Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions

Front Cover
Ten Speed Press, 2010 - Cooking - 296 pages
16 Reviews
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 shojin ryori, 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, Tofu-Tofu 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.

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Review: Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions

User Review  - Timothy Ferguson - Goodreads

This beautiful book is based on the Buddhist vegetarian tradition. It isn't as finicky as you might expect, because it reflects a monastic tradition based on simplicity. Indeed, in certain forms, this ... Read full review

Review: Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions

User Review  - Goodreads

This beautiful book is based on the Buddhist vegetarian tradition. It isn't as finicky as you might expect, because it reflects a monastic tradition based on simplicity. Indeed, in certain forms, this ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

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.

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