Food in Japan is viewed as an art itself and rightfully so. The beauty and craftsmanship that goes into the preparation and presentation of its dishes are simply breathtaking and astonishing. A tradition dating centuries back and varying from region to region, it is rich in varieties and adaptations of dishes. With that being said we want to provide you with a basic guide to some of the most common dishes found in Japanese cuisine.
From Sashimi to Tsukemono
- Yakimono: refers to dishes that are grilled and pan-fried. We can find under this category such dishes as the common Gyoza dumpling or the Takoyaki which are battered balls of octopus meat.
- Sashimi: extremely fresh fish cut into thin slices and served raw. Usually served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger. Commonly used fish include tuna, salmon, and mackerel but also done out of squid and others.
- Suimono and Shirumono: are Japan’s soups and stews. Ranging from the world famous Miso soup a delight to all vegetarians to Zoni which contains chicken and it is traditionally eaten in New Year’s day.
- Agemono: these are the deep fried dishes. Everybody has eaten or at least heard of Tempura which refers to a specific batter used when deep frying. Koroke are delicious mashed potatoes balls filled with meat and deep-fried.
- Tsukemono: are Japanese preserved vegetables (usually pickled in salt, brine or a bed of rice bran. They serve as side dishes or snacks and are also used as a garnish for the plates.
- Men-rui: refers to the wide variety of noodle dishes. Changing drastically from region to region they are either served chilled or hot in a broth. From the Chinese influenced Ramen to the more traditional Udon noddle.
This is just a glimpse into Japanese cuisine, for the culinary arts have been polished for centuries in Japan. We will delve deeper into the vast and flavorful world that the nation of the Rising Sun has to offer. Go out and enjoy some Japanese food and put your food knowledge to use.