My last meal on a recent trip to Japan wasn’t anything fancy, it was a rice omelet, also known as “omu raisu”. I enjoyed this savory and filling dish at the Tokyo Narita airport and it left me even more sorry to be heading home than I was before. Fortunately the recipe for omu raisu, a luscious and creamy omelet filled with tomatoey rice with little chunks of chicken, and many other rustic home-style meals are featured in Let’s Cook Japanese Food! by Amy Kaneko.

Let’s Cook Japanese Food! focuses on recipes that author Kaneko who lived in Japan, has been able to easily recreate at home in the US, using mostly supermarket ingredients. These are dishes that don’t have to be part of an elaborate Japanese meal but can be one pot meals, appetizers or side dishes. Because eating dessert is not an after dinner tradition in Japan you won’t find any sweets in the book.

Kaneko’s light breezy style will encourage even the frying phobic to take on crunchy treats like tempura, fried marinated chicken, potato and pumpkin croquettes, and crispy fried shrimp. There are also yoshoku dishes, or Japanese-style Western dishes like Japanese style hamburger steak with sauce, creamy macaroni and cheese with shrimp and broccoli and Japanese influenced Chinese dishes like Chinese-style crab omelet with soy sauce gravy and Chinese-style spicy tofu and pork. Try a few dishes and it’s likely a few will soon become part your repertoire.

Hiyayako–Cold Tofu with Ginger and Green Onions
Serves 1

4-inch square soft tofu
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon minced green onion, including tender green tops
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, preferably light soy sauce

Place the tofu in a shallow bowl. Arrange the ginger in a mound on top of the tofu, and sprinkle with the green onion. Let the diner top with soy sauce according to his or her taste.

Recipe from Let’s Cook Japanese Food! by Amy Kaneko Photographs by Deborah Ory, Chronicle Books, 2007

Cook by the Book: Let’s Cook Japanese! 28 November,2007Amy Sherman


Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman began blogging in 2003, because all her
friends and family were constantly asking her where
and what to eat. Three months after it launched,
Forbes chose her blog, Cooking with Amy, as one of the
top five best food blogs, praising her writing as
“smart, cozy and witty”. Since then her blog has been
featured and recipes reprinted in many newspapers and
magazines in the U.S. and the world.

In addition to regularly updating her blog, Amy is a
guest contributor to the blog, and
Contributing Editor of Glam Dish. She also writes
restaurant reviews for SF Station.

Her focus on Bay Area Bites is primarily cookbook
reviews along with some interviews and current events.

Amy is a recipe developer and freelance food writer.
She is author of WinePassport: Portugal and wrote the new introduction to the classic cookbook, Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, published by the University of Nebraska Press. She recently completed 45 recipes for a Williams-Sonoma cookbook and wrote her first piece for VIA magazine.

She is currently serving on the board of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amy lives in San Francisco with her husband, tech journalist Lee Sherman.

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