Japanese food culture is legendary for its attention to detail and refined flavors.
And that’s why it can be off-putting to get started with Japanese food at home.
How will you live up to the standards set by Japanese chefs?
With these carefully selected cookbooks, of course.
This is amazing Japanese food, made easy.
Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen by Elizabeth Andoh
The word “Washoku” simply means “the food of Japan”.
As you might expect, this book aims to cover the length and breadth of Japanese cookery and even hits on new food trends such as keto, paleo and vegan.
The recipes are to die for and it’s the best all-purpose book for Japanese food there is.
Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
Nancy is one of the major names in Japanese cookery and this book doesn’t disappoint.
It brings you 400 of her favorite recipes from every corner of Japan and its culinary culture.
The only drawback of a book this ambitious is that it doesn’t specialize in any particular area of Japanese food, for that you’ll need to check out the rest of this list.
Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking by Naoko Takei Moore and Kyle Connaughton
Clay Pot Cooking is not to be confused with Chinese hot pots but the results are every bit as tasty and you can cook almost anything in a clay pot when you know how.
We’d recommend these recipes for cold winter days when you want something healthy, filling and warming to eat.
Japanese Patisserie: Exploring The Beautiful and Delicious Fusion of East Meets West by James Campbell
Most Asian cuisines are a bit light on desserts, there’s not a huge preference for sweet cakes but Japan is different.
These desserts are so good that this book almost made our top 40 list of the best cookbooks of all time.
They’re delicate, intricate and surprising and oh so tasty!
Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes From Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint by Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying
Ivan starred on Netflix’s Chef’s Table and that’s because he moved to Japan in order to become the best ramen chef on earth.
According to the Japanese, he succeeded.
If you love ramen, there’s no finer guide to it anywhere on the planet than this one.
Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura and More From The Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
We picked our copy of this book in Tokyo!
We’re going to take that as an official Japanese endorsement of this comprehensive but fun guide to popular Japanese cookery.
If you love Japanese food, there will be no surprise dishes here but the results are mighty tasty.
Sushi: Taste and Techniques by Kimiko Barber and Hiroki Takemura
Ask anyone in the West about Japanese food and sushi is likely to come up in the first breath, so it would be remiss to not have a sushi specialist cookbook on our list.
This simple and well-illustrated guide will help you make sushi at home that absolutely puts restaurant food to shame.
Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
This is Nancy’s second effort on our list and it’s much more refined in scope.
Nancy transports us to a Japanese farm and shows us how to make use of the freshest Japanese produce.
The food inside is simple, humble and traditional but never boring and always tasty.
The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go by Makiko Itoh and Makiko Doi
The Bento box has become something of a Japanese cultural icon in the West but how do you make an artful and tasty lunchbox?
This book is all you need to make Bento that others would die for.
The Japanese Grill: From Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood and Vegetables by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
They love to grill food in Japan and this is the ideal introduction to Japanese food for an American BBQ fanatic.
Whatever you can grill, it’s in there and the yakitori is the best we’ve ever tasted.
Final Thoughts On The Best Japanese Cookbooks
So, there you have it, some noble companions that can guide you to the pinnacle of Japanese cookery from the comfort of your own kitchen.
With their help, anyone can master one of the world’s most exciting cuisines.
If you’ve enjoyed learning about Japanese food, you may also appreciate these amazing Japanese toasters or learning about the best tea recipes, Japan’s favorite drink.