Japan The Vegetarian Cookbook Review

Japan The Vegetarian Cookbook Review
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
January 15, 2024

Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook - A Culinary Odyssey into Japanese Vegetarianism

In this week's cookbook review, we embark on a gastronomic journey to the heart of Japan with Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook.

In this new book Nancy Singleton Hachisu, the most authoritative voice in Japanese home cooking, presents 250 authentic Japanese vegetarian dishes.  

Nancy, an American author residing in rural Japan since 1988, has crafted a masterpiece that intertwines the art of cooking with cultural narratives. Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook is more than a culinary guide – it's a window into the heart of Japan's food ethos.

Japan The Vegetarian Cookbook

Diverse and Authentic Recipes

Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook is much more than a recipe book. It's a cultural odyssey exploring the impact of Zen Buddhism on Japanese cuisine. Nancy's book educates readers on the intricate relationship between vegetarianism and Japanese culinary practices, making it an insightful read for food enthusiasts and cultural scholars alike.

Several years in the making, Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook was a book Nancy had long wanted to write. She shares her expert knowledge of ingredients, culture, techniques, and traditions of the unique culinary style often called 'devotional cuisine.' 

This cookbook is an amalgamation of 250 authentic vegetarian recipes. From the simplicity of Tomato and Tofu Gratin to the complexity of "Three Bird, One Stone" Nabe, each recipe is a testament to the purity and minimalism of Japanese cuisine. 

Nanohana with Mustard Dressing. Photography by Aya Brackett (p. 77)

An Educational Tool

The Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook is cleverly divided into sections like simmered, pickled, and sweet, ensuring a comprehensive culinary experience.

An extensive glossary and essays on ingredients, culture, and traditions elevate this cookbook to an educational tool. Nancy's exploration of ingredients like mirin and shoyu and her personal anecdotes about seeking authentic elements add depth and authenticity.

The book is beautifully designed with 120 specially commissioned images that celebrate the vibrant colors and diversity of the dishes. Icons indicating vegan, gluten-free, and quick-to-prepare options make the book user-friendly for a diverse audience.

The modern design of Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook mirrors the elegance of the cuisine itself. Practical aspects like the preparation chapter, which covers basics like cooking rice and making dashi, make it accessible to beginners and seasoned cooks alike.

Japan The Vegetarian Cookbook
Vegetarian Japanese-Style Curry. Photography by Aya Brackett (p. 235)

Final Thoughts

In Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook, Nancy does more than present recipes; she educates readers on the principles of Japanese vegetarian cooking. The emphasis on respecting ingredients and mindfulness in preparation are recurring themes, offering a wholesome approach to cooking and eating.

This book is an essential addition to the libraries of not just vegetarians or fans of Japanese cuisine but anyone who appreciates the art of mindful cooking and the joy of simple, elegant flavors. Nancy's mastery in weaving cultural narratives with practical cooking advice makes this cookbook a profound, enlightening read.


Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook is a remarkable culinary treasure that transcends the boundaries of a typical recipe collection. It invites readers not only to cook but to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Japanese culinary culture and tradition.









Are You Ready To Get Hungry?

Sign Up today to get into our cooking world. You will receive for free our best tips, reviews, recipes and much more...

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Check our other reviews
The North African Cookbook

The North African Cookbook Review

The Korean Cookbook

The Korean Cookbook Review

The Indonesian Table

The Indonesian Table Review

The British Cookbook

The British Cookbook Review