Sushi & Sashimi
Let’s start with the food item that most of us associates Japan with: Sushi and Sashimi. Sushi is known all over the world and is unique in its creation because every piece of rice is seasoned with a rice vinegar mix (made with sugar and salt) and then mixed with different ingredients such as a variety of seafood, vegetables, and nori (seaweed). You can just grab a piece of sushi with chopsticks and dip it into soy sauce or wasabi, or both. It is truly a mix of flavors in your mouth! Depending on the shape and ingredients that are used, sushi can be called different names: Nigiri sushi, Maki sushi, Oshi sushi, Temaki sushi, etc.
Sashimi is basically raw fish or seafood served with wasabi (a spicy Japanese condiment) and soy sauce. It generally comes with slices of radish on the side. The name sashimi comes from a tradition of presenting the fish itself with the meal to identify which kind of fish you are eating. Sashimi in kanji it is written like this: 刺身. The first kanji means spine and the second kanji means body.
Ramen is one of the most popular options at the moment when choosing something to eat in Japan. It is a bowl of wheat noodles served in a soy sauce or miso soup mixed with many kinds of ingredients. The most typical ingredients are slices of pork, green onions, seaweed and egg. I can´t compare the flavor of this dish with anything else I have tasted before. The most important part of this dish is the soup. It has the most tasty flavor I have ever tried, and can range from soft to strong depending on where you order it. The way the pork is cooked, makes it so soft that sometimes it breaks into pieces as soon as you catch it with your chopsticks. With one order of ramen and a side dish of rice, you can be sure that you will be satisfied when you finish your meal… if you can!
Tempura is a Japanese fried dish made mostly from seafood and vegetables. It is seasoned with a sauce made with soy sauce, ginger and sugar. Tempura can be made using almost any and every vegetable. The size of the piece has to be able to be eaten in one bite and despite being deep fried, Tempura does not have an oily texture. Tempura is usually served with Tetsuyu sauce that is a mix of consommé, sweet sake, soy sauce, ginger, radish and spices.
Kare-Raisu (Curry Rice)
Also a very popular, simple and delicious dish that we can find in Japan, Kare-Raisu is just rice with curry but the taste is certainly different from any other curry dishes. To make Japanese curry, you can use a variety of meats and vegetables. The basic vegetables are onions, carrots and sweet potatoes, and the meats used are chicken, pork, beef and sometimes duck. There are different levels of spiciness for curry: mild, regular and hot are the most common. Which level would you choose?
Meet one of the best curry shops in Tokyo – Curry Kingdom. They have one of the greatest varieties of curry to choose from that we have ever seen, including fish curry, chicken curry, pork curry and even fruit curries such as the Strawberry-flavored one.
Okonomiyaki is similar to a pancake with the way it is pressed on a griddle but the ingredients are much more diverse and is usually considered a savory dish. It is typically made with flour, yam and egg, but you can add almost anything you like. The most common additions are green onions, beef, shrimp, squid, vegetables, mochi and cheese. In some restaurants, the experience is more interactive because the chef goes to the table and makes it on a griddle while the customers help the chef by adding other ingredients.