Japan is a country teeming with all sorts of unique foods for you to try. If you’re ever planning a trip to Japan, or are near a place that serves Japanese food, then the foodie in you should try them out. Here are some recommendations.
Let’s start with the one everyone knows, but may have misconceptions about. Sushi, which roughly translates to sour rice, is made with vinegar rice, and combined with different ingredients, including veggies, seafood, meat, fruit, and more. People get quite creative with what kinds of sushi they serve. One misconception is that it’s all raw fish, and the idea of raw fish may turn off some people. While there are many types of sushi that are prepared with raw fish, you can easily find others made from cooked fish, or another type of meat. If you’re still skeptical, find a sushi restaurant near you. They should serve a variety of sushi, and we bet you’ll find a type that suits you.
Sushi is said to originate in southeast Asia. Fish used to be fermented using rice, and the rice was discarded. Then, one day, someone had the idea to eat the rice as well. It evolved after that, with the rice becoming vinegar, different ingredients being added to the mix, and it soon evolved into the modern form we see today.
You’ve probably had some instant ramen before, and while it helped you while you were poor, this cheap substitute is no match for real ramen. In Japan, as well as places in the US, ramen restaurants are an experience. In Japan, every ramen shop you go to has its own unique take on the dish. It consists of noodles, a flavored broth, and different ingredients such as pork, egg, vegetables, and anything else you can think of. It’s simple, yet allows for all sorts of varieties.
Ramen’s origin is debated. Some say it comes from Japan, while others say it originated in China. Regardless of its place of origin, it’s associated with Japan nowadays, and is one big food to try if you haven’t.
If you want some dessert, you can’t go wrong with dorayaki. This is a favorite all across the country, and it’s easy to see why. It consists of two flour patties, usually shaped like pancakes, and there is a red bean paste filling inside of them. It’s quite delicious, and worth a try. The modern form of dorayaki has been around since 1914, and shows no sign of stopping.
Mochi is another dessert that is unique to Japan. It’s served around new year’s time, but you can also find it any other day you want. It’s a rice cake, and it comes in all sorts of unique flavors, colors, and shapes. You can get it in ball form, in cake form, and more. Also, try mochi ice cream. These are mochi balls with ice cream filling, usually consisting of Japan’s unique ice cream flavors, such as red bean or green tea. However, there are more recognizable ice cream flavors as well, such as chocolate.
Mochi’s exact origin is unknown, with many stories dedicated to its creation. It has been around for well over 1,000 years, though. Mochi ice cream is a little more modern, to say the least. It was created by Frances Hashimoto, a Japanese American businesswoman. It’s quite difficult to make, but oh so tasty. You can find it in various stores, including Whole Foods.
Wagyu literally means “Japanese cow.” In Japan, they have cows that produce a beef that is very tasty, and goes for a higher than usual price. Wagyu beef is also higher in good fats than most other types of beef. If you’re in an area that serves wagyu beef, why not try it in a variety of different ways?
There are four different breeds of wagyu, so we suggest you try them all. In the US, our kobe beef tends to be made from cattle that were bred from angus and wagyu stock.
These are fermented soybeans that pack quite a punch. They have a slimy texture, and have a powerful smell and taste. This can turn some people off from trying it, while others love it. If you are feeling adventurous, then we say that it’s definitely worth trying once, but if you don’t want to, that’s understandable. It’s not for everyone. It also has a few stories as to what its origin is. Some are on the boring side, such as it being created in different regions, while others are more interesting. One such story tells of a group of soldiers whose soybeans became fermented, and they ended up loving the taste despite being initially disappointed at the state of their soybeans.
You probably know this food better by its English name, which is a rice ball. It’s a ball of rice, but usually cut into a more unique shape, wrapped in seaweed, and with a certain type of filling. If you’re in the Japanese area, you’re in for a treat, because each onigiri you find is unique, and there are all sorts of varieties. It’s a great little snack that’s good for when you’re exploring Japan and are in need of a quick pick me up.
Onigiri has been a snack in Japan since at least the 11th century. The idea of taking a popular food in the Japanese diet and turning it into a snack you can hold in your hand turned out to be convenient for everyone.
When we think of miso, we may imagine a soup. However, miso is simply a seasoning, and soup is one of its most popular uses. Miso is made from fermented soybeans, and there are different types of miso. Besides obviously being used for soups, it’s also used as a dip, for vegetable seasoning, and sauces. If you have some miso on you, you should give it a try and see what you can cook with it.
Like many of the foods in Japan, its origin is unclear. However, we do know that miso has been used since the BC era, so it’s been around for quite a while!
There are a lot more types of food to find in Japan, with this post being just an introduction. If your taste buds like what they taste, then you should go for other types of food too. Go out to all sorts of restaurants if you’re in Japan. If you’re in the US, hit up a few Japanese restaurants, preferably authentic ones. Also, if you’re ever at a Japanese festival or convention, you can try all sorts of authentic foods. Japan is a unique country in many ways, with the food being one one of them.
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