What is actually eaten in Japan

Throughout Japan, many may be surprised to discover that the Japanese do not eat sushi every day, but in Japanese cuisine, there are many typical Japanese dishes that are definitely worth a try, being in the land of the rising sun.

Ten typical Japanese dishes, far from the stereotype of sushi

Udon (wheat noodles)

Noodles “Udon” is used in soups, as an ingredient in complex dishes and as a separate dish, usually in a liquid sauce, with various spices. Most noodles made from wheat flour, but special types it is prepared from other ingredients, including beans.

Udon is usually served hot, for example, in cake soup-Udon (kake udon), which is made on the basis of Dashi stock, seasoned soy sauce and mirin and green onions sprinkled on top. Also to cake-can add Udon tempura, tofu, fried with sugar, mirin and soy sauce, or fish fingers kamaboko. To taste you can add citime-togarashi.

Soba (buckwheat noodles)

Dish with buckwheat soba noodles. Photo by N ino from Flickr

Soba — the Japanese national dish in the form of a long brown-gray noodles made from buckwheat flour, known since the mid XVI century. Most often served to the table chilled without broth, with a special sauce on the dish, and sometimes with a hot broth as a noodle soups.

One of the ways to eat buckwheat noodles — dipping it into the sauce with wasabi, pureed daikon radish and cut into small strips green onion.

Tofu

Tofu is a soybean curd obtained by adding thickening agents (nigari) in soy milk. There are many varieties of tofu, but all of them can be divided into two major groups:

firm tofu (momen) — easier cut, perfectly combined with the majority of products contains more protein than soft tofu and is the consistency of the mozzarella;

soft tofu (kinugoshi) — better suited for soups, sauces and desserts, is the consistency of pudding.

Miso

A bowl of miso soup. Photo from Flickr nipotan

Miso is a food product used in traditional Japanese cuisine, who came from Korea. Along with rice is the cornerstone of Korean and Japanese cuisine, but rather, traditions of eating. No homemade table is complete without miso, whether it be Breakfast, lunch or dinner.

In Japan there are over 100 varieties of miso soup. Each species has its own special flavor and totally different from the rest.

Miso can be classified in different ways, for example, based on rice and soybean paste, barley and soybean paste, or soy based only on pasta. In addition, miso varies in color.

Miso rice

Today, 80% of the miso produced in Japan is miso made of rice. From North to South in different areas make miso, but there are significant differences between the different species and varieties of miso in color and taste.

Miso is from soybeans

This miso is made from soybeans and salt. Its preparation is considered an original. Mamamia done in the prefectures of Aichi, Gifu and mie, and is a local product of these regions.

Miso from wheat

Miso from made of wheat for home consumption, it is also called “Inak-miso” (miso rustic). Doing it more often in the Northern part of Kanto, in the regions of Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu.

Takikomi gohan

Tamago-yaki

Tamago-yaki. Photo by orimo via Flickr

Tamago-yaki in the Kanto style is characterized with nice looking brown marks, like meat, which was extinguished, preliminarily fry. The taste is very sweet.

The Japanese are very fond of tamago-yaki. It is made by beating eggs, then mixing in broth that has sugar, soy sauce, salt and possibly other seasonings. The mixture is fried, turning several times while cooking.

O-Hagi

O-Hagi — steamed glutinous rice cake, usually covered with azuki bean paste.

O-Hagi. Photo by CookieM on Flickr

In the old days, o-Hagi used to do manually at home, but now became more common to buy them at a local store that sells traditional Japanese confectionery. They are quite popular and are often in shop Windows. Peak demand occurs during spring and autumn equinox. At this time, even small shops sell thousands of o-Hagi in the day.

Onigiri

Onigiri is a Japanese dish made from rice, cobbled together in a triangular or round shape. Usually onigiri stuffed and wrapped in a sheet of dried nori seaweed. The filling can also be evenly mixed into the rice, and as a wrapper instead of nori is sometimes used lettuce, scrambled eggs, and even slices of ham. In Japan, onigiri is so widespread and popular that there are specialized shops which only sell onigiri.

Wasabi

Field wasabi. Photo by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) from Flickr

Real wasabi, also called honwasabi (which translated means “real wasabi”), can be found only in Japan, but even there it grows in special conditions: in flowing water and at a temperature of 10-17 degrees. That is why it is so expensive and so appreciated. Wasabi manages without hardly any Japanese dish, and most often, wasabi is mixed with soy sauce or (in the case of sushi) make thin stripes on the pic.

Given the complexity of the production of wasabi, we can safely say that outside of Japan in any restaurant do not use real wasabi. And there is used a condiment made from vegetable wasabi-daikon. The so-called vegetable in Japan, where it was brought from somewhere in Europe and relatively recently. In Europe itself this type of horseradish used as a condiment for roast beef, and in Japan wasabi-daikon is grown mainly in Hokkaido. Of course, wasabi-daikon and honwasabi — completely different plants, but also taste, and sharpness are the same. And given the growing ease and cheapness of vegetable, no wonder that wasabi-daikon has received the wide circulation.

Tempura

Different kinds of tempura on the counter. Photo by istolethetv via Flickr

Tempura is prepared from many ingredients. One of the most popular is the EBI tempura is made with fresh shrimp. Also in batter cooked vegetables (most often it’s asparagus, peppers, cauliflower), sweet fruits, fish, other seafood, rarely meat.

Tempura is usually served with a garnish of grated radish shredded daikon and seaweed, as well as with soy sauce and wasabi.

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