7 Best Japanese Cookbooks of All Time

Are you fascinated by the beauty, tastes and healthiness of Japanese cuisine? In this article, we will present to you the best Japanese cookbooks of all time.

How Popular is Japanese Cuisine?

In the United States and Europe, Japanese cuisine has gained more popularity, especially among millennials who enjoy a little bit of food adventure. The promotion of the tourism sector in Japan also helps to increase the popularity of Japanese food rapidly. However, many Japanese food lovers find that Japanese food in their countries are super expensive and lack quality and variety.

The Ranking of Japanese Cookbooks

Since Japanese cuisine is notoriously expensive, it's a good idea to learn how to cook Japanese food at home. In order to provide cookbook recommendations, we collect data as below,

1. We contact some friends in Japan (both expats and locals) and ask them to provide the name of their favorite cookbooks. In general, we would like to have the names of cookbooks that meet some of the following criteria.

- They are popular among foreigners and the expat community in Japan.
- They have lots of pictures that display the Japanese dish correctly.
- They are written by authority figures in the Japanese culinary scene.
- They are simple and practical enough to use outside of Japan.
- They provide clear instructions in a step-by-step manner.
- They show readers how to use easy-to-find ingredients and how to find them.
- They provide some essential Japanese cooking techniques and how they work.
- They got some awards from both local and international organization.
- They contain some easy Japanese home cooking recipes and authentic recipes.
- They focus on meals at home, shy away from sushi cookbook.

At this stage, we have a list of 20 cookbooks that meet some of the criteria mentioned above.

2. Then, we check if those cookbooks are also available on Amazon.com (some cookbooks are not available in the United States so our list comes down to 15 cookbooks.)

3. After that, we check the sales rank and review the rating of each cookbook available on Amazon.com

4. Then, we contact a couple of Japanese food experts to help us select the 7 best cookbooks to recommend.

The List of Japanese Cookbooks are as below,

  1. Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen by Elizabeth Andoh

  2. Everyday Harumi: Simple Japanese food for family and friends by Harumi Kurihara

  3. The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go by Makiko Itoh

  4. Japanese Recipes from Mari's Tokyo Kitchen by Mari Nameshida

  5. Recipes of Japanese Cooking by Yuko Fujita

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

  7. Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji
Why do we only recommend 7 cookbooks? According to our Japanese food experts, some cookbooks are way too complicated for non-Japanese. Moreover, they feel that top 7 cookbooks on our list already cover important Japanese recipes that Japanese people actually cook at home (some fancy recipes are excluded from our list.)

Do you think these are the best Japanese cookbooks of all time?


Reference
- Assmann, Stephanie. "The remaking of a national cuisine: The food education campaign in Japan." The Globalization of Asian Cuisines. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2015. 165-185.


Last review and update: April 20, 2019
About the Editor
Ben Benjabutr is the editor of Book Worm 4 Life. He holds a Master's Degree in business with 10+ years of work experience and 8+ years of experience in blogging and online content production. He enjoys reading books about business, lifestyle and literature and he loves to share what he learns from books. You can connect with him via Quora.