Robata - Japanese Home Grilling Cookbook Review

Robata - Japanese Home Grilling Cookbook Review

Title: Robata: Japanese Home Grilling
Author: Silla Bjerrum
Published: April 19, 2018, Jacqui Small
No. of Pages: 224
Cover Price: $35.00 Hardcover, $16.99 Kindle

Robata: Japanese Home Grilling by Silla Bjerrum, is not your everyday grilling cookbook. It is, in fact, very different, and will appeal to those who love Japanese food and culture. The book includes chapters on the history of robata, how to cook robata at home, and how to eat robata, and the ingredients needed to make the dishes.

Even though this book features an excellent chapter on ingredients, some of the ingredients are difficult to find, and the author has not offered substitutions for those who can’t find them. For instance, Okonomiyaki flour, and yuzu juice. I have two huge Asian grocery stores near me, and although one or the other have always had what I needed, yuzu juice or powdered yuzu was not to be found; the okonomiyaki flour was carried at both stores, so I was able to make one of the delicious dishes - Okonomiyaki Masquerading as Prawn (Shrimp) Toast, which was worth searching for the flour. I had to order several ingredients online, including the yuzu products. In the meantime, I prepared the Chilean Sea Bass with Choy Sum (available at the Asian grocery) and Onion Relish, and it was delicious. Actually every recipe in the book that I have tried so far has been delicious.

The word “appetizing” is relative, and chunks of skin-on fish and fish with heads do not fall into that category in most American households. Those of us who have spent some time in Japan know that the cultures are very different, and what is mouthwatering to the Japanese isn’t always mouthwatering to the Americans. That said, however, doesn’t make the recipes unappetizing; they are simply unique, and many are absolutely luscious. Recipes in my queue so far are Salmon Smoked on Yuzu Leaves, Rib Eye with Wasabi, Baby Back Pork Ribs, and Yuzu Chicken. There are dozens of recipes that are worth making. The recipe directions are succinct and easy to understand, and many of the dishes are pictured – it would be better if all were pictured since the dishes are quite foreign.

All told, this is a very unique cookbook for grilling enthusiasts. The book makes it possible to bring a bit of Japan into American homes, and that will make for a good summer of non-boring grilling.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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