Cuisine Cookbook

10 Authentic Japanese Cookbooks & Recipe Books

Over the past few decades, Japan has significant contributions to Western countries’ culture and the rest of the world.

As well as revolutionizing computers, cars, and cartoon characters, Japan has also developed and broadened their culinary knowledge by introducing delicious and highly unique dishes through media and books. We have compiled in this article a list of 10 best Japanese cookbooks that you can use to create standard Japanese fare right in your own kitchen.

Japanese Home Cooking: Simple Meals, Authentic Flavors

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“Gorgeous and delightful Japanese cookbook filled with healthy recipes.”- Sarah Schroeder

Sonoko Sakai’s recipes all reflect her wealthy cultural upbringing. She offers recipes using high quality, seasonal ingredients with gentle voices, and a passion for authentic cooking. Starting with the pantry, the dish’s taste will be explored along with traditional recipes and cooking techniques.

With over 100 recipes for classic dishes like Temaki Zushi (Sushi Hand Rolls), Kenchin-jiru (hearty vegetable soup with Sobagaki buckwheat dumplings), and Oden (Vegetable hotpot, seafood, and meat) also like for more creative dishes like Soba Salad First Garden with Miso Vinaigrette Lemon-White, Mochi Waffles with Tatsuta (Fried Chicken) and Maple Yuzu Kosho, and Amazake (Fermented Drink) Ice Pops with Pickled Cherry Blossoms.

The cookbook also includes beautiful photos of Rick Poon and stories about food purveyors in California and Japan. This book is a precious guide to Japanese home cooking for seasoned cooks and beginners who crave authentic Japanese flavors.

About the author: Sonoko Sakai was born in New York and raised by her Japanese parents. As a child, she lived in many places, including Kamakura, Mexico City, San Francisco, and Tokyo.

Sonoko Sakai is the author of two books, The Poetical Pursuit of Food (Potter, 1986) and Rice Craft (Chronicle, 2016). Besides, Sonoko has also worked as a producer, creative director, recipe developer, cooking teacher, and lecturer. She currently lives in Los Angeles and Tehachapi, California, with her husband, Katsuhisa Sakai.

Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond

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“This terrific cookbook captures some of the more popular dishes” – Mike M. Paull

This is a collection with over 100 Japanese recipes for American home cooks. You will discover the origins, new ingredients, and cooking techniques of popular dishes. This comprehensive cookbook will introduce you to perfect instructions and step-by-step photographs, making it easy to conquer many hearty, flavor-packed, and crave-able dishes like spaghettiko noodles, saikoro steak, chahan fried rice, and more.

About the author: Tadashi Ono and Haaris Salat are also the authors of The Japanese Grill and Japanese Hot Pots.

Tadashi Ono is a Japanese chef based in New York City. He has been featured in Gourmet, Food & Wine, and the New York Times.

Haaris Salat brought food and cultural stories to appear in the Saveur, the New York Times, and Gourmet. In 2012, he opened the Japanese comfort food restaurant Ganso in Brooklyn.

Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking

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“Fantastic! Photos of process and finished product. Clear instructions. Beautiful. Easy.” – Jennifer Guerrero

Legendary chef Masaharu Morimoto will introduce you to the healthy, surprisingly simple, and flavorful dishes favored that are popular in Japan. This beautiful cookbook includes a selection of fantastic recipes and over 150 color photographs; you’ll find ways to make flavorful and exciting traditional Japanese meals at home.

In particular, Chef Morimoto will also reveal small details about the right ratios of ingredients in the sauce as well as the proper order of adding seasonings helps create memorable meals that merge simplicity with exquisite flavor. Moreover, you will learn how to build a pantry of ingredients to easily access hundreds of delicious recipes to adapt and create your own inventions.

About the author: Masaharu Morimoto grew up in Hiroshima and owned the first restaurant in Japan. Morimoto was the executive chef at the highly acclaimed Nobu restaurant in New York City, after moving to the United States. He then opened a restaurant named after him – Morimoto, in Philadelphia and expanded to New York. Morimoto restaurants include Morimoto Sushi Bar in Boca Raton, Florida, Wasabi by Morimoto in Mumbai and New Delhi, and some in Mexico City, Napa, Maui, and Waikiki.

Morimoto is the author of “Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking” and appeared on Japanese TV shows “Iron Chef” and the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.”  

Japan: The Cookbook

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“The presentation is gorgeous, with full-color photographs accompany every two or three recipes. Furthermore, there is a lot of information about ingredients, preparation methods, meal presentation, and cooking/serving equipment.”- Daniels Cortese

“Japan: The Cookbook” is a home cooking recipe with over 400 sumptuous recipes by acclaimed food writer Nancy Singleton Hachisu. You’ll find iconic traditions as well as regional traditions of Japan organized by the course and contain insightful notes alongside the recipes. Simple but elegant dishes such as noodles, rice, pickles, soups, sweets, one-pots, and vegetables will also be included in this book.

About the author: Nancy Singleton Hachisu is a native Californian who lives on a farm in Japan. During her thirty years of residence in Japan, she is widely respected as an authority on Japanese cooking in Japan and the US.

Nancy Singleton Hachisu is a James Beard Award-nominated author of two cookbooks: “Preserving the Japanese Way” and “Japanese Farm Food.” In particular, her works have appeared in Saveur, Food & Wine, The Art of Eat, and Lucky Peach.

Japanese Cooking Made Simple: A Japanese Cookbook with Authentic Recipes for Ramen, Bento, Sushi & More

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“This is a good book. A useful introduction to Japanese cuisine and culture behind the cuisine.”- Anonymous 644

“Japanese Cooking Made Simple” will provide basic recipes and techniques to unlock your ability to prepare authentic Japanese meals for friends and family at home without requiring a lot of effort and significant investment in time and money.

In this cookbook, you can find over 100 easy-to-follow authentic Japanese recipes with ingredients found in your local grocery store. A detailed step-by-step guide will help you prepare sushi, including temaki and norimaki, with ease. In addition, beautiful color photos will also suggest you how to put a superb Japanese food on a plate.

Salinas Press has once again produced a cookbook providing not only with many delicious recipes to choose from, but also simple tools to make it easy.

About the author: Salinas Press is an independent publisher headquartered in Berkeley, California, and is known for its delicious and healthy cookbooks, including #1 Amazon Best Sellers The Paleo Cookbook for Kids, The Italian Cookbook for Beginners, and The Slow Cooker Cookbook.

Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art

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“. . .quite the most illuminating text around on Japanese food. . .”—Nigella Lawson

In the first edition, this cookbook changed how the world perceives Japanese cuisine, changing it from obscure ethnic food to haute cuisine.

Twenty-five years later, many things have changed, and Japanese food has received much love from diners around the world. This book is a 25th-anniversary edition commemorating the Tsuji’s classic work. The cookbook is beautifully illustrated with over 500 drawings, eight new coloring pages, and 230 traditional recipes. You will also be provided with detailed explanations of the techniques, ingredients, kitchen utensils, and cultural aspects of Japanese cuisine.

About the author: Shizuo Tsuji(1935-1993) used to work as the former head of the prestigious Tsuji Culinary Institute in Osaka – the largest school training professional chefs in Japan. Besides, he is also considered a leading figure in the international culinary community.

Shizuo Tsuji is the author of more than 30 books on gastronomy, travel, music, and Kodansha’s bestselling Practical Japanese Cooking.

The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook: 120 Classic Bar Bites from Japan

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“I’m totally in love with this book! To my delight, everything has been mouth-wateringly delicious, mostly super quick and easy with just a handful of ingredients, but a lot of the dishes are healthy!”- Jennifer Guerrero

The book “The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook: 120 Classic Bar Bites from Japan” is inspired by the Japanese pub, with this book you can quickly bring a party to your family.

The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook gives you over 120 classic izakaya dishes, including standards such as Crispy Gyoza, Yakitori Chicken Skewers, and Grilled Wagyu Beef with Shiso. Besides, in this book, author Wataru Yokota has added some signature Japanese recipes, such as Grilled Mackerel with Plum Sauce and Miso-Simmered Pork. In particular, vegetarians can also find recipes for dishes such as Chargrilled Fava Beans, Daikon Salad with Yuzu Dressing, and Baked Tofu with Ginger Sauce.

For busy people who don’t have much time to cook but like to try new and exciting flavors, this book is a perfect choice because of its simplicity and quickness in Yokota’s recipes. You will also be provided with clear step-by-step photographs and instructions for each dish and much other helpful advice.

About the author: Wataru Yokota was born in 1980 in Okayama, Japan. He has extensive culinary experience working in many well-known French restaurants. In 2012, he founded his own restaurant consultancy. Now, Wataru Yokota works as a restaurant consultant, acting as a private chef for special events and writing cookbooks. His latest book introduces California cuisine to Japanese readers.

Makiko Itoh is the best-selling bicultural author of the Just Bento cookbook series. Now she spends most of her time introducing Japanese food concepts to Western readers.

Japanese Cookbook for Beginners: Classic and Modern Recipes Made Easy

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“I love this book – the flavors of Japanese food without the huge prep and fuss”- Curious Epicure

With “Japanese cookbook for beginners”, ” you can quickly master the incredible flavors and unique Japanese cooking techniques in your kitchen. You will also be provided with helpful tips and tricks to make the most of the specific recipe.

This exceptional Japanese cookbook includes three main parts:

  • Japanese kitchen essentials
  • Prep and cooking techniques
  • 70+ tasty recipes 

About the author: Azusa Oda is a home cook, food blogger, and designer. Growing up in both Tokyo and the San Francisco Bay area has shaped the way she views traditional Japanese culinary techniques.

Tokyo Cult Recipes

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“Good book for standard dishes with more kicks”- Naila A

This comprehensive cookbook is inspired by Murota’s memories of home cooking with mom and dinner in the great restaurants of the city when growing up in Tokyo. You will be provided with clear and concise information on basic cooking techniques and instructions on the main ingredients that you can use to create authentic Japanese food at any time.

“Tokyo Cult Recipes” cookbook is packed with helpful step-by-step photos and over 100 dishes from the gastronomic megacity featuring delicious and easy-to-make recipes.

About the author: Maori Murota was born and raised in Tokyo and left Japan to live in New York when seventeen. Besides, she also spends time in Indonesia. In 2003, Maori Murota settled in Paris, where she worked as a stylist before exchanging the fashion world for food in 2009.

She is a chef at the Paris Düo and Bento restaurants at La Conserverie. Now Mario is an event caterer and private chef. In addition, she also organizes authentic Japanese home cooking classes.

Momofuku: A Cookbook

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“Great cookbook – some recipes can be quite expensive to source ingredients for but I’ve found them to be 100% worth the time/money/trouble – Chang’s recipes are absolutely delicious and have allowed me to explore world cuisine from the comfort of my flat in Scotland”- Cente

Momofuku is not merely a cookbook but also a phenomenon. It is synonymous with award-winning restaurants of the same name in New York City (Momofuku Noodle Bar, Ko, Má Pêche, Fuku, Ssäm Bar, Nishi, and Milk Bar), Toronto, and Sydney.

The food shared in this book is sure to make everyone crave to eat at any Momofuku location. Utilizing the rich Asian flavor and perfect ingredients of David Chang, this is a must-read for anyone who truly loves food.

About the author: David Chang is a chef and founder of Momofuku. Since 2004, when he opened the Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City, David has been honored as a Time 100 honoree and with six James Beard awards (including Outstanding Chef).

Momofuku’s book is a best-selling book of The New York Times. In 2018, he founded Majordomo Media and launched The Dave Chang Show podcast. Momofuku is the host of two original Netflix documentaries series, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, and Ugly Delicious.

Peter Meehan has written for Saveur, the New York Times, and Travel + Leisure and collaborated on several books.

We hope you like this post and finally find out your favorite Japanese cookbooks. Meanwhile, we welcome you to explore our site and discover more cookbook recommendations from the same cuisine below.

Doris Frasier

Hi. I'm Doris! I am a foodie that has traveled to 78 countries and loves trying cuisines from different countries. I try anything related to food and share my opinions on this blog. Send me a message with any requests!
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