to convert American linear and volume measurements used in recipes in these books (unless otherwise specified) use the figures below:
watashitachi no obento (tr: our bento)
great photos of bentos with some detail of how they are put together. very inspirational. after reading the japanese cookbooks listed below, you’ll be able to identify what the different items are without being able to read japanese 😉
the quintessential bento box book, translated from japanese. most bento books or magazines are only available in japanese, so for english speakers, this is definitely the best guide out there. translation of ingredients is a little funny, so know your japanese food. great pictures, and she gives instructions for how to place things together. placement is vital to a successful bento.
i think this is the best english language book out there for japanese cooking. this book is very comprehensive, showing cooking equipment as well as cutting techniques. lots of pictures, assumes very little cooking knowledge.
my first japanese cookbook. great pictures, great recipes. doesn’t really go over japanese cooking technique, but it’s a good foundation. also recipes are catered to a western palate. their teriyaki recipe is fantastic.
another book translated from japanese into english. tsukemono is a vital part of the bento, also a vital part of japanese meals, and it’s really easy to make. a variety of recipes in this book from sweet to sour, and some a little more western. good instructional photographs, but there are typos in the recipes, and sometimes instructions can be a little unclear, so double check the recipe with other sources. i’m personally not a big fan of this book, but if you’re looking for a more western style pickle, this might be a good book for you.
not so much a cookbook as it is a comprehensive, illustrated encyclopedia of ingredients one will encounter with japanese cooking. pictures of each ingredient in various states, as well as information about how it tastes, what it’s used for, and tips on how to buy it. this book is essential if you shop in asian markets and can’t read the packaging.
i actually haven’t used this particular book, but it’s on my wishlist!
another book on my wishlist, it has some pretty good looking recipes!
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