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Best Japanese Food, from sashimi / sushi to street food like yakitori
Japanese food is very popular these days among health conscious Americans and those that enjoy good Asian taste. Not only does it look like a piece of art, it tastes great and is low in calories. But how many people knows about Japanese food that well? Probably not many. Japanese food has lots of variety and you will never get bored of it even if you have it daily. Here are a list of all the foods that are native to Japan and to make it interesting here are lots of pictures as well.
Sushi – Sushi is one Japanese food that is well know in the US and elsewhere in the world. It is cooked vinegar rice with a piece of usually raw piece of seawood on top. And is usually but not always wrapped with dry seaweed (nori). There are many different kinds of sushi because you can use so many different ingredients. In Japan, sushi is actually considered one their finest meals. Although, cheap sushi boxes are available in supermarkets.
Sashimi (finest Japanese food) – This is a piece of raw seafood or meat that is presented by itself and eaten with dipping sauce. This is considered Japan's finest meal because the best sashimi needs to be made from the freshest ingredients. There are lots of varieties here because a lot of seafood / meat can be eaten raw. One of the most exotic sashimi served in Japan and elsewhere is Fugu or puffer fish. This fish is highly toxic and can only be prepared by a certified chef. Another exotic sashimi is called uni or sea urchin. This is the yellow roe from the sea urchin that is usually served by itself or wrapped with seaweed (nori).
Noodles (everyday Japanese food item - soba, ramen, udon) – These are very popular everyday food items that Japanese people love. The soba is a buckwheat noodle that is either cold dipped in a soy based sauce or hot in a soup. Ramen is noodles that are eaten with a meat based or fish based broth with a variety of different toppings. Udon are fat noodles that are eaten in a broth as well.
Japanese curry – In Japan, curry over rice is very popular. Unlike Indian and southeast Asian curries, Japanese curry has its own unique taste. It is served over white rice with some meats. It is relatively inexpensive. It can be very mild to very hot depending on your preferences.
Takoyaki (Japanese street food) – These are little balls of pieces of octopus that are battered and deep fried. They are topped off with some sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and fish flakes. These are usually street food that are seen throughout Japan and overseas where there are significant Japanese population. Some takoyaki uses different ingredients rather than the traditional octopus.
Yakitori (Japanese BBQ) – These are various parts of the chicken grilled. Aside from chicken meat that everyone is familiar with, they also offers some chicken organs as well. This may not be for everyone but you should at least give it a try.
Green tea / red bean ice cream (popular Japanese dessert) – Aside from many traditional ice cream flavors that most places offer, Japanese restaurants often have green tea and red bean ice cream as well. Out of the two, green tea ice cream has more fans. The red bean ice cream is usually not what a non-Asian person would like. However, it is good to try both of them so that you can discover your own taste buds more.
Gyoza – This is the Japanese version of the Chinese dumplings. These are very much similar to the Chinese version. They are made from thin piece of dough with fillings (meat, seafood, vegetables in many different combinations) that are pressed together at the edges. In Japan, they are usually eaten with soy sauce and chilli (hot) oil. This is very common in Japan and you will be able to find them almost anywhere in the country.
Donburi (Japanese style fast food) – This is a bowl of steamed white rice with condiments on top. Yoshinoya is a fast food restaurant that specializes donburi of various kind. Gyudon, beef onion on top of white rice, is a very popular food item in Japan and elsewhere. The beef is very thinly sliced that melts in your mouth with soft cooked onions that are very flavorful as well. A more expensive type of donburi is called unadon. This is grilled eel served over rice.
Yakizakana – This is Japanese style grilled fish. Traditionally, they utilize various different fish for this dish. The fish is often presented by itself in a little plate. The taste is very mild and is very healthy for you.
Tempura (Japanese styled fried food) – Many people are familiar with this dish. It is seafood, mushroom or vegetable deep fried in batter and served either by itself or in soup. It can be found in many different Japanese restaurants and is more of a everyday type food.
Miso soup – This is a well known and traditional soup that is consumed daily in Japan. The traditional Japanese version is actually very salty to foreigners. In its simplest form, it includes water, miso paste (white or red), Hondashi (bonito fish soup stock, very little), scallion and tofu. However, it can have a lot of variation that can include all kinds of seafood, meat or mushroom.
Japanese salads – Your basic salad is Japanized by their special ingredients and dressing that is distinctly Japanese. Here are some examples, raw fish and fish eggs are added in some salads to make it a seafood salad. Other salads use a special salad dressing that is either soy sauce based for a distinctly Asian taste.
Japanese green tea (matcha) – This is a traditional Japanese beverage that can be hot or cold. It is made of finely grounded green tea leaves. Sugar is added to it to offset the slight bitter taste associated with normal green tea.