Best Japanese Foods You Must Certainly Try
Travelling is such an exquisite experience for a lot of people. When you travel to a certain place, it’s a necessity that you must be prepared for anything. It’s good to take note and read a few articles or books about that place to gain more information about it. This is because it’s known to almost all of us that there are a lot of things that we can enjoy in a certain place and you must know about it. If you go to a certain country or place, make sure that you wouldn’t just be going for the beautiful scenery, but to also experience a taste of their famous delicacies.
Travelling to a lot of places is incomplete if you don’t enjoy the delicious foods that a certain place offers. It’s a total must that you do this because it does not only let you enjoy the wonderful native tastes but will also let you understand a piece of their culture and traditions. Food signifies more than just a physical necessity, it also provides a food for our thoughts that will give us certain knowledge about a place.
Japan is one of the Southeast Asian countries that have a very rich culture. There are certainly a lot of beautiful places in this country. Not only that, this place also boasts of their delicious foods that are loved by a lot of people around the world. Wherever you are right now, you may have already heard about Japanese delicacies such as sushi, sashimi, ramen, and tempuras. These are only a few of the most popular Japanese foods. If you are traveling to Japan, why not try these foods to taste the authentic way of preparing these foods? To help guide you in your one of a kind Japanese food trip, here are the top 11 Japanese foods that you must certainly try when you visit Japan.
If you are a big fan of noodles, then you surely have to try Udon. This dish is a type of thick noodles made of wheat flour served with a noodle soup usually made out of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. Udon can be served in a lot of different ways such as Kake udon, Sanuki udon, Kitsune udon, Tempura udon, Kitsune udon, and a lot more. It’s a popular dish in Japan and you won’t pass a restaurant that doesn’t have this. They can serve this dish as hot or cold. This dish has also been served in different regional varieties such as Japanese, Korean, and Palau so make sure that you try the authentic taste of udon in Japan. It’s better if you can taste and try a lot of different types of Udon to get an idea of how they are usually made and distinguish their differences.
Have you ever heard of savory pancakes? Yes, it is possible. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake made from a wheat flour batter. It is the perfect example of a konamon, a flour-based Japanese type of cuisine. It can be topped with anny savory food you can think of such as meat and seafood. This dish is mainly linked to the areas in Japan such as Hiroshima and Kansai, but it can be found anywhere in the country. The different variations and toppings of Okonomiyaki is dependent on the different regions in Japan. If you like mixing up sweet with savory, you need to try this dish.
SUSHI AND SASHIMI
Sushi is the most popular Japanese cuisine, and there is no question about it. This dish is usually made with medium grain white rice (it can also be made with brown rice or short grain rice) and seafood such as salmon, eel, tuna, squid, imitation crab meat, and yellowtail to name a few. Most types of sushi are vegetarian and often served cold. It can be served with a choice between pickled ginger or gari, soy sauce, wasabi or garnished with daikon radish or pickled daikon (takuan).
On the other hand, Sashimi is a Japanese dish that consists mainly of thin sliced fresh raw fish or meat served with a dip of soy sauce and different condiments such as wasabi paste, ponzu, grated fresh garlic, and grated fresh ginger. You can also have the option for it to be served with a small portion of rice or a bowl of miso soup. Sashimi can be a main course in a formal Japanese meal even though it usually is often served as the first course. A lot of people have been confusing sashimi and sushi as one another but keep in mind that they are two different dishes. It’s just that they both include raw fish or raw meat but they are both served differently. When you go to Japan, make sure to order both of these dishes so that you’ll be able to tell their differences by yourself.
Nowadays, there have been a lot of fast food chains that came up with to- go rice bowls. Way before this, Japanese have already come up with the concept of rice bowls. Gyudon, which literally means beef bowl, is a bowl of rice with toppings such as beef and onion that is simmered in a sauce made up of dashi (a kind of stock made out a mixture of fish and seaweed), mirin, and soy sauce. There is also an option to have some onsen tamago, raw egg, and shirataki noodles with the dish. It is popularly served in some restaurants in Japan with shichimi, benhoga and a side dish of miso soup. If you want to try this dish, you can choose to have it in Sukiya, Yoshinoya, and Matsuya as they are the most popular gyudon chains in Japan. It’s also more convenient as these stores are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
If you’re a fan of Korean samgyupsal and love to cook your own food even in restaurants, then you have to try Shabu shabu in Japan. It is a kind of nabemono hotpot, or all things in one pot. The word Shabu shabu came from an onomatopoeic term that is derived from the sound made when the ingredients are placed in a cooking pot. All of the foods are cooked one by one in the hotpot. This dish is usually prepared by using thinly sliced beef, mostly used are ribeye steak and top sirloin. Other variations of this dish also use lamb, crab, pork, duck, lobster, wagyu, or chicken. This dish is usually served with a lot of ingredients such as tofu and vegetables like Chinese cabbage, nori, chrysanthemum leaves, carrots, onions, enokitake mushroom, and shiitake mushroom. You can do this dish by submerging all of the ingredients in the pot of boiling power and stirring it. You must cook it only for a few minutes since these are thin slices of meat. Before eating it, some people choose to dip it into sesame seed sauce then eat it with a bowl of steamed rice to pair it with. Make sure to try this meal on your next visit to Japan.
Soba is a Japanese name that refers to buckwheat. They also use this term to refer to thin noodles that are made from flour that came from buckwheat or made with both buckwheat flour and wheat flour. They are the complete opposite of the thick noodles called Udon. Soba can be served in two different ways. You can have it served cold with a dipping sauce or as a noodle soup with hot broth. There are a lot of different kinds of Soba Dishes. For Cold Soba dishes, there are variations such as Mori Soba, Hiyashi Soba, Zaru Soba, Soba maki, Hadaka Soba, and Soba salad. On the other hand, there are also a lot of different Hot Soba dishes such as Tanuki soba, Tsukimi soba, Kake soba, Tororo soba, Tempura soba, and Kitsune soba. Make sure to try at least one cold soba dish and one hot soba dish when you stay in Japan for your next vacation.
It’s impossible that you don’t know anything about the most popular noodle soup dish nowadays, Ramen. This dish is made up of Chinese wheat noodles served alongside a meat or fish-based broth. It is usually added with different toppings such as sliced meat, scallions, nori, and either boiled or raw egg to name a few. There are a lot of different types of ramen such as tonkotsu ramen, miso ramen, kare ramen, shio ramen, shoyu ramen, and mazemen. It has become very popular nowadays, not only in Japan, but all over the world.
If you are a fan of food that has fillings, you must certainly try gyozas in Japan. These are fried dumplings that are usually filled with a mixture of ground meat and vegetables. The filling of a gyoza is usually made of ground pork, green onion, ginger, sesame oil, garlic, nira chives, and soy sauce. Gyoza originated in China where it is called “jiaozi” but it also became very well known in Japan and so they adapted the dish and made it their own. There are a lot of different types of gyoza that you need to know about such as Yaki Gyoza or pan fried, Sui Gyozza or boiled, and Age Gyoza which is deep fried. When there is ramen, you will also surely find gyoza. This dish is most popular in select cities such as Utsunomiya, located in the Tochigi Prefecture, and Hamamatsu, which is located in the Shizuoka Prefecture. This dish is a must try for anyone who is a foreigner in Japan.
Do you want to see an example of how inventive can the Japanese be? Then you should totally try an Onigiri. It is white rice filled with a certain filling that is formed into a cylindrical or triangular shape and wrapped with a nori. This is a Japanese food that became very popular these past few years because of its convenience. This food is typically made with boiled white rice but it can also be done with the use of o-kowa or glutinous rice cooked with vegetables, maze gohan or cooked rice mixed with a preferred ingredient, or simply fried rice. There are a lot of different fillings to choose from such as dried fish, kakuni, shiokara, dressed dishes, miso, and tsukudani. However, it is known that the most common filling for onigiri is umeboshi or Japanese plum.
Tempura is a very popular Japanese dish, next to sushi, that is loved by a lot of people all around the world. It is usually made of any meat, seafood, or vegetable that is coated with batter and deep fried in hot oil. The batter is usually made out of iced water, but you can also use sparkling water for a lighter batter, that is mixed with soft wheat flour, baking soda, oil, starch, eggs, and any spice that the chef may prefer. It is usually mixed with a chopstick for only a few minutes, as you surely wouldn’t want to overdo it, which will leave a lot of lumps in the mixture that will cause the right texture for the tempura. They make sure that the batter is cold at all times especially when they are about to fry up the tempuras. Then they are deep fried in hot oil which is usually vegetable oil or canola oil. This food is certainly a must try one.
If you are a fan of skewers and barbeques, then you will certainly enjoy eating a Yakitori. This food is the Japanese version of skewered chickens. The process in making this involves using a kushi, a skewer made out of bamboo, steel, or any similar items, and skewering the meat with it. After this, the skewers filled with meat are placed over a fire produced by charcoals and seasoned with tare sauce or salt. Yakitori has a lot of variations such as momo, tsukune, sasami, hasami, negima, and bonjiri. You’ll find this food at almost every street so make sure to try one.