A great nation in all, even during times of recession, you’ll always see a large number of people eating out and what with the number of food-related programs and commercials playing on TV, the Japanese undeniably love their food. While Sushi has become an extremely popular dish in the Western World, a large part of Japanese food still remains unexplored. So, here’s where the Japanese restaurants come into play!
To say that the Japanese absolutely adore their food would be an understatement! Undoubtedly, Japanese restaurants have taken the world by storm and this can definitely be seen in the increasing number of restaurants springing up everywhere, all over the world! Not that I’ve ever visited Japan, but a friend of mine once told me that Japan would be nothing without its culture and its culinary delights! Tell anyone that you are planning on visiting Hokkaido, and the first piece of advice you’ll ever get is to try out the seafood there, or if you are planning on taking a trip to Osaka, then the Okonomiyaki is a must! From Sashimi and Sushi to Tempura or even Sukiyaki, Japan is
The Japanese are known for mixing art with their food. Be it the exotic Japanese recipes for sushi or the colorful bento lunch boxes. Made with some extra imagination and bright color combinations, bento lunch boxes are attractive to look at and tempt a person to taste the food. The name ‘bento’ is of a Japanese origin and it actually means convenience. So popular are bento lunches and snacks, that the style has evolved itself into various versions and spread across countries like China, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, etc. Some basic styles include Shokado bento, Kamameshi bento, Shidashi bento, Makunouchi bento and the list is endless. Bento designs have become all the more popular ever since the introduction of bento designing contests in Japan where people compete to make the most eye-pleasing meals.
Contents of Bento Lunch Box
Bento boxes are traditionally known to be black lacquered square boxes. The boxes may have self compartments or food items such as carrots might be used to make compartments within the box. The boxes are not very wide and the meals are expected to be packed creatively in smaller spaces.
Traditionally, bento meals are sectioned
Sushi is a very popular Japanese dish, compared to sashimi. Though, both Japanese foods sushi and sashimi are similar, they are not the same. Both usually contain raw fish as one of their ingredient, and are served with a soy dipping sauce. The method of preparation for both the dishes is different. Both Japanese delicacies are quite popular, and there are specialized sashimi and sushi chefs.
What is it?
Technically, sushi means vinegar rice. The Japanese word ‘su’ means vinegar and ‘shi’ is from meshi, which is the Japanese word for rice. Thus, sushi is vinegared rice.
The word sashimi means pierced boy, because ‘sashi’ refers to pierced or stuck and ‘mi’ refers to meat. Hence, this word may be derived from the culinary practice of sticking the fish’s tail and fin to the slices, identifying the fish meat being eaten. Sashimi refers to a Japanese food preparation, which primarily consist of fresh and raw seafood which is sliced into thin pieces, which is served with a dipping soy sauce.
Sushi can be eaten as it is, but is often dipped into a Japanese soy sauce which is
The Japanese food is one of the top rated foods in the world. The fact that Michelin Guide has presented maximum number of Michelin stars to Japanese restaurants is the proof for it. The Japanese cuisine has evolved over centuries and has been influenced by several political as well as social changes. Due to the unique style of cooking and seasoning, it is one of the most distinct cuisines in the world.
Interesting Japanese Food Facts
The typically Japanese cuisine comprises rice, meat, vegetables and fish. The Japanese emphasize more on the quality of the food and presentation. Therefore, it is no wonder that the Japanese complain of low quality food, when eating Japanese cuisines out of Japan. Let us now take a look at some interesting facts.
- Large amount of raw food is used in the Japanese cuisine. In fact, you must be aware that the fish served with sushi is raw.
- Dried sardines and almonds are often consumed as snacks in most of the parts of Japan.
- As mentioned above, about 50% of the fish catch, and 80% of the tuna catch is undertaken by the Japanese.
- The quality of ‘sashimi’, or the very thinly sliced raw fish which is
Most Japanese arrangements, particularly side dishes are presented with sauce. There are various types of sauces to present with various dishes. In any case, out of them, soy sauce and Japanese shrimp sauce are the most prevalent ones. Despite the fact that this sauce is very famous in Japan, we don’t get it in different nations so effectively. Just the “credible” Japanese eateries serve it with sustenances like fricasseed rice. With around 200 calories and 15.7 g add up to fat in it, we should see a couple of formulas that can be gone for at home keeping in mind the end goal to come up with this delightful fixing.
Basic Shrimp Sauce
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- ½ cup of ketchup
- ½ cup of water
- 4 tsp. of granulated sugar
- 3 tsp. of apple cider or rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. of melted butter
- ½ tsp. of garlic powder
Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Blend until smooth. It is better to taste the sauce while making it so that you can add more ingredients as per your liking. For example, if you want a tangy sauce, you can add more ketchup or vinegar while if you wish to
Wasabi is a plant having a place with the Brassicaceae family. It is otherwise called the Japanese horseradish as it emphatically takes after a horseradish furthermore has a place with a similar family. The wasabi root, especially, is utilized for culinary purposes in view of its solid flavor and an unmistakable green shading. On the off chance that you are knowledgeable with the Japanese cooking, you might know that wasabi sauce or glue is presented with sashimi or sushi alongside the soy sauce. This glue is accessible in a few spots; be that as it may, it can likewise be made at home effectively.
Wasabi Paste Recipe
Roots of this plant are available in several parts of the world and can be used for making wasabi paste. However, it is fairly expensive. In that case, one can use finely grated wasabi powder for making paste/sauce.
Method ~ 1
- Firstly, you should chop off the leafy end of the wasabi root.
- Now, using a sharp grater, thinly grate the root.
- Cover the grated wasabi and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Your wasabi paste is ready. Serve at room temperature with sushi or sashimi.
Method ~ 2
The Japanese kani salad primarily consists of imitation crab. This processed crab delicacy is served not just in homes but also in Japanese restaurants. The recipe, however, varies as per liking, but the main or core ingredients remain the same. Mangoes, panko, and crispy bread crumbs have been seen added to this lovely salad to give a wonderful texture and depth to the salad.
This salad is not just a treat for the eyes with the abundance of greens and hues of pinks and white, but a delight to have as well. Kani makes for a perfect side dish, appetizer, or even lunch, especially on a beautiful breezy day.
Kanikama, in the Japanese kani salad, has less calories, cholesterol, and fat, making it a healthier option to crab. Following are kani salad calories and the nutritional value.
Serving Size: 1 restaurant-sized salad (varies)
Total Calories 99
Cholesterol 55.1 mg
Total Fat 5.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Total Carbohydrates 9.1 g
Dietary Fibers 0.7 g
Sodium 120 mg
Proteins 4.1 g
Sugars 3.4 g
*Nutrition values are sourced from the USDA Nutrient Database.
Japanese Kani Salad
● Cucumbers, 2
● Wakame, as required
● Aloe, 1 tbsp.
- Sweet potatoes, 1 pound
- Water, 2 tbsp.
- Sesame seeds, 1 tsp.
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Sugar, ⅓ cup
- Soy sauce, 1 tsp.
First, cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Then fry them in oil at 350 °F. Once they turn brown, mix the water, sugar, and soy sauce in a pan placed over low heat. Once this liquid turns slightly sticky, remove the pan from the heat. Add the fried sweet potatoes to this preparation. Once it blends well, sprinkle the sesame seeds over these coated sweet potatoes.
- Potato, 1 lb
- Ground beef, ¼ lb
- Onion, ½
- Egg, 1
- Salt, ½ tsp.
- Vegetable oil
- Panko (crumbs)
First peel the potatoes and cut them into medium-sized pieces. Boil these pieces to soften them and mash them later. Once done, chop the onion and cook it in the frypan. Now, add the ground beef to the pan, and let it cook completely. Then, take a bowl and mix the mashed potatoes, onion, and the beef together. Use some salt and pepper as seasoning. Make oval shapes out of this preparation. Coat each piece with some flour, dip these in the beaten egg mixture, coat them with the panko, and fry them in the oil
Breakfast is a noteworthy dinner for the Japanese. A conventional breakfast comprises of rice (which is the fundamental part of a course in lunch and supper), miso soup, omelet roll, barbecued, or cooked fish, tsukemono (blended vegetables) pickles, natto (matured soy beans) and toasted nori (dried ocean growth). There are particular gear for cooking Japanese dinners. In any case, they can be attempted with typical cooking dishes as well.
Traditional Japanese Rolled Omelet (Tamagoyaki)
Tamagoyaki is a rolled Japanese omelet and is sweet to taste. A rectangular pan is the best to make this omelet; however, you can also use the normal non-stick pan.
- 6 large eggs
- 4 teaspoons, sugar
- 2 tablespoons, mirin (similar to sake, but contains less alcohol content)
- Salt as per taste
- 3 tablespoons, dashi soup stock
- 1 teaspoon, soy salt
- vegetable oil
Take a large mixing bowl and beat the eggs in it. Add sugar, mirin, soy sauce, salt, and dashi soup stock and mix till it blends well. Heat the pan with little oil and pour a part of the egg mixture into the pan. When it starts setting, roll it, and shift it to one side of the pan. Again, pour a part of the egg
Miso soup is a conventional Japanese soup that is set up from Miso glue and a fish based stock, called ‘dashi’. A staple in Japanese food, this soup solaces both the body and soul. Since Miso glue is set up from matured soybeans, it’s loaded with supplements, and the fish stock essentially builds the wholesome remainder. Making this soup starting with no outside help is simple, as it requires only a modest bunch of fixings. How about we investigate how to set up this sound soup.
Japanese desserts are popular for their mouth-watering taste and nutritious value. Japanese sweets are known as wagashi, which includes numerous categories, such as Yōkan and Kanten (jellies), Namagashi (seasonal cakes), Higashi (dried, hard-packed sweets) and Manjū (filled, steamed dough items such as daifuku). Some of the common ingredients used for making wagashi are azuki (red beans), rice flour, and sugar. They rarely use milk and butter in wagashi. Anko is a typical ingredient used to make the Japanese desserts, and it is used as a filling for dorayaki (pancakes with anko filling), manjū (steamed cake), etc. A nice combination of sweeteners, spices, and an array of beautiful colors is used to
Miso soup is a customary Japanese soup that is set up from Miso glue and a fish based stock, called ‘dashi’. A staple in Japanese food, this soup solaces both the body and soul. Since Miso glue is set up from matured soybeans, it’s loaded with supplements, and the fish stock basically builds the wholesome remainder. Making this soup without any preparation is simple, as it requires only a modest bunch of fixings. How about we investigate how to set up this sound soup.
Miso Soup with Tofu
There are many variations to the same soup. We shall begin by adding tofu to it. This is a very easy-to-make recipe that you can try at home.
- 3 cups dashi soup stock
- 3-4 tablespoons Miso paste
- 1 block tofu
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
Method of Preparation
In a non-stick pan, add the dashi soup stock and bring it to a boil, on a medium flame. Then, cut the tofu into small cubes. Add these small cubes to the boiling soup stock. Allow tofu to simmer for a few minutes on low heat. Take about 1 cup of soup stock from the pan and dissolve the Miso paste in it. Once
A mixture of sake and sugar is the most commonly used substitute as it is believed to give the most similar mirin-like taste.
While you can always get authentic food at joints specialized in particular cuisines, there is no harm in trying these recipes at home. However, you may not always find the specific ingredients that a recipe demands. Mirin is one such ingredient which is widely used in Japanese food, however, it cannot be easily found in western countries. It is a rice wine which has low alcohol content and a very sweet flavor. The fermentation of rice while making this condiment is highly controlled as the focus is on the desired sweetness rather than the alcohol content. It is not as popular as sake which has more alcohol content and is not as sweet. You may look for it in the Asian section of grocery stores or visit shops specializing in oriental ingredients. Liquor shop is another alternative for finding this condiment. Ordering it online is yet another option you have, but then you will have to bear hefty shipping charges. In that case, substitutes for the same can help one out.
Three Michelin Stars
Sukiyabashi Jiro is, according to some, the best sushi restaurant in the world. It has a three-star rating from Michelin, which is an enormously high honor in the restaurant industry. Three-stars is the highest Michelin rating a restaurant can receive, and there are fewer than 100 Michelin three-star restaurants in the world. This distinction could be enough by itself to make Sukiyabashi Jiro stand out from the crowd, but the extraordinariness of the restaurant can’t be captured by a simple rating – even a world famous one.
Located in the Chūō ward of Tokyo, Japan, Sukiyabashi Jiro is a small restaurant with pared-down décor. At around US$300 per plate, the menu at Sukiyabashi Jiro consists of only the “Chef’s Recommended Special Course,” which includes sushi selections that are right for the season and the current availability of fish. This menu only consists of sushi – the restaurant does not serve tempura or any other type of food, and Sukiyabashi Jiro does not accept credit cards. Characteristics like these give Sukiyabashi Jiro the appearance of being old-fashioned and maybe even a little stuffy, but they are part of the philosophy and mystique that helps the
If somebody talks about Japanese cuisine, one can’t forget to mention Japanese noodles. Although rice is the staple food of Japan, noodles form an integral part of the Japanese cuisine, especially as an alternative to rice-centric meal. Basically, there are three types of Japanese noodles―soba, udon, and ramen.
Soba noodles are thin and made up of buckwheat and wheat, whereas udon noodles are thick and made up of wheat only. Ramen noodles are also made up of wheat, but they can be thin, thick, or ribbon-like in shape. It is believed that soba and udon are traditional Japanese noodles, whereas ramen is based on Chinese noodles. There are several ways of preparing and serving these noodles.
The Zaru Soba
- Soba (either fresh, homemade, or dried), 12 oz.
- Instant dashi, 1 cup
- Soba tsuyu sauce, 4 cups
- Rice vinegar, 1 tbsp.
- Ginger (grated), 2 tbsp.
- Wasabi (root vegetable grated into a green paste or in powder form), 2 tbsp.
- Nori seaweed (thin, dried), 1 sheet
- Leek, 2
- Scallions, 2
- Daikon (grated), 2 tbsp.
Boil the soba for about 6-8 minutes and drain the remaining water (the water can be consumed as a soup). Place the noodles under cold running water. Serve the cold or chilled boiled soba in
Japanese cooking is popular everywhere throughout the globe for its one of a kind planning including kelp, crude fish, bubbled rice and numerous different mixes that satisfy the taste buds. True Japanese nourishment is uncommon and with such a large number of eateries serving Asian combination sustenance, this food is turning out to be much more dark with every passing day.
- 4 servings of soba noodles (traditional Japanese noodles made of buckwheat)
- 4 eggs
- ¼ negi onion (Japanese green onion, similar to leeks)
- 6 cup, Dashi soup (basic Japanese soup stock)
- ⅓ cup, soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons, Mirin (a type of rice wine, similar to sake, but with less alcohol content)
- ½ teaspoon, Salt
Chop the negi onion finely. Put the soy sauce, salt, mirin, and dashi in a pan and heat them all to make the soup. Boil the soba noodles in another pan, according to the directions given on the package. Once the noodles are cooked, put it into serving bowls, and pour the soup over it. Then, break an egg into each bowl, and spread the onion slices over it all. Serve immediately.
- ¼ cup, chicken breasts
- ½ cup, chicken broth
- 4 shiitake mushrooms (soaked)
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning used in sauces and soups. It is also used for pickling vegetables and meat. It is mainly obtained by fermenting soybeans, rice, wheat, or barley. More commonly, it is made from fermented soybeans, though barley, rice, and wheat can also be used at times.
To facilitate the fermentation process, the fungus, Aspergillus oryzae is added to soybeans and the other ingredients. Once the process of fermentation is over, the ingredients are ground to produce a thick paste of buttery texture, which is termed as miso. This fermented product is the basic ingredient of miso soup, which is a very delicious traditional Japanese soup.
This nutrient-rich soup contains several essential vitamins and minerals, along with healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats). It is low in saturated fats, but rich in proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
One cup of miso soup can provide about 7.78 g carbohydrates, 6.02 g proteins, 3.36 g fats, 1.9 g dietary fiber, 367 mg potassium, and 998 mg sodium. Apart from these, this soup contains a significant amount of iron, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin C. One cup of miso soup can contain about 84
It is known all over the world that the Japanese are some of the healthiest people and have a long life expectancy. But not everyone knows that Japanese women are the least obese women in the world, and they owe it to their diet. The essence of Japanese diet is losing weight by eating fresh and seasonal foods in limit, and eating for the body and not for the mind. They include every kind of food that has specific nutrients in the proper amount. They include fresh vegetables, fish, meat, rice, pulses, cereals, and legumes to go with the entire diet, to make it filling as well as delicious.
The Diet Plan
It is perfect for health as it involves the right amount of fat as well as carbohydrates in every meal so as to balance the amounts of nutrient consumption. Rice and fish being the staple food of Japan, it has to be included in the diet, but vegetarians can ignore fish. They can eat any other food which is rich in iodine, e.g. Misco soup is a fermented soy product which is easy to digest and simple to consume.
Upon following this diet strictly without any alterations, a
For a lot of people, Miso soup is one of those exotic dishes that we only have as an appetizer during our once-annual visit to a sushi restaurant. Maybe sushi outings are more common for other people than they are for me, but I’m still willing to bet that miso soup is not a staple in the diets of most westerners. How many of us even know what miso really is, let alone how to make soup out of it? For many years, I was just as ignorant as the next guy. One day, when a miso soup craving came upon me, I started to wonder about the nature of this delicious appetizer, and I’m glad I did.
As it turns out, miso soup is fairly straightforward and easy to make. Traditionally, it consists of just two or three ingredients. As with many dishes, there are many variations on miso soup, but at its heart it consists of dashi, a traditional Japanese broth, and miso, a paste made out of fermented soybeans. Prepared miso soup is topped with sliced scallions, or green onions, and served hot.
Although it only has a couple of ingredients, making
Japanese cuisine has gained high popularity over time and is known to offer a very large variety in their dishes. The traditional food of Japan includes rice with miso soup and other dishes, with special importance to the seasonal ingredients, accompanied with side dishes as well. It has been observed that fish is common in their traditional cuisine. The fish is usually grilled in most of their dishes. However, in dishes like sushi or sashimi, it may be served raw.
Sushi is believed to be the most significant dish representing the Japanese cuisine. This dish is said to have gained so much popularity, that it is recognized almost everywhere in the world today. It is believed to have first been served in the United States in the 1950s, and today it is easily available at every corner.
Those who do not know about sushi, often mistake this dish to be fresh raw fish. However, this is not true. Actually, sushi is vinegared rice topped with other ingredients such as vegetables, egg, or raw seafood. On visiting a sushi bar, you will come across a dozen sushi recipes, many of which do not include fish. You would also come across dishes
Sashimi is a popular Japanese dish, served usually before the main course. The dish is primarily made of fresh raw fish, sliced into fine pieces, and served with different garnishes and sauces. Traditionally, it is served with soy sauce having wasabi paste, or other condiments such as grated fresh ginger, or ponzu. The term sashimi basically means ‘pierced body’, and it refers to the other uncooked fish preparation methods.
Sashimi is often confused with other Japanese delicacy called sushi. However, both the dishes are completely different. While sushi is a dish made of raw fish or other seafood with vinegared rice and serves as a main course meal, sashimi is often served at the beginning of the meal as a palate cleanser and appetizer. However, the dish can also serve the purpose of main course when presented with rice and Miso soup in separate bowls.
Calorific and Nutritional Content
Type Serving Size Calories Fats Carbohydrates Protein
Ahi Tuna 4 ounces 120 1 gram 0 gram 28 grams
Yellowtail 1 ounce 41 1.5 grams 0 gram 6.6 grams
Shiro Maguro (White Tuna) 3 ounces 49 2.1 grams 0 gram 7.2 grams
Maguro (Tuna) 3 ounces 40 1.4 grams 0 gram 6.6 grams