Tokyo is one of the world’s greatest food cities. But much of that food can also be made at home, and it’s probably a lot more accessible than you might think. Pick up a copy of Tokyo Cult Recipes by Maori Murota (Murdoch, $35), whose project is to bring the dishes of her childhood to a larger audience.

The cookbook combines 100 recipes and handy step-by-steps with a lot of lovely photography. There are also detours into Tokyo’s kitchenware district, the Tsukiji fish market, and shops selling ceramics, crackers, crepes — and fake plastic food. The detours are in the kitchen as well: how to make rice, the many varieties of noodles. The recipes are straightforward, often with annotated drawings or diagrams.

This is not just a cookbook about nigiri sushi, gyoza, tonkatsu and curry udon, although all those classic dishes are between the pages. There’s also the less obvious, more homey stuff — macaroni salad, beef hot pot, rolled omelets, salted salmon and even oden, the humble stew of winter vegetables in broth.

— Amy Scattergood

Los Angeles Times