A Cook's Journey to Japan100 Homestyle Recipes from Japanese Kitchens

At twenty-eight years of age, Sarah Marx Feldner quit her job, sold her house, and moved to Japan to pursue her passion for Japanese food and cooking.

At twenty-eight years of age, Sarah Marx Feldner quit her job, sold her house, and moved to Japan to pursue her passion for Japanese food and cooking. A Cook’s Journey to Japan is the result of her adventures traveling throughout Japan, sampling home-cooked meals and collecting recipes from Japanese friends and avid cooks she met along the way. A Cook’s Journey to Japan is a totally unique cookbooks that tells the story of the everyday dishes that Japanese people at home—including many popular standards such as:


Salmon Teriyaki
Chicken Yakitori
Sushi Hand Rolls
Miso Soup with Baby Clams
Yaki Udon (Stir-Fried Noodles)


The difference is that the home-style versions of each of these dishes are ones you will never see in any other cookbook. And as we know, foods prepared at home by experienced cooks are far more tasty—and also more healthy—than the restaurant versions found in most cookbooks.

Sarah’s fascinating stories about her travels, and her heartfelt and sometimes humorous insights about the people she met who shared their recipes and kitchens with her, will entice you to take up your knife and cutting board to begin your own journey through the kitchens of Japan. Her detailed menu suggestions, clear instructions and reassuring tone make it incredibly easy to prepare delicious Japanese meals in your own kitchen at home just the way the Japanese do.

After graduating from college, Sarah Marx Feldner headed to Japan to teach English for a year. There, she befriended Hitomi and her food-loving family who introduced her to a countryside, a style of cuisine, and an overall aesthetic that she had never experienced before and quickly fell in love with. A couple of years later, Sarah got the idea to write a Japanese cookbook to tell people about her discoveries, and she returned to Japan and traveled the country collecting recipes and stories from experienced cooks who opened their homes and their hearts to her.

A talented food stylist and cooking instructor, Yumi Kawachi is well versed in Japanese and French cooking. She is based in Tokyo and works for major Japanese magazines.

Noboru Murata is one of Japan’s most accomplished photographers. Based in Tokyo, he does work for Japanese Elle Deco and other leading lifestyle magazines.


“Entertaining, with striking full color photographs throughout, this book shows that Japanese home cooking is more than sushi and noodles, providing new perspective on everyday Japanese home fare.”

Publishers Weekly


“An approachable and heartfelt invitation to engage with Japanese food in all its grace and deliciousness, with imaginative versions of classic dishes, generous photographs, and personal anecdotes.”

Naomi Duguid, co-author of Hot Sour Salty Sweet, Seductions of Rice and Beyond the Great Wall


“For us, most really good cookbooks are characterized as much by a sense of place and personality as by their recipes. A Cook’s Journey to Japan has all three.”



“This inviting book is the warmest introduction to Japanese cuisine you could hope to find. Sarah Marx Feldner worked in Japan as an English teacher, but it was the country’s food (everyday home-cooked fare, in particular) that captured her attention. Here, she shares her discoveries through charming stories and 100 appealing recipes, such as Crispy Rice Snacks, Soy-Glazed Chicken Wings, Braised Spare Ribs, and Cold Sesame Noodle Salad. Each hunger-inducing recipe is thoughtfully written and most are tantalizingly photographed. And nothing seems too foreign or difficult, which was Feldner’s goal. She hoped readers would say, “I can make that!” And you will.”

Fine Cooking


“In this excellent compilation of traditional and contemporary Japanese cooking, Feldner (senior editor, www.tasteofhome.com) focuses on certain regional specialties like Oyaki (vegetable-stuffed rolls) to reveal the diversity within Japanese cuisine. As Feldner points out, Japan is a small country with extremely different terrains, leading to distinct regional cooking styles. Her extensive travels throughout the lesser-known areas of Japan shine through in her distinctive recipes. Murata’s fine photography is both beautiful and useful—many recipes feature a step-by-step photo guide of the preparation. The beginning of the book is an outstanding primer on ingredients and cooking tools that are distinctly Japanese. Verdict: This gorgeous, original, and easy-to-use cookbook is recommended for all levels of experience and for palates that are open to new and varied flavors.”

Library Journal


“[The book] welcomes us in with a trove of recipes including Udon Soup with Chicken Meatballs and Japanese-Style Vegetable Gratin, which Feldner collected from everyday people she met in her travels. The recipes are set with the gorgeous illustrative photographs of Noboru Murata. And the forward is by Japanese cooking authority Elizabeth Andoh, who was one of Feldner’s mentors.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


“Filled with step-by-step photos to help novices master essential skills, A Cook’s Journey to Japan will give readers the courage to try new recipes. Classic dishes include tori karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken), age-dashi dofu (deep-fried tofu), and tonjiru (pork miso soup). But it’s the nontraditional recipes that really catch the eye, like Japanese “cocktail peanuts” (nuts baked in a sweet miso coating), gingerfried soybeans and daikon salad with a spicy karashi-mentaiko dressing. A Cook’s Journey to Japan gathers some of the country’s best recipes, and will be a treat for anyone looking to expand their repertoire of Japanese cuisine.”




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