That book!

aa
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 21 weeks ago.

I'm impatient, I had to buy it. Shoujin cuisine was something I've heard about but never had the opportunity to try.

Maki's review is pretty accurate for all the non-winners who are considering parting with their cash -- the first impressions are pretty good.

The one thing I find slightly odd is the number of recipes that require corn starch. I may be wrong here, but in the few years I spent in Japan, I don't remember eating Japanese food which used this. It is clear the book has been written for non-Japanese so perhaps it isn't surprising that some dishes have been adapted to suit a foreign palate -- I was just wondering...

Is this the Chinese influence Fujii mentions in her introduction; something unique to shoujin dishes; or perhaps just something I completely overlooked while in Japan?

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maki
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Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
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Re: That book!

I didn't really notice that she uses cornstarch a lot, but cornstarch or more commonly, potato starch (katakuriko) is used quite a bit as a thickener, coating and so on in Japanese dishes, as well as Chinese.

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Pat
Re: That book!

Another shoujin cousine book I've browsed through, Good Food from a Japanese Temple, also had a lot of potato/corn starch usage. Some were for frying and some for thickening the soup. That's not an ingredient I usually have on hand either.

Loretta
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Bento-ing from: London › UK
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corn starch

I've just been prompted to actually go 'look' at the packet of corn starch in our cupboard. My husband (Japanese) uses it regularly and has always said he prefers the Japanese kind to the stuff we get in England so we buy it in the London Japanese food grocers.
I'd noticed the texture was a tiny bit different (but not by that much) I just hadn't noticed that our 'corn'flour was katakuriko and made from potatoes. If you're only adding a teaspoon or so to food, there is really little difference between the two. I honestly hadn't even realised I was using potato starch until this very moment.

This is a photo of the brand we use
http://www.japancentre.com/images/items/250px/BI_PO_katakuriko.jpg

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