My Seven Favorite Japanese Dishes

If there is one thing that I love very much about the Japanese culture it's surely its cuisine. I'm completely in love with it. I love to eat a portion of cold soba served on zaru or a stack of sushi on steamy, hot days, and a warm bowl udon or homemade sukiyaki on cold days. It's simply so tasty! And it was thinking about this that I made this post, which talks about seven famous Japanese dishes. Hope you all have fun reading it! (and if you have already tried any of these, please tell me how your experience was in the comments!) /image source


1. Sushi (すし/寿司/鮨): This dish has its origin in an ancient technique of preserving fish meat in vinegar rice. The sushi we know today is about 200 years old and it was originally sold in booths like street food, as a kind of fast food. There are many varieties of sushi, but the traditional sushi is prepared with rice seasoned with vinegar sauce, sugar and salt, combined with some kind of fish or seafood, vegetable or egg. Traditionally, it is accompanied by wasabi (a strong, green root paste). Some types of sushi: tirashizushi (sushi in a bowl), makizushi (sushi wrapped with seaweed), inarizushi (sushi wrapped with ague -fried tofu-), etc. / Throughout my life, and I tried several different types of sushi. I think the most different ones I've eaten was fried sushi (it's not bad, but I'd rather have the traditional one), mango and strawberry sushi, and sushi with mayonnaise (bleeerrrgh!). /source

2. Oden (おでん): Oden is a kind of stew usually served during the winter and it is prepared with several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi broth. The ingredients may vary according to region and between each household, and it is often sold on food carts for as cheap as 100 yen (about US$ 0.85). Karashi (a yellow paste made of a kind of mustard) is often used as a condiment. /I used not to like oden, especially when I was little, and I think the reason why was because I didn't like several of the ingredients my dad used to prepare it. However, when I went to Japan and tried it again, I started liking it a lot, propably because it had been cooked with authentic Japanese ingredients, which greatly enhanced the flavor of the dish. /source.

This is an awesome picture I found showing some of the most commonly ingredients used to prepare oden. "Chikuwa" and "goboumaki" = processed fish cake, "konnyaku" = konjac, "konbu" = a type of seaweed, "satsumaage" = fried fish cake, "daikon" = turnip, "agedashi-tofu" = deep-fried tofu blocks.
Oden recipe: Mamanoli.

3. Udon (うどん/饂飩): It's kind of thick noodle made of flour. Udon is erved normally as soup, along with a hot broth based on dashi, shoyu (soy sauce) and mirin. In a simple bowl of udon, one or more ingredients are added, which give rise to various types of udon such as tsukimi udon (prepared with raw poached egg in hot soup), wakame udon (prepared with a seaweed called wakame), kitsune udon ("kitsune" means "fox", and the reason for the name is because it uses ague (fried tofu) chopped in triangular shapes, resembling the ears of a fox), and tanuki udon (prepared with tempura). /My favorite udon styles are tsukimi udon, kistune udon and tanuki udon. /source.

Udon recipe: Mikami (kitsune udon).

*Tororo Soba /source*

4. Soba (そば/蕎麦): Soba is a chewy Japanese noodles made of buckwheat or a blend of buckwheat and wheat flour (ranging from 10-90 percent buckwheat). There are several different ways to prepared this dish, and it can be served hot (see picture above), accompanied with chopped chives and other vegetables, or chilled or at room temperature (see picture below), consumed with a chilled soy sauce-based dipping sauce (see picture below). /I love eating zarusoba (chilled soba) in summer days... It's very tasty and refreshing. /source 1, source 2.

*Zarusoba /source*

Chilled soba (called zarusoba, ざるそば) is name after after the bamboo strainer (called 'zaru') used during the Edo Period to serve the noodles. /source.

Soba recipe: Just One Cookbook

Zarusoba recipe: Just One Cookbook 

*Veggie Sukiyaki /source*

5. Sukiyaki (鋤焼/すき焼き): Sukiyaki is a Japanese dish typically prepared on the table as you eat, in another words, people serve themselves as the ingredients are cooked. Sukiyaki is prepared with finely sliced beef and/or pork, vegetables (such as chard, hourly, spring onion, moyashi, udon, tofu, soybeans, mushrooms - such as shitake and shimeji -, konnyaku and ito konnyaku, kamaboku, among others), and sometimes noodles. It accompanies a sauce that is prepared with shoyu (soy sauce), sugar, sake mirin (sake for cooking) and ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate). /I think this is my favorite dish ^^ /source.

6. Yakisoba (焼きそば): Despite being a dish of Chinese origin, yakisoba (which literally means "fried soba noodle") is consumed a lot by the Japanese, and indispensable in traditional Japanese festivals called matsuris. Yakisoba is composed of vegetables that may or may not be fried along with the noodles, and to which some kind of meat (such as beef, pork or chicken) is added. /My dad makes a wonderful yakisoba! /source.

*We see omuraisu in anime a lot ^^ /source*

7. Omuraisu (オムライス): A classic example of a youshoku dish (Western-influenced food, originated during the Meiji Era), the omuraisu is basically an omelet, which can be stuffed with different ingredients, and decorated with ketchup. Words and phrases can be written on it, or even drawings. /My obatian makes omuraisu from time to time, but we do not use ketchup. Instead, we use sauce for tonkatsu (Milanese sauce) Bull Dog (it's ust as delicious) /source.

I hope you enjoyed the post! Please don't forget to leave a comment below telling me your thoughts :)
See you on the next post!

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