Atsuko Ikeda – Author Quick Bites & Cookbook Set Giveaway

Enter our US/CA/UK giveaway to win one of two sets of the following three titles by Atsuko Ikeda: Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers; Atsuko’s Japanese Kitchen: Home-Cooked Comfort Food Made Simple; and Sushi Made Simple: From Classic Wraps and Rolls to Modern Bowls and Burgers.

Many times, I have shared my love of Japanese cuisine and culture. When Atsuko Ikeda agreed to do a Quick Bites for our members and her publisher offered a giveaway of her three amazing titles, I was thrilled. We will begin with a little about each book.

Released last month Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers is filled with lovely imagery and approachable recipes geared toward bringing friends together for drinks and nibbles. Atsuko shares seasonal party planning ideas, plating and serving ideas, sample menu plans and which drinks pair with particular food choices.

Recipes in Otsumami include cocktails, simple light bites, meat and poultry, fish and seafood, vegetarian bites and eggs and tofu. Sauces, dressings, pantry essentials, must have tools and more are also covered. The author even explains furoshiki, the art of cloth wrapping (which I have become a fan of over the last few years wrapping gifts in pretty tea towels and the like that can be reused). Many step-by-step photographs guide us in this elegant way to wrap gifts, our own lunch boxes and more. Take a look inside with our .

Atsuko’s Japanese Kitchen: Home-Cooked Comfort Food Made Simple teaches us how to make the enigmatic and umami-rich comfort food of Japan, with over 60 recipes straight from the author’s authentic yet modern Japanese kitchen. Here, the author covers regional dishes, secrets of Japanese cuisine, small dishes for sharing, soups & noodles, easy one-plate meals, special occasion meals, sides & dressing and even desserts. (I am obsessed with desserts from around the world.)

Sushi Made Simple: From Classic Wraps and Rolls to Modern Bowls and Burgers teaches the art of sushi with lovely illustrations and photography whether one is a novice or experienced sushi maker. From cutting vegetables and seafood, to knife tips, to the creation of sauces, this title shines a new light on what sushi means. Gorgeous plates of delectable seafood are shared and include all the classics (i.e., Poke bowls, tempura dishes, Spicy tuna California roll) but also innovative dishes such as: Sushi sandwiches (chicken karaage, Japanese fried chicken); Sushi burger (chicken teriyaki) with the buns being shaped out of rice; Christmas sushi and so much more.

With Atsuko’s books, you are guaranteed a proper education into the cuisine of Japan.

Atsuko Ikeda wears many culinary hats: she is a Japanese chef, teacher, food consultant and food photographer. She has been running her famous cooking classes at Atsuko’s Kitchen in London and across England since 2008, offering hands-on workshops with practical tips and skill-building lessons on how to prepare Japanese food. An accomplished chef, classically trained in Shojin Ryori (Buddhist temple cuisine), she is known for mixing traditional recipes with fusion dishes inspired by her culinary travels – all beautifully presented with Japanese refined aesthetics. Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers: Over 70 Recipes to Enjoy with Drinks is her third cookbook with Ryland Peters & Small.

Q: What first triggered your interest in cooking? Can you share your first cooking memory with us?

I have always been interested in cooking and exploring new flavours since I was young. The first proper dish that I cooked on my own is omurice: fried rice topped with omelette. It was one of my favorite meals to order from a western style restaurant and I was eating it all the time, so it made me want to cook it on my own! It requires a simple cooking method of stir-frying the rice with some condiments, but when it comes to wrapping the rice in an omelette in the typical style, it needs a bit of practice. When I mastered the technique it was so satisfying!

Q: If you had to describe your cooking style, what would it be?

My cooking is focused on three things: Simple, delicious, and balanced.

Q: For our members who are new to Japanese cuisine, what dishes do you recommend they start with?

I would suggest they start with some familiar Japanese dishes that they have eaten before so they know how they taste. The recipes should be ones that may easily be recreated at home such as teriyaki, miso soup, or Japanese curry.

But first I would suggest mastering the cooking of perfect Japanese rice (by following my instructions!). This may be served with many simple meals, and is the best way to learn the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine.

Q: Are you a cookbook collector?

Yes, I buy cookbooks very often, and it is great to learn from others as I am also an author of cookbooks!

Cookbooks provide me not only with inspiration on how to cook or use the ingredients, but also the pleasure of learning cultural differences, and the authors’ personal stories.

I am also trained in photography, so I always try to choose cookbooks that have beautiful photography and styling.

Q: What is the best part of your job? Do you sometimes feel like working with food all day keeps you from wanting to get creative in the kitchen?

In my cooking classes, the best part of my work is meeting with multicultural students and sharing culturally different culinary techniques. This way I discover new ideas from my students all the time. Most of my students are foodies and share their favorite foods and recipes, as well as recommendations for restaurants; this creates a little community during the classes.

Q: What is your go to for a quick dinner?

Udon, soba noodles, or onigiri rice balls!

Q: Tell us about your cookbooks or any future projects you are working on?

Otsumami is the Japanese term given to snacks and simple dishes, designed to be eaten alongside a drink. (“Tsumamu” means to grab something with your fingers or chopsticks so any foods that can be easily eaten this way came to be known as “otsumami.”) They are common at izakaya (the japanese version of a Tapas bar) and at home parties in Japan—even if you are at home having a snack with a drink, you are still enjoying an otsumami!

The collection of recipes in my new book Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers will help readers surprise and impress their guests with perfect otsumami food! As for future projects one day I would like to do a series of recipe videos (in a cinematic way) to show how to cook simple Japanese recipes (this would be a long term project). It will be an almost therapeutic video that will connect you with food. As it is said “Food is medicine” in the Japanese philosophy, I would like to create it visually as well.

Special thanks to the publisher for providing two sets of Atsuko’s books in our promotion. Entry options include answering the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

What is your favorite Japanese dish?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on July 12th, 2022.

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Post a comment


  • matag  on  May 13, 2022

    Squid salad

  • miggsy  on  May 13, 2022

    Barbequed eel on rice (unagi)

  • youngsvnnhrs  on  May 13, 2022


  • rkosully  on  May 13, 2022

    Vegetarian sushi with edamame is my favorite Japanese dish.

  • Dendav  on  May 13, 2022

    Salmon teriyaki

  • nvernon  on  May 13, 2022

    A traditional Japanese breakfast at a ryoken

  • ccav  on  May 13, 2022

    Onigiri is a favorite, among many others!

  • peone  on  May 13, 2022


  • roxlet  on  May 13, 2022


  • DarcyVaughn  on  May 13, 2022


  • LSanders  on  May 13, 2022

    Chicken katsu curry

  • Kristjudy  on  May 13, 2022


  • hillsboroks  on  May 13, 2022

    I love tempura vegetables

  • reader1trees  on  May 13, 2022

    fresh tofu with spring onions and soy sauce.

  • inflytur  on  May 14, 2022

    Agi dashi tofu

  • dataentrytard  on  May 14, 2022

    Soba and Udon Noodles

  • virjeania  on  May 14, 2022

    Okonimiyaki is our favorite Japanese dish.

  • foodie16  on  May 14, 2022


  • dzm  on  May 14, 2022


  • BMeyer  on  May 14, 2022

    vegetarian sushi with edamame

  • GreenhouseCheryl  on  May 14, 2022

    We love making sushi at home!

  • et12  on  May 14, 2022

    Nigiri sushi

  • terawong  on  May 14, 2022


  • LaurenE  on  May 14, 2022


  • Chongyj  on  May 15, 2022

    Ramen… My favourite kind of men!

  • Laura1  on  May 15, 2022


  • PennyG  on  May 15, 2022

    Miso Soup!

  • Delfina69  on  May 15, 2022

    Katsu don

  • Lora724  on  May 16, 2022

    Ramen is my favorite Japanese dish.

  • ljsimmons  on  May 16, 2022

    Niku Udon

  • kmn4  on  May 16, 2022

    Tsukemono…I love all the pickles!

  • bookmark77  on  May 16, 2022

    Katsu curry

  • Plumbobmummy  on  May 16, 2022


  • bookmark58  on  May 16, 2022


  • bopper  on  May 16, 2022

    Tsukune would be mine

  • Tattybatts  on  May 16, 2022

    Onigiri, but I also love ramen and rice bowls.

  • dbielick  on  May 16, 2022


  • aesop57  on  May 17, 2022

    Chicken katsu curry

  • eildoncook  on  May 17, 2022

    I would try Quail Eggs, Curry Rice and Quail Egg Arancini

  • sayeater  on  May 17, 2022

    Miso ramen with a side of vegetable tempura

  • Sand9  on  May 17, 2022

    Shrimp Fried Rice with Yum Yum Sauce

  • agreaves19  on  May 17, 2022


  • coryphaeus  on  May 17, 2022

    never tried japanese before so would be nice to try some recipes from the book

  • LeMinou  on  May 17, 2022


  • RuthHarwood  on  May 18, 2022

    Salmon teriyaki

  • prettypistol  on  May 18, 2022

    Chicken katsu curry

  • ravensfan  on  May 18, 2022


  • emi10383  on  May 19, 2022


  • oduong930  on  May 19, 2022


  • Dannausc  on  May 19, 2022

    Seaweed salad

  • Lilli_  on  May 21, 2022

    miso ramen!!

  • silversand  on  May 21, 2022


  • banba1  on  May 22, 2022


  • maci234  on  May 22, 2022

    Salmon teriyaki

  • clairew137  on  May 22, 2022


  • ceejayen  on  May 22, 2022


  • sarahteertzah  on  May 23, 2022

    all sushi!

  • maggz19671  on  May 24, 2022


  • wildchild  on  May 26, 2022

    Salmon teriyaki

  • chromiumman  on  May 26, 2022


  • laurenodell  on  May 26, 2022

    shrimp tempura

  • szilvagy  on  May 26, 2022

    Pork tonkatsu

  • silecook  on  May 26, 2022

    seaweed salad

  • roxlet  on  May 26, 2022

    salmon teriyaki

  • ChicagoJen  on  May 26, 2022

    peach fritters sound amazing!

  • ChicagoJen  on  May 26, 2022


  • jonathan.porter  on  May 26, 2022

    I’m not sure I could pick a menu item but Japanese pickling and pickled items always intrigued me.

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  May 27, 2022

    love Japanese Curry

  • dusksunset  on  May 27, 2022


  • laurentipton  on  May 28, 2022

    Tempura anything!

  • Barb.Reynolds  on  May 28, 2022


  • rchesser  on  May 30, 2022

    Pork Tonkatsu

  • antpantsii  on  May 30, 2022

    Nigiri sushi (especially tuna)

  • Bohrnsen  on  June 2, 2022


  • RickPearson54  on  June 2, 2022

    Tamago Kake Gohan

  • Hinklejf  on  June 2, 2022


  • Badgerlord  on  June 3, 2022


  • jessamybride  on  June 3, 2022


  • lauriesk  on  June 3, 2022


  • lilmiztam22  on  June 4, 2022

    It has to be the popular katsu curry

  • MKBGeorgi  on  June 4, 2022


  • Clog  on  June 5, 2022


  • Cjennings  on  June 5, 2022


  • Love2ReadBooks2Day  on  June 6, 2022

    Okonomiyaki – Absolutely delicious!

  • itadakimasu  on  June 6, 2022

    Gyoza and curry rice

  • trudys_person  on  June 6, 2022

    I love gyoza, agedashi tofu with spicy sauce and ramen!

  • calguire  on  June 7, 2022


  • BeckyYeo  on  June 10, 2022

    I love most Japanese food but my true love is sushi

  • fbrunetti  on  June 10, 2022


  • left_of_west  on  June 10, 2022


  • cellenly  on  June 10, 2022


  • michelle666  on  June 12, 2022

    Miso soup

  • LEKcookbooks  on  June 12, 2022

    udon soup

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  June 13, 2022

    I love seaweed gomae.

  • JenjiD  on  June 13, 2022


  • Franki  on  June 14, 2022


  • Pizzacat13  on  June 14, 2022

    I adore katsu curry. It’s the ultimate comfort food- like a hug.

  • debbiehb  on  June 15, 2022

    any kind of sushi

  • uk2nl  on  June 16, 2022


  • love2chow  on  June 16, 2022

    Yaki Udon noodles with vegetables and beef

  • Ishtar  on  June 16, 2022


  • lean1  on  June 17, 2022

    Katsu curry

  • mightymhk  on  June 17, 2022

    Chicken katsu curry sounds good

  • elsid22  on  June 18, 2022


  • babiafi  on  June 18, 2022


  • teamkies  on  June 23, 2022


  • twinreader  on  June 24, 2022

    cone sushi

  • GaCathy  on  June 24, 2022

    Salmon teriyaki

  • betsyradelow  on  June 24, 2022

    Agi dashi tofu

  • greentoad  on  June 25, 2022

    I’m not original and I like sushi

  • acecil  on  June 27, 2022

    sushi, oshitashi, udon and soba anything – impossible to pick one

  • robinhorn  on  June 30, 2022


  • paulbing  on  June 30, 2022

    Squid Salad

  • Lesevans6  on  July 1, 2022


  • joke7  on  July 1, 2022


  • sclittle  on  July 1, 2022

    Salmon teriyaki

  • jrhymer  on  July 1, 2022


  • nocona  on  July 1, 2022

    I love teriyaki anything!

  • sheridarby  on  July 1, 2022

    Salmon teriyaki

  • Emmamaryd  on  July 1, 2022


  • Emmamaryd  on  July 1, 2022

    Difficult to decide but probably salmon teriyaki

  • DimensionAEB  on  July 1, 2022


  • zeeenie  on  July 2, 2022


  • mumliz  on  July 2, 2022

    Chicken katsu curry

  • humptybren  on  July 2, 2022


  • grumpygraham  on  July 2, 2022


  • hammygav03  on  July 2, 2022

    Katsu don

  • Rushy2121  on  July 2, 2022


  • orchidlady01  on  July 2, 2022

    Any sushi and sashimi

  • nicolej922  on  July 2, 2022

    Salmon teriyaki

  • millyvanilli3  on  July 2, 2022

    Miso ramen

  • Yatota74  on  July 2, 2022

    chicken katsu curry

  • dorawhitetail  on  July 2, 2022


  • portkey  on  July 2, 2022


  • Jbdeals22  on  July 2, 2022

    Definitely tuna maki rolls!

  • molly57  on  July 2, 2022

    Salmon teriyaki

  • tess_invests  on  July 2, 2022

    Natto rice bowl, glorious

  • ickle0ne  on  July 2, 2022

    I absolutely love a yaki soba

  • angiemac18  on  July 2, 2022

    teriyaki salmon

  • misty33  on  July 2, 2022

    Beef Teriyaki

  • ClaireHamilton  on  July 2, 2022


  • PatBarrett  on  July 2, 2022

    Chicken katsu curry

  • PhillipJD  on  July 3, 2022

    Furutsu Sando (Fruit Sandwich).

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