for Dummies - Cookbook Review
Light-Hearted Guide for Sushi Novices
Judi Strada and Mineko Takane Moreno
(For Dummies, 2004)
you've ever looked closely at any volume in the "For
Dummies" series, you have probably been surprised to
find it well-written and authoritative — if you could
get over the off-putting title, that is. In fact, when "DOS
For Dummies" by Dan Gookin was first published in 1991,
bookstores purportedly didn't want to offer it, saying the
title was insulting to their customers. Little did they
know how popular the series would become.
for Dummies, too, is an easy-to-read, light-hearted
but extremely useful and thorough title for people who want
to learn how to make sushi at home, perhaps for a party,
and for folks who've so far had no experience with raw fish.
You can raise your cultured eyebrows all you want, but authors
Judi Strada and Mineko Takane Moreno are no dummies. They
put forth a well-researched, careful effort that pretty
much covers all you need to know. Nothing fancy, no frills,
but much useful information. So go ahead already, drop your
will learn what kitchen tools are needed for your sushi
adventure (rice cooker, rice paddle, lint-free towels, bamboo
rolling mat, good knives, etc.) and what ingredients to
stock in your pantry. Nori (sheets of dried seaweed), ponzu,
rice vinegar, sansho (Japanese pepper), soy sauce, sesame
oil, wasabi, pickled ginger, quail eggs and Japanese cucumber
make up the latter list.
also learn how to keep things safe and clean, sushi types
and techniques, how to make perfect sticky rice, how to
cut and slice and more. In Part III of the five-part book,
the authors cover topics like "Creating Sushi Bar Favorites
at Home," "Fast Recipes" and "Extreme
Sushi," while Part IV delves into "Sushi Sidekicks,"
"A Smashing [...] Sushi Party," and "Demystifying
the Sushi Bar Experience. The final part of the book offers
"Ten Tips for Creating First-Rate Sushi at Home"
and "Ten Tips for Minding Your Sushi Manners:"
Don't be one of those people who obsessively rub the chopsticks
together a soon as they're unwrapped!
recipes are well balanced. You'll learn to create familiar
items like caterpillar rolls, barbecued or grilled unagi
(freshwater eel), spicy tuna hand rolls, shrimp tempura
and California rolls. You'll also make fun offshoots, like
Guacamole Battleship Sushi; Grilled Shrimp and Thai Basil
Inside-Out Rolls with Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce; and Gorgonzola
Cheese and Spicy Sprouts Battleship Sushi. Or try your hand
at Japanese Chicken Soup, Hard-Boiled Quail Eggs with Matcha
Salt, Asian Pear Salad or Cucumber and Wakame Salad. For
dessert there's Crystallized Ginger Crème Brûlée
and Sake Brownie Soufflés.
that Sushi for Dummies lacks in the esthetics department;
but that's a given and understood in this user-friendly
series. It's to be treated like a tool, a reference guide
and manual: no glamour, just lots of good, solid information.
Even if you don't consider yourself in the target audience
(that is, people daunted and mystified by the subject and
looking for a quick remedy), for a sushi lover, there's
still lots to enjoy.