Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Crab fried rice (Hani ankake)

    • Gio on November 17, 2015

      Katakuriko = potato starch.

  • Iwashi furai

    • RosieB on November 14, 2015

      This was a really tasty easy dish. Served with chicken yakatori for a nice Japanese inspired starter.

  • Classic tonkatsu

    • Delys77 on April 28, 2020

      I double breaded as he suggests and use the "smacking technique" and it worked very well. I did then in the airfryer however, to save on fat a bit. Overall very good and nice technique. I don't love cabbage with this so skipped it as well.

    • twoyolks on March 01, 2021

      I agree on this being a great tonkatsu. I didn't really care for the cabbage as it's just bland cabbage.

  • Tadashi's lamb curry

    • Delys77 on September 15, 2014

      This recipe has a lot of fusion elements, with white wine, soy sauce, curry powder, and butter all mingling in the pot to yield a lovely result. I would say yet again that the amount of liquid called for is far too much. As with other dishes in this book the author has you add very large amounts of liquid and then simmer covered, which to me doesn't make much sense. There is no thickening agent in this dish other than the onions which melt into the broth, but Tadashi would have you add 2 cups of wine and 4 cups of water and then simmer covered. I ended up going with half the amount of water and I simmered uncovered and the liquid to solid ratio was just right. The author also never tells you when to put the browned lamb back in. I put it in with the liquid and again this worked out very well. Lastly, my curry powder had some bite to it so I would wait to add the togarashi at the end to see if you need it. Overall despite the issues, a very nice flavour profile.

  • Retro curry

    • Delys77 on August 25, 2014

      Overall the results were very tasty. The components of the curry are very reminiscent of a standard stew, but the addition of the curry scented roux definitely gives it the that familiar East Asian curry flavour. Despite the large amount of seasoning the dish isn't overly pungent, which was quite nice. I would suggest that the amount of liquid is off. I went with a double batch and only used about 8 cups of liquid, and even then I had quite a bit of liquid that required me to use some corn starch to thicken. I would likely simmer uncovered for about half of the cooking time and perhaps make a lager amount of roux. Used a chuck roast for the beef and it worked perfectly.

  • Miso ramen

    • Delys77 on January 28, 2015

      This was a tough one to assess because it was good, but it did let us down a bit. I think of Miso Ramen has something that basically hits you in the mouth with flavour, while this was a little tame in that department. The tare was delicious smelling but got a bit lost in the broth and the noodles. I think you should season your actual broth and add a few other elements like Shiitake and Konbu, and maybe make a larger portion and reduce the broth a bit to make it more flavourful. Then I would go withe same Tare recipe and put at least 50% more in the broth. Lastly I would marinate the pork as it calls for no marinating which seems odd to me. I would also skip the ground pork as this didn't work well with the noodles.

    • peaceoutdesign on March 14, 2021

      I really liked what the miso tare added, actually it made the broth. I didn't use pork shoulder so I made meatballs seasoned with furikake out of the ground pork. I had a hard time imagining that just ground pork would work or be able to be slurped up in a spoon.

  • Hamburg

    • Delys77 on August 20, 2020

      This was dinner last night for the family. I had a bit more beef and pork so went with about 1.5 times the recipe. It was pretty good overall. The patties are very juicy and well seasoned but not over the top. My 1.5 times the recipe made about 7 patties so a good sized meal. My son loved them, but that is doubtless because anything with ketchup is very popular around here. Sandiegolemons is right, the sauce is very reminiscent of A1 steak sauce, which I don't usually love, but in moderate amounts with the burgers, it was quite good. I used dry vermouth as we were out of sake. Next time I would up worcestershire a touch and perhaps put in a squirt of soy or maggi to see if we can up the savoury and cut the tang a bit. Served with steamed rice and steamed carrots. Not a bad little dinner.

    • Sandiegolemons on January 25, 2018

      This was really good and the kids dug it. I served it with a french style julienned carrots in cream and chives which went great with it. The burger sauce is a bit reminiscent of A-1, which I despise, but this was rather nice. A fun twist on burgers, protein style, to mix it up on a weekday night. I used ground turkey which substituted beautifully.

  • Doria

    • Delys77 on January 22, 2021

      I increased the chicken to 10oz and decreased the cheese to 6 oz total and it was lovely. I also used about 2 tb of Shaoxing wine instead of white, but I am sure white would work well. Very much like a risotto with lovely cheesy crust. I would increase mushrooms next time for sure. Very popular with the little one as well as the adults. Very comfort food this one.

  • Gyudon

    • Delys77 on March 05, 2014

      Pg. 135 The recipe calls for Sukiyaki Beef, but upon doing a little research it seems any relatively tender well marbled cut of beef will do. I bought boneless short ribs, froze till quite firm and sliced across the grain with a sharp knife. This worked quite well. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly save for the pickled ginger condiment, which I would add next time as a bit of acidity would balance this relatively sweet dish. I did find there was too much liquid so I might cut it back by about 1/3 next time. Also, while the dashi adds a very interesting nuance I might decrease the relative proportion of dashi a bit. Lastly, I would suggest full sodium soy sauce as the light soy left this a touch under seasoned. Overall however a very comforting cold weather weeknight supper that came together very easily. Serve with sauteed asian greens and you have a lovely meal.

  • Chuka don

    • Delys77 on June 27, 2014

      This is essentially a Japanese take on what a Chinese Rice Bowl would be. Overall it was good but I wouldn't likely repeat. It comes together easily enough but the dish is a little under seasoned. I would add more soy and more salt and possibly more sake or even Hsiao shing cooking wine. This will sound unappealing but the colour and texture reminded me a bit of take out chop suey.

  • Pasta with miso meat sauce

    • Delys77 on January 18, 2021

      This is quite good. Reminds me a touch of a quebecois dish called nouilles chinoise, which doesn't sound like a compliment but is from someone who grew up eating the odd Canadian dish. I do think it is far too loose so I ended up cooking the sauce for closer to 20 minutes. This also helped burn off more of the alcohol as I was feeding kids. Added quite a bit of chopped cucumber and green onion for garnish and it was lovely. The kids like rotini so used this shape and it worked well. I feel like some mushrooms wouldn't be out of place here, and even perhaps a touch more miso. Quite easy and good.

  • Ultra-crunchy cabbage

    • twoyolks on March 01, 2021

      This does make ultra-crunchy cabbage. However, it's just plain cabbage which wasn't particularly appealing.

  • Dashi

    • twoyolks on April 04, 2021

      I think this dashi recipe might have you cook the bonito too long which leads to too much of a fishy flavor in the dashi.

  • Niku udon

    • twoyolks on April 04, 2021

      The beef was really good. The broth was just alright.

  • Classic pork gyoza

    • twoyolks on November 09, 2021

      The filling is quite good but the instructions actually work and give a nicely browned bottom without them sticking horribly. I used regular chives and wonton wrappers and these were very addictive.

    • lbr4 on May 04, 2021

      I love to make gyoza's and this is the best recipe I have found. The filling has a clean and fresh taste, just so flavorful.

    • Pizzacat13 on November 24, 2021

      Great recipe. Very authentic, requires some specialty ingredients like garlic chives which aren't the easiest things to find (chives are a good substitute), time-consuming but really worth the effort. I am now addicted to perfecting a gyonza "hane".

  • Homemade tonkatsu sauce

    • twoyolks on March 01, 2021

      It was interesting making this from complete scratch. It was good but for the amount of time and effort, I think it should be better.

  • Shoyu ramen

    • aileent1 on September 10, 2018

      This was good, but not great. The flavor was not as well-rounded as I had hoped for considering the amount of prep work that was needed. I used top-quality ingredients and expected at least as good of a result as I've had in restaurants. I would not make it again.

  • Oyakodon

    • thekitchenchronicles on November 04, 2014


    • Cpeterson729 on January 08, 2015

      Pretty good, especially for a quick and easy meal. The pic does not look like the finished product, but that's fine. I would suggest using low sodium soy sauce, adding some cilantro (like in the pic) and cooking the eggs for longer - they will be uncooked without extra time on the stove. Would make again with some variations, will probably buy the book now to try some more recipes that are not my go to meals!

  • "Napolitan" spaghetti

    • Rinshin on April 24, 2014

      This was ok. I have several favorite ones from Japanese language cookbooks and television but I am always looking for better ones that may come my way. I wanted to give this a try because of unusual addition of paprika and milk not found in Japanese versions, but did not like the addition of paprika - gave this funny taste and using milk was also strange for this type of Japanese spaghetti Napolitan recipe. Maybe this is an americanized version of japanized Italian pasta :)

  • Yoshoku steak

    • Rinshin on April 24, 2014

      Used one rib eye for 2 people (2/3 for my husband, and 1/3 for me). I marinated the meat in shio-koji ( http://kojiya.jp/shiokoji/index.html) I keep on hand overnight and that made meat very tender and flavorful. Shio-koji was wiped off clean before pan-grilling. The savory sweet sauce was wonderful on beef steak. Really brought out the meaty taste you associate with good tasting beef. This sauce is a definite keeper. I sliced the beef into thin slices for each plate before serving.

  • Mabo don

    • Jojobuch on October 22, 2017

      Very satisfying, and easy to make as long as you have the right ingredients - that said, I substituted Gochujang for the Japanese Chili paste, and Chinese rice wine for sake, with excellent results.

    • Skamper on August 25, 2018

      This has become a favorite in our house. I use chicken stock in place of torigara, and only 1 tsp of tobanjian as that is the right spice level for us. I've also reduced the sugar to 1/2 tsp, or used 1 tsp of granulated Splenda instead, and it comes out delicious.

  • Soy sauce marinade

    • laurenlangston on January 31, 2017

      I put spatchcocked Cornish game hens in this for 24 hours and then grilled them for dinner. One of the easiest, best chicken dishes I've ever made.

  • Kamo nanban soba

    • IsaSim on February 03, 2014

      This was delicious! Will reduce soba serving size next time, and one duck breast (12 ounces) was enough for three.

  • Torigara stock

    • Pizzacat13 on November 24, 2021

      A beautiful pure neutral chicken stock, great if you just want pure chicken flavor unlike a traditional western-style chicken stock. I used chicken wings and backs.

  • Miso dipping sauce

    • Pizzacat13 on November 24, 2021

      Very intense and super salty. Also makes a big volume of sauce- not really sure what to do with the leftovers. Not the hugest fan and probably won't make this again.

  • Homemade rayu

    • Pizzacat13 on November 24, 2021

      The recipe calls for exclusive use of sesame oil- this seems like a huge amount of sesame oil and I found the sesame oil flavor completely overpowers the other ingredients, which is saying something as there is a lot of chilli in this. I would consider making this again but using way less sesame oil and substituting a more neutral oil like grapeseed or canola.

  • Miso nikomi udon

    • metacritic on September 18, 2021

      Dish was positively delicious and children and spouse liked the dish even more than I did. Will absolutely go into a rotation. Probably best for wintry meals on a cold, snowy night. But did the trick even on this rainy early-fall evening. I had a brown rice miso - hatcho like - and shiro miso so mixed the two to approximate a red, aka miso, which seemed to work just fine. I suspect you could use pretty much whatever you have on hand with total success.

  • Saikoro steak

    • mjes on August 08, 2021

      Super quick stir-fried steak flavored with garlic, scallions, sake, and soy sauce. Serve with a grain and you have a perfect midnight snack.

  • Yakisoba

    • mjes on August 08, 2021

      Yakisoba doesn't have to come in a cellophane package with a powdered sauce mix. I used canned mung bean sprouts. None of the other ingredients are hard to source on the Wesst Coast. I find yakisoba a family crowd pleaser acceptable to a wide variety of preferences. I would certainly not limit myself to the vegetables and meats in the recipe.

  • Ebi furai

    • Kinhawaii on May 18, 2021

      Loved this easy, crunchy shrimp. Definitely will make this again. Ate with tartar sauce or tonkatsu sauce.

  • Shiso pasta

    • Kinhawaii on April 10, 2021

      We love shiso so enjoyed this. Unfortunately we used a bottled ponzu sauce the first time which made it too salty. We love it with lemon.

  • Tatsuta-age

    • Skamper on August 03, 2020

      Second time I've made this and it is a winner. The lemon is a must!

  • Nagoya tebasaki

    • Skamper on March 30, 2020

      I've made this many times and we love it. However, I have to say that it doesn't take like nagoya tebasaki that I've had at restaurants. I use the Alton Brown method of steaming then baking the wings, then coating in the sauce. I use 1 T of granulated splenda rather than the 2 T of sugar.

  • Tomato salada

    • Skamper on March 30, 2020

      Easy and delicious when tomatoes are at their best. I use a scant half cup of onions. I make it with English cucumbers when tomatoes aren't in season.

  • Potato salada

    • Skamper on August 17, 2018

      Delicious recipe. I would say kewpie mayonnaise is a must, but I've never made it with regular mayo. Edited to add that I've also recently made this with sweet potato and it is also delicious!

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Reviews about this book

  • Serious Eats

    Short essays on each dish begin each chapter that are just as enlightening as the recipes themselves. Ono and Salat clearly have a knack for writing engaging cookbooks.

    Full review
  • Fine Cooking

    The book is a fascinating, mouthwatering read, richly illustrated with evocative photos. ...trace the history of various cooking styles and tease out the foreign influences on beloved classics...

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Osaka-style okonomiyaki

    • Serious Eats

      The finished dish may look elaborate, but there's really not much to cooking good okonomiyaki. Flipping them is almost as easy as a regular ol' American pancake.

      Full review
  • Vegetable tempura

    • Serious Eats

      I've made tempura a few times, but never with such exacting precision. My tempura broccoli, carrots, and kabocha squash slices were light, crisp, and golden—in other words, pretty much perfect.

      Full review
  • Kamo nanban soba

    • Serious Eats

      Duck is not something I'd normally associate with Japanese food, but it's faint gaminess pairs nicely with the earthy soba noodles.

      Full review
  • Oyakodon

    • Serious Eats

      If you're looking for a new quick, comforting weeknight meal this winter, look no further than this chicken donburi. Seriously, so good.

      Full review
  • Classic pork gyoza

    • Serious Eats

      Follow the cooking directions to the letter and you won't be disappointed. Yes, you'll probably make a huge mess when you start to pan-fry, but all that oil clean-up will be worth it...

      Full review
  • Yakisoba

    • Fine Cooking

      Fresh ramen noodles are stir-fried with vegetables, pork, sesame oil, sake, Worcestershire, & tonkatsu sauce in this tasty, comforting dish. It delivers authentic flavors and isn't at all complicated.

      Full review
  • Potato salada

    • Fine Cooking

      News to me: Potato salad is big in Japan. In this version, cucumber, carrot, and onion are briefly cured in salt before being tossed with potatoes dressed with exactly the right amount of mayonnaise.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 1607743523
  • ISBN 13 9781607743521
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Sep 10 2013
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 256
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Imprint Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

A collection of more than 100 recipes that introduces Japanese comfort food to American home cooks, exploring new ingredients, techniques, and the surprising origins of popular dishes like gyoza and tempura.

Move over, sushi.

It’s time for gyoza, curry, tonkatsu, and furai. These icons of Japanese comfort food cooking are the dishes you’ll find in every kitchen and street corner hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Japan—the hearty, flavor-packed dishes that everyone in Japan, from school kids to grandmas, craves.

In Japanese Soul Cooking, Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat introduce you to this irresistible, homey style of cooking. As you explore the range of exciting, satisfying fare, you may recognize some familiar favorites, such as ramen, soba, udon, and tempura. Others are lesser known Japanese classics—such as wafu pasta (spaghetti with bold, fragrant toppings like miso meat sauce), tatsuta-age (fried chicken marinated in garlic, ginger, and other Japanese seasonings), and savory omelets with crabmeat and shiitake mushrooms—that will instantly become standards in your kitchen as well. With foolproof instructions and step-by-step photographs, you’ll soon be knocking out chahan fried rice, mentaiko spaghetti, saikoro steak, and more for friends and family.

Ono and Salat’s fascinating exploration of the surprising origins and global influences behind popular dishes is accompanied by rich location photography that captures the energy and essence of this food in everyday Japanese life, bringing beloved Japanese comfort food to Western home cooks for the first time.

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