> Homemaker and first-time author Kyoko Rabbetts hopes to make Japanese cooking more approachable
Years of travel, and a love for food and how it is prepared, led her to study various cooking methods. Rabbetts had wanted to write a cookbook on Japanese cuisine for the past 10 years. However, it wasn’t until she met Sapna Anand, the author of New Indian Kitchen, also in the MPH Masterclass Kitchens series, that her idea was able to get off the ground. Sapna introduced her to MPH, and it took Rabbetts one-and-a-half years to put her book together. Rabbetts said that over the years she has encountered many people too afraid to attempt Japanese cooking, because the recipes often feature pork or mirin (rice wine).
“Japanese food is considered difficult to prepare, expensive and non halal,” she explained.
“I just wanted to show that it is possible to do it with easily available ingredients.”
In her book, she explains what are the basic ingredients, condiments and preparation methods used in Japanese cooking.
One interesting chapter talks about freezer management, something Japanese households do very well.
Useful tips include how to store cooked rice so that when you reheat it, it tastes fresh.
There are also instructions on how to make several popular Japanese sauces.
Rabbetts hopes her book will be useful to the non-Japanese community here.
“The [recipes are] pretty much what I cook at home,” she said.
“I am not an expert, but I tried my best to show how to create basic dashi (Japanese basic stock), and tonkatsu sauce from scratch, so that people from different backgrounds are able to enjoy Japanese food at home, easily and cheaply. ”