Japanese Food Guide
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Alot of people just associate Sushi and Sashimi with Japanese cuisine. Although these are very popular dishes there are many types of cuisines that make up Japanese cuisine. Here is a guide the different types of Japanese food you can find through Tokyo and Japan. (OK we do start with Sushi and Sashimi cause it is really good in Japan and one of the most favoured dishes of the Japanese people)
Sushi - sushi is raw fish which is generally wrapped with sushi rice. The rice is steamed and mixed with some Japanese wine vinegar which ensure that it sticks together. You can have a variety of sushi including just a slice of fish ontop of some rice (stuck together with wasabi paste). Or you can get sushi rolls with the fish in the centre, surrounded by rice and wrapped in seaweed paper. See a list of sushi restaurants in Tokyo.
Sashimi - is slices of raw fish served by itself. It is served with a small side dish which you pour soya sauce in and mix in wasabi sauce. Usually served with slices of fresh ginger.
Yaki-niku - literally means grilled meat. Yaki-niku is traditional cooked on a small BBQ with hot coals which sits on your table. See a list of Yaki-niku restaurants in Tokyo.
Teppanyaki - literally means hot plate or more specifically fried plate (teppan means iron plate and yaki means fried). Expert chefs cook right in front of your on a large hot iron plate and serve the food directly to your bowl while you watch slice and dice and cook your food. See a list of Teppanyaki Restaurants in Tokyo
Last updated 26th March 2012
Tempura (天ぷら or 天麩羅 Tenpura)- lightly battered and deep fried vegetables and seafood. The light batter is achieved with special Japanese flavour which is cooled with ice water which puffs up when entered into the hot oil. See a list of Tempura Restaurants in Tokyo
Katsu - is meat, usually pork (Tonkatsu) which is breaded and deep fried. Can be served alone or on a bed of rice (Tonkatsu-don) with side dishes of pickles and miso soup. See a list of Tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo.
Chanko-nabe - traditionally a winter food and associate with the food that Sumo wrestlers eat.
Sukiyaki (鋤焼 or すき焼き) is a Japanese hot pot (nabemono) which you cook a selection of thinly sliced meat (usually beef) in the pot with a selection of vegetables and served with a bowl of steamed rice.
Shabu Shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ) is another type of Japanese hot pot which uses a different type of stock than sukiyaki hot pots.
Takoyaki (たこ焼き or 蛸焼) is a Japanese snack food. Takoyaki are small balls of cooked batter with a piece or squid or octopus cooked in centre and some herbs and spices. Takoyaki are cooked on an iron griddle and continuously turned to cook evenly though. Various different types are found throughout Japan with different ingredients including chopped shallots or pickles. Found all over Japan though famous from coming from Osaka and Kyoto area. In Tokyo there is a Takoyaki museum found at Odaiba with a number of different stalls selling a variety of Takoyaki.
Gyoza are small pork dumplings which are pan fried and steamed. The small triangle dumplings are cooked in a shallow fry pan. First water is boiled away to steam the insides and steam the dumpling, then as the water evaporates, one side of the dumpling is fried golden brown.
Okonomiyaki お好み焼きis a popular Japanese savoury pancake. The pancake is cooked with various ingredients including seafood or bacon and pork and vegetables. Okonomiyaki is best in Osaka and Hiroshima.
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