Jul 16, 2018

Traveling to Japan? Here are 5 Dishes You Just Can’t Miss!

 

‘The Land of the Rising Sun’ is a country in the easternmost corner of the world, offering a cultural richness unseen elsewhere in the world. Having been isolated for centuries, Japan has developed its own unique culture, approach and way of life that attracts many people from all over the world.

 

While westernization has seen a lot of change and influence in the culture, there's still a lot of contrast in the countryside. Japan has large cities with hustle, bustle and skyscrapers, while also having considerable greenery and wildlife, thanks to their approach for caring for nature and reforestation, rather than deforestation in the name of progress. It just goes to show how the core of Japan's culture stays strong despite all the changes!

 

We know Japan for its uniqueness, cutting-edge technology and out-of-the-box lifestyle, but another major reason it attracts people from around the globe is its food!

 

Japan has developed its own unique culinary culture, with its nutritious food created based on fresh, seasonal products. Whether or not you plan to visit Japan soon, of course, here are 5 Japanese dishes notnamed Sushi that you simply can't miss!

 

1) Ramen

 

Japan Ramen

 

Ramen is one of the most popular Japanese foods. Simply put, Ramen is wheat noodles served in a bowl with miso soup or soy sauce, along with several different ingredients. These usually include green onion, seaweed, egg and sliced pork/beef. However, those who think that that’s the extent of the meal are under a misconception! There are countless varieties of Ramen that exist, and this can only be experienced when visiting Japan and going to several small Ramen shops. 

 

2) Tempura

 

 

Tempura is a scrumptious fried snack that's a combination of seafood and vegetables dipped in a batter of flour, water and egg. It's followed up by deep-frying in vegetable oil. It's not uncommon to see it seasoned with soy sauce, ginger and sugar. Bits of tempura are often small enough to eat in one bite. This crispy delight is usually served with Tetsuyu sauce.

 

3) Yakitori

 

Yukitori

 

You’ll find that nothing hits the spot quite like a cold beer along with skewers of yakitori! This delicious snack sees skewers of chicken grilled perfectly over a charcoal fire, usually seasoned with salt and/or tare (a sweet soy sauce). It's not uncommon to see pork, beef and fish used as well. When dipped in teriyaki sauce, it offers a contrast of flavours that melts right into your mouth.

 

4) Okonomiyaki

 

Okonomiyaki

 

Originally from the Kansai and Hiroshima areas of Japan, Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake that has a mix of flour, yam and egg as a base. The additions mostly include beef, shrimp, squid, other vegetables, mochi and cheese. 

Cooked on a griddle, in many restaurants the customers are involved in the process of grilling and adding the ingredients themselves. The chef just drops by to help. Warning: If you have a lot of competing opinions, this can be a high-stress experience… and crazy fun at the same time! 

 

5) Green-tea flavoured sweets

 

Green tea flavoured sweets

 

Matcha sweets are the heart and soul of desserts in Japan. While green tea may be Japan’s most popular drink, the matcha sweets that come out of it is something you’ll never taste anywhere else in the world! Apart from the delicious flavour, matcha sweets come in exciting shapes and colours that are nothing short of a work of art. 

Some must-try matcha desserts include Soft Matcha Rice Cake, Matcha Parfait with Uji Tea, Matcha Tiramisu, Matcha Shaved Ice, and so much more! You can find some delicious recipes here.

 

Food is the essence of every culture, and Japanese food is as fascinating as every other aspect of the culture. Each place you go to in Japan - city, town or village - offers something completely different and its own unique charm. It's no wonder, then, that Japan is a global attraction for foodies. Quite literally, food heaven!

 

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