect to overdose on sushi and teriyaki in these pages. Japanese Farm Food is about a way of eating – and a way of life, really – that is lost even to many Japanese.

    Full review
  • The Daily Meal

    ...not just a cookbook with authentic Japanese recipes; most importantly, it's a story about love... for her husband, for Japan, and for food. And that's something that will resonate with every cook.

    Full review
  • Gloucester Times

    ...a wonderful, practical way to enter into Japanese cooking....cooking farm food for a family...there may be some difficult-to-scavenge ingredients, but she is an American writing for American needs.

    Full review
  • North Jersey Record

    To open "Japanese Farm Food," Hachisu's beautiful new cookbook, is like pulling back a curtain on an unfamiliar world that, for me, was immediately fascinating.

    Full review
  • New York Times

    That kind of generosity extends to her cookbook, in which she shares two decades’ worth of cooking knowledge in a disarmingly intimate way.

    Full review
  • The Kitchn

    This is not the kind of Japanese food you've likely encountered at Japanese restaurants. It's simpler. Less showy, though certainly still show-stopping in its own way.

    Full review
  • Oregonian

    Every now and then a truly outstanding book arrives. Though I have a weakness for many kinds of Asian fare, homestyle Japanese food is right there at the top.

    Full review
  • Simply Recipes

    ...almost everything in it is completely do-able for the American home cook. You might need a few special ingredients, like miso, but they're not hard to find. Nancy includes a glossary...

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 1449418295
  • ISBN 13 9781449418298
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Sep 01 2012
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 400
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Andrews McMeel

Publishers Text

Japanese Farm Food offers readers a unique window into life on a Japanese farm through simple recipes cooked from family fields and other local, organic products. The multitude of vibrant images conveys an intimate, authentic portrait of life and food on a Japanese farm. With a focus on fresh and thoughtfully sourced ingredients, the recipes in Japanese Farm Food are perfect for fans of the farmer's market, and for home cooks looking for accessible Japanese dishes. Covering everything from pickles and soups to noodles, rice, and dipping sauces, with a special emphasis on vegetables, Hachisu demystifies the rural Japanese kitchen, laying bare the essential ingredients, equipment, and techniques needed for Japanese home cooking.

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