the Little Red Reviewer

Manga and Graphic Novels about food and cooking

Posted on: October 1, 2019

what is my second love after books?  cooking!


ok, here’s a riddle for you: What is the best combination of cookbooks (you know the photos are what drew you in!) and reading fictional stories (that also have wonderful pictures)?


Manga that is about food, of course!


I’m currently enjoying these:

if you’re interested in Japanese food culture,  Oishinbo is for you.  this long running series is fairly episodic, so if you see a volume BUY IT, doesn’t matter too much if you read them out of order.  Each volume discusses some different aspect of Japanese food culture,  such as ramen, pub food, sake, traditional vegetables, rice, etc.  The artwork is good if not great, and the sheer quantity of cuisine knowledge is just hella fun and enjoyable.


if it’s recipes and how to’s you want,  What Did You Eat Yesterday is the series for you.  I’m reading these in order.   Uninspired at his dayjob as an attorney, Shiro loves to cook elaborate dinners for his boyfriend Kenji.  Not only do we get Shiro’s inner monologue of instructions while he’s cooking, but we also get to follow him to the grocery store where he designs meals around what’s in season and/or on special at the store.  The celery was such a good deal. . .  but how much celery can you possibly eat before it goes soft in the fridge?    The way Shiro explains the dishes, he makes it sound so simple and effortless! And then you get to the page where all the dishes are laid out on the table, and I just want to lick the page.  and fire up my wok.


What stories, novels, graphic novels, and manga have you enjoyed that revolve around food, food culture, eating, recipes, or preparing food?


have you ever tried to cook a recipe that you found in a novel, graphic novel, or manga?  how did it turn out?


7 Responses to "Manga and Graphic Novels about food and cooking" is quite pleasant.


that book looks amazing, thank you for the recommendation! this looks like “What did you Eat Yesterday” but Korean food! Pictures always make recipes seem less intimidating, and I don’t mean pictures of the food, I mean pictures of the steps – what should the slices of carrot look like, how limp will the spinach really get, how do you hold your fingers to fold the dumplings, stuff like that.

if there are other cookbooks you recommend, i am all ears! and they don’t have to be graphic novels, i love my no-pictures cookbooks as much as I love my cookbooks that have pictures.


Oooo, these both go on the list immediately!
I really like the bits about food that crop up in the Flying Witch manga by Chihiro Ishizuka and always want to get cooking when I read them.
And in non-fiction I love The Kitchen Congregation by Nora Seton – a lovely memoir with recipes. ❤


ooh tell me more about Flying Witch AND Kitchen Congregation please! 🙂

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I’ve written a couple of posts about Flying Witch:
This series doesn’t talk about food all the time, but the making and sharing of food seems to be pretty key to the great vibe this manga series has. I heartily recommend it!
As for The Kitchen Congregation I first read this not long after my Mom and Nana both died. My whole relationship with them both was tied up with cooking and while Seton’s mother is nothing like my Mom reading this book still makes me feel that … connection that I felt when making food with her. It’s a beautiful book. Warning: it will make you cry, but it’s still worht it. 🙂

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thank you for the Flying Witch links! I love how much you love this series!

tbh, I like books that make me cry. they are cathartic, you know? like, you can cry for the stuff that happens in the book, and also cry for other stuff, and it’s ok. This happened sometime in the last year, i don’t remember which book it was, but I wasn’t expecting to cry at the end and I did, and i was like “how dare you make me cry!”, it was very funny I was yelling at the book.

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Hmm, I never thought of it that way. I usually get cross if I’m made to feel “too much” by a book … but now I’m thinking maybe I need to embrace that.

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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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