The Musubi Book

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The Musubi Book

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  • The Musubi Book (Back Cover)

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Musubi are beloved for their simplicity, portability and satisfying blend of tender rice and savory fillings. Now, Hawai‘i’s premiere musubi maker, Manabu Asaoka, introduces the culinary history and cultural importance behind the dish, along with surprising statistics, essential tools and techniques, and easy-to-follow recipes to make tasty musubi at home. Charmingly and colorfully illustrated in the Japanese yuru-kyara style by Manabu’s niece, artist Maria Asaoka, The Musubi Book is an essential resource for any food fanatic.

When Manabu and his wife, Fumiyo, first opened Mana Bu’s, their boutique musubi shop on South King Street in Honolulu, they were surprised by their customers’ questions: “Do you have chopsticks?” “Don’t you have wasabi packets?” Musubi, they realized, were often confused with the better-known Japanese rice-and-seafood creation sushi. (For the uninitiated, the basic differences between the two come down to size and how they are eaten. Musubi are hand-held, multiple-bite-sized, triangular balls of rice, usually wrapped in seaweed and filled with cooked seafood or other items, often packed to consume on the go. Sushi is also typically composed of rice, seafood and seaweed, but individual pieces are single-bite-sized, often topped with raw seafood and eaten with utensils in dining establishments.) Despite the initial confusion, the Asaokas’ shop quickly grew in popularity, fueled by coverage in local media and features on Food Network and Travel Channel television programs.

“We make just over one thousand musubi a day, up to thirty-five different types, and are sold out by lunchtime,” Manabu says. “My life has been blessed by musubi. I think they must be my life’s mission! But since we can only serve so many people each day, I felt limited in my ability to spread the message of how wonderful musubi are—I think they are the perfect food! I realized that if I wrote a book, I could carry the musubi message to more people, across generations and all over the world. I want to share musubi culture everywhere.”

Softcover; 108 pp.
Author: Manabu Asaoka
Release Date: May 2018

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