Kansha Celebrating Japans Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions
The celebration of Japan's vegan and vegetarian traditions begins with "kansha"--appreciation--an expression of gratitude for nature's gifts and the efforts and ingenuity of those who transform nature's bounty into marvelous food. The spirit of "kansha," deeply rooted in Buddhist philosophy and practice, encourages all cooks to prepare nutritionally sound and aesthetically satisfying meals that avoid waste, conserve energy, and preserve our natural resources.
In these pages, with "kansha" as credo, Japan culinary authority Elizabeth Andoh offers more than 100 carefully crafted vegan recipes. She has culled classics from "shÅ�jin ryÅ�ri," or Buddhist temple cuisine (Creamy Sesame Pudding, Glazed Eel Look-Alike); gathered essentials of macrobiotic cooking (Toasted Hand-Pressed Brown Rice with Hijiki, Robust Miso); selected dishes rooted in history (Skillet-Scrambled Tofu with Leafy Greens, Pungent Pickles); and included inventive modern fare (Eggplant Sushi, TÅ�fu-TÅ�fu Burgers).
Andoh invites you to practice "kansha" in your own cooking, and she delights in demonstrating how "nothing goes to waste in the "kansha" kitchen." In one especially satisfying example, she transforms each part of a single daikon--from the tapered tip to the tuft of greens, including the peels that most cooks would simply compost--into an array of wholesome, flavorful dishes.
Decades of living immersed in Japanese culture and years of culinary training have given Andoh a unique platform from which to teach. She shares her deep knowledge of the cuisine in the two-part A Guide to the Kansha Kitchen. In the first section, she explains basic cutting techniques, cooking methods, and equipment that will help you enhance flavor, eliminate waste, and speed meal preparation. In the second, Andoh demystifies ingredients that are staples in Japanese pantries, but may be new to you; they will boost your kitchen repertoire--vegan or omnivore--to new heights.
Stunning images by award-winning photographer Leigh Beisch complete "Kansha," a pioneering volume sure to inspire as it instructs.
"The kansha lifestyle asks for us to slow down and be more deliberate, and to cultivate an awareness of our surroundings, the seasons and the nature of our own appetites. How refreshing and wise!"
"The word "kansha" means "appreciation," and there's much to appreciate with Elizabeth Andoh's celebration of Japanese vegan and vegetarian traditions. Andoh, who was Gourmet magazine's Japan correspondent for more than three decades, offers more than 100 recipes, many of them complicated enough for experienced cooks looking for a good challenge."
--Portland Oregonian, Best of 2010, 12/21/10
"Because any cookbook by Elizabeth Andoh deserves a long, thoughtful look. Her latest, "Kansha," is an elegant spread of vegan and vegetarian Japanese dishes, as narrated in her characteristic cultural history discovery tone."
--LA Weekly, Squid Ink blog, Top 10 Cookbook And Drink Gift Pairings, 12/14/10
"It's great to open up a cookbook and absorb al
ELIZABETH ANDOH is the American authority on Japanese cuisine. She has made Japan her home since 1967 and divides her time between Tokyo and Osaka, directing a culinary program called A Taste of Culture. Her book Washoku won the 2006 IACP Jane Grigson award for distinguished scholarship in food writing and was nominated for a James Beard Award.