What’s Japanese food?

Everyone knows sushi. But there is a wide variety of tasty pleasures that constitute Japanese cuisine and it is one of the great things about this country,, and in addition each region has its own special dishes. For many of the more traditional Japanese dishes, soy sauce, sake, mirin (which is a sweet rice wine), and miso are used for seasoning. Many different cooking methods are also used such as grilling, frying, simmering, steaming and some dishes are served raw. There is a great emphasis in Japanese cooking on quality and food presentation which reaches a form of art. Seasonal produce and ingredients are also often used to make for greater variety.

What are the some of the most popular Japanese foods or dishes that we could recommend?

Chawanmushi refers to a steamed egg dish cooked with beaten eggs and Japanese soup stock called dashi which is made with dried kelp and bonito. The traditional chawanmushi usually contains chicken, shrimp, fish cake, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, and a ginko nut.

Donburi consists of a bowl of rice with food put on top of it. There are various donburi dishes, and the most common donburi are gyudon (stewed beef), katsudon (a deep-fried pork cutlet with an egg,), tendon (tempura), oyakodon (chicken and egg), tekkadon (thin-sliced raw tuna sashimi), and kaisendon (raw seafood).

Korokke is breaded deep-fried dish filled with mashed potatoes, minced beef, and chopped onions. There are many different kinds of korokke; varying in their fillings such as curry flavour, kabocha pumpkin filling, and crab cream filling.

Mochi is a chewy rice cake made with short grain glutinous rice. Though Mochi is usually served on New Year’s Day as part of the traditional meal, many also enjoy it as a sweet such as Mochi Ice cream, or Daifuku Mochi which is filled with red bean paste.

Okonomiyaki is sometimes called a Japanese pancake, omelette, or pizza. Okonomi means “what you like”, and it is made from various ingredients such as cabbage, eggs, grated nagaimo, and other ingredients. At an okonomiyaki restaurant, the food can be cooked in front of you, or you can make your own food on a hot plate placed on your table.

Omuraisu is a short form for omelette and rice. The rice is usually fried with ketchup and it is wrapped in an omelette. Omuraisu is usually shaped like an American football and can be served with ketchup or demi-glace sauce.

Onigiri, or Omusubi are Rice balls that are made of cooked white rice and are wrapped in nori seaweed. The rice is lightly seasoned with salt and contains a filling such as umeboshi (pickled Japanese plum), okaka (dried bonito shavings), Konbu (seaweeds has been simmered in soy sauce), salmon, among others.

Sukiyaki is a dish prepared in a hotpot with thinly sliced beef, vegetables, tofu, mushrooms, and shirataki noodles. Sukiyaki is first grilled and then simmered in a sweet soy sauce based soup. A raw beaten egg is served as a dip for cooked sukiyaki.

Yakisoba is a fried noodle dish. It is usually mixed with pieces of meat, cabbage, carrots, or other vegetables. Yakisoba sauce which is thick Worcestershire-type sauce is used as the seasoning.

Yakitori is skewered grilled chicken. Chicken pieces seasoned with salt or soy sauce and grilled on an open charcoal barbecue. Almost every part of the chicken is used for yakitori including heart, gizzard, skin, liver, and other organs.