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Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers

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by Atsuko Ikeda
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Drawing inspiration from a culture of street food and izakayas (akin to tapas bars), Atsuko Ikeda provides a playbook for bringing the joy of Japan’s famous otsumami — literally, the nibbles you have while drinking—to your next casual gathering with friends. 

Ikeda, a Japanese caterer now working in the UK, first addresses unique elements in planning an otsumami party: seasonal menus, choosing the right beers or spirits, and furoshiki—the art of cloth wrapping—for sake bottles and bento boxes.

A sample meal plan provides a launching point for choosing a thoughtful balance of dishes. For this you can pull from chapters on simple light bites, fish and seafood, vegetables, and beyond. Base recipes for rice, a variety of dashis, and five types of flavored miso and mayonnaise are also included.

Elegantly photographed spreads inspire a new take on cheese boards with nori and sliced cheese sandwiches or smoked mackerel and cream cheese pâté. Step-by-step images provide reassurance and direction when embarking upon process-oriented recipes like dashimaki tamago sansyu (rolled Japanese omelette) and kaisou no cong you bing (seaweed and spring onion or scallion flatbreads).

And Ikeda’s recipe for ika shumai (a Japanese squid dumpling) offers a personal look at the food of Yobuko on the island of Kyushu—her hometown, known for its fish markets and its sweet, translucent ika

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout. 

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