List Of Traditional Japanese Food: Tasty & Healthy Meals
Japan is a food lovers paradise. Japanese people are obsessed with food. In Japan, food is a popular topic of conversation.
Food items like tofu, sushi, tempura, miso, soba, and even green tea are now available to people even outside Japan. Japanese food has greatly evolved over the past few centuries due to many social as well as political changes. Right from the ancient eras, wherein much of the traditional cuisine was largely influenced by the Korean and Chinese cultures, Japanese cuisine gradually transformed with the onset of the Medieval period, which brought along with it new tastes and flavors.
The ingredients used in Japanese food are also very healthy. Unprocessed, soy, seaweed and various varieties of fish make sushi food one of the healthiest cuisines around the world. The following are the foods that all Japanese know well.
Japanese food mainly consists boiled or stewed foods. You will rarely find foods that are deep fried or soaked in spices in Japanese cuisine.
Udon and soba
Udon noodles are made from wheat flour. They are boiled and served in a broth, usually hot but occasionally cold in summer, and topped with ingredients such as a raw egg to make tsukimi udon, and deep-fried tofu aburaage to make kitsune udon. Soba is buckwheat noodles, which are thinner and a darker color than udon. Soba is usually served cold (zaru soba) with a dipping sauce, sliced green onions and wasabi. When served in a hot broth, it is known as kake soba. Served with the same toppings as udon, you get tsukimi soba, kitsune soba and tempura soba.
Sticky, short-grained rice is the staple food in Japan. Uncooked rice is called kome. The cultivation of rice in paddy fields traditionally required great cooperation between villagers and this is said to have been central to the evolution of Japanese culture. Their are several thousand varieties grown in Japan, with Koshihikari and Akita Komachi being among the most popular. Rice is also used to make mochi (rice cakes), senbei (rice crackers) and sake (rice wine). Rice can also be cooked with red beans (sekihan), seafood and vegetables (Takikomi gohan) or as a kind of watery porridge seasoned with salt (kayu) which is very popular as a cold remedy. Onigiri are rice balls with seafood or vegetables in the middle, usually wrapped in a piece of dried seaweed (nori).
Japanese cuisine is one of the rarest cuisines in the world, where seaweed is used as an ingredient. There are numerous health benefits of seaweed. Firstly, it is rich in sea minerals. Secondly, it has almost nil calories. Perfect food for dieters.
Udon is a thick Japanese wheat noodle. Udon is usually served hot in a mild broth with toppings such as mochi, tempura or deep fried tofu. However, there are many ways to eat Udon and it is prepared in dozens of ways including cold dishes such as Zaru udon (cold udon with nori dipped in a light sauce and wasabi). Udon can be challenging to eat because they tend to splash as you eat them. In Japan it is polite to loudly slurp soup noodles so don’t be shy to make a little noise.
Soy that is used in authentic Japanese cuisine is unprocessed and therefore healthy. Most gravies are soy based and most foods are eaten with a proteinacious soy dip.
Onigiri are Japanese rice balls made from white rice formed into triangles and filled with toppings such as tuna, salmon or umeboshi (pickled plum) and wrapped in nori. Onigiri are commonly sold in Japanese convenience stores and are an inexpensive snack.
Takoyaki is a hugely Popular Japanese food made by from fried round dough balls with small pieces of octopus inside. This is a classic festival food and so popular in Japan, they have fast food chains similar to McDonalds that specialise just in this delicious delicacy.