Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions

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

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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 shōjin ryōri, 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, Tōfu-Tōfu 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.

Comments

Bundtlust says:

A gorgeous cookbook that inspires appreciation I was stationed in Japan for six months, and while there, I took four Japanese cooking classes. I purchased Kansha from Amazon Japan in December 2010, and enjoyed leafing through the many intriguing vegan recipes inspired by traditional Japanese Buddhism (because of my living arrangements in Japan, I didn’t have a kitchen in which to try out these recipes). Being vegetarian in Japan is more difficult than it sounds; nearly every Japanese dish (with the exception of shojin ryori, vegan Buddhist…

L. M. Freeman says:

A vegan craving long forgotten food I am a vegan who used to live in Japan for 3 years. I have been hopelessly searching to recreate some of the amazing food I experienced while living there. So far I had been severely disappointed. That is, until I bought this book. I want to thank the author for the amazing selection of recipes. The Heaven and Earth Tempura and the Kabocha Croquettes were incredible. Maybe even better than the ones from my beloved Kyushu. The instructions were so clear and exact, that the preparation and…

Lilico "Lilico" says:

Another excellent book by Elizabeth Andoh I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. There is no one like Andoh to explain authentic Japanese food to non-japanese. She is like the Julia Child of Japan. Her recipes are thorough, easy to read and use, and tell you a lot about Japanese culture and thought along the way. If you are a vegan or a vegetarian and like Japanese food, this is the book for you. There’s nothing else like it. She knows how to coax the authentic flavors out of the ingredients, and put everything to good use…

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