Who doesn’t love sushi or ramen? Who hasn’t heard of sake and moshi? Japanese cuisine is famous around the world. And with good reason. The Japanese are experts in healthy, simple and above all tasty food. With vegetables, you’ve never heard of, and Kit Kats in every flavour imaginable (wasabi chocolate anyone?) eating in Japan can be an overwhelming experience. There is so much to choose from! But to help you along on your quest to the best dish in Japan, here are 5 things you have to try:
The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Japanese food is probably sushi. These raw seafood and rice bites are popular around the world. Although good sushi can be pricey in other countries, excellent sushi is still affordable in Japan. Sushi is actually a fast food often enjoyed by locals at conveyor belts or standing restaurants. Perfect for a quick meal and a quintessential Japanese food experience.
2. Noodle soup
From ramen to udon, with meat, seafood or vegetarian, the Japanese make a mean noodle soup. You will find different styles of soup all around the country, usually distinguished by the type of noodle used. Ramen are thin vermicelli type noodles, soba is made from buckwheat and udon are thick, slippery rice noodles (my personal favourite).
My all-time favourite food is dumplings. You can find different versions of these scrumptious little pockets of deliciousness all over the world. Japanese gyoza are delightful dumplings, either steamed or fried and filled with everything from pork to shrimp or vegetables. They are usually enjoyed as a snack or starter, but there are also restaurants that serve only dumplings.
The signature dish of Hiroshima, Okonomiyaki can be found throughout Japan. They are a combination of a savoury pancake and an omelette filled with meat, seafood and vegetables. Instead of mixing the ingredients together, Okonomiyaki is created by the process of baking an layering on a hot griddle. The dish is made right in front of you, which is half the fun.
Tea is not just a drink in Japan, it’s a part of their culture. Matcha, which is powdered green tea is so beloved that it is incorporated into a variety of sweet dishes. As a tea, it is made by stirring the powder into hot water with a bamboo whisk. But you can also enjoy matcha ice-cream, matcha chocolate, matcha cookies and so much more.