How to help Japan–and make dinner–with a beautiful new cookbook

I feel fortunate to have three kids who absolutely love sushi and will attack a plate of it as if it is a pile of french fries. But beyond that, I haven’t cooked much Japanese food at home–I am pretty sure they’d love the noodles, the crispy panko-crusted meats and, of course, the chance to eat with two sticks.

But that may change, now that there is a gorgeous new cookbook which makes traditional Japanese cooking accessible for families to create in their own homes. And your purchase can also help Japanese families recover from the recent natural disasters.

PEKO PEKO: Family Friendly Japanese Recipes is foremost a great new book of recipes for those of us who want to introduce a little Eastern cooking into our Western kitchens. A labor of love compiled by the brilliant food bloggers Stacie Billis, Rachael Hutchings and Marc Matsumoto, it features the work of nearly sixty talented food writers, bloggers and photographers.

Let’s just say this beautifully designed book will be dog-eared instantly with me folding down page corners of recipes I want to try. Think Green Beans in Sesame Dressing or Japanese-Style Chicken Wings–perfect starters for even my crazy picky son. But there’s also adventurous fare; still authentic, but not so far out there to scare away food-shy kids (and adults).

PEKO PEKO Japanese cookbook
PEKO PEKO Japanese cookbook
PEKO PEKO

Seems appropriate that the title is a common Japanese way to say “I’m Hungry,” doesn’t it? 

Along with the clear, step-by-step instructions, I really appreciate the glossary of Japanese ingredients since I’m not sure I’d know my Umeboshi from my Furikake. In several cases, easy-to-find U.S. substitutions are given for some items. Otherwise, I’d be sure to hit a local Japanese market for the more obscure ingredients. But don’t let that scare you! There’s plenty in here that you can start making without a trip to Japantown.

But there is one thing that makes PEKO PEKO sweeter than even the dessert section: 100% of the proceeds go to Global Giving’s Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. The book’s publisher, the much-loved people at Blurb, along with every contributor to the book, has agreed to waive any cut in sales in order to insure the most money possible goes to helping the people of Japan. Now that sounds delicious.

Get a copy of PEKO PEKO: Family Friendly Japanese Recipes from Blurb, and read more about the cookbook and the cause at the PEKO PEKO Cookbook website

Christina

Senior Associate Editor Christina Refford loves homeschooling, running, cool kids’ music, and coffee. Not in that order.

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