I was really excited to receive my pre-release copy of Morimoto, published by DK, DK is one of my favourite publishers, their Eye Witness travel guides are just amazing. I was expecting beautiful pictures and I was not disappointed.
So who is Chef Morimoto and why should I get his book? Masaharu Morimoto is the regular iron chef Japanese in the Iron Chef and Iron Chef America shows. I always have fun watching these shows on the Food Network, and I was curious to see what a book by him could provide.
The book starts with a 2-3 page biography of Chef Morimoto and his career as a chef, this biography was written by JJ Goode (a long-time food writer). It is then divided in several chapters:
- Sashimi and Sushi: Including a description of how to cut fish, clean octopus and clean clams
- Rice, Noodles, Breads and Soups: With several recipes for rice dishes, including my beloved sticky rice in lotus leaves
- Fish and shellfish: With recipes for lobster, crab, shrimp, etc.
- Duck, Chicken, Pork, Beef and Lamb: This is the chapter that seems to be the most "fusion", since it includes a lot of recipes that seem French-ish, and stuff with hot fiery chiles
- Vegetables, Tofu and Eggs: A chapter that I was especially interested in, because of its vegetarian content. It includes a recipe for tempura vegetables. Sadly, a lot of veggie and tofu recipes include some type of meat, or cheese
- A special chapter called Recipes to Contemplate: Which includes an abalone croquette. Curiously, there is a typo on the title and it says "albalone" (page 211).
- Desserts: There is a tofu cheesecake that looks delicious (my readers will have to try it for me and let me know what they think, since I cannot eat any cheese)
- Stocks, Oils, Spices and Sauces: Recipes for different sauces and stocks that are needed for the various recipes in the book
There is not a lot about specific garlic content, there is a Grilled Steak with Garlic-Soy Jus that looks delicious, the garlic-soy jus includes 6 garlic cloves!, fresh ginger, sugar, veal reduction (recipe included in the book), soy sauce, mirin (fortified wine made from glutionous rice and used solely for cooking, according to the glossary), sesame oil and onion. The truth is that it looks delicious! There is a lamb carpaccio that includes "shiso buds" or garlic flowers as garnish, this is such an original way of garnishing that I'm looking forward to trying it. Garlic is included in some other recipes, but not very prominently. It doesn't matter, the recipes are so delicious this is a book worth having. The thing that I liked the most is that it has a kind of "guide" in each chapter describing how to use the ingredients, like how to cook the rice, what dashi is, how tofu is made, etc. All the explanations and most of the recipes are accompanied by step-by-step photos illustrating the process.
This is definitely a book worth getting for reference and as a cook book. The only "but" for me is the same as always, the price is $40 USD but it is $50 CAD. At today's conversion rate it should be about $42 CAD. A 25% markup is too much for us Canadians. I recommend ordering from an American bookstore, like Barnes & Noble, they give you a discount and even with the shipping it's well worth it. (Sorry Canadian retailers, it's not my fault, it's just common sense).
The amazing photography is by Quentin Bacon.