Dashi and Umami: The Heart of Japanese Cuisine

Japanese cuisine is appreciated worldwide for its healthiness and its beauty in both appearance and flavour. The characteristic 'savoury-ness' (umami) is achieved despite minimum use of oil, salt and flavourings. Dashi ('stock') and the resulting umami are said to be the reason Japanese-cuisine is special. But what are they? How do they work? And why? This beautifully illustrated book reveals these secrets through both explanation and superb recipes introduced by Japan's top chefs. It is not only an essential read for people in the food industry, it is also a godsend to anyone who cares about what they eat. The body of the book is in 3 parts. "Discovering Japanese Cuisine" introduces the background and essence - nature and the four seasons, ingredients, philosophy, and history and development in the art of dashi by Japan's four finest the top chefs. Each introduce a dashi-based recipe for spring, summer, autumn and winter. It is a practical guide to dashi and umami explains what dashi is, what the ingredients are, how it is made and used in the kitchen - also the nature of umami and how and why it was discovered. A concluding section Umami - the science of dashi - introduces the principal natural elements that constitute or combine to produce umami: glutamate (from konbu), inosinate (from katsuobushi), guanylate (from dried shiitake). The endmatter includes a Glossary, Index, Conversion Tables and Bibliography. This title includes: the true secrets behind the healthiness and deliciousness of Japanese cuisine revealed for the first time in a sumptuously illustrated book backed by the biggest world chefs; hundreds of colour photos, recipes by the 4 leading chefs of Japan, and lucid explanations and nutritional/scientific explanations that combine to offer a full understanding of umami & dashi.

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