Roy's Fish & Seafood demonstrates Roy Yamaguchi's flair and creativity, in addition to providing stellar recipes and information presented well with lenient instruction, thorough definitions, and alluring photographs.
Roy Yamaguchi was born in Japan, and moved to New York after High School where he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1976. He later worked in California where the seed for his "Euro-Asian" cooking was planted, and was named "California Chef of the Year" in 1986 & 1987. In 1988 he opened his first restaurant, Roy's, in Honolulu. In 1993 he received the James Beard award for "Best Pacific Northwest Chef." Roy now has over 30 worldwide locales - a few of which I have had the pleasure of dining at.
Before you get to the recipes, Roy gives you a humble introduction and tutorial on buying and storing fish and seafood. The recipes are divided into to main sections -- Fish and Seafood. These are both subdivided into types or classifications - butterfish, ehu, Hawaiian sea bass etc. Each type has an interpretive general description (how many of us mainlanders would know what moi or uku are?), a paragraph or more on uses, flavor, and cooking qualities, and substitution suggestions. The recipes themselves are divided into components, making it easy to understand the cooking and assembly processes of each dish. Some ingredients are foreign to many of us, but luckily he has provided a glossary, sources, and an index, as well as a basic recipes and techniques section (Note that some ingredients cannot be found at the local corner market: ko chu jang, kaffir lime leaves, tobiko caviar, frozen passion fruit concentrate, lop chong, daikon sprouts, dashi, furikake, ogo seaweed& so be prepared to plan ahead and shop various sources. My opinion is that it is worth it!).
His innovative style of experimenting with the blending of cultures with culinary representations made my mouth water as I read through his recipes and delightfully eyed the photographs: steamed sea bass with shiitakes, asparagus, and spaetzle in thai curry sauce, spicy tempura shrimp with mango-avocado salad, braised soy-glazed pacific salmon with green tea somen noodles and wasabi-ponzu sauce, pan-seared butterfish with coconut-luau leaf sauce and kalua pork miso, crisp-fried mochiko monchong with coconut-curry sauce, seared day-boat scallops with edamame mash and lobster-truffle kabayaki&.
The photography, done by John De Mello and Scott Peterson is quite inviting, colorful, rich, and artful. If I had one complaint it would be that there was not more of it. I would love to have seen a visual representation of the truffled crab whawan moshi, asian-style bouillabaisse, furikake-crusted "rainbow" sashimi, grilled teriyaki-glaxed ahi salad with fennel and kona oranges, carpaccio of nairagi with grapefruit and asparagus, or any of the ulua or calamari recipes&.
I highly recommend the enjoyment of exposure to Roy's creations and presentation of information provided by this book.