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Dishes for Foodies to Try in Japan

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/13 Food , , , , ,

One of the good things one would surely miss about Japan are its delightful dishes. Japanese people love to brag their cuisines to visitors from other country. Topics about food are always present in any conversation. The presentation of the food served, as well as the satisfaction you get when you taste it are some of the proofs of Japanese’s world-class cooking craft.

Japanese cuisine was greatly influenced by neighboring countries like China and Korea. Usage of chopsticks came from China while Korea influenced the consumption of rice which up to this time becomes a staple food in Japan. Some dishes were also introduced by the Portuguese and Dutch.

There are many different kinds of food you are going to love when you visit Japan. You will have many varieties to choose from in the affordable restaurants present everywhere.

Must-try Foods When in Japan

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)

Okonomiyaki is also referred as Japanese pancakes. This is made of flour, eggs and shredded cabbage. Other ingredients are also added to the dish like meat, seafood, and other vegetables. The famous versions of okonomiyaki are in Osaka and in Hiroshima. Cooked okonomiyaki is topped with a sweet, sticky sauce paired with Japan’s yummy mayonnaise.

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Okonomiyaki (Photo by kurisurokku on Flickr)

Takoyaki (たこ焼き)

Takoyaki’s batter is lighter than okonomiyaki. Tako means octopus in Japanese. A tiny piece of octopus is coated with the batter and cooked in a ball-shaped molder. This is also topped with sweet-sticky sauce and mayonnaise. There are also additional toppings like nori (dark green seaweed) and katsuobushi (very thin shavings of dried and fermented fish).

takoyaki

Takoyaki

Ramen (ラーメン)

Ramen originated from China. Ramen is made of Chinese-style wheat noodle soup with toppings such as eggs, thinly-sliced pork, nori and chopped negi (spring onions). You can taste a variety of broth like tonkotsu(pork bone broth), miso (Japanese thick seasoning paste), shio (salt) and shoyu (soy sauce). Side dishes like moyashi kimchi(bean sprouts kimchi) and grated ginger perfectly fits with the broth’s oily taste.

shio-ramen

A variety of Ramen, the Shio Ramen

Udon (うどん)

The noodles in udon is made of thick wheat flour and its broth is made of fish. Udon can be served hot or cold and its toppings also vary like kamaboko(fish cake), aburaage (triangular-shaped deep fried tofu) or tempura.

Tonkatsu (とんかつ)

Tonkatsu is a breaded deep-fried pork cutlets that comes with a very thick and sweet sauce. You can also mix finely ground sesame seed in the sauce. Along with this dish, a bowl of shredded cabbage, which is a common side dish in Japan, is also served. In some restaurants, you can ask for as many cabbage as you like for free.

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Tonkatsu (Photo by Michael Saechang on Flickr)

Tempura (てんぷら)

Tempura is a mix of deep fried meat, seafood such as shrimps and fish and many other vegetables. It is coated in a light wheat flour batter and fried in sesame oil. It is best enjoyed when dipped in tentsuyu sauce mixed with grated radish which is made for tempura.

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Tempura (Photo by Ryusuke on Flickr)

Sushi (すし)

There are many varieties of sushi in Japan. Sushi composed of cooked vinegared rice, with raw fish, vegatables and other seafoods. A sushi with the fish or seafood together with cucumber is wrapped in nori is called maki-zushi. Nigiri-sushi is different, the raw fish or seafood is placed on top of the rice.

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Sushi (Photo by Tony Gladvin George on Flickr)

Sashimi (さしみ)

Unlike sushi, sashimi is not paired with rice. Very fresh seafood are sliced thinly and served raw. Eating sashimi includes dipping it into a soy sauce and you can add a little bit of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) if you like. Aside from fish and other seafoods, other types of fresh meat are also served such as beef or horse meat.

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Sashimi (Photo by kimubert on Flickr)

Curry Rice (カレーライス)

One of the famous curry restaurant in Japan is the Curry House of CoCo Ichibanya. Curry in Japan is thick and brown in color. It is served with breaded pork tenders or chicken cutlets and rice. In CoCo Ichi, you can choose the quantity of rice and the level of spiciness of your curry.

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Curry Rice (Photo by Hajime NAKANO on Flickr)

Yakiniku (焼肉)

Yaki means grill in Japanese and niku means meat. In Japan, barbecue restaurants are everywhere. People usually eat in groups in a yakiniku restaurant. They enjoy drinking beers as they grill the meat (cut in bite-sized, seasoned and prepared beforehand) over hot plates or charcoals placed in the center of the dining table. Before eating the cooked meat, it is dipped in a special and flavorful yakiniku sauce called tare.

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Yakiniku (Photo by hirotomo t on Flickr)

With its unique and exquisite taste, Japanese cuisine is now famous all around the world. If you are a foodie, you may have tried it in your country so why not try it where it originated.

sources:

http://food.japan-talk.com/food/new/101-kinds-of-japanese-food

http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/network/english/newsletter/things_japanese_29.html

http://www.ethnicfoodsco.com/Japan/CulinaryHistory.htm

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