One of the greatest attractions of any trip to Japan is enjoying its rich and varied cuisine. Japanese cuisine sinks in the country’s historical roots because thanks to the cultural isolation that existed for a long time, it has evolved in its way, making Japanese cuisine something unique throughout Asia. Try the must-try traditional Japanese dishes.
Must-try traditional Japanese dishes
As we were saying, Japanese gastronomy is very wide and rich in flavors. Of all the typical dishes of Japan, we highlight the following:
You cannot start a list of typical Japanese dishes without the famous Sushi, the most famous gastronomy dish. The Sushi consists of glutinous rice balls covered with fish and shellfish. To give more intensity to the flavor, it is accompanied by soy sauce and wasabi.
Another of the most international dishes is the Ramen or typical Japanese Noodle Soups. All kinds of ingredients accompany the noodles because the variety of Ramen types is very wide. The best way to enjoy a good Ramen is to look for specialized local restaurants.
UDON AND SOBA
The Udon and Soba are 2 types of noodles or rice noodles more common in Japan. The Udon is thick, while Soba is thin (made with whole wheat flour). They can be eaten both in soups and cold.
Gyudon is one of the most common dishes in Japanese numbers fast-food restaurants. It consists of a bowl of rice with beef cooked on top.
TONKATSU AND KATSUDON
Like Gyudon, Tonkatsu and Katsudon are also associated with typical fast-food restaurants. The tonkatsu is a piece of pork pie, while Katsudon is beef. They are accompanied by cooked rice.
Tempura is the typical way in Japan to make batters. Tempura can be vegetable or seafood. The traditional thing is to accompany it with Tentsuyo sauce, made with broth, soy sauce, sake, and ginger’s touch to give it a spicy flavor. It is an ideal dish to share.
Sashimi is the traditional way of eating raw fish in Japan. Thanks to the freshness of the fish (the best is the one made with bluefin tuna). To enhance the flavor, it is accompanied by soy sauce, wasabi, and grated radish.
One of the most famous meats and fish marinades in Japanese cuisine is Teriyaki. Once marinated, the cooking is finished on the grill.
The Okonomiyaki is the famous Japanese tortilla. Star dish of fast Japanese cuisine, Okonomiyaki. It is a dish that they make you at the moment and there are usually many kinds depending on the ingredients you want to use.
If you are a meat lover, you should not miss the opportunity to eat a good piece of authentic Kobe meat. Thanks to its marbling (marble), the quality of Kobe meat is unique in the world. The only problem is that it is one of the most expensive dishes you can try during your trip.
One of the most traditional soups in Japan. Made with vegetable broth, miso paste, and accompanied by pieces of vegetables. It is usually an accompaniment to any main dish.
The star dish of takeaway food in Japan. The Bento is a box with different portions, one of rice and the rest are usually meats and pickles. It is the perfect option to eat during the days of travel. Bento stores are easily reachable.
TYPICAL DESSERTS IN JAPAN
If you are a sweet tooth in Japan, you will enjoy the different types of Mochis or cakes made from glutinous rice. The most common Mochis are the Wagashi, the Mochigashi.
SEAFOOD, ONE OF THE PLEASURES THAT JAPAN FOOD OFFERS YOU
If you are a seafood lover, you will simply feel that you are in heaven in Japan. Thanks to the cold waters of the Sea of Japan, the production, variety, and quality of Japanese seafood are unique in the world. This variety is also reflected in the sizes of many of these species. You should not miss the Hedgehog Roe, Giant Crabs, and Giant Oysters, among the specialties that you should not miss. In the fresh seafood markets of Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Osaka, you can enjoy different specialties.
VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN CUISINE
If you are vegetarian or vegan, you will have no problem enjoying Japanese cuisine. In many restaurants, you will have the option of ordering the dishes with tofu or just vegetables. If your idea is to visit Kyoto, you should not miss the opportunity to eat shojin ryori food or the Buddhist monks’ typical cuisine. This can be tried in the many restaurants around the main temples of the city. Another very common option is the snacks you can find in any 24-hour store (Konbini) made with seaweed (Konbu).
HOW TO ORDER YOUR FOOD IN A RESTAURANT
One of the first things you will notice when you are in Japan is that in many restaurants, neither the staff nor the menu is in English. To not go crazy when ordering food, the Japanese (always attentive to all the details) have devised a perfect trick … plastic replicas of each plate that they display at the restaurant entrance. In this way, apart from knowing what you can eat, you can tell the waiter which dish is chosen. Those replicas are known as Sanpuru and you will be surprised how real they can be.