Friday, November 16, 2007

Cookbook Review: Morimoto, The New Art of Japanese Cooking

Back in August, I was contacted by DK Publishing to review the new book by Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Morimoto -- The New Art of Japanese Cooking. I finally had some time to read the gorgeous, coffee-table-sized cookbook and try a couple of the recipes.

First, the majority of the recipes in this book are NOT for beginners. However, I did try the Crab Naan and Bagna Cauda Morimoto-Style recipes a couple of days ago, and was duly impressed with the results. Normally, I noodle around with the recipes, but in this case, I followed them strictly to the letter.

What would be useful in a future edition (or a future book by Morimoto) is the approximate length of time each recipe takes to prepare. Had I not budgeted time in advance, I would have failed to deliver the bagna cauda with the naan.

On the other hand, the ingredients for this recipe were pretty easy to find (unlike some of the other recipes in the book) and use.

As far as the flavors and taste were concerned, my guest, Thom and I were not disappointed. Thom thought the naan tasted more like naan than previous versions I've made. He also like the addition of the crab. Because I had a job interview the following day, I didn't eat too much of the bagna cauda since it was pretty much pure garlic. But, it was tasty. I would make both again, but I probably would add some spices to the naan. Other than the crab, it was plain.

Overall, the book is very well done, but probably targeted to a more advanced foodie than I am. Also, not many of the recipes are vegetarian, so I'm not sure I'd recommend it for my vegan or vegetarian friends. It would probably make an impressive gift for someone who truly enjoys trying new Asian foods and cooking complex recipes.

Below is a short movie that shows how I made the recipes. I've also included a bonus recipe for Pakoras that I thought were far tastier than the naan and bagna cauda.

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