Apart from Karate, the next thing that strikes our mind is food when it comes to Japan. While we don’t mind studying Karate, food is what best matches our interest. Traditional Japanese cuisine found its place in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List – Washoku is the dish. It certainly means that preserving this form of eating is vital for the survival of Japanese culture. It is the second national traditional cuisine to be honored after French food.
Ramen, Sushi, Kobe, Gyoza, Teriyaki and you name it. The terms will immediately make you crave them if you are a Japanese food enthusiast. It is thus worth it to know how the heritage came into play and how this super traditional cuisine became one of UK’s top favourites.
Japanese Cuisine – A Blend of Seasonal Flavors and Ingredients
Japanese cuisine is not just about the food but also about preparation and presentation. It is one of the very colorful cuisines in the world. Every dish is thoughtfully served and the chefs consider more than a dozen seasons and select ingredients carefully to add prime flavors to the dish. Not to forget fresh.
Simplicity is the highlight of Japanese cuisine. Every course contains small items, usually fresh and loaded with flavors. Japanese add fresh ingredients to their food and do the least to bring out flavor and color. There can be multiple courses, but the serving size is well calculated and precise.
Garlic, Oil, and Chili Peppers are sparingly used
Many Japanese foods are eaten raw, minimally seasoned, boiled, or seared. Umami is a rich flavored Japanese food, which is enhanced by adding only a few ingredients like soy sauce, miso, seaweed, mushrooms, bonito broth, and bonito flakes. Fried foods like tempura are coated in a thin batter so that it absorbs very little oil; fried food in healthy forms.
Condiments are an important part of the Japanese cuisine as it enhances flavors. Light dipping sauces, miso, citrus, wasabi, soy sauce, and pickles are a part of every meal.
Although individual servings are relatively smaller, traditional Japanese meals called kaiseki include different courses that add up to plenty of food to fill you up.
Choice of Dishware
The choice of dishware is very important to Japanese cuisine. Different colors, patterns, and shapes of dishware add to the concept of fine dining. Fine restaurants serve food in antique ceramics, lacquerware etc. Beautiful hand-painted bowls and dishes also add an appeal to dining.
Seafood is an Industry
Seafood is very common in Japanese cuisine and culture. In Tokyo, the Tsukiji Market is the largest wholesale market for fresh, frozen and processed seafood. There are 12 such wholesale fish markets in Tokyo, let alone other parts of Japan. Fish is a staple food item, used in a wide range of Japanese cuisine from sushi to sashimi.
There’s NO Pure Vegetarian Japanese Food
Japanese cuisine uses plenty of vegetables and plants. However, it is still very hard to find a vegetarian food. Traditional Japanese dishes are cooked mainly in fish broth and sprinkled with bonito flakes.
Just like other Asian cuisines, Japanese consider noodles as one of their staples. Ramen is the most popular and it is made in a rich clear broth, eggs, meat, bean sprouts, sea weed, chives cilantro and many more toppings. Some add dash of Siracha to devour it hot, others are content with the umami.
Traditional Japanese desserts are typical sweets wrapped and beautifully crafted. Wagashi is the most popular traditional sweet dish; the next is yatsuhashi, which belongs to Kyoto. The main ingredient of Japanese desserts is sweet rice wrappers.
Fruits are Luxury
Japanese farmers grow high-quality luxury fruits like strawberries and melons. You can also find cantaloupe grown in controlled conditions.
The traditional Japanese tea practice, locally called chado, is the highest form of art besides music, theater, and calligraphy. Aspiring artists study for years and earn the honor of serving a cup of traditional tea.
Japan’s Food Etiquette
Every aspect of Japanese dining has rules and etiquettes. For instance, eating anything on the street is rude. Likewise, making slurping sound while eating soupy noodles is a bad manner. Using the chopstick is also a rule, but never lay chopsticks across the bowl. Always use the chopstick stand. Leaving a messy plate piled with crumbled up napkins is rude and below standards. While Japanese locals religiously perform all etiquettes, Britons seem to enjoy the food more.
If you feel the urge to dig in Japanese food right away, well, do not wait any longer and order away from ChefOnline.