14 Best Japanese Cookbooks For Beginners And Experts 2023

by Erika Shinomoto
best japanese cookbooks

Make your favorite Japanese dishes at home with the best Japanese cookbooks filled with all Japanese cuisine secrets. Read on to pick a cookbook with your favorite Japanese recipes!

Foodies all over the world are obsessed with Japanese cuisine and the various health benefits it possesses. You can find sushi joints and ramen bars across the many countries on this planet. 

However, Japanese cuisine is not all about the various styles of ramen and sushi; there is so much more to it. Now you may think that apart from ramen and sushi, Japanese cooking only has raw fish, sticky rice, and meat, but no. 

Japanese cuisine is a deep well with so many delicious surprises that would want you to try out something new every day. 

Do you too want to master the art of cooking up mouth-watering delicacies? 

If yes, I have brought to you some of the best Japanese cookbooks that you can refer to whip up delicious dishes like gyoza and tonkatsu. 

Best Japanese Cookbooks: Quick Summary

Best Japanese CookbooksAuthorCheck price on Amazon
Japanese Cooking Shizuo TsujiCheck price on Amazon
Everyday Harumi Harumi KuriharaCheck price on Amazon
Japanese Soul Cooking Tadashi Oni and Harris SalatCheck price on Amazon
Sushi Taste and Technique Kimiko Barker and Hiroki TakemuraCheck price on Amazon
Japanese Farm Food Nancy SIngleton HachisuCheck price on Amazon
The Just Bento Cookbook Makiko ItohCheck price on Amazon
Ivan Ramen Ivan OrkinCheck price on Amazon
Takashi’s Noodles Takashi YagihashiCheck price on Amazon

Top Japanese Cookbooks

Japanese Cooking – Shizuo Tsuji

Best Japanese cookbooks for beginners

This cookbook is a staple in almost every Japanese food lover’s kitchen. This book has been causing mouths to water for over a quarter of a century. The book, thanks to its brilliancy, is often referred to as the ‘bible’ of Japanese cooking. 

best japanese cookbooks 2021

The book has one of the most informative forewords that describes the different traditional ingredients, kitchen tools, and cooking techniques. The information provided in this book is better than most of the other cookbooks that are available in the market. 

In the book, Tsuji emphasizes the importance of color, texture, and artful presentation when it comes to Japanese cuisine. Tsuji first helps a novice chef to master all of these techniques before moving on to improving the taste of the dishes that they cook. Part two of the book contains about 130 recipes. 

This second part contains a mixture of simple, speedy weekday dinners. You will also find some excellent but time-consuming dishes that are sure to impress everyone at dinner. 

Out of all the recipes in the book, be sure to try out the sea bream sashimi, spicy eggplant nimono, nigiri sushi, and the lotus root agemono.

Everyday Harumi – Harumi Kurihara – Best Japanese Cookbooks

Best Japanese Cookbooks for home cooks

This is yet another excellent Japanese cookbook that you can include in your kitchen. In this cookbook, you will find recipes for some of the most delicious delicacies such as steak in a miso marinade, deep-fried scallops with mozzarella, simmered pork in crepes, and three toppings rice. There are over six dozen recipes in the book that you can try out for a flavorful meal. 

Best japanese cookbook

Everyday Harumi is a cookbook that is written by one of the most famous food writers in Japan, Harumi Kurihara. The book is an effort to give all budding chefs who do not live in Asia a chance to create delicious home-style dishes without having to take professional Japanese cooking training. 

The recipes in the book are perfect for any novice chef. The recipes in the book are accompanied by a finished dish so you know what you are attempting to make. Apart from the various dishes, Kurihara also teaches us all about Japanese ingredients, store cupboard essentials, and more tips to master Japanese cooking techniques.

Japanese Soul Cooking – Tadashi Oni and Harris Salat

The next one on this list of best Japanese cookbooks is Japanese Soul Cooking. 

Japanese Soul Cooking is a book that was originally written targeting all Americans to show that there is more to Japanese cuisine than only sushi. However, over time, this book has become a favorite of many across the globe. The book is combinedly written by Tadashi Oni and Harris Salat. 

Top japanese cookbooks 2021

In the book, Ono and Salat give us interesting information about how the well-loved meaty comfort food first made its entry in Japan. You also learn about the origins of gyoza, curry, and tonkatsu recipes. 

Sushi Taste and Technique – Kimiko Barber and Hiroki Takemura

Best Japanese Cookbooks for Sushi Recipes

Do you love sushi and want to create this beautiful and delicious dish on your own? If yes, then this book is the perfect inspiration for you. This book is a comprehensive guide to the art form of sushi-making. With the help of this book, you can create your own perfect sushi and enjoy it. 

best japanese cookbooks for sushi

The book also contains sections that give us a detailed history and origins of sushi. You will also find tips on the correct sushi eating etiquette. There is also a tantalizing glossary filled with common Japanese cooking terms. Trust me, this is the only sushi cookbook that you need in your life. 

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All the recipes in the book are illustrated. You will find techniques and advice to help you make scattered sushi, stuffed sushi, pressed sushi, rolled sushi, and hand-formed sushi. 

And if there are days when you simply want to dine out, the cookbook also lists out recommended sushi restaurants in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA.

Japanese Farm Food – Nancy Singleton Hachisu

The next one on this list of best Japanese cookbooks is the Japanese Farm Food.

Japanese Farm Food is written by an American city girl who later became the wife of a Japanese farmer. The book is a delicious collection of home-cooked dishes that have been mastered by Nancy Singleton Hachisu and her husband, Tadaaki. These dishes took the two of them a quarter of a century to master. 

japanese cookbook amazon

These two live in a farmhouse with these children. Here, they go all organic and eat all that they grow. They buy their meat and fish directly from the butcher and the local fish market. The dishes in this cookbook are wholesome and humble, making you want to try them all out. 

Some of the most tantalizing and mouth-watering recipes in the cookbook include bitter melon stir-fry with egg, broccoli with tofu, cauliflower with miso and sesame, deep-fried ginger chicken, and fermented soybeans

The Just Bento Cookbook – Makiko Itoh

Best Japanese Cookbooks to make bento box

The Just Bento Cookbook is written by the top food blogger who is responsible for the amazing content on websites Just Hungry and Just Bento.

The book has over 150 recipes that are excellent and help you prepare healthy, affordable, and delicious lunches that you can enjoy on the go. I love Japanese bento boxes. They are versatile and full of all the essential nutrients that we need. 

A Japanese bento box is a traditional Japanese lunch box that contains a selection of different ingredients and mini dishes. The combination of all these dishes in a bento box provides us with all the required nutrients that we need from our midday meal. 

best japanese cookbook for home cooks

In the book, we get to some of Itoh’s favorite bento recipes. You can try out delicious combinations such as tamagoyaki bento and salted salmon bento. There are some less-traditional recipes such as Indian tiffin-inspired bento. 

The cookbook contains some delicious and mouth-watering photographs of the recipes. There are also some useful tips that help you create your bento boxes quickly and easily. You also get advice on how to pack a bento box. 

Ivan Ramen – Ivan Orkin

Best Japanese Cookbooks for Ramen Recipes

Ivan Orkin, the author of Ivan Ramen is a New Yorker who opened up a ramen shop in Tokyo. Quickly, the ramen shop became one of the most popular joints in Tokyo. 

Orkin was working as a dish-boy in a Japanese restaurant in Long Island; it was here that Orkin first discovered his love for Japanese cuisine. By taking this small step, he became a celebrity chef on Japanese TV. 

japanese cook book for beginners

Ivan Ramen contains the success story of Orkin. You will also find some of Orkin’s most inspirational and popular recipes. You will also find the secret to his signature dish, Shio Ramen in this book. If you want to know that, get this book today.

Takashi’s Noodles – Takashi Yagihashi

Best Japanese Cookbooks for Japanese Noodles’ Recipes

Takashi Yagihashi is an award-winning chef who has a lifelong love affair with noodles. And you can see Yagihashi’s love for noodles all throughout the book. The book has seven chapters that are all dedicated to different varieties of noodles. You will even find an odd recipe that focuses on packet noodles. The main aim of this cookbook by Yagihashi is to show how quick and simple Japanese cuisine can be. 

There are so many detailed recipes in the book. Some of the recipes that I totally loved include chilled crab and shrimp ramen salad, stuffed chicken wings, and corned beef with rice noodles. You must not miss out on these dishes at any cost. 

You will find both hot and cold recipes in the book. Apart from these, you will also get to learn a lot about traditional Japanese ingredients and cooking techniques. You also learn how to find and choose the right type of noodle for each dish.

Ramen Obsession: The Ultimate Bible for Mastering Japanese Ramen

Ramen Obsession: The Ultimate Bible for Mastering Japanese Ramen is a comprehensive and invaluable resource for anyone passionate about the art of ramen.

This book is a must-have for both home cooks and aspiring ramen chefs, providing a wealth of knowledge and step-by-step guidance to elevate your ramen-making skills to new heights.

The authors have poured their expertise and love for ramen into every page, creating a well-organized and engaging read.

From the history and regional variations of ramen to the essential ingredients and techniques, this book leaves no stone unturned.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced cook, you’ll appreciate the accessible language and clear explanations that make even complex concepts easy to understand.

One of the standout features of Ramen Obsession is the extensive collection of authentic recipes. Each recipe is meticulously crafted, capturing the essence of traditional Japanese ramen while offering creative twists and variations. The instructions are detailed, providing precise measurements and cooking times, ensuring consistent and delicious results.

Ramen Obsession: The Ultimate Bible for Mastering Japanese Ramen

What sets this book apart is its attention to detail. It covers everything from making your own noodles from scratch to crafting the perfect broth and toppings.

The authors also share invaluable tips and tricks, including how to achieve the ideal balance of flavors and textures. With this book as your guide, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the ramen-making process and the confidence to experiment and create your own signature bowls.

Beyond the recipes, Ramen Obsession delves into the cultural and social aspects of ramen, exploring the significance of this beloved dish in Japanese cuisine and society. It’s a fascinating insight that adds depth and context to your ramen journey.

In terms of presentation, the book is beautifully designed, with mouth-watering photographs that showcase the vibrant colors and enticing textures of various ramen dishes. The layout is clean and intuitive, making it easy to navigate through different sections and find the information you need.

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Overall, Ramen Obsession is an exceptional guide that will ignite your passion for ramen and empower you to master the art of Japanese ramen at home.

It’s a comprehensive, well-written, and visually appealing book that deserves a place on the shelf of every ramen enthusiast.

Whether you’re seeking to recreate authentic flavors or unleash your creativity in the kitchen, this book will take your ramen game to the next level.

Atsuko’s Japanese Kitchen: Home-cooked Comfort Food Made Simple

Atsuko’s Japanese Kitchen: Home-cooked Comfort Food Made Simple is a delightful cookbook that brings the comforting flavors of Japanese cuisine to your home kitchen.

Authored by Atsuko Ikeda, a renowned Japanese chef and teacher, this book offers a collection of approachable and delicious recipes that will satisfy both beginners and seasoned cooks.

One of the highlights of Atsuko’s Japanese Kitchen is its emphasis on simplicity. The recipes are thoughtfully curated, focusing on home-cooked comfort food that can be easily prepared with readily available ingredients.

Whether you’re craving a hearty bowl of ramen, a satisfying plate of gyoza, or a comforting pot of hot pot, this book has you covered.

Atsukos Japanese Kitchen Home cooked Comfort Food Made Simple

The instructions are clear and concise, guiding you through each step of the cooking process. Atsuko’s friendly tone and passion for sharing her culinary knowledge shine through, making the recipes feel accessible and achievable for cooks of all skill levels. The book also includes useful tips and variations to help you personalize each dish to your taste.

The range of recipes in Atsuko’s Japanese Kitchen is impressive, covering a wide spectrum of Japanese cuisine. From classic favorites like sushi and tempura to lesser-known gems such as takoyaki and okonomiyaki, there’s something to suit every palate.

The book also explores the art of making homemade sauces and condiments, allowing you to elevate your dishes with authentic flavors.

The visuals in this cookbook are a true delight. The mouth-watering food photography captures the essence of each dish, enticing you to dive into the world of Japanese cuisine. The layout is clean and uncluttered, making it easy to follow along without feeling overwhelmed.

One aspect that could be improved is the inclusion of more background information about the ingredients and their cultural significance. While the focus of the book is on simplicity, a deeper understanding of the ingredients and their traditional uses would add depth to the overall experience.

Sushi Cookbook for Beginners: 100 Step-By-Step Recipes to Make Sushi at Home

The Sushi Cookbook for Beginners: 100 Step-By-Step Recipes to Make Sushi at Home is a comprehensive and user-friendly guide that demystifies the art of sushi making.

Whether you’re a complete novice or an aspiring sushi chef, this book offers a wealth of knowledge and a wide array of recipes to help you master the art of sushi making in the comfort of your own kitchen.

The book starts with a brief introduction to sushi, providing an overview of its history, cultural significance, and essential ingredients. It then dives into the step-by-step instructions, guiding you through the entire sushi-making process with clear and concise explanations.

Sushi Cookbook for Beginners 100 Step By Step Recipes to Make Sushi at Home

The instructions are accompanied by helpful photographs that visually depict each stage, making it easy to follow along and replicate the techniques.

One of the standout features of this cookbook is the extensive recipe collection. With 100 recipes to choose from, there is a wide variety of sushi rolls, nigiri, sashimi, and other sushi creations to suit every taste preference.

From classic options like California rolls and spicy tuna rolls to more adventurous combinations, the book offers a great balance of traditional and contemporary sushi recipes.

The layout of the book is well-organized, with each recipe presented in a consistent format. The ingredient lists are clear and concise, and the step-by-step instructions are easy to follow.

Additionally, the book provides useful tips and tricks throughout, such as how to properly cook and season sushi rice, select the freshest fish, and roll sushi tightly.

While the book caters primarily to beginners, it could benefit from more in-depth explanations and variations for experienced sushi enthusiasts.

Some readers may crave additional insights into the finer details of sushi-making techniques, such as knife skills, advanced rolling methods, and alternative ingredients.

In terms of presentation, the Sushi Cookbook for Beginners is visually appealing. The colorful photographs of beautifully plated sushi are sure to inspire and whet your appetite. The book is sturdy and well-made, with a layout that is easy to navigate and find specific recipes.

Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen

Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen is a remarkable cookbook that invites you into the heart of Japanese cuisine, offering an authentic and intimate glimpse into the flavors and traditions of the Japanese home kitchen. 

Written by Elizabeth Andoh, a renowned authority on Japanese cuisine, this book is a true treasure for anyone seeking to explore the rich culinary heritage of Japan.

What sets Washoku apart is its dedication to preserving the essence of Japanese home cooking. 

The recipes in this book are thoughtfully curated, showcasing the simple yet nuanced flavors that define washoku. 

Washoku Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen

From comforting bowls of miso soup and donburi to delicate sushi rolls and vibrant vegetable dishes, each recipe captures the essence of Japanese home-cooked meals.

Andoh’s expertise shines through in her meticulous attention to detail. The book not only provides clear and concise instructions but also explores the cultural and historical context of each dish. 

Through informative introductions and anecdotes, the author shares her knowledge of traditional techniques, ingredients, and the cultural significance of various recipes, creating a deeper connection to the food you’re preparing.

The layout of the book is well-organized and visually appealing, with beautiful photographs that showcase the artistry of Japanese cuisine. 

The step-by-step instructions are accompanied by helpful visuals, making it easy to follow along and recreate the dishes with confidence. 

Additionally, the book includes a glossary of Japanese ingredients and culinary terms, ensuring that readers have a comprehensive understanding of the elements that contribute to the flavors of washoku.

Washoku not only celebrates the flavors of Japan but also encourages a mindful and balanced approach to eating. 

The book emphasizes the importance of seasonality and highlights the nutritional benefits of different ingredients, promoting a holistic understanding of Japanese cuisine.

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While the book is accessible to home cooks of all skill levels, it also offers inspiration for those seeking to expand their culinary repertoire. More adventurous cooks will appreciate the exploration of less commonly known dishes and techniques, providing opportunities for experimentation and creativity in the kitchen.

Japanese Home Cooking: Simple Meals, Authentic Flavors

Japanese Home Cooking: Simple Meals, Authentic Flavors is a delightful cookbook that brings the comforting and authentic flavors of Japanese cuisine to your home kitchen. 

With a focus on simplicity and accessibility, this book by Sonoko Sakai offers a collection of straightforward recipes that capture the essence of Japanese home-cooked meals.

Japanese Home Cooking Simple Meals Authentic Flavors

The strength of Japanese Home Cooking lies in its ability to demystify Japanese cuisine and make it approachable for beginners. 

The recipes are thoughtfully selected and organized, providing a diverse range of dishes that cover everything from rice and noodles to soups, seafood, and vegetables. 

Each recipe is accompanied by clear instructions and helpful tips, allowing even novice cooks to successfully recreate the flavors of Japan.

One of the standout features of this cookbook is its emphasis on using readily available ingredients.

 Sakai understands the limitations of accessing certain specialty ingredients outside of Japan, and she provides suitable alternatives and substitutions without compromising the essence of the dishes. 

This makes it easier for readers to embark on their Japanese culinary adventures without feeling overwhelmed by sourcing rare ingredients.

The book also explores the cultural and historical context of the recipes, giving readers a deeper appreciation for the flavors and traditions behind each dish. 

Sakai shares personal anecdotes and insights, creating a more intimate connection between the reader and the food they are preparing.

The layout and design of the book are visually appealing, with beautiful photographs that showcase the simplicity and elegance of Japanese home cooking. 

The concise and easy-to-follow instructions, coupled with the accompanying visuals, make it a pleasure to navigate through the book and select recipes to try.

While Japanese Home Cooking succeeds in providing accessible recipes, it could benefit from additional variations and adaptations to cater to different dietary preferences. 

More options for vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free alternatives would enhance the book’s appeal to a wider audience.

 Japan: The Cookbook

Japan: The Cookbook is an extraordinary culinary compendium that takes readers on a captivating gastronomic journey through the diverse regions and flavors of Japan. 

Authored by Nancy Singleton Hachisu, an esteemed authority on Japanese cuisine, this comprehensive cookbook is a true treasure for anyone passionate about the art of Japanese cooking.

Spanning over 400 pages, Japan: The Cookbook offers an extensive collection of over 400 recipes, making it one of the most comprehensive resources on Japanese cuisine available. 

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From iconic dishes like sushi, ramen, and tempura to lesser-known regional specialties, the book covers a remarkable range of culinary delights. 

Each recipe is meticulously documented, providing clear instructions and measurements to ensure successful execution.

What sets this cookbook apart is its attention to detail and commitment to authenticity. Hachisu’s deep respect for Japanese culinary traditions is evident throughout the book, as she diligently captures the essence of each dish. 

The recipes reflect the subtleties and complexities of Japanese flavors, showcasing the use of seasonal ingredients, precise techniques, and the harmonious balance of tastes.

Beyond the recipes, Japan: The Cookbook offers a wealth of cultural and historical insights. 

The book explores the traditions, rituals, and customs associated with Japanese cuisine, providing readers with a deeper understanding of the cultural context in which these dishes are enjoyed. 

Additionally, the stunning photography throughout the book beautifully showcases the visual appeal and artistry of Japanese food.

The organization of the book is commendable, with recipes grouped by category and region. 

The comprehensive index and table of contents make it easy to navigate and find specific recipes, ensuring a user-friendly experience.

While Japan: The Cookbook excels in its breadth and depth of recipes, it may be overwhelming for absolute beginners due to the sheer volume of content and the complexity of some traditional techniques. 

However, adventurous cooks and those seeking to expand their culinary repertoire will find endless inspiration and opportunities for exploration within its pages.

Bring out the chef in you!

These were some of the best Japanese cookbooks that you can try out to whip up delicious and mouth-watering Japanese dishes. I have tried out these cookbooks and believe me, I have gained numerous compliments for all the dishes that I have cooked with the help of these. If you too want to master the art of Japanese cooking, you must try out these cookbooks. 

Best Japanese Cookbooks: FAQs

Which is the best Japanese cookbook for beginners?

The recommended Japanese cookbook for beginners is “Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art” by Shizuo Tsuji. This classic cookbook serves as an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine. It covers a wide range of recipes, from basic dishes to more elaborate preparations, while providing detailed explanations of key ingredients, techniques, and cultural aspects of Japanese cooking. With clear instructions and a comprehensive approach, “Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art” is a great starting point for beginners looking to explore the world of Japanese cuisine.

Which is the best Japanese cookbook for chefs?

For chefs and experienced cooks looking for a comprehensive and in-depth Japanese cookbook, “Nobu: The Cookbook” by Nobu Matsuhisa is highly regarded. Nobu Matsuhisa is a renowned chef and restaurateur known for his innovative and contemporary approach to Japanese cuisine. This cookbook showcases his signature dishes and culinary techniques, providing insights into his unique style. With over 200 recipes, including sushi, sashimi, tempura, and other creative interpretations, “Nobu: The Cookbook” offers a wealth of inspiration for chefs seeking to elevate their Japanese cooking skills. The book also includes beautiful photography and detailed explanations, making it a valuable resource for professionals in the culinary industry.

Which is the best healthy Japanese cookbook?

One highly recommended healthy Japanese cookbook is “Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond” by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat. While not solely focused on health, this cookbook offers a range of traditional and soulful Japanese recipes that can be easily adapted to a healthier lifestyle. It features a variety of dishes, including soups, salads, grilled items, and more, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and balanced flavors. The authors also provide tips on ingredient substitutions and techniques for reducing sodium and fat content without sacrificing taste. “Japanese Soul Cooking” allows you to explore the rich flavors of Japanese cuisine while incorporating healthier choices into your meals.

Which is the best vegan Japanese cookbook?

One highly recommended vegan Japanese cookbook is “Vegan JapanEasy: Classic & Modern Vegan Japanese Recipes to Cook at Home” by Tim Anderson. This cookbook offers a delightful collection of vegan Japanese recipes that capture the essence of traditional Japanese cuisine while being entirely plant-based. Tim Anderson, a chef and winner of MasterChef UK, provides accessible and flavorful recipes that are both delicious and cruelty-free.

Also Read:

  1. Best Japanese Udon Brands
  2. Best Japanese Vinegar
  3. Best Japanese Soy Sauces
Everyday Harumi
best japanese cookbooks

Make your favorite Japanese dishes at home with the best Japanese cookbooks filled with all Japanese cuisine secrets. Read on to pick a cookbook with your favorite Japanese recipes!

URL: https://amzn.to/3w2qPa3

Author: Harumi Kurihara

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