Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sushi Books (not recipe books)

From Endo Sushi in Osaka

I am by no means a sushi expert, but I have spent a lot of time searching for books about sushi.  I love eating sushi, and I am also interested in reading and learning about it.  This is not a list of sushi recipe books, it is a collection of books about sushi.  No doubt, countless pages have been written about sushi in Japanese, however, comparatively very little has been writen in English (especially considering its still increasing popularity).  When I search for books about sushi, I usually find that most of them are about how to make sushi or sushi recipes.  Below is a list of books ranging from small, simple books with pictures of sushi and names in both English and Japanese, to books about its history and the evoloution of the sushi industry.

I will not be writing reviews of the books (as I do not usually read reviews), but will give a short description of each and provide links to reviews for those of you who would like to read them.

Books about Sushi 

Sushi: A Pocket Guide by Minori Fukuda & Kit Shan Li
Really a pocket guide, this is a very small book (both size and length) that gives some basic information about sushi and the sushi experience.  It includes color photos and very short descriptions of about 50 different kinds of sushi (Nigirizushi & Makizushi).  It also has the name in Japanese and how to pronounce it in English.

The Sushi Menu Book
A small bilingual (Japanese & English) book (slightly bigger then the previously mentioned one) about sushi and eating at a sushi restaurant.   This book includes about 40 different kinds of sushi and provides some background information about the fish and when it is in season.  This book also includes photographs of the sushi it mentions, some common side dishes at a sushi restaurant and a very short list of expressions used at a sushi restaurant.

Sushi by Mia Detrick
This book is a beginners guide to sushi written in the early eighties.  It is under 100 pages and contains color photographs of numerous types of sushi, including nigirizushi, makizushi and Kansai-style sushi.  Additionally, it has some basic information about the history of sushi, the sushi bar and etiquette for eating sushi.

The Connoisseur's Guide to Sushi by Dave Lowry
This is a long and very detailed book about sushi.  The beginning has a short history and descriptions of the main types of sushi and basic ingredients for sushi.  The bulk of this book is dedicated to giving very detailed information about various sushi toppings, including: background information, history, lore and why some toppings and kinds of fish are know by multiple names.  There are no pictures or photos and no Japanese characters are used.

The Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson
Corson's book gives a lot of information about sushi, especially its history, while following the story of a group of students at a sushi academy near Los Angeles.  He traces sushi's origins back to the Mekong River and looks at a number of important events in its development.  This book gives readers a behind the scenes glimpse at a type of sushi training in the US, as well as a wealth of knowledge about sushi.

The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy by Sasha Issenberg
This book focuses more on the modern history of sushi as a global industry.  It is about the business side of sushi and looks at some global and environmental developments and issues concerning the industries related to sushi.

Oishinbo: Fish, Sushi & Sashimi by Tetsu Karia & Akira Hanasaki
This volume is taken from a very famous Japanese comic book (manga) series about food.

Squeamish About Sushi by Betty Reynolds
Presented like a children's book with watercolor pictures related to sushi and a sushi restaurant.  Has information and translations of Japanese phrases that would be encountered and useful at a sushi restaurant.

Shiro: Wit, Wisdom & Recipes by Shiro Kashiba
A sushi chef's memoir that follows his story from his early days training in Japan through his move to Seattle, Washington.  The book also contains many photographs (not just of food) and some of his recipes.  It's a good counterpoint to Corson's book.

Books about Japanese Food with a little on sushi

Sushi and Beyond: What the Japanese Know About Cooking by Michael Booth
A non-fiction account of the author's culinary trip to Japan with his family.  This book is about Japanese food, but has some information about sushi.

A Taste of Japan by Donald Richie
An introduction to Japanese food, it includes one chapter on sushi.

Fictional Sushi

Sushi by Okamoto Kanoko found in The House Spirit and Other Stories

Extra Sushi (for fun) ~

The Japanese Tradition - Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Trevor Corson's website has even more information about sushi and some of his articles on the topic.

Okay, so I've included more than just books.  I hope that you find this information useful and if anyone knows of any other books on sushi in English (of which I'm sure there are many) please feel free to leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, I appreciate you and I would like to read your next post. Thanks for sharing this useful information.
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