World Famous Japanese Dishes
There’s nothing ordinary about Japan, or its food. And although exceptional culinary diversity is part of their rich culture, there are not many dishes popular in the West. Those that are however, are gracing the menus of restaurants and food venues from around the world. Here are the top Japanese Dishes that broke quite a few cultural barriers along the way:
Sushi and Sashimi
These two are subject to a lot of confusion, caused by the fact that they have the following element in common: raw meat. Sushi consists of rice sprinkled with vinegar. There are numerous sushi varieties around, and while some do include raw fish, others are based on other ingredients, including cooked ones. Although great sushi can be found at steep prices in the West, its origins are in the humble street food.
Sashimi is represented by raw fish (or other types of seafood) cut in thin slices, served, NOT with rice, but with wasabi and shoyu, and it’s always raw. So, whether you’re into salmon, mackerel, sweetfish or sweet shrimp, it’s essential that the meat is fresh and the cook knows what he’s doing.
Anyone looking to end up in deep-fried heaven should give Tempura a try. This dish is one of Japan’s most famous meals, though its origins are not even Japanese, but Portuguese. The technique of deep-frying brought by the Portuguese in Nagasaki in the 16th century quickly caught on the Japanese people who gave their own spin to it. They use vegetables, seafood, mushrooms or meat drenched in batter and deep friend, resulting in a delicious, crispy-textured food that is sometimes seasoned with salt or served dipped in light sauce.
Anime, movies and books made Ramen world famous. It’s one of the most popular noodle dishes around, and it was actually introduced from China, though the current dish was completely Japanized. It’s a stimulating combo of salt and fat, consisting of Chinese style noodles soaked in a soup featuring different toppings.
Japanese Curry Rice
Rice has been THE most important food in Japanese gastronomy for over 2 millennia. And despite all sorts of culinary imports and transformation in eating habits, rice remains a key ingredient in Japanese dishes today.
The Japanese Curry Rice is sweeter than its Indian counterpart, containing surprising elements like apples and honey. It hosts an intriguing blend of delicate spice, sweetness and soothing aromas that makes it a favorite amongst those that find white rice too bland.
Ah, another street food that became extremely popular outside Japan’s borders is Yakitori, consisting of meat skewers seasoned with salt or draped in tare, a sweet soy-derived sauce. The meat used is chicken and almost every part of this bird ends up on the charcoal grill.