5 Must-Try Japanese Foods
Whether you are a foodie or not, Japanese cuisine is something that you should try at least once. While food is often an important part of a culture, even more for the Japanese. The Japanese love their food – and it shows in the careful preparation, meticulous presentation, and almost ritualistic way they consume it.
If you are traveling to Japan, trying out different local specialty in various towns and cities can be a very enriching experience. Whether you are getting the full immersion by going to Japan or heading over to the nearest Japanese restaurant, knowing which dishes to make a point of trying out will save you from some indecision when looking at the menu.
Make your Japanese food experience totally unforgettable by putting the following dishes on your order:
- Sushi. There are many misconceptions when it comes to what really constitutes sushi. To put it simply, sushi can be any ingredient served on vinegared rice and nori. The usual ingredients are combinations of raw and cooked fish, vegetables, seafood, and fruit. Sushi making is such a specialty that there are often sushi schools for learning how to make them. Aside from how delicious sushi can be, there are also a lot of health benefits associated with eating sushi.
- Sashimi. Often confused with sushi, sashimi consists of thinly sliced raw meat or fish. It is often served with wasabi, ginger, and soy sauce. Not everyone may take to eating sashimi, but it is actually very popular even among the non-Japanese. Often, tuna or salmon is used for sashimi. Be careful where you try sashimi though, make sure that it is cleanly prepared. It is best to try it in well-known and reputable restaurants to lower the risks with eating raw fish.
- For those who are not into raw meat and fish and are more into fried food, tempura is a definite must-try. Tempura is seafood or vegetable coated in batter and deep-fried. The result is a light and fluffy dish that tastes great. It is often dipped in a mixture of light soy sauce and broth. Although all kinds of tempura have their own appeal, go for the ebi tempura if you can try only one.
- Ramen. For the noodle-lovers out there, ramen should be at the top of your list. Although some people would argue that ramen originated from China, the Japanese have definitely made it their own. It is a meat- or fish-based noodle dish that contains sliced pork, nori, green onions, and flavored with soy sauce and miso. There are many different kinds of ramen and trying out each kind of ramen you come across with is fun and enjoyable.
- Unagi. Not all kinds of cuisine can claim to have eel in their repertoire, so this makes trying out unagi a definite must. It is river eel grilled over charcoal and lightly coated with sweet barbecue sauce. However, some people try to avoid unagi because of concerns with the freshwater eel population. Some restaurants handled the concerns with the declining freshwater eel population by using farm-raised unagi instead.