Favorite Traditional Japanese Foods

Traditional Japanese cuisine is a combination of staple foods available in the region. Usually it consists of white rice with one or more side dishes and main dishes, sometimes served with miso soup and pickles. Japanese food has had strong influences from Korea and China for thousands of years. It was only in the last few hundred years that foreign trade and religion made any impact on traditional Japanese fare and influenced it to what we now know it to be.

Some traditional Japanese foods include:

Sukiyaki – a type of soup or stew prepared in a Japanese hot pot (nabemono) style. It  consists of thin slices of beef, vegetables, tofu, scallions, Chinese cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and jelly noodles (konnyaku). The sauce mixture where the various ingredients are cooked in is made of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Usually, Sukiyaki is served during winter.

Sukiyaki. | Kapichu

 

 

Shabu-shabu – has a special broth made by boiling at least three inches of sea kelp (kombu) for around 30 minutes. The broth may also have some saki and salt mixed in it. Shabu-shabu comes with two types of sauce. One is usually made with sesame paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, water, and fine garlic pieces, while the other sauce is a combination of lime juice, soy sauce, and chopped long green onions.

Shabu-shabu. | jimg944

Tempura – a delicious Japanese dish that includes a light, crispy, deep-fried batter. It usually is made with vegetables or seafood; shrimp is most popular. Tempura was first introduced to Japan as early as the middle of the 16th century by the Portuguese. Reportedly, Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, loved tempura.

Tempura shrimp. | Jeremy Keith

 

Yakitori – a popular Japanese street food. It is usually made of bite-sized pieces of chicken and other non-poultry ingredients on bamboo skewers, and barbecued over a hot charcoal grill.  The term “yakitori” refers to skewered food in general. Small restaurants or stands all around Japan called yakitori-ya serve these delectable dishes, often accompanied by a nice cold bottle of beer.

Yakitori. | Searobin