Cookbook Reviews

Cookbook Review: Junk Food Japan

Junk Food Japan (JFJ as we’ll call it for ease of typing!) is one of those rare cookbooks that looks as good as it reads. Legendary photographer, David Loftus, features photos throughout of dishes to make your mouth water. These dishes all revolve around the concept of relaxed eating and drinking that combines the familiar with creativity, and the humble ingredient with the standout flavour combination.

Highlights include tea smoked lamb, roasted Chilean seabass, and tuna sashimi pizza. The best thing about JFJ is the accessibility of the recipes. You may have previously never dared take on a recipe like barbecued pork belly, but here, the recipe is broken down into easily digestible chunks, meaning that you can feel truly confident taking on some of these Japanese classics.

If you don’t have a lot of time but want to pull off something impressive for your dinner party guests, you might want to focus on the ‘Cold, Raw Salad’ section of the book. This may sound boring, but prepare to be surprised! You may never have experienced salad done the Japanese way.

For something a little more standout, head to the BBQ and Fire Pits chapter to see how the Japanese inject a little drama into their cooking. The langoustines backed in barley miso and sake is a straightforward recipe that uses the strong flavours of barley miso and sake to bring to life the subtleties of the langoustines, with a strong flourish of salt to really pull the flavours out in abundance. No barbecue will ever be the same after you’ve tried this recipe.

If you want to try Japanese food without the frills but with the flavour explosions the cuisine is known for, we really can’t recommend this book highly enough.

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