Comments: The challenge of this book – and for many people it will be insurmountable – is that you absolutely have to have access to a well-stocked Asian market.
This book was not produced for a North American audience; it is the translation of a Chinese cookbook produced for a Japanese audience. Among the ingredients specified in these recipes are dried shrimp, boiled octopus rings, shiso leaves, goji berries, tianjiangyou (sweet soy sauce), doubanjiang (Chinese chile paste), zha cai (Sichuan pickled mustard tuber), king trumpet mushrooms, hua jao fen (Sichuan pepper), aralia buds, pickled mustard greens, bunching onion, pickling cabbage, garlic sprouts, kamaboko (fish sausage), edible chrysanthemum, beef tallow, turnip stems, pickled plums, dried scallops, shark fin, and – our favorite – a liqueur scented with sweet olive petals.
There is a modest reference guide in the back that says you can substitute Hoisin sauce for tianmianjiang (sweet noodle sauce), cayenne pepper for seven-spice powder, Shanso Japanese pepper for Chinese pepper, and basil or mint for shiso; that you can mix your own tianjiangyou and starch paste; and that you may want to roast your own sesame seeds. But for many ingredients, you'll need a good Asian market or you'll need to be an adventurous online shopper. (Of course, it's not like you can cook real Asian food successfully without access to real Asian ingredients.)
All in all, it's a charming book. The dishes produced look delicious. And if you can vault over those ingredient hurdles, you may be able to cook like an Iron Chef, too!