The food of Japan

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All around the world, Japanese cuisine is appreciated, respected and most of all enjoyed.

When it comes to food, the Japanese are among the most passionate of any race. For many Japanese travelling to any region in Japan, food is often one of the main reasons for them to go. Many towns and cities in Japan are known for their local speciality, whether a type of sweet, noodle, seaweed or even tofu.     

Japanese foods are well known for their excellence in preparation and presentation. Food is an art form and even the simplest dishes are often prepared by chefs who have trained and worked in the field for many years.

The food of Japan

Rice

In the past rice was being traded as currency, rice has been a staple food for Japanese people for over 2,000 years and still accompanies or forms the base of many meals. Growing or producing of rice is very labour-intensive. Each kid was taught from a very young age to save rice. Popular dishes include donburi (simmered fish, meat or vegetables served over rice), onigiri (small parcels of rice wrapped in dried seaweed), kayu (a rice porridge) and mochi (pounded rice cakes), to name a few. 

Seasonal & Local Food

Japan has four very distinct seasons and each season marks different offerings. In most cases, menus are changed to reflect what is in season.

Kaiseki cuisine is tasting dishes with up 12 courses of steamed, simmered or grilled dishes, sliced raw & cooked vegetables, tempura, soup, rice, pickles and a small dessert. Kyoto is a great place to enjoy this wonderful treat for all the senses.      

Vegetarians

Japanese enjoy many vegetarian dishes with zaru soba (buck-wheat noodles), served cold with a dipping sauce. You can enjoy a bowl of udon in vegetable soup, tofu steak or okonomiyaki (pancake). If you are adventurous you could try natto - sticky, fermented soya beans. The Japanese liken it to marmite, you'll either love it or hate it! Miso is also another integral ingredient in vegetarian dishes throughout Japan.

Eating Out

Eating out in Japan is as much about the experience as the food. Japanese restaurants often specialise in one dish. There are different styles of sushi train restaurants. You can try other food such as vegetable skewers (kushiyaki), ramen (noodles in a broth), tempura (deep-fried vegetables), cook-your-own Korean-style BBQ (usually with a hotplate in the table), bean curd and vegetables cooked in soy sauce etc. The list goes on.

Sushi

The word ‘sushi’ might just be the most travelled word in Japanese.

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