Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook

| April 8, 2012 | 3 Comments

Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook

Nobu’s restaurants are known the world over for the quality of their ingredients and for the skill and originality with which the food is prepared and presented. Now, in this first cookbook by Nobu to focus on vegetable dishes, the master chef shares his expertise and deep knowledge of Japanese cuisine in sixty recipes that showcase vegetables in all their variety.

Throughout the book, the emphasis is on fine and healthy Japanese dining. Nobu uses a wide range of cooking techniques—fr

List Price: $ 39.95

Price: $ 22.98

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  1. Professional Chef says:
    21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Good for reading and looking at but …, February 20, 2012
    By 
    Professional Chef (Pittsburgh, PA) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook (Hardcover)

    This is a visually stunning and inspirational cookbook, but don’t expect to learn how to make these beautiful dishes from this book. It is assumed that you know the technique to produce the dishes, so really all you get is an ingredient list and a pretty picture. The beautiful cover? The text on how to make all of those pieces of vegetable nigiri is covered in exactly 1/3 of one page! However, the last chapter in the book contains recipes for all of the sauces used earlier on. In my opinion, the cost of the book is worth it for this treasure trove of Nobu’s sauces. They can be used in a variety of dishes, not just the ones listed in this cookbook. Knowing what I know now, I would still purchase this book.

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  2. Shizam says:
    11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fantastic cookbook, February 15, 2012
    By 
    Shizam (Mountain View, CA) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook (Hardcover)

    I don’t tend to actually follow cookbook recipes. I like cookbooks that are inspirational, filled with ideas new to me and interesting flavor combinations. The first impression of this one is that it’s beautiful. Then I wanted to make every single thing in it. I’ve made three things since it arrived and have loads of other things marked. The dried miso idea alone was worth it to me. At work we were eating flakes of it plain, it was that tasty. If you like Japanese flavors, give this cookbook a try.

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  3. S. Hodge says:
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    More South American fusion than Japanese, March 24, 2012
    By 
    S. Hodge
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook (Hardcover)

    I was excited to see that Nobu was releasing a vegetarian cookbook, so I ordered a copy through my local library. I’ve lived in Japan, where I took several Japanese vegetarian cooking classes, as well as Spain, so the idea of Japanese-Peruvian fusion sounded interesting. At home, I use Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions and Japanese Vegetarian Cooking: From Simple Soups to Sushi as my main go-to books for vegetarian Japanese cuisine (The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan is also a good reference, especially for its illustrated guide to Japanese ingredients).

    So when I finally got my hands on Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook, I eagerly flipped through it. The book is printed in Japan, and the paper and photography is first-class all the way. However, that’s where my enthusiasm slowed. Despite including many common Japanese ingredients (myoga, lotus root, takenoko, burdock root, kinako), many recipes bear little resemblance to homestyle Japanese cooking (including izakaya food, Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook) or shojin ryori (vegan Buddhist temple cuisine). In addition, there were numerous recipes that called for hard-to-find items like truffles, kadaif dough, and aji amarillo. I live in one of the nation’s largest cities, and if I can’t find it in my local specialty shops or Japanese grocery store, my guess is that many readers won’t be able to, either. First strike: many of the specified ingredients (finger limes, and most Japanese mushrooms, herbs, fruits and vegetables) are very difficult to find locally, may not be fresh, and are expensive. Also, there are many South American staples like chile paste (and copious amounts of truffle products) that will have to be mail-ordered. A list of mail-order sources for Japanese staples and cooking equipment would have been extremely useful; alas, none is provided (I have ordered much of my Japanese kitchenware and tableware from Korin, and Tienda carries South American staples like aji amarillo).

    Another hurdle was the prep time involved in the recipes. Despite the fact that Nobu himself says “in most households today I see a trend towards simplifying everyday menus and food preparation that doesn’t take a lot of time and effort,” this book does just the opposite. For example, the dashi-marinated vegetables have you prepare nine different veggies individually before marinating for 3-5 hours. The causa and tomato chalaquita has you make a four-layered ring mold out of three kinds of potato and pumpkin, each ingredient being peeled, mashed and assembled separately. As another reviewer mentioned, for the vegetable sushi recipes, there is virtually no “how-to,” and it’s assumed that you already know how to roll sushi (no diagrams, step-by-step, etc.). A simple diagram or a step-by-step photo spread would have gone a long way. The glossary is compact but effective.

    This is purely subjective, but many of the flavor profiles simply didn’t look appealing to me. The biggest offender was texture; I’m really put off by slimy textures, and there are many jelly-type dishes like okra, molokhiya, and yam cocktail, tomatoes with seaweed jelly, ripe tomato in nori and umami jelly, etc. There were very few dishes that resembled those I ate across Japan; among these were the tempura-style dishes, like the fried vegetable sticks with flavored salts, or the inspired deep-fried fava beans with soy sauce salt. Many of the dishes here are deep-fried.

    There are several recipes for vegetable sushi like that pictured on the cover; you will find recipes for box sushi with salt-pressed cucumber, sushi rolls with pickled wild burdock, and finger food like fried kadaif wraps with Maui onion salsa, and party croquettes with brown sauce. There are numerous recipes for vegetable “steaks,” like two different recipes for cabbage “steak” (both involving truffles), cactus leaf “steak,” onion “steak,” etc, and several rice-based dishes (brown rice paella, steamed baby pumpkin and jalapeno rice, arroz con verduras).

    On the bright side, the veggie tacos are great (filling options include kimchi, button mushrooms with avocado salsa, pumpkin, zucchini, and bell pepper with wasabi salsa), and the chapter on yuba (soymilk skin) is inspired. Dishes like sashimi yuba tiradito, yuba rolls with black soybean…

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