Japanese cuisine is known all over the world, but , perhaps most importantly, there is a great variety of dishes besides sushi and sashimi that are definitely worth a try. But where do I start?
Buta no Shogayaki — pork with ginger
This is one of the most common and delicious dishes of Japanese cuisine, which can be found in many restaurants and fast food chains.
Yaki — is the Japanese word for “grilled”. The chefs prepare the dish by grilling thin slices of pork and topping them with a delicate sauce of sweet mirin wine, soy sauce, sake and ground granola mixed with chopped onions and ginger.
At first glance, this dish is very similar to ramen, but it is completely different. If you want to try something traditional, then definitely this.
Champon is originally from Nagasaki, where it first appeared in a Chinese restaurant during the Meiji era. What makes it different from ramen? In champon, the noodles are prepared specifically for this dish and boiled in the soup rather than added later.
The ingredients traditionally used in champon vary by season. As a rule, they take pork, seafood, vegetables, or a combination of them. Everything is fried together in lard, after which chicken and pork ribs broth is added.
It's not exactly a dish, though, edamame — unripe soybeans — widely popular in Japan. They are usually served and eaten in pods. They are hot or cold, sometimes grilled. It is then sprinkled with salt for an amazing appetizer.
Looking for an amazing culinary experience? Pufferfish — This is a delicious dish that is worth a try. However, if handled incorrectly, it can be fatal due to the presence of a toxin.
Fugu is usually served as sashimi or in Japanese nabe hot pots. Due to its peculiarities, the preparation of fugu is strictly controlled by the Japanese government. A chef who prepares this fish must undergo at least three years of rigorous training before being licensed.
Gyoza — crescent-shaped dumplings. This is another dish that is served in almost every Japanese restaurant. It is actually of Chinese origin, but the Japanese varieties are very different from the original.
In Japan, gyoza come in several varieties. One of the most popular — «yaki-gedza». These dumplings are stuffed with minced pork, cabbage, garlic, onion and ginger. They are lightly fried until they are crispy and have a nice dark golden color. Then you can dip them in a sauce made from rice vinegar, soy sauce and spiced oil.
This appetizing dish of beef and rice is served in one platter. Gyudon cooks quickly, which is why Japanese fast food chains love it so much.
Imagine a bowl of steamed rice with thinly sliced beef and tender onions simmered in dashi broth. The dish is seasoned with mirin and soy sauce. Sometimes it is sprinkled with crumbled boiled eggs.
Gyukatsu — beef cutlet
This is a variant of another popular — pork tonkatsu. Gyukatsu consists of deep fried breaded beef, usually served with cabbage, barley rice, miso soup, potato salad and pickles.
Gyutan means “cow tongue” in the truest sense of the word. Grilled beef tongue served with salt or various sauces and green onions. The meat is thin, tender and tasty.
Karaage — This is a Japanese fried chicken dish and is very common throughout Japan. Pieces of chicken, sometimes pork, are lightly dipped in wheat flour or potato starch and deep fried. Sometimes the ingredients are pre-marinated. This dish is usually served with a slice of lemon.
Katsudon — Another popular Japanese dish similar to gyudon but made with pork. It is an ideal dish for those on the road and can be enjoyed in literally all Japanese fast food chains and specialty restaurants.
Served in a bowl of rice, deep-fried pork cutlet is sprinkled with egg mixture, vegetables and seasonings.
This dish is also called kushiage. It is crispy, deep-fried meat, fish or vegetables on skewers. “Kushi” refers to the skewers used, and “katsu” — this is the process of deep-frying meat patties.
There are various variations, but the most delicious are prepared using lotus root, bamboo shoots and giblets.