Japanese cuisine offers an abundance of regional and seasonal dishes that can definitely tantalize the taste buds of any eaters and food lovers. Regardless of being served at restaurants or street food corners, these foods possibly make you taste them once more thanks to its good taste, of course, and attractive decoration.
In this article, we recommend 15 delicious foods that are preferred by both locals and foreigners. It promises to work to those who are finding something good to eat in Japan.
1. Sushi& Sashimi
Sushi and Sashimi are not only highly consumed by Japanese people but they are also widely eaten by food lovers, even gourmets over the world, making them worldwide sensations. Sushi is a piece of rice seasoned with rice vinegar and topped with different ingredients such as seafood (commonly fish), vegetables, seaweed, etc.
It has a number of ways and shapes of presenting, so make sure to order the one you prefer. Sashimi is a clever and delicious combination of raw sliced fish or seafood, wasabi (a spicy Japanese condiment), soy sauce, daikon radish, and pickled ginger. Like Sushi, Sashimi is cleverly and creatively garnished, so it probably grasps your eyes right from the first sight.
2. Udon (Japanese wheat flour noodle)
Udon is a traditional Japanese noodle that is much loved by both kids and adults, locals and foreigners alike. A bowl of udon noodle may be added in a number of ingredients, including tempura, meat, tofu, seafood and vegetables and can be served hot as a noodle soup or chilled with a dipping sauce. So, you might order your favorite one based on your own taste, diet and may be the season.
3. Onigiri (rice balls)
Onigiri is considered as a Japanese sandwich. It’s simply rice balls that are filled with dried plum, salmon or cod roe and wrapped in a sheet of dried seaweed. It’s intentionally designed in a shape that you can eat by hand.
4. Miso soup
The healthy miso soup is the most traditional soup in Japan and often eaten for breakfast. It’s delicious mix of dashi (consomme), miso paste (fermented soybeans), tofu and various kinds of vegetables, seafood or meat. Having a bowl of the soup, you will certainly give your body some energy boost needed for morning activities.
5. Tempura (deep fried seafood)
Tempura, deep-fried seafood and vegetables, is also a world-renown Japanese food. It is deep-fried seafood and vegetables served with a flavorful dipping sauce as a main dish, side dish or topping of noodle dishes.
Imported from China, Ramen is currently one of the most preferred foods in Japan and available in restaurants and street food corners throughout the country. It’s made from wheat noodles, meat, fish, miso or soy sauce broth.
7. Yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers)
Yakitori, grilled chicken on bamboo skewers, is a “highly-recommended” street food in Japan. Different parts of the chicken, breasts, thighs, skin, liver and other innards are sliced into bite-sized pieces, seasoned to perfection, put on skewers with some vegetables, then grilled over charcoal.
8. Takoyaki (Japanese pancake)
Takayoki is savory Japanese pancakes. It’s round in shape, filled with a piece of octopus, and topped with a number of ingredients like beni shoga, katsuobushi, mayonnaise or a sweet soy sauce.
9. Tonkatsu (deep fried pork)
The deep fried pork Tonkatsu is one of the most beloved “western style” Japanese foods. The pork is chopped breaded, mixed with flour, egg and Panko (bread crumbs), deep fried and served with a sweet and sour sauce to create its own taste. This food is always available on menu of restaurants in Tokyo.
10. Donburi (Japanese rice bowl)
Donburi is preferred for meals by Japanese and foreigners alike. It’s basically a bowl of rice topped with different food like pork, beef, fish, eels, and vegetables that makes it vary in type. Here are some popular of them: gyudon (stewed beef), katsudon ( tonkatsu), tendon (tempura), oyakodon (chicken and egg), tekkadon (tuna) and kaisendon (raw seafood).
11. Natto (fermented soybean)
Natto is a healthy food and quite common in the east Japan. It’s simply made by steaming soybeans then fermenting with nattōkin, a variant of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Like other fermented soybean foods, natto has a distinct flavor and odor but Japanese likes it anyway.
12. Soba (Japanese buckwheat noodle)
Soba is one of three favorite noodle dishes in Japan, along with Udon and Ramen. This buckwheat noodle varies in preparation, served hot in broth or chilled with a dipping sauce, normally tsuyu, made from soy sauce.
Another traditional Japanese pancake you should try is Okonomiyaki, made of batter and cabbage and a variety of food on top, ranging from anything from meat to seafood to wasabi and cheese. In other words, it is prepared to use up leftovers.
Okonomiyaki can be found in restaurants in Japan but most popular in Osaka, Tokyo and Hiroshima.
14. Mochi (Japanese glutinous rice cake)
Mochi is definitely worth ranking No.1 in top “must-eat” Japanese desserts of those who have a sweet tooth. It’s a delicious mix of rice flour and pounded glutinous rice filled with sweet beans. Some popular types are daifuku (mochi with sweetened red bean paste), kushi-dango (mochi dumplings on skewers) and ohagi (mocha rice with red bean paste).
15. Curry Rice
Curry paired with rice is a beloved meal of both Japanese and foreigners. The reason is simple: it’s delicious and can fill your stomach. It’s commonly made of potatoes, carrots, onions, meat (beef, chicken,..) and curry powder or roux. This food is available to serve in restaurants and can be made right at home because its recipe is quite simple.
Reading here, you must choose some of the “must-try” Japanese foods of your own. If you have chance to go there, spend time travelling around and treating yourself famous dishes. It’s worth, definitely!