The Japanese specialize in many things – technology, innovation, art. But making delicious food is one thing they do best. Japanese food is some of the most delicious in the world. During your visit to Japan, you will sample foods that you are already familiar with due to their immense popularity as well as those whose name you cannot pronounce. Japan is a foodie’s haven and it is a place where you can take your taste buds for an adventurous ride.
Ramen is an iconic institutional dish of Japan. In fact, is the considered the most popular “fast food” for Japanese workers. Ramen shops are situated on all streets of Japan because of the high demand.
Ramen consists of noodles that are served in a broth with condiments. Wide variety of noodles, condiments, toppings can be used for this dish. The main ingredients are Chinese wheat noodles, fish-based or meat broth, and one of three basic ramen flavors: miso, shoyu, and shio. Noodles can be thick and wavy or long and straight, and toppings can extend to slices of pork, seaweed, boiled egg, bean sprouts, and chopped green onion.
Commonly known as Japanese savory pancakes, Okonomiyaki is a delicious and very popular pan-fried dish. It is mainly associated with the Hiroshima and Kansai (Osaka) areas of Japan but can be founded throughout the country.
The main ingredients of the dish are a cabbage and a wheat-flour based batter. Assorted fillings include shrimp, green onion, eggs, meat, and nagaimo (a type of yam). Some Okonomiyaki restaurants are diner-style where you can watch the chefs prepare the savory pancake while others are grill-it-yourself establishments.
Sushi is without a doubt one of the greatest Japanese food experiences. It is traditionally made with white vinegared rice. Other ingredients include vegetables and seafood. Sushi is usually served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.
There are many different types of sushi but the most popular are salmon sushi, tuna sushi, and sushi toro. True traditional Japanese sushi is quite expensive in the country but considering its unique flavor the cost is certainly worth it.
Momiji Manju are Japanese sweet cakes that feature red bean paste. The dough is generally made with wheat, honey, sugar, and eggs. Invented in the early 20th century in Miyajima, the maple leaf shape of the cake represents Momijidani – a popular spot in Hiroshima that tourists visit to look at maple leaves.
There are many variations of Momiji Manju available nowadays. It can be flavored and filled with cream cheese, chocolate, green tea, or custard cream. Some makers even batter the finished cake and then deep-fry it.
Hiroshima Steamed Bun
Steamed buns can be found just about anywhere you go in Japan. However, on Miyajima Island as well as in Hiroshima, you will find steamed buns that look very similar to Chinese pork steamed buns. These are very popular. They are steamed in large bamboo steamers and filled with delicious meat. The buns themselves are moist, light, and delicate and the meat filled center is bursting with flavor.
Japanese food is enjoyed all around the globe, but there is much more to Japanese cuisine than noodles. If you are wondering what delicious foods to eat on your next trip to Japan, the above-listed recommendations are a good start.
Photos by: Mahmoud Fawzy, Michele Blackwell, Niclas Illg, Charles Deluvio, Pinterest