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The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving

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You can tell by the decorative food carving at kaiseki restaurants that the Japanese eat with their eyes. No other book has captured this dying art in such detail.

"The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving" is filled with instructions and photos that give you the skills to recreate these wonders at home, as well as simple recipes and a guide to carving tools. Most impressive is the delicate and thin slices that chef Hiroshi Nagashima, of Hongan-ji temple restaurant Shisui in Tsukiji, uses to transform fruit and vegetables into edible art.

We tested a few of these techniques at home and were tickled by the successful results. Complicated as some of the shapes look, it is actually easy to make the curls and knots. The chapter on cucumber carvings in particular was a snap to recreate at home, and satisfying to the palate. (Metropolis magazine)

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7 Comments
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Food carving is Japanese now, and not traditionally Chinese?

The way of the curry...

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I believe food carving has been a Chinese art form for centuries and copied by Japanese.

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"eat with their eyes" cliched rubbish. Like WEstern cuisine doesn't attempt to look appetising also.

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The way of the curry...

It's great that the Jp chefs do food carving, but I hope they don't do what they tried to do with curry a few years back - put a copyright on curry within Japan. Unsurprisingly, others like the Indians were up in arms.

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If it only taste as good as it look.

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I once carved a daikon in the shape of a head. I left it to dry up like a shrunken head. Ah, good times.

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Yes I believe this has been done in China for ages. The kaiseki restaurants I have been to I have not been that impressed with the carvings. A lot of them have been in the style of like a pressed out pattern. When I use to live in HK, man those guys knew how to carve. One time I saw this dragon and peacock done and it was amazing - very detailed. Japanese kaiseki tends to remind me more of French cuisine.

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