g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Hiking & Backpacking
New Age
Weight Loss
Atheist / Agnostic
Southeast USA

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Japanese Food Site

BellaOnline's Japanese Food Editor


Japanese Garnishes A Book Review

Guest Author - Chidori Phillips

A long time ago, I happened across this book and felt inspired to try my hand at food garnishing. Like most of us, I was awed by the talents of chefs who created works of art with food and never thought I could achieve that level of mastery. But like all skills, food garnishing, or mukimono, is gained step-by-step. And even the smallest steps, however simple, can have a big impact on the enjoyment of a meal.

A husband and wife team, Yukiko and Bob Haydock published “Japanese Garnishes: The Ancient Art of Mukimono” thirty years ago and although it is no longer in print, fortunately copies still are floating around in cyberspace for you to buy. According to the book jacket, Yukiko is/was a Japanese culinary expert and Bob a graphic designer. I don’t know what they are doing today but I’m thankful to own their little book that introduces the absolute beginner to the art of mukimono.

Mukimono actually mean vegetable peeling which has been a popular practice throughout Asia. In Thailand especially, royal chefs specialize in vegetable carving that produces sculptures and painting-like spreads that are made entirely of fruit and vegetables. In Japan, street vendors all engage in fun competition to produce ingenious vegetable carvings. But it is best to begin at the beginning.

There are other books about food garnishing, but there are three strengths that make this title great for the beginner: 1. Clear color photographs; 2. Step-by-step line illustrations; and 3. Simple but impressive designs. It is surprising how only a few flicks of a sharp paring knife can turn a tomato slice into a butterfly, an apple slice into a bunny or radish slices into play jacks! Is it worth the extra second or two of your time? Absolutely! Once you learn, you’ll have a hard time resisting making a quick fan out of a melon slice or loops in an orange slice. Your plates will never again be presented without a little bit of beauty when you learn the simplest of garnishes. If you have children, you can dress up their lunches. For the bento-maker (Japanese lunch boxes), mukimono is essential.

The book outlines some necessary kitchen tools to have but in reality, the easiest only require a sharp paring knife. Once you learn all of these garnishes, you’ll yearn for more and you’ll seek out other more advanced books for that.

The Amazon.com page lacks a cover photo, but there are hard cover copies available for purchase for as little as .92 cents on that site.

Here is an example of one of their garnishes, orange loops:
Step One: Slice an orange in half. The cut should be made through the stem, not through the equator.
Step Two: Cut the orange halves into slices about 3/8” thick.
Step Three: Make a cut between the skin and the orange to separate the skin. Cut almost to the end, leaving only about 1 inch of skin connected.
Step Four: Curl the skin underneath.
Step Five: Orange Loops can be slit and arranged around the rim of a punch bowl or glass.

This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Japanese+Garnishes+A+Book+Review to Twitter Add Japanese+Garnishes+A+Book+Review to Facebook Add Japanese+Garnishes+A+Book+Review to MySpace Add Japanese+Garnishes+A+Book+Review to Del.icio.us Digg Japanese+Garnishes+A+Book+Review Add Japanese+Garnishes+A+Book+Review to Yahoo My Web Add Japanese+Garnishes+A+Book+Review to Google Bookmarks Add Japanese+Garnishes+A+Book+Review to Stumbleupon Add Japanese+Garnishes+A+Book+Review to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Japanese Food Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Chidori Phillips. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Chidori Phillips. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Nabeyaki Udon Recipe

Tori no Kara-age Recipe

Sata Andagi Okinawa Doughnuts Recipe

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2015 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor