Japanese food is one of the most significant cuisines in the world. Traditional Japanese food has developed over the centuries, with influences from Chinese and Korean cuisine. Besides, the Japanese people are known for their emphasis on fresh vegetables, seafood, and soups. Japanese food is a very diverse cuisine. It reflects the different regions of Japan.

People often think of sushi, but there are many more types of food in Japanese cuisine. Apart from sushi, the most famous dishes of Japanese cuisine include ramen, gyozas, unadon, and tempura. In this article, we will explore some examples of Japanese food as well as its history!

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Sushi: Most Famous Japanese Food

Talking about the exquisite Japanese tasty food, Sushi is one of the most popular on the list of native cuisine. Sushi first appeared in Japan during the Edo period (from 1603-1868), and it consists of vinegared rice topped with raw fish. This animated dish is so popular that some people get tattoos of it.

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Chopsticks, Source: Unsplash

There are a lot of types of sushi. Some people like to eat it because they have different tastes. One type is called Nigiri-zushi. It has a piece of rice with some wasabi and an ingredient on top. Popular types include tuna (Maguro), belly tuna (Toro), yellowtail (Hamachi), and shrimp (Ebi).

Over the years, the recipe has transformed, and it's made with sushi rice, raw fish, and seaweed. There are some kinds of sushi that are cheap, but most are expensive. Some of the most expensive sushi restaurants in Tokyo can set you back £100 to £300 (per person). In Delhi, Kampai restaurant has an approximate cost of ₹ 3,500 for two people.

Ramen: An All-Time Comfort Japanese Food

Ramen is a food staple cultural icon in Japan since the 1980s, which has a museum in Yokohama. Although ramen is originally from China, it has gained popularity within Japanese culture as well. Earlier, the dish was made from Chinese ingredients; however, the Japanese have modified it over the years.

Moreover, at first, it was called Shina soba because it came from China before coming to Japan. In the 1940s, instant noodles were invented, and this became the most popular food in Japan for a while after World War II.

Ramen noodles can be served in a bowl of hot soup or as a dish with toppings like roast pork (chasu), seaweed (nori), boiled egg, and green onions. It is cooked by pouring boiling water over the dry noodles, then adding salt to taste.

Gyoza: Wholesome Dumplings

A Japanese dumpling that is typically filled with either pork or vegetables. Gyozas are pan-fried and served as a side dish in Japanese cuisine, often dipped into soy sauce-based dipping sauces like shōyu and miso.

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Dumpling Dishes: Source: Unsplash

Moreover, Gyozas have different ways to cook them depending upon the location in Japan. Another common way is to fry them before adding water and then covering the pan with a lid so that the top of the dumpling gets steamed.

Japanese people eat this kind of food when they have potluck parties that happen at home. They usually cook the dumplings by themselves, which makes it easier to share with other people.

Shabu-Shabu

The dish first appeared in Japan during the 20th century. It is a dish cooked at the table by each person, who picks their own pieces of meat or vegetables to put in boiling water. After cooking, it is usually dipped into sauces like ponzu, sesame sauce, or soy sauce and served with some pickled carrots on the side for a fresh taste.

Sometimes the meat is served cold, like a salad. This dish is called reishabu. It is sold in convenience stores and supermarkets as a salad topping. There are many kinds of shabu-shabu dishes, depending on where you are in Japan.

For example, in Hokkaido they make "takoshabu" using an octopus, and "lamb shabu" served like jingisukan (emperor's feast). Nagoya is famous for its "torishabu," which uses the special regional chicken called Nagoya cochin (cockerel).

Tempura

Tempura cooking style was introduced to Japan by Portuguese and Spanish missionaries in the 1600s. It usually includes vegetables or seafood that is battered before being deep-fried in vegetable oil. The ingredients and the batter are typically kept at a very low temperature while the oil is brought up to nearly 180 degrees Celsius. The thermic shock produces delicious, crunchy tempura.

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Ceramic Bowl, Source: Unsplash

This batter used for this Japanese recipe only has three ingredients: flour, egg, and water. There are other mixes of this batter, but it is simple to just use all-purpose flour. The ice water is important because it slows down the formation of gluten in the batter and helps prevent too much oil from getting into the dough.

Yakitori

Yakitori is chicken pieces on a skewer. They are made from different parts of the chicken, such as the breast, thighs, and skin. The dish is cooked over charcoal. Instead of using a marinade or dip, yakitori usually has a sauce called tare. The sauce is made from soy and sake, and it is applied to the meat twice while it is cooking. The first time makes the meat shiny, and the second time covers the meat like a sauce.

This process gives yakitori a sweet and salty taste that can't be resisted! In Japan, people use this same sauce over and over for more flavour in each meal. Moreover, Yakitori is often eaten with beer. The best yakitori is made by a yakitori-ya, but it can also be found at many other restaurants across Japan and at festival food stands.

Sashimi

Sashimi is thinly sliced raw food. It is one of the most delicious food items in Japanese cuisine. Fish and other meat are usually eaten as sashimi, but other types of food can be eaten too, like tofu skin and jellyfish. Some people may confuse sashimi with sushi, which also includes rice that has vinegar on it. Unlike sushi, sashimi usually only needs soy sauce to make it taste better.

It is the diner's job to spoon soy sauce onto small plates. When you add soy sauce, you should only add as much as needed. Sometimes wasabi or ginger are added to food. This is done by touching the wasabi or ginger directly onto the food, not by adding it to soy sauce. You can also eat daikon and shiso garnishes if you want them.

Unadon

Unadon is a dish that has rice at the bottom. It has fillets of eel on top. The sauce is sweet and soy-based. It's best when it's grilled over a hot charcoal fire. Before serving it, the unadon might be garnished with sanshō berries on top. Besides, the eel fillets are nutritious as they contain vitamins A and E and Omega-3 fatty acids. Many prefer this wholesome dish for lunch and dinner time.

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is another popular dish from Japan. It has batter and cabbage along with meat and seafood. If you don't eat pork or prefer another protein, this dish can be made with any kind of filling and topping. There are so many choices that the dish in Japanese is called "as you like it" as there are so many things to choose from.

Yakisoba

To make the dish, Yakisoba sauce is a mix of soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. Some yakisoba sauces also have oyster sauce for more of an umami flavour. The dish is versatile as you may add your choice of vegetables and chicken.

You may add pre-shredded vegetables to quicken the cooking process. Moreover, you may use yaki-soba noodles, ramen noodles, or udon noodles that will still taste great with this sauce. This is one of the main comfort foods for the days you want to eat healthily.

Learn More About the Japanese Food on Superprof

Now you know all about the major Japanese Food items. You may experience the food on your next trip to Japan. Besides, the next time you visit a Japanese restaurant, you will be more willing to try new items from the menu. Learning more about cuisine and culture has that effect on people. They feel more inclined towards trying new things. Some new things to try may include learning the Japanese language and anime.

With the knowledge of the Japanese language, you will be able to order your food in the native names. Moreover, you will not feel confused with the pronunciation of the words. Apart from this, you may learn how to cook authentic Japanese foods.

For learning these skills, you will need a teacher who is proficient in the Japanese language, culture, and cuisine. We suggest enrolling on the Superprof website to find the best teacher. You just have to register on the website and start searching for a suitable tutor.

After selecting a tutor, inbox the teacher to discuss your requirements and current skill level. The teacher will help you in deciding the syllabus and schedule classes. Superprof offers the first free class for you to get familiar with the teacher. Moreover, the first free demo class will help you understand the teaching platform and tutor.

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