I would love to take everyone on a trip to Japan so we could try some authentic Japanese food, but alas, that’s not quite possible. However, I would like to show you some different Japanese foods rather than just sushi.
More than just the ramen that we college kids buy at Wal-Mart, real Japanese ramen is delicious! Honestly, we don’t have the same flavor in America. The noodles are also very unique and thin. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get in America unless you import it online.
Tempura is seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. Not the most healthy, but delicious!
Miso soup actually varies in ingredients based on what region of Japan you are in. It is a traditional soup that is made of dashi stock and miso paste. (Miso is fermented soybeans.)
Takoyaki, also referred to as octopus dumplings, is just like what it sounds like! It is seasoned batter filled with diced octopus and other seasonings and sauces. It is one of the most popular street foods in japan. I haven’t had the chance to try it yet, but I always thought it looked good! It was my favorite food to make on Cooking Mama when I was little. 😛
Bento boxes are hand-made single serving lunches, usually in a box container. They are very common for students to take with them to school for lunch. They are usually filled with rice, meat or seafood, and vegetables. There is also bento box art, which can be very elaborate!
Udon is a thick wheat flour noodle that is served hot in a mild broth. It can be topped with deep-fried tofu, fish cakes, chopped scallions, or other toppings.
Mochi is traditional Japanese dessert made of rice flour and filled with sweet bean paste. They can also be filled with other things, like strawberries. Mochi ice cream is also common.
Dango is another traditional Japanese dessert that is a lot like Mochi. One special type is Hanami Dango, or Sakura viewing Dango. When it is sakura season in Japan, families commonly enjoy these while watching the sakura trees bloom. The colored ones are specifically for this.
I thought I would finish up this post by included the most well know dish, sushi! Unlike Americanized sushi, note that sushi has the rice on the inside and seaweed, or nori, on the outside. If you would like, take a look at this article on the subject. Sushi is supposed to be simple, in taste and ingredients, not a huge fancy thing. Common guys, Dragon roll? California roll? Not quite authentic names either. 🙂
I’m not saying you can’t go and enjoy some sushi at your local restaurant, I think it tastes good too, even if it’s not authentic! But just be aware of what it is. Either way, Japan has some very delicious foods that are unique and different from what we are used to.