You don’t have to visit Japan to enjoy some of their exquisite cuisines. We have so many Japanese restaurants here in the UK that you can pay a visit and relish the cuisines.
However, if it is your first time trying out Japanese delicacies, chances are you might be overwhelmed with choice.
A typical Japanese meal has a staple of either rice or noodles and then topped with other condiments for instance chicken. Talking of chicken, the chicken yakitori is a good one for you to start with. Let us look at other meals that you ought to try out.
Japan’s most famous international dish had to top this list. However, contrary to most people’s beliefs, sushi is more than raw fish. I
t is a delicate combination of vegetables, raw fish, and vinegar rice that often comes out in different forms. Usually, sushi goes hand in hand with soy sauce and wasabi.
So if you are considering trying sushi for the first time, you can either use chopsticks or your hand. However, the general rule of thumb when dipping the sushi in the soy sauce, turn it over and dip it on the neta side.
This will prevent the vinegar rice from absorbing too much soy sauce hence removing the original test of neta.
If you enjoy sushi, then you need to also try out sashimi. Similar to sushi, sashimi is also raw fish without rice. The fish is sliced into thin pieces and is often eaten with soy sauce for flavour.
The type of thickness of the cut will be dependent on the type of fish, age, and the season. Eating sashimi is easy even for first-timers, simply pick the piece of fish using chopsticks, dip it into the available condiment whether soy sauce or wasabi, and eat it whole.
Depending on the occasion, sashimi can be served as a first course or sometimes as the main course especially when combined with staples like rice, noodles, or tofu.
This is another must-try dish that is loved by the Japanese people. It is a rather nutritious meal laden with proteins and vitamins.
Unagi better referred to as eel here in the UK, is a fish that is often found along rivers in Japan. Unagi is a common delicacy in Japan and can be found in both high-end and local restaurants.
Enjoy Kabayaki in any unagi restaurant, in this case, the unagi is put on skewers before being grilled using a special sauce. In Japan, unagi is rather popular during the hottest months since it is believed to help with fatigue.
Soba, Udon, and Ramen
Again, noodles are a staple when it comes to Japanese cuisines. Soba, Udon, and Ramen are the most common types of noodles you will find in Japan. Soba noodles are often thin and greyish in colour.
They are made from buckwheat flour and are often served cold with dipping sauce, or hot with stew or broth. Udon on the other hand is the white and thick variety of noodles. They are very common, especially for most traditional dishes.
Similar to soba, you can enjoy udon either warm or cold depending on your preference. Lastly, ramen is the cheapest and the most popular of the three varieties of noodles in Japan. It is available in both thin and thick varieties.
Enjoy your ramen with hot broth from pork, chicken, soy, or miso.
This is a general term used to refer to ingredients like seafood, vegetables, or meat that is covered in batter then deep-fried in oil.
Usually, this batter is made of flour and eggs making it sticky and comes out crunchy after cooking. So the next time you come across the term ‘tempura fried’ in your local Japanese restaurant, it means that food was prepared by covering in batter and deep frying in oil.
When it comes to the types of tempura to relish on, there simply are no bounds, the number of food that can be tempura-fried are endless.
Teishoku is a typical set meal that is common in many Japanese restaurants. A typical set meal will include, rice, soup, and pickles together with the main meal of meat, vegetables, or fish.
Teishoku is a great way of introducing yourself to a set of everyday Japanese meals. Similar to other English dishes, there is etiquette as far as how the set is presented during serving. Like any other meal, the Teishoku is positioned in front of you, rice is put to the left, soup to the right, and the main meal right at the back of the two.
Keep in mind, the most important food is positioned at the left in the Japanese culture. So that tells you how important rice is considered in meals.
If you have done some research on Japanese food, onigiri has definitely flown by your radar before.
Sometimes referred to as Omusabi, may appear as plain rice to any other person, but it has a savory filling on the inside and is wrapped with a salty sheet of nori seaweed.
Onigiri is sold in convenience stores in Japan and is often considered a snack. Onigiri is available in multiple flavours which include, salmon, bonito flakes, pickled plum among several others.
Enjoy Onigiri in any Japanese restaurant, they are often served alongside other condiments but you can enjoy yours as a snack on its own.
This famous Japanese soup is well known for its several health benefits and great taste. This soup is taken with the company of other main meals for instance Teishoku. It’s a tradition for most Japanese meals to involve drinking miso soup.
It is going to be difficult for you to stay away from Japanese food after sampling and tasting the following dishes.
The good news is that you don’t have to go all the way to Japan, visit a Japanese restaurant near you and enjoy the great taste that is in traditional Japanese cuisines.
You can go the extra mile and learn a few recipes so that you can start preparing these meals right from the comfort of your home.