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True/False Quiz About the Japanese Cuisine

Updated on October 24, 2016

How much do you know about Japanese cuisine?

Here is a quiz article about the Japanese cuisine. The aim is not to test your knowledge but to make you discover more aspects of this cuisine and to fight stereotypes and common misconceptions around it.

A bit more about how this article is structured: I have chosen a series of topics about the Japanese cuisine. For each, I start with a question. Answer with True or False based on what you think is correct and have a look at the answer below the question. Even if you answered correctly, you may still learn from the answer as I wrote every answer in details.

Illustration: Salmon Roe & Sea Urchin Rice Bowl by Yamada Taro, Public Domain Licence

Sushi
Sushi

No, it doesn't, this is just a common misconception. Sushi does NOT mean "raw fish" and does NOT necessarily includes raw fish.

Sushi is the common name for dishes based on the combination of rice and vinegar. Sushi can include different ingredients, typically - but not necessarily - raw fish.

Some examples of non-raw fish ingredients for sushi are omelette, cucumber or Japanese pickles "tsukemono". Sushi with omelette is called "gyoku", or "tamago", sushi with cucumber is called "kappamaki" and sushi with Japanese pickles is called "oshinkomaki".

(image: Bowl of sushi by Hiroshige, Edo period, public domain)

Why this confusion sushi/raw fish?

Raw fish is the most common ingredient for sushi, so it is natural to associate both. Also, restaurants serving sushi also serve sashimi (raw fish without the "vinegared rice"). This only adds to the confusion.

Sashimi
Sashimi

No, it isn't. First, as said earlier, it is important to distinguish between raw fish (sashimi, like on the image) and sushi (vinegar+rice like on the previous image). Some Japanese people can eat sashimi every day (especially older people), while few Japanese people eat sushi more than once a month.

Also, the Japanese cuisine is very varied, so there is much more to eat than just sushi.

(image from user Tatoute at wikipedia.org, creative common licence)

Want to make your own sushi?

Sushi Chef Sushi Making Kit
Sushi Chef Sushi Making Kit

This is all you need to make sushi home, except for the raw fish or non-fish toppings (omelette, cucumber, ...). Explanation, rice, seaweed, etc... are included.

 

Yes, they do! Of course, it depends a bit on what you call "a lot" and what you compare it to (European people, Japanese people in the past, Chinese people, ...) but generally speaking, Japanese people eat a lot of rice. They can have rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It can be nature, fried, in rice balls, in porridge, or even made into a dessert (mochi)!

Mochi pounding

Mochi is a dessert based on rice. The rice used for it is a bit special and only used to make those mochis. The most impressive part of making mochi is the pounding of the rice. One person (sometimes several) pounds the rice with a heavy stick in a form of a big hammer and one person (who probably likes to live dangerously) "massages" the rice between the strokes with wet hands in order to get a heavenly pounded substance. Here is a video.

Soba
Soba

Yes, they do too. Japanese people eat many types of noodles. The 3 most common ones being ramen (very popular among manga fans but actually coming from China), soba (made from buckwheat flour) and udon, thicker and made of wheat flour. Other noodles include soumen (thiner and particularly popular in summer when they are served cold) and champon a soup with a particular type of ramen.

(Illustration: soba, author: H. Kikugawa, reproduced here with his authorization)

Making Udon

A beautiful video showing how to make udon. Restaurants serving home made udon are quite popular in Japan.

Nice Amazon Items About Noodles

Hakubaku Organic Soba, Authentic Japanese Buckwheat Noodles, (no salt added) 9.5-Ounce (Pack of 8)
Hakubaku Organic Soba, Authentic Japanese Buckwheat Noodles, (no salt added) 9.5-Ounce (Pack of 8)

Traditional Japanese Soba (buckwheat noodles). Very good and healthy (be careful though that some people are allergic to buckwheat).

 
Hakubaku Organic Somen, Authentic Japanese Wheat Noodles, No Salt  Added, 9.5-Ounce Packages  (Pack of 8)
Hakubaku Organic Somen, Authentic Japanese Wheat Noodles, No Salt Added, 9.5-Ounce Packages (Pack of 8)

somen are typically eaten cold with a soya based "sauce" (shiru). Very good during summer time where it is hot outside.

 
Noodles with pork
Noodles with pork

Yes, they actually do. Even though meat does not have an important role in the Japanese cuisine and even though the meat from "four-legged creatures" was not seen as edible, meat has never been completely excluded from the Japanese cuisine. It is also more and more popular in the modern Japanese cuisine. For more information about this, have a look at this article from wikipedia.

(illustration: noodles with pork, author: H. Kikugawa, reproduced here with his authorization)

Meat dishes include the famous chicken skewers "yakitori", pork-based elements (ham, bacon, fried pork, ...) and even beef steak (the meat coming from Kobe being particularly renowned). Just a small note about chicken skewers though: in Japan, good restaurants do not serve both sushi and chicken skewers. This is something that became common outside Japan (I would even say outside Asia). In Japan, restaurants are more specialized and you would have to choose between going to a sushi restaurant or a yakitori one.

Japanese cuisine also includes more complex meat dishes like shabu-shabu where boiling "water" (actually dashi, a kind of lightly flavoured soup) is disposed in the middle and guests cook slices of thinly sliced beef (or other meat) by dipping them into this water (shabu shabu is supposed to represent the sound of this action). A similar dish and my favorite one is Sukiyaki. Quoting wikipedia: "It consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs."

(picture from user Ala z at wikipedia.org)

True. This is true about Japanese culture in general, but Japanese cuisine is no exception. The tea ceremony is a good example of a ceremony full of rules. How you should hold the cup, how you should drink tea, ... and making the tea is even more complex.

There are also many rules about chopsticks. Don't take the chopsticks or break them apart before food is served, don't stand them up in a bowl (something to do with dead people), don't transfer something from a pair of chopsticks to another pair of chopsticks (again something to do with dead people), don't point something or someone with them, reverse them if you want to take something from a shared plate,etc...

Even the way trays are presented to you are important. For example, the bowl of rice should be on the left towards you.

Japanese curry
Japanese curry

Do Japanese people like spicy food?

I did not include a quiz about it as there is no correct/incorrect answers. Generally speaking, Japanese people eat less spicy food than, say, Korean people. However, many Japanese people enjoy spicy food. One example is the Japanese curry. Quite unknown outside Japan, it is however very popular in Japan (and in Asia). There are even fast food restaurants devoted to it ("Go Go Curry", "Curry House CoCo"...). The Japanese curry is very different from Indian curry and Chinese curry.

(image by H. Kikugawa, reproduced here with his authorization)

Further Reading

Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_cuisine

From Japan-guide.com: Japanese Food

A blog with many nice recipes: No Recipes Make Good Food Better

Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen
Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen

Beautiful book about the Japanese cuisine (washoku means Japanese cuisine in Japanese).

 
Japanese Cuisine (Wei-Chuan's Cookbook)
Japanese Cuisine (Wei-Chuan's Cookbook)

Japanese cookbook. Very good price for the quality.

 

There are many more things to say about Japanese cuisine (tempura, tofu, ankou, ...) and a simple article could not include everything but I still hope you have learn something from this article. If you have any comments or questions, don't hesitate, this section is yours.

Conclusion

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    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

      What a fun lens, great quiz. I learn something new about Japanese food. Thank you.

    • profile image

      brayenbra 3 years ago

      japanese food is great, love it and nteresting in it

    • everflow profile image

      everflow 3 years ago

      Entertaining lens....really a lot of fun and I love Japanese food.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I love japanese food and the people are very polite. Great lens.

    • coqito2009 profile image

      coqito2009 3 years ago

      Hi ,

      Loved your Lens a lot !! Japanese cuisine is certainly one of the healthiest in the world. You've mentioned the Japanese curry, I've had the chance to taste it !! I only tasted curry in a vietnamese restaurant.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 3 years ago

      @brendasue311: Sorry to make you hungry ;) I hope you will try a real Japanese restaurant one day and that you will taste something else than raw fish!

    • brendasue311 profile image

      brendasue311 3 years ago

      Now you done it, now I'm hungry!!! Love your fun lens and I learned a lot. I always thought it was raw fish. Now I do not have to be scared of it.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @favored: Glad you enjoyed it!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Enjoyed your quiz. Missed the last one about where raw fish is served. It's good to learn new things. Thanks.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @diegocomercio: Thanks!

    • diegocomercio profile image

      diegocomercio 4 years ago

      nice lens adragast, i enjoyed taking the quiz.

    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 4 years ago

      Love Japanese food and Asian food in general. Thanks for the lens. It had great information -- and i love getting the points

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @chris-lee-benson: Thanks for your comment!

    • chris-lee-benson profile image

      chris-lee-benson 4 years ago

      Thanks for this lens, Japanese food is great!

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @jastreb: Glad to hear it!

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @MrAusAdventure: Good for you!

    • jastreb profile image

      jastreb 4 years ago

      nice lens. This food is very healthy and i love it very much!

    • MrAusAdventure profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Great stuff! We eat a lot of Japanese food so I went pretty well on this one. Only got one wrong. :-)

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @Shell Mayers: Thanks!

    • Shell Mayers profile image

      Shell Mayers 4 years ago

      what a nicely done lens.

    • adragast24 profile image
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      adragast24 4 years ago

      @RoSelou: Thanks for the feedback! This is how this article was intended actually. People taking the quiz and see if they could guess the correct answer and get some more information about the question/answer after that.

    • profile image

      RoSelou 4 years ago

      I enjoy taking the quiz. I take the quiz before reading the next paragraph so I get a mistake, a little.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @Ruthi: You're welcome, thanks for taking the quiz and thanks for the kind words!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      This was fun, interesting and educational. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I am ever so glad I took the quiz because there is where, in your detailed answers, that I learned the most. Thank you for such a thorough look at the truth of Japanese cuisine.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @NoYouAreNot: True but you can generally ask for a big portion of rice for example (oumori) in restaurants in Japan.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      Japanese food is really tasty, raw fish, spices and all... but their servings are so tiny!

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @shopsolutions: Thanks, I am glad you liked it!

    • shopsolutions profile image

      shopsolutions 4 years ago

      Wow, what a great lens. Thanks for this lens. I didn't know a lot of this and my parent live there for 5 yrs, but this was years ago. I was there twice to visit.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @othellos: Thanks!

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Very good learning quiz on Japanese cuisine. Enjoyable with lots of points especially for those who want to level up on Squidoo. Thanks:=)

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @Ben Reed: You are welcome, thanks for participating in this article and for leaving a comment.

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 4 years ago

      I enjoyed the quiz - thank you.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @PaigSr: Lol, thanks for your comment.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      The quizzes were fun but the information has made me hungry. I really need to stop reading about food before breakfast.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fun quiz!

    • adragast24 profile image
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      adragast24 4 years ago

      @ajmac: You're welcome!

    • profile image

      ajmac 4 years ago

      I enjoyed doing you quiz on Japanese cuisine.Thanks

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have never had Japanese cuisine and you have given it a very good introduction, I only missed 1 quiz question, guess I've learned a little while reading other articles...I like that you had the quizzes to reinforce learning, after living in Japan and having a Japanese wife, I'd say that you have plenty of expertise....nicely done! :)

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Nice lens I enjoyed the quiz.

    • Whatsittoyou profile image

      Whatsittoyou 4 years ago from Canada

      I love Udon noodles. I didn't know about them until we had a pot luck at work and someone brought a dish in with them. Now I use them when I make stir fry.

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 4 years ago

      Very Interesting lens. Very informative. thanks for a quiz and answers. enjoyed your lens with a knowledge. Thank you so much.

    • amitsarkar lm profile image

      amitsarkar lm 4 years ago

      Very nicely created this lens.. You having a good thinking.. I love to see your lens...

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 4 years ago

      I loved to take the quiz

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 4 years ago

      Thanks for the quiz. Did not know answer to many but still a fun and an opportunity to learn more.

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 4 years ago from Here

      Very good quizzes! Thanks a lot for sharing this great lens.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 4 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this lens and learned a lot about Japanese cuisine.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 4 years ago

      Learnt a lot from your lens. Thanks for this nice lens.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Nice, thanks for taking the time to look for the name!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @adragast24: It was a long time ago (1981), but from what I remember, they were flatter than the pictures of Daifuku. They looked more as if pasta pastry had been rolled and cut out and then folded around the filling. Apparently, these are are a specialty of Kyoto..... [off to Google]

      ..... Found them! :)) The ones I remember are called Yatsuhashi

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 4 years ago

      @anonymous: The sweet paste you are mentioning is probably anko: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_bean_paste.

      Concerning the ravioli-like, I am not sure as there are many things Japanese people produce with anko (dorayaki, anpan ...) but there is a photo on the wikipedia with the name Daifuku which seems to fit your description of ravioli... :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like the ravioli-like dish made of pasta stuffed with a sweet paste made from aduki beans. I only ever had it during the few days I spent in Kyoto. No idea what it's called.

    • Escapes2 profile image

      Escapes2 4 years ago

      I love Japanese food. Sushi tops my list of favorites.

    • digitaltree profile image

      digitaltree 4 years ago

      Interesting Lens, i learn a lot from it:)

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Australia

      Sushi and sashimi are my favourite foods, so it was delightful to visit.

    • dlobel profile image

      Debra Lobel 4 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I love all sorts of Japanese foods. Thanks for this background info. When I go out with my Japanese friends, I'll be able to show off my new knowledge.

    • theallin1writer profile image

      theallin1writer 4 years ago

      I love sushi, I can't get enough of it!

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 4 years ago

      I would love to experience Japanese food more often. Thanks for sharing!

    • eternisemoi profile image

      eternisemoi 4 years ago

      I learned that sushi isn't always made with raw fish. Now that I know that, I'm willing to try sushi as long as it's not the raw fish kind.

    • TwistedWiseman profile image

      TwistedWiseman 4 years ago

      Japanese food is delicious, I ate onirigi a lot and also because of Naruto we have started including our Ramen in our diet :P

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I love sashimi but sushi seems to be a lot easier to get in the west. That's a shame.

    • LaurisB LM profile image

      LaurisB LM 5 years ago

      I absolutely love sashimi and sushi and probably could easily eat it everyday! I lived in Japan many years ago, and fortunately we have many sushi bars here in Peru.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 5 years ago

      @MJsConsignments: Thank you so much for telling me! I have rewritten the intro entirely and will have a look at the rest of the lens tomorrow.

    • dainthedude profile image

      dainthedude 5 years ago

      Sashimi is my most favorite food in the world!

    • MJsConsignments profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      You've made a great lens here and I've certainly learned a few things. As a Rocket Squid Greeter I do need to let you know that the way you've phrased things is a bit confusing. For example, you may want to take a look at your intro and reword a couple of parts of that.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Yes I like this lens, raw fish is fine with me the way you can serve it, most people would't relies it was raw.

    • adragast24 profile image
      Author

      adragast24 5 years ago

      @designsbyharriet: You don't need to eat raw fish to like Japanese food! There are so much more than raw fish in Japanese cuisine. The only issue is to find a real Japanese restaurant (not just a sushi place for non Japanese people).

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      Japanese is one of my favorite. I love the tempura, their steam egg and many more that I do not know how to call them. I also like the green bean.

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 5 years ago from Indiana

      I love Asian cuisine, but not Japanese food, especially not sushi. I can't get use to the raw fish and too much rice. But this lens makes me want to try again.

    • AmandaTWaH profile image

      AmandaTWaH 5 years ago

      Great lens! Tons of great information. I learned a lot of this while taking Japanese in high school but some of the chopstick rules I didn't know.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      This lens makes me hungry! Very interesting and informative lens.