Welcome to Anime.com
Spice and Wolf
Fullmetal Alchemist
Gurren Lagann
Haruhi Suzumiya
Black Butler
Lucky Star
Death Note
AzuManga Daioh
Cowboy Bebop
Sgt. Frog
This is an archive page, please visit our new site pin.anime.com
Custom Search
Japanese Cuisine, Sushi and Sake
Cute Yummy Time
Cute Yummy Time
Japanese Cooking Book Review

The topic of Charaben and Kawaii should be familiar to foodies for Japanese cuisine. So what happens when your pantry doesn't have any particular ingredients or utensils for creating these cute lunch boxes? Improvising, creativity and attempting should be the next step then. La Carmina is a well known Canadian blogger, Coolhunter, CNN TV Host, and Journalist who provides a book that should be a clear solution for those with a non Asian pantry in Cute Yummy Time. Her website is at lacarmina.com.

Cute Yummy TimeThis is a step by step recipe cookbook, for anyone interested in making cute food, and then eating it. Many of these recipes are appropriate for a non-Japanese family to serve as food/treats for young kids, or between friends who want to exchange cute foods.

La Carmina mentions a lot of helpful suggestions as to how to shape food, common ingredients or utensils that can be found. Ingredients don't need to be specifically from Asian cuisine, and tools are easily found online, or you can improvise, though the most important tool to have other than ingredients are the cookie cutters, parchment paper, tweezers, and toothpicks. Though for novelty, and wanting to tackle the sushi section, then a sushi mat is needed.

If you get bored, alongside the recipes there is also a running story of the author with her cat, on an imaginary adventure to Kawaii Land, featuring characters from her recipes. How adorable! Recipes are arranged by occasions, location, and meal type. So if you already know how these recipes taste like, want to spruce it into a cute food dish to serve next time?

Cute Yummy Time

Reviewed by Linda Yau, October 2011

Face Food
Face Food
Japanese Cooking Book Review

In American culture, edible food art has became a phenomenon that is pleasing for the eyes so while some people may feel some sadness about cutting, spooning or forking into these beautiful looking tasty morsels. In Japanese cultures there are reasons why parents of family members would want to make Charabens. This is either for child's social popularity, for the child's appetite, or a way to know what the child is putting in their mouth. Ask a typical Japanese child at lunch time and see if they have the same feelings about gobbling up a Charaben.

Face Food  I have mentioned Charabens twice, so what are they? Charabens are simply character theme bentos, and to explain what bentos are - it is a meal in a box. The Japanese love to shorten words to emphasize the kawaii or cuteness effect. As a graphic artist, Christopher Salyers has taken Face Food and revealed to a western audience the talent that Japanese moms, dads or enthusiasts would prepare hours before, for just the happiness of their family members.

There are magazines and books in Japanese and starting to be published in English that definitely encourages parents/craftsmen/cooks to try creating art in food. In this short, gift book size book, you can "ooh and ahh" over the bento examples, and then read a short question and answer paragraph, which is similar to being an artist statement, with the ingredients listed, seemingly like the medium of an artwork.

Unfortunately this is not a typical cookbook. There are no step by step recipes, outside of two pages of Charaben brief explanation toward the end of the book that can be the start of a challenge for people who have already made their own charabens before. Yet if you want to get the actual step by step recipes, please purchase Salyers's follow up book, Face Food Recipe.

Reviewed by Linda Yau, August 2011

Below: A photograph from Facefood.

Face Food

The Manga CookbookThe Manga Cookbook
The Manga Cookbook
Manga Review

Finally, something that combines my two favorite things, Manga and Japanese Food!!! Like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, its two great tastes that taste great together.

Food seems to be a big deal in Japanese culture, as eating is a big part of anime, manga, and live action shows, there are groups who sing about food, and a Yakisoba tent seems as ubiquitous as a bus stop. But what is it exactly that the characters are eating?

The Manga CookbookThe Manga Cookbook is your guide to discovering Japanese dishes, helping to identify many of the common foods you'll see in every anime and manga, and providing illustrated step-by-step instructions to prepare simple Japanese meals using ingredients you'll be able to find in your local supermarket. Learn to identify and make the same things you see in all your favorite manga: authentic onigiri (rice balls), yakitori (skewered chicken), oshinko (pickled vegetables), udon (Japanese noodles), okonomiyaki (Japanese-style pizza) and many others!

And for those of you are complete newbies, it even covers how to use chopsticks. Features original manga illustrations by Chihiro Hattori. Soon, you too can enjoy a meal fit for an anime character! Oshii!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, September 2009

Harumi's Japanese Cooking
Harumi's Japanese Cooking
Japanese Cooking Book Review

You should consider Harumi Kurihara to be the "Martha Stewart" of Japan. She's more than a cooking guru, she's a lifestyle expert, with ideas about everything to make your home and life more fulfilling. The comparison is strengthened by her numerous bestselling cookbooks, her lifestyle magazine and line of kitchenware.

Harumi Kurihara has won over the hearts of Japanese home cooks with her simple, delicious recipes and now this charismatic former housewife (and successful businesswoman) shares her award-winning kitchen secrets with Americans for the first time.

Harumi's Japanese CookingJapanese food is famous for being great to look at and great for your body. But it is not easy to make using traditional methods. Harumi's book solves that problem. She makes it easy to create both the traditional family meals and some unusual concoctions of her own. Throughout, the emphasis on eating mindfully, varying ingredients and keeping portions small (especially for dessert) means that this is a healthful cookbook that doesn't try too hard to be one.

These elegant, effortless recipes reflect Harumi's down-to-earth approach to Japanese cooking. Simply written and featuring everyday ingredients, recipes include Pan-Fried Noodles with Pork and Bok Choy, Warm Eggplant Salad, Japanese Pepper Steak, Seafood Miso Soup, and Harumi's popular Carrot and Tuna Salad, along with a chapter on simple ways to make delectable sushi at home. Mmmmm. I'm feeling hungry already!!!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, March 2007

Simple & Delicious Japanese Cooking
Buy from Amazon.com
Simple & Delicious Japanese Cooking
Japanese Cooking Book Review

Mmmmmmmmm. We get hungry just thinking about it. Fabulous Japanese food that is easy to prepare, and a delight to all the senses. This 'tastefully' done book features mouthwatering photography and recipes that are clear and concise, resulting in a sensational treat for all involved.

Even if your skills are limited to Macaroni and Cheese, this book will make you feel like a Nobu-worthy chef, and those who sample your wares will appreciate all the hard work. But it wasn't hard work at all — and you should keep that secret to yourself!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, June 2005

Japanese Food and Cooking: A Timeless Cuisine: The Traditions, Techniques, Ingredients and Recipes
Buy from Amazon.com
Japanese Food and Cooking: A Timeless Cuisine: The Traditions, Techniques, Ingredients and Recipes
Japanese Cooking Book Review

If you've ever been intimadated by walking into an asian grocery store and having absolutely no idea what any of that stuff is on the shelves, then this is the cooking book you are looking for. Explained in great detail, along with lavish photgraphs that comprise the first half of this book, are the most common ingredients of Japanese cooking.

Now that you know what the stuff is, the second half of the book are some fabulous recipies making use of the ingredients, and preparing traditional Japanese cuisine. Chairman Kaga would be proud!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, March 2005

Nobu the Cookbook
Nobu: The Cookbook
Japanese Cooking Book Review

Does your mouth water at the mere mention of Sushi? Are you an Iron Chef fanatic? If so, then you've obviously heard of Nobu, the pre-eminent Japanese restaurant. In NYC you need to make your reservations 3 months in advance just to get in! But now you can bring the style, elegance, and best of all, the flavor of Nobu creations into your own home with this gloriously detailed and handsomely crafted cookbook filled with lush photography.

This book provides a strong foundation in both ingredients and techniques but even more impressively it provides a fantastic tutorial on the principles of combining color, texture, and flavor. Just flipping through the pages made us hungry. Teriyaki-Boy this most certainly is NOT!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, June 2003

Iron Chef: Cooking Anime Style!
Buy from Amazon
Iron Chef: The Official Book
Japanese Cooking Book Review

While not a cartoon character Gourmet Academy chairman Takeshi Kaga and his Iron Chefs hold a special place in the heart, no make that the stomach of anime fans. Translated by Kaoru Hoketsu this book will introduce readers to "exclusive stories and recipes behind meals never before attempted, meals filled with lobster, foie gras, truffles, and other delicacies."

This book reveals the show's apparatuses with the breathtaking hype familiar to its television audience, via "The Rules of the Game," Iron Chef interviews and profiles, "Testimony of the Cast and Staff" and various "Prestige Menus."

Fans of the Food Network's series will revel in chronologies and other tidbits about this hour-long video extravaganza that mixes cooking shows, sports, game shows, and plenty of showbiz pyrotechnics. The book documents the show's genesis from an idea of Takeshi Kaga, the spectacularly coifed chairman of the Gourmet Academy. Diehard fans who follow the art and the antics of these gifted chefs will create plenty of demand for this exhaustively detailed guide to the show. Recipes are for experts only, but those who want to eat the Iron Chefs' creations may use the book's inventory of the worldwide restaurants where iron chefs cook for the public.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, April 2002

Ramune Japanese Soda
Ramune Japanese Soda
Japanese Food Review

At the New York Anime Festival, I had a chance to sample Ramune Soda, and I was intrigued by the bottle shape and the unusual way you need to open the bottle and drink it. The bottle has a thin neck which is sealed by a marble held in place by the pressure of the carbonation. To get to the beverage, you've got to open the bottle and then release the marble. It's refreshment, but it's also a challenging game. First-time drinkers might experience problems!

Ramune is one of the modern symbols of summer in Japan and is widely consumed during warm festival days and nights. Ramune is available in regular (lemon-lime) as well as pineapple, kiwifruit, melon, strawberry, orange, lychee, Blue Hawaii, peach, wasabi, bubble gum and curry. However, I think Amazon only carries two or three flavors. Nevertheless, definitely worth a try!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, March 2008

Kasugai Wasabi Roasted Green Peas
Buy from Amazon.com
Kasugai Wasabi Roasted Green Peas
Japanese Snack Food Review

Oh man, are these things addictive. There should be laws against this stuff. These are dried green peas covered with wasabi (a green, spicy horseradish paste that usually goes good with sushi), and while that might sound gross (to the uninitiated), believe us, it's really amazing.

Now admittedly, this isn't for everyone. You've got to enjoy the feeling of your mouth burning with flavor, you've got to love spicy food.

But wow, if this isn't the greatest snack ever invented, well then we don't know what is. Drink lots of water with these guys and then when you're addicted, upgrade to the BIG BAG!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, October 2004

Gilco - Pocky Mens
Gilco - Pocky Mens
Japanese Snack Food Review

Pocky isn't just a snack-food, it's a full-blown addiction. Those who know us, know there's no stopping eating these darn things. They are delicious, crumb-free and very handy, since no chocolate winds up on your fingers. It's the perfect food while watching anime, or just watching TV or surfing the web.
The many moods of Pocky!
Simply stated, Pocky is a stick-shaped biscuit/cookie covered in a chocolate or flavored coating. You'll need to order them by the dozen, as the box disappears before you realise you've eaten so many. When you start getting the shakes from Pocky withdrawal, that's when you realize you're going to have to support this habit. Pocky is one of mankind's greatest inventions — that's how much we love this stuff.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, May 2004

The Insider's Guide to Sake
Buy from Amazon
The Insider's Guide to Sake
Japanese Sake Book Review

On a cold rainy day there is nothing nicer than enjoying a warm soothing cup of sake at your favorite sushi establishment. An encounter with Japan's favorite libation is bound to be memorable, yet despite its growing popularity worldwide, information on this eminently drinkable beverage remains scarce.

The Insider's Guide to Sake is the consummate introductory handbook. It unravels the history and intricacies of this exotic drink, and provides an extensive list of restaurants and retail outlets in Japan, the United States, and Europe where the beverage in all its variety can be found. In the book you will discover over 100 sakes for all tastes and pocketbooks, tips for beginners and connoisseurs alike, and a knowledgeable explanation of the brew-master's skills. Labels and specs for each selected sake are displayed in a concise, easy-to-follow format.

Reviewed by Michael Pinto, April 2002

The Asian Grocery Store Semystified
The Asian Grocery Store Demystified
by Linda Bladholm, Jonathan Eismann

Asian Food Book Review

While many anime fans are eager to try and be the Iron Chef at home, the thought of navigating through an Asian grocery store is a different story. This highly illustrated book takes you by the hand and gives a clear and fascinating tour of these markets.

The author starts the book by describing the layout of an Asian grocery store in her neighborhood. She shows that there is indeed an order to these markets. "Asian markets are generally stocked according to the principles of balance, " she writes. "Hot, spicy, chili sauces and curry pastes are all in one place; salty items are together in one row, and bitter, sour or sweet things are in other sections." The authors not only sort out the cultural context of an Asian grocery store, but also does it in such a way that makes you hungry to return. Besides there is nothing better than watching anime while eating a bowl of hot noodles!

Reviewed by Michael Pinto, January 2003

Homepage | Anime.com Sitemap | The Anime.com Anime Wallpaper Guide

© 2009 Anime.com, Inc. | Website Editor: Brian Cirulnick | Website Design by Very Memorable Design