Wondering what is the most satisfying food in Japan? In today's post, we will talk about Japanese foods that will revolve around their popular proverb known as (ことわざ) Kotozawa. Basically, it states that people should "eat it raw before all else, then grill it, and boil it last of all.” Do you want to know the meaning behind this proverb? Then, let's get it on!
I know you have all watched Anime or Japanese cartoons way back in your childhood days. It is not only the characters and the storylines in that anime that fascinated you but also the beautiful cherry blossom season and each Japanese food that they introduced. Those different forms of media promote different cultures, historical landmarks, and most especially the most appetizing and (旨味) Umami which means 'savory taste' of foods in the country known as 'The Land of the Rising Sun, Japan.
The most common food presented were Japanese curry, miso soup, shabu-shabu, red bean paste, and various hi-tech convenience stores or fast-food chains that sells fresh sushi, delicious sweet tooth, bite-sized balls or rice balls, thin slices of meat, deep-fried bread, and other products that were packaged and served in a (かわいい) Kawaii or adorable way. As you observed, this is very prominent in Japanese culture nowadays and this largely swayed the Japanese culture worldwide.
But before I introduce to you the most satisfying foods in Japan, let us have a brief discussion about how the food from Japan, Korea, and Chinese are similar to each other but in a different way.
The similarity between the foods from China and Japan is that they both use fresh and typical ingredients like vegetables, pork, fish, and sauce in preparing, cooking, and eating as well as preserving their food. However, the difference is most of all the dishes from Japan are fresh vegetables, fish and other huge variety of seafood, it is because of their country is rich with these ingredients and is surrounded by coastlines. Japanese cuisine tends to make foods in various flavors than Chinese cuisine. Also, the Chinese love the deep-fried idea of cooking their meals. So if you are a seafood lover, you can come to Japan to try their common dish.
Meanwhile, the similarities between Japanese and Korean food is they both love to eat raw fish and noodles called Ramen (ラーメン) in Japanese and Ramyeon (라면 ) the Japanese version of ramen in Korean. The difference is that Korean cuisine loves spices and various small side dishes. Also, they tend to preserve their foods through fermentation like Kimchi. On the other hand, Japanese people wanted their food to have a natural flavor, unlike Koreans. They are also very artistic in the way that they presented their food creatively and attractively.
When you think of Japan, the first cuisine that pops your mind is the wildly popular dish in the country, Sushi. This refers to various dishes made with Japanese rice and seasoned with rice vinegar. It has many varieties based on your cravings. This is mostly available in the different chain restaurants all over the country. With its artistic way of covering the raw fish, seaweeds, or fried tofu) you can never let go of that surprising element when its natural flavor burst inside your mouth
Next is the savory dish of deep-fried prawns that you can dip in sweet sauce, sesame dipping sauce, teriyaki sauce, or any sauce that you prefer. Tempura can also be served together with your favorite noodle soup or rice bowls.
This delicious noodle soup is extremely popular in many restaurants in Japan. This Japanese dish has these four main ramen broth that consists of wheat noodles, soy sauce, miso, pork bone, and with the toppings of egg, sliced pork, nori seaweed, spring onions, bamboo shoots, and other natural umami flavors. If you want to taste a different kind of noodle soup, try ramen first because you can never acquire this taste in any noodle soup in the world.
This is a Japanese version of some of the western-style foods from Europe. Tonkatsu is a deep-fried pork cutlet coated in breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown. It is commonly served with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce (fruit and vegetable base). This is part of bento box (弁当) usually available in the different convenience stores in the country.
This Japanese food is made from fermented soybeans and dashi broth and served as a side dish. With its umami flavor, they add toppings like green onions, wakame seaweed, and firm tofu. This dish can be eaten any time of the day (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) so if you like to try this dish, this would have the acquired taste that you want.
If you are not that satisfied with eating raw fish like sushi, thinly sliced meat, pork belly, grilled meat, or buckwheat noodles partnered with egg and meat from the different fast-food chains, restaurants, and convenience stores in Japan, It's now the time to cooked Kare raisu in your home. The main difference from other curries is this has a sweeter flavor and the delicious stew consists of meat and vegetables cooked by boiling the water. This dish usually used beef tendons and is partnered with rice and the curry sauce made with a mix of Japanese spices and roux to make the sauce sweet and thicker.
Looking at the different cuisine of Japan, this highly reflects how magnificent their culture and history are. From fresh ingredients to the grilled dish, from grilled dish to boiled foods, this mirrors the mentioned Japanese proverb above, that the Japanese do not want their cuisine to be overlooked. They highly appreciate every aspect of their food including its color, tastes, textures, flavors, and presentations. This is the main difference of Japan from the other country, both the cook and the one who will eat the food appreciates every little thing that they served and they eat. So if you want to try this Japanese cuisine, do not forget to say 'Itadakimasu' (いただきます) that translates to 'I humbly received'.
If you enjoyed this post and figured that you would love to learn more about the Japanese language and culture, then you should not miss out on our previous posts like how to greet someone with a happy new year and the Japanese vocabulary for family.
This is just a glance at Japan. It's not only about the savory dish in the country or the Cherry blossom season, it's more than that. If you want to explore more about this country specifically learning the Japanese Language or Nihongo (日本語), you can download Ling App by Simya Solutions. This user-friendly language learning application can help you learn a new language every day in a more engaging and fun way. So what are you waiting for? Go and grab Ling App now!