Sofia Hellsten is Swedish, but, having lived in Japan, she’s devoted to Japanese food and dining. Her new book explores the simple everyday meals she craves, especially when not in Japan. They’re the sort of nourishing, comforting plates that are easily made and frequently feature vegetables. They’re also enjoyable to serve one or two but no more than four: perfect for troubled times in sequestered households. It’s hard to resist rice, egg and scallions in a soft, single-serving porridge; tamago omelet as egg salad in a sandwich, with miso mayonnaise; silky eggplant with miso; cod with sweet miso that might have been the ur-black cod recipe made famous by Nobu; and somen noodles in a well-seasoned dashi broth. The book does a fine job of explaining Japanese green teas, and there’s a pantry list of staples, most of which are sold online.
“The Japanese Table: Small Plates for Simple Meals” by Sofia Hellsten (Hardie Grant Books, $29.99).